Spending time outdoors has been part of human nature since the beginning of time. Much more recently, homeowners have started utilizing their own patios and backyards to be able to spend more time outside without having to leave the comfort of their home. To make time outdoors even more comfortable and enjoyable, here are five popular outdoor living trends for 2016.
Outdoor Living Areas
The entire outdoor living trend was started because people want to enjoy time outdoors, even while at home. Outdoor living areas allow homeowners to spend time with family and friends outdoors while still enjoying some of the traditional comforts of indoors. Whether you want to use your outdoor space to cook, dine, relax or entertain, think of it as an additional room and living area for your home.
Just about any indoor amenities or appliances can now be utilized in an outdoor area to create a functional living space. This can be related to cooking, lounging, entertaining or any other way you may want to spend time outdoors. One popular option is to outfit your outdoor space with an outdoor kitchen.
Outdoor cooking is possibly the most sought-after element in a patio space and nothing compares to a beautiful and functional outdoor kitchen. Stand-alone grills have had their time but for those that want to maximize enjoyment and value, an outdoor kitchen is the way to go.
They can be as simple as a built-in grill with storage or as extravagant as a wood-fired oven, refrigerator and countless other features, including the kitchen sink. Outdoor kitchens can be used for entertaining or just to bring the family closer together. Almost anything is possible!
This hot trend involves incorporating some sort of fire feature into your outdoor space. Open fires act as a natural focal point in outdoor settings and provide a warm gathering place for friends and family.
The addition of a fire pit, fire bowl or fireplace can also extend the use of your outdoor living space, making it much more comfortable even in late fall and early spring.
And let us not forget possibly the greatest perk of an outdoor fire… S’mores!
Stamped concrete continues to be a trendy and popular outdoor surface option for both builders and homeowners alike. The obvious benefits of any type of concrete are that it’s durable, easy to clean and requires little maintenance, but it has far more than just functional benefits.
With decorative concrete, your patio, walkway or driveway can be stamped and colored to mimic other materials like wood, stone or brick. Or, if you prefer a truly unique surface, there are a wide variety of pattern options as well as the ability to add custom borders and even family crests or medallions.
High-End Grills & Smokers
Grilling technology has come a long ways in recent years so if you think all grills are the same, think again! Many of the big box retailers offer outdoor kitchen equipment that lacks some of the high-end features and cooking power that specialty grill manufacturers now possess.
When considering a grill investment, look for features like high BTUs, side burners, searing stations, infra-red burner options, internal lights and heat zone separators. True grill masters will also look into smokers and wood-fired ovens.
After all, better grills grill better!