Time to Break Out: Move the “Heart” of the Home Outside
With Summer just a few weeks away, it’s understandable if you’re already dreaming of sipping sweet tea and enjoying a scrumptious meal outside. But, as you take a look at your run-down old deck or patio and unused backyard those dreams of enjoying an outdoor paradise seem out of reach. You’ve wanted to renovate and update the space for years, but you keep putting it off. Why? Don’t spend another summer stuck inside—make 2018 the year you create the outdoor space of your dreams.
Now more than ever, homeowners are migrating to their backyard to host and entertain family, friends, and neighbors. Research from Hoffman York on outdoor living trends found that approximately 30% of those with outdoor kitchens considered them their favorite room in (or, in this case, out of) the house.
The creation of outdoor living spaces a huge trend in homeownership this year, according to Realtor Magazine. Boring backyards are being transformed into “multifunctional entertainment areas” that include kitchens, bars and even wine rooms, the magazine reported. “Today’s yards are multifunctional and serve to entertain, offer a place for relaxation, and maximize lot square footage.”
Outside Living Made Easy
Outdoor kitchens in North Carolina continue to be popular in exterior living spaces, and every year, they’re becoming more elaborate and more suitable for year-round use. If you’re thinking about designing one this year or remodeling your existing outdoor kitchen, be sure to incorporate the following four elements for maximum utility and comfort.
Cabinetry is the foundation upon which the rest of the cooking area is built. Kitchen cabinetry has greatly improved in the last few years and now offers plenty of storage with ample space for any number of kitchen appliances—ensuring your outdoor kitchen is just as functional and convenient as any indoor space. A variety of styles and materials are available for outdoor cabinets, so you’re sure to find something that matches your vision.
An outdoor kitchen is no longer limited to “the basics.” Now, along with your standard grill, sink, and refrigerator, many spaces now feature coffee and tea bars, ice makers, wine refrigerators, pizza ovens, dishwashers, and more. Whatever you can imagine can be made real.
Outdoor living spaces offer more functionality now than ever—they’re beautiful, well-designed, and as comfortable as any room inside the home. But the patio is no longer a place to “just” cook. Entertainment is a big part of a backyard get-together so outdoor televisions have become a must. The TV can be hooked up to cable and outdoor audio systems which allows the ability to watch a movie or the game or simply listen to great music.
After designing or remodeling the outdoor kitchen of your dreams, you don’t want to drastically limit the amount of time you’re able to use it. By installing a heating system, such as infrared heaters or a natural wood-burning fireplace, you can ensure your space is ready to entertain all year. Having an outdoor space that’s comfortable for you and your guests those extra months means you don’t sacrifice doing what you love just because the weather isn’t perfect.
Beyond the Outdoor Kitchen
“Outdoor living now means a lot more than a few lounge chairs scattered on a brick patio or rocking chairs lined up across your front porch,” says Zoe Gowen, Senior Home Editor for Southern Living. “People are embracing the idea of outdoor ‘rooms.’ They want the same amount of comfort and convenience from their porches and decks as they do their living rooms. Smart homeowners realize that a porch addition is a lower cost way to extend the square footage of your home. And, it’s also a lot more fun to be outside.”
Here are four design ideas Gowen says will be the big trends in 2018.
Swoon-Worthy Outdoor Furniture
The first step to creating a comfortable outdoor living space is furnishing it with comfortable and attractive furniture. “It’s really hard to enjoy yourself when you’re afraid that the weather-beaten wicker chair beneath you may crumble at any minute,” says Gowen. With advances in furniture and fabric technology, it’s possible to have fully upholstered furniture outside. It’s also nice to combine different kinds of furniture to get a collected look just like you would in your living room.
A focus on high quality outdoor furniture has also boosted the selections and combinations of outdoor fabrics homeowners are using. Bold colors seem to be favored this year, but if you’d like to play it safe, consider navies, browns, or charcoals as neutrals, but lighten the palette with contrasting, patterned pillows. Just your indoor sofa, you’ll want to layer on two pairs of matching patterned pillows in complementary prints. “Stripes and geometrics are almost foolproof to blend,” says Gowen.
Don’t Overlook the Floors
Consider painting the floor to give your porch the polish of a room and to extend the life of your decking. “When painted floors get dirty, just paint them again,” Gowen says. Outdoor floor rugs also bring a space together. Flooring options have expanded and allow owners to use tile and a variety of other materials.
“Timber can fit into any design aesthetic and can be left to weather and silver or kept vibrant and fresh depending on taste and available time for maintenance,” says Matt Leacy of Landart Landscapes. He says homeowners can go minimalist or textured when it comes to flooring. He sees more “raw” and finished concrete being used as well.
Cooling Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are available in a variety of styles from contemporary to tropical and more to match your home’s exterior. When choosing an outdoor fan, you have two options: Damp location versus wet location. Damp location fans are for covered outdoor areas such as a porch or patio where it will be protected from direct contact with rain. Wet-rated designs are best for an open gazebo or cabana pool area.
As you can see, your backyard can be more than just empty space—it can be part of your home. With a little imagination and design help from Pinehurst Homes it can be transformed into a beautiful place where you’ll enjoy family gatherings, parties with friends, or a relaxing retreat from everyday stress. Even the simplest addition can make a world of difference in improving your outdoor living space.
Pinehurst Homes can create an outdoor space to accommodate all of your entertainment needs. Our team is available to assist you with personalizing your outdoor kitchen space from the cabinets to the appliances you would like to include. We’ll work with you to create a unique kitchen and outdoor living space that fits your style integrates seamlessly into home.
If you’re looking for a professional builder and remodeling company in the Pinehurst, North Carolina area offering unique home building expertise, decades of experience, and a reputation to back it up, Pinehurst Homes, Inc. is the choice for you. For more information on the services we offer and the dependable and experienced partner companies we work with, call (910) 295-5400 or visit www.pinehursthomesinc.com.
(Sources: National Association of Realtors; Realtor Magazine; The Charleston Home & Design Show; Globe Newswire; Southern Living Magazine; Design Builders, Inc.; TLC Interiors; and The Tennessean.)