Outdoor living has been propelled to the top of homeowner wish lists and has become a top priority for architects, and design professionals focused on residential design.
Connection to the outdoors/nature and outdoor entertaining both ranked high on the top 10 list of design drivers in “The Future of Home Design,” a recent survey conducted by the New Home Trends Institute (NHTI) in collaboration with Pro Builder.
Home Owners Seek More Outdoor Living Options
A large, green backyard once satisfied home-buyers, but today’s buyers are seeking more options and flexibility in using outdoor spaces – just as they are for interiors. In fact, “The Future of Home Design” survey reveals that an open yard ranks low among design professionals compared with more multifunctional options.
Challenges Spur Creativity in Outdoor Living Design
Designing higher-density projects as demand for multifunctional outdoor spaces increases requires creative solutions. Popular solutions include:
• Expansive windows and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors help connect to the outdoors without requiring additional square footage indoors or out.
• Expect efficiently designed outdoor spaces featuring more built-in features, such as fire pits or fireplaces (73%), outdoor kitchens (68%), gazebos or pergolas (44%), pools (36%), integral package delivery solutions (22%), and spas or hot tubs (20%) — often several in the same footprint or across multiple (if smaller) outdoor living spaces serving the home.
• Covered outdoor rooms address the space allocation debate and meet the need and desire for privacy. Often set up to mirror the home’s interior’s comfort (and sometimes even the finishes), these spaces are an indoor-outdoor hybrid.
Creating Privacy and Community in Outdoor Living Spaces
In the push-pull of dwindling lot sizes and greater outdoor living functionality, privacy and community remain vital considerations among consumers, and roof decks are emerging as an ideal solution.
One thing is sure: The future of outdoor living will look different from traditional backyards as more external challenges arise, but the importance of connecting to the outdoors remains a top design consideration for designers and consumers alike.