Let's Take It Outside
That crispness in the air is Mother Nature’s gentle reminder that we’ve hit peak outdoor living season in Phoenix. Six months of sunny days and cool nights. Time to head outside and soak it all in! The Valley is the perfect setting for the porch & patio lifestyle. And the burgeoning outdoor living industry offers more options than ever for turning a ho-hum yard into an outdoor paradise. Look in any furniture store (like the new Shops at Norterra store, All American Outdoor Living & Patio), big box store, or even your local supermarket, and you’ll see row after row of BBQ islands, grills, space heaters, and furniture.
According to marketwatch.com, the outdoor furniture market is a $16 billion industry – and it is forecasted to grow to $23 billion over the next five years! Arizona’s strong economy, abundance of resorts, and permanently blue skies make our state a major player when it comes to outdoor living. Between all the design makeover shows, retail showrooms, and Pinterest boards, the choices for upgrading your outdoor space are almost limitless. Some people may love all the options, while others find them overwhelming. If you fall into the second category, the best advice is to just follow the trends.
Here are six trends in outdoor living you can expect to see in the coming months heading into spring…
The battle between hardscape and soft surfaces ends with a compromise. Look for more mixed materials in the backyard, such as grass and stone working together. Stone steps cutting a path through green grass creates a timeless look that’s both eye-catching and functional. The same effect and color contrast can be achieved by pairing stone surfaces with synthetic turf.
Most patios back up to at least one exterior wall of the home. Rather than settling for stucco and paint, designers (and the DIY crowd) are making the backdrop wall a part of the design. Floating shelves, wood or stone facings, and plant walls add depth and character to a patio.
That single-bulb light next to the patio doors is being replaced by table lanterns, light-up umbrellas, string lighting (where permitted), and even freestanding outdoor floor lamps. It’s all about creating a living space with atmosphere - which calls for more than just a lonely utility light.
People aren’t relying solely on “outdoor” furniture and accessories anymore. Outdoor or patio furniture is typically designed with materials that can withstand a little moisture or sunshine without being damaged. But the mild winters in Arizona allow for indoor furniture pieces and rugs to be used in an outdoor setting – especially when there’s a covered patio protecting them from the elements.
When a patio design is approached as if you’re designing another room, it opens the door to accessorizing and design touches that make for inviting spaces. Hurricane lamps, beverage trays, and draped blankets help transform the space into a popular destination for relaxing and entertaining.
The Backyard is the New Man Cave
The movement toward optimizing outdoor living spaces has had a ripple effect on other parts of the home. Bar areas and man-caves have moved out of the shadows and into the light. Outdoor pub counters, barstool seating, and mounted televisions add another dimension to the backyard – not to mention a great excuse to get out of the house. And when the sun goes down, you can pour yourself a cup of something warm, snuggle-up on your outdoor couch, and binge-watch Disney+. Sounds perfect!