Coronavirus Drives Residential Outdoor Living Demand And Trends

Source: Forbes
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Outdoor living spaces have been growing in popularity and amenities for years, but the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus are spurring even greater demand, new planning strategies and interesting new amenities, industry pros report. Here’s what they’re seeing and predicting through next year.

Pandemic Effects

“Stay at home and shelter in place orders have made homeowners keenly aware of both their indoor and outdoor space,” observes Kate Bailey, senior director of category management for the Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery chain. “They are investing more now that they are spending more time at home and traveling less due to the pandemic.”

There’s a silver lining to the restrictions, she notes:  “You’re able to see this as a time where you can reconnect with your family or nature. You can create a space where you embrace a more active lifestyle. Perhaps you can begin a circuit workout or take up a new hobby like gardening, grilling or bocce.”

Luxury Amenities Desired 

Popular outdoor living features also include luxuries like premium lighting, fireplaces and comfortable furniture. The goal, Ferguson’s Bailey comments, is to be able to enjoy being outside as much of the year as possible. “Luxury hotels around the world offer remarkable balconies for yoga, or fire features for making s’mores,” Bailey notes, pointing out that homeowners are looking to recreate those experiences at home. This desire will likely accelerate if the pandemic continues into the fall and winter, when school breaks and long weekends will be spent more at home than away.

Grills have always been at the heart of outdoor living, and that hasn’t changed. They’ve only grown more sophisticated. “Functional additions such as side burners and warming drawers provide more space to cook, keep prepared food warm and minimize extra trips in and out of the home,” Bailey shares, adding, “A weather-rated sink and pull-out bar faucet allow you to prep food on the spot.” All of these outdoor cooking and prep centers are enhanced by task lighting.

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