What’s All the Hype All About Outdoor Living Spaces?
Take a look in any interior design magazine or flip on your favorite home decorating channel. You’re sure to see that outdoor living has placed its flag and is here to stay.
Many homeowners have taken notice of this relatively recent trend. Now, more kitchens and living rooms have moved outdoors. Why? What caused this trend to start? Let’s dig in.
The Start of Outdoor Living Spaces Becoming So Popular
Many experts believe the outdoor living spaces trend began in 2008 when the great recession hit. Homeowners didn’t have the money to travel like they used to so they hunkered down and created their own oasis.
The term “staycation” picked up steam around this time too. Instead of booking expensive flights to lavish resorts, people were staying in town. They took time off work to relax in the comfort of their home or at a local resort. Even the people with money to travel felt socially obligated to stay in and make the most of what they had.
All this time staying close to home inspired many homeowners to renovate their houses. One of the first places they looked was the backyard.
Some people bought new outdoor furniture. Others added walkways and accent lighting. Still others again built out an entire outdoor kitchen under a newly covered patio.
As the trend gained momentum (and boy did it gain momentum), television producers took notice. Design shows started to make outdoor living spaces part of their regular broadcasting schedule. Instead of redoing the interior of homes, people started focusing on bringing the inside outdoors.
Beyond the Basic Grill
Before the outdoor living trend picked up steam, many people planted a singular grill in the backyard. This looked incomplete compared to the lavish areas being built on television.
Homeowners began adding full cooking areas complete with an outdoor vent hood over the grill, a sink, a faucet, a trash and recycling area, cooking utensil storage and lighting. Outdoor kitchens soon became more glamourous than indoor kitchens.
With so much time being spent outside, many people started adding food and drink storage. Refrigerators were built into “L” shaped islands. Wine coolers and ice makers were added to outdoor bars. Pizza ovens gave a fun cooking alternative to the standard grill.
As the trend continued, more and more big box retail stores started selling “affordable” outdoor kitchen supplies. Builders still working through the recession enticed the limited number of home buyers to consider their new houses by including outdoor kitchens as a new home offering.
A Place to Kick Your Feet Up
As more people headed outside, it was only natural to turn the outdoor kitchen into a place where people could kick their feet up.
Interior designers began drawing new, inspiring plans for covered outdoor living areas. Some of these gave shelter to homeowners from the elements so they could spend even more time outside. Heating systems, collapsible glass walls, special concrete cabinetry, lighting, counter surfaces, sound systems and more turned kitchens into living rooms.
Why the Outdoor Living Trend Keeps Gaining Momentum
The momentum of outdoor living hasn’t ceased since 2008. Homeowners are still clamboring to create their own backyard oasis. It’s raising a lot of eyebrows but look a little closer and you’ll see why this trend is so hot.
People are living electronically filled lives these days. The easiest, fastest and cheapest escape from the constant barrage of noise is the backyard. When you can sneak out the sliding glass door and instantly be separated from a crazy, hectic day, you’re at peace.
Cooking is easier outside too. There are no pots and pans to clean up. There isn’t a mess on the stovetop to scrub. You’re brought back to the simple pleasures of family living.
Sometimes, all you have is a quick one-hour rendezvous with the family. You don’t want this time spent rushing around from stove to oven. You want to spend it relaxing with the people you love. An outdoor kitchen gives you escape in an oasis.
With home builders continuing to add on outdoor kitchens on new houses, it’s clear that this trend is here to stay. Whether your area is as simple as a 10’x10’ covered patio with a small grilling area, or if you have a massive covered deck with a collapsible glass wall to close off the coldest, wettest days, having a place to escape is essential.