Every summer, we go a little crazy pinning inspo and bookmarking Insta posts for the ideal outdoor space. And now that outdoor entertaining and working remotely are even more popular, it's the perfect time to really take stock of your plein air possibilities.
If you don't know where to start, we're taking a quick look at some of the trends you might see this summer. Whether you're working with a small space or a backyard, there are lots of ways to make the outdoors work for you.
Here are the major elements you'll be seeing in outdoor spaces this summer, according to the experts.
1. Outdoor Kitchens
Here's where style meets function. According to a report from Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens, "65% of American homeowners aged 35-44 cite an outdoor kitchen as very important if they were designing an outdoor space." People are looking for somewhere comfortable and chic to spend time with others — all while having the necessary tools to whip up a good meal.
"People aren't just thinking of putting a barbeque in and then going out occasionally to grill. They are wanting the same amenities that their indoor kitchens have — a dishwasher, pull-out trashcans, fridges, cabinets for storing pots, plates and glassware, islands for seating and gathering to hang out and more," Linda Hayslett interior designer and founder of design firm L.H. Designs, told Hunker. "They say the heart of the home is the kitchen, but people are starting to realize that a home can have two halves to that heart with an additional kitchen being outside."
2. Bold Colors
Naturally, color plays a major part in any design and the hues you choose for an outdoor space can make a big difference. This summer, it's all about going big — which you can do in a few different ways.
"While we've been seeing increased interest in more saturated hues in interior spaces, outdoor spaces seem to be taking this trend to a new level," Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, told Hunker. "Additionally, with a renewed interest in outdoor entertaining, homeowners want to create spaces that spark conversation or have a sanctuary-like feel, both of which can be accomplished with color. Charcoal and black were some of our top-selling exterior paint colors in 2020, and we don't expect this trend to slow down."
Wadden also suggests that homeowners don't forget about blues. "A deep navy is a great alternative if you're not ready to dive into the black exterior trend," she said.
3. Traditional Textiles
Don't forget about your textiles — both the large and small pieces. There are plenty of ways to create a relaxing atmosphere with the right decor items. While we're seeing lots of statement rugs indoors, your outdoor design can be a fun opportunity to go with something timeless.
"When it comes to textiles, what's old is new again," Fernando Wong, founder of Fernando Wong Outdoor Living Design and star of Discovery+ 's show Clipped, told Hunker. "I love the resurgence of traditional patterns that pay homage to classic gardens — but updated with bright hues for a fresh take. Table decor, such as linens and placemats, as well as patterned outdoor rugs instantly elevate the design of the space, while softening it visually."
4. Zoom-Ready Greenery
We've been seeing a move towards WFO (work from outdoors), with everything from balcony tables to comfy rattan furniture. You can make your outdoor space, no matter how big, both cozy and productive. And Wong says there are plenty of ways to get creative when it comes to creating the right space for Zoom calls, too.
"If an existing outdoor space isn't fully covered overhead, a pergola with climbing vines provides a beautiful shelter from the sun — as does an awning or patterned umbrella," Wong said. "For Zoom calls, a quiet atmosphere is key. A stretch of tall, properly placed hedges can work wonders when it comes to dampening noise from a nearby street. And while we're on the topic of Zoom, a beautiful background is everything! I love a trellis covered in a blooming vine, and layering in some dimension with a potted tree."