(BPT) - With busy schedules and on-the-go lifestyles, outdoor living spaces offer a chance to decompress, enjoy nature and connect with friends and family. Thanks to the impressive design and quality of today’s outdoor products, these spaces often rival the convenience, comfort and design of the indoors.
As the heart of the home shifts outdoors, following are some of the top trends that will dominate the outdoor living landscape.
There is a growing interest in sustainable alternatives to wood decking products, which contribute to deforestation and can leave a heavy carbon footprint. Composite decking offers an appealing option that outperforms wood, with greater durability, less ongoing maintenance and fewer harmful environmental impacts. Trex decking, for example, is made from 95 percent recycled and reclaimed materials, diverting more than 250 million pounds of plastic film and bags from landfills each year.
Beyond decking, composite materials also can be found in today’s hottest outdoor furnishings. Manufactured from recycled milk jugs and other polyethylene plastics, these high-performance, on-trend designs offer environmentally responsible options for comfortable, stylish outdoor living.
Cozy and clean
As homeowners spend more time enjoying their outdoor living spaces, comfort is key. From plush cushions and throws to cozy pergolas, today’s outdoor spaces are designed to evoke serenity and peace.
However, trend experts are quick to point out that “cozy” doesn’t equal “clutter.” Clean, minimalist looks are growing in popularity, as homeowners emphasize quality over quantity. In outdoor spaces, this trend is manifesting in sleek lines, simple styles and a preference for long-lasting products.
On decks, this minimalist trend can be seen in the popularity of streamlined, aluminum railings. Another must-have is outdoor cabinetry such as built-in trash bins and ice chests that can be color-coordinated to integrate seamlessly into a deck design.
From candles and tiki torches to fireplaces and integrated fixtures, outdoor lighting is another “bright” idea that is in high demand.
The right lighting can take any outdoor space from invisible to inviting — especially when it’s integrated in innovative ways to accentuate key features. Spotlights highlighting an accent wall or tread lights incorporated into a bar top are both popular options. Adding dimmable LED lighting to the railing and stairs not only adds ambiance but also enhances safety. By choosing which outdoor elements to highlight, it’s easy to change the look of an outdoor living space without moving any furniture.
More homeowners than ever are feeling confident about building their own outdoor living spaces. Lighter weight deck boards such as Trex Enhance, as well as innovative, easy-to-install railing panels, have made creating a dream deck on your own easier than ever.
If you are comfortable using a hammer, a power saw and a drill, you can build your own deck. Or, if you have a deck but it is showing signs of wear, you can easily resurface it in just one weekend, so long as the substructure is intact.
For those ready to DIY, expert help is never more than a click away. Installation guides, instructional videos and detailed plans are readily available online.