Seven Outdoor Living Trends for 2021

Homeowners and house hunters are looking to maximize outdoor space while sheltering at home. The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) reports a 65 percent uptick in interest among its membership in outdoor living projects this year.

NKBA, John Burns Real Estate Consulting, and Houzz surveyed design professionals and home builders to identify some of the top outdoor trends this year, which include outdoor kitchens and showers, year-round gathering spots, more private areas, direct access to the yard or patio and backyard cottages.

Some highlights:

1. Outdoor kitchens are still in high demand. Among those planning outdoor areas, 60% plan to upgrade existing spaces for more functionality and better aesthetics.

2. Year-round gathering is popular. The most requested features for enhanced outdoor living spaces are expanded and upgraded seating, fireplaces and firepits, and weather protection.

3. Privacy is an increasing priority. With the pandemic driving residents outside to exercise, meditate, rest or recuperate, it’s a bigger issue than in the past.

4. Outdoor showers are gaining popularity. The study points to them being a mainstay in upscale resort communities in Hawaii, with huge potential for luxury homes in the mainland sunbelt states like California, Arizona, Texas and Florida.

5. Homeowners want to work with an outdoor connection. When asked where residents prefer to set up their home offices, one of the most popular choices was at the back of the house with direct access to the yard or patio.

6. Pergolas are popping up. As noted by the NKBA, homeowners are looking to extend their usable living space outdoors – especially with more people crowded in for more hours at home – and they often need shade to properly enjoy it.

7. Backyard cottages are trending. Commonly called “granny flats” or accessory dwelling units (ADUs), these diminutive dwellings are showing up wherever local codes allow them to be added to single family home lots.

Source: CAR via

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