More and more homeowners are taking their renovation plans to the great outdoors and instead of adding additions to their homes they are extending their everyday living space outside by adding or renovating their outdoor spaces. Renovating outdoor living space is not just for the ‘staycation’ but for an elevated quality of life every day, all year long.
It is no surprise then that a survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) showed a 97.7% popularity rating for terraces, patios and decks. The survey details cover a wide range of outdoor living trends but the common consensus was that people want low-maintenance design suited for entertainment and relaxation. People simply want more time to enjoy their outdoor living space and less time maintaining it.
It is relatively easy to adapt what add-ons you select for your outdoor living space as the latest trends or your personal preferences change, but it is imperative to start out with a solid foundation like you can get with a deck protected with a Duradek membrane. Professional Builder Magazine shows off Duradek’s latest color ‘Graphite’ from the ‘Ultra Cork’ line of waterproof vinyl. The beauty of Duradek is not just that it gives your deck an attractive surface, but it also provides warrantied, roof-grade waterproof protection.
This is a fundamental and very important detail to remember…no matter what kind of details or features you want on your deck; it is the foundation that is critical to get right the first time. The First and most important part of moving your living space outdoors is to create a safe, waterproof outdoor surface, on which you can build your outdoor living area. A properly built structure that has reliable waterproof protection means that you will have a deck you can rely on for decades.
After reviewing a wide variety of design, architectural and landscaping opinions, we’ve compiled a list of the top trends in outdoor design for 2014.
2014 Top Trends in Outdoor Living
Size and Shape is Right Out of the Box
The traditional 10 x 20 foot rectangular deck is giving way to expansive deck and patio areas in a variety of shapes and sizes. While the average size of decks seems to be increasing, the trend is towards multi-level structures with unique shapes that can flow and carry the design of the house out and into the landscaping.
Sustainability – Eco Friendly Design Practices
People want something cost effective, but they also want to act in environmentally conscious ways that minimizes the impact on the environment at both the point of installation and with maintenance and long-term sustainability. It may surprise you what the most ‘green’ products actually are. Products that are designed to last like composite products or treated wood can end up leaching chemicals into the landfills, where pvc membranes are considered ‘green due to their long lifecycle and that they are installed on non-treated wood.
Outdoor lighting has a bright outlook for 2014, particularly with creative uses. Cleverly designed lighting systems worked into ornamental post caps, decorative balusters and outdoor furniture are making an appearance. Unique, simple lights strung above a deck have replaced the old patio lantern strings and are a simple way to update your outdoor design.
Seating and Dining Areas
Always popular for the central entertainment area of a deck, seating and dining areas are taking on new forms as built-in seating is incorporated into deck designs. Additionally, furniture elements are trending to ‘natural’ forms such as rough-wood or stone structures.
People’s outdoor living areas, like their homes’ interiors, are a unique expression of their character and preferences. Pergolas, walls, functional areas, planter boxes, storage and accessories are all ways in which homeowners will be expressing that individuality in 2014. Functional design is key!
While neutral tones will always have a place in residential exteriors, they are being splashed up with accessories like pillows, rugs and other fabrics. Popular options for 2014 include bright, cheerful colors, geometric art deco-like patterns and ethnic, tribal themed patterns.
Beyond the basic grill, complete outdoor kitchens with cooking surfaces, sinks, fridges and yes, grills are carrying on from 2013 trends and are an example of how home owners are extending their day-to-day living outdoors.
Whether it is a small, lantern style accent, set within a pond, or completely built into a full exterior wall; fire features are incredibly popular and with many options available, there is a fire feature in virtually an size and shape you desire.
This one is not new, but there’s nothing like an old favourite to help you get the most out of your outdoor living space. Whether it is a swimming pool or a hot tub, a little liquid R&R is a time honored back yard favorite. What is new for 2014 is an increase in desire for outdoor saunas.
It may have fallen down the priority list for a couple of generations, but today’s homeowners are gardening enthusiasts. With the increased desire for sustainability and healthy living, a place for growing fruits, vegetables and herbs is a top priority with homeowners. For those that want to garden for the sheer pleasure of the greenery, lush gardens rife with Native Plants is a top trend and these natural looking landscape are much more forgiving when behind on maintenance than their sculptured counterparts.
We hope this has inspired you with some ideas for your deck makeover plans. But remember to start with a good foundation…and a great way to start with that is to talk to your local Duradek expert.