If you’re in Vancouver and itching to get outside as the weather starts to improve, you’re not alone. Between pandemic restrictions and a long winter cooped up inside, many of us are ready to spend more time outdoors and never come back in.
More importantly, that feeling is starting to have an impact on home design.
There is currently a renovation boom happening not only across the lower mainland but globally as well. There are telltale signs such as supply shortages and skyrocketing prices for materials like lumber. A major focus for these renovations? Outdoor improvements.
We’re here to tell you that it’s more than just buzz. This spring, renovating your home’s outdoor spaces can make a massive difference with a little investment… How? With exterior improvements that go beyond landscaping, and focus on making your outdoor spaces more comfortable, more functional, and bringing them to life with creative design.
You’ve probably also heard Dr. Bonnie Henry encourage us to limit the number of people gathering inside our homes. If you’re hosting outside, that means introducing features that you can use later and longer. As a result, we’re seeing outdoor designs that can be enjoyed year-round and not just in the summer months.
All of that translates into more outdoor features you can enjoy with your family, and better options to help you entertain friends.
Let’s take a look at how homeowners are making it happen:
Blended transitions between inside and out are becoming more popular as our designers get more creative with opening up spaces that incorporate both. For example, new outdoor decking can be used to transition from the inside to the outside without a jarring shift in flooring, making those spaces feel like part of the same room.
Not all outdoor structures require special building permits! The #1 trend that we are seeing is open-air structures that provide shelter from the elements, along with a cozy outdoor entertaining space. From there, the possibilities are endless, so you would typically work with a designer to review your property and budget to determine a custom solution that meets your needs.
The options might surprise you. For example, it’s now common to have TVs and music outside for open-air movie nights or watching the big game with some friends. Whether the score leaves you grinning or grumbling, you’ll want an outdoor fridge or cooler nearby to keep cold refreshments in arm’s reach.
Water Features and Fountains
Being close to the water is a big part of the appeal of living in the greater Vancouver area, but our homes don’t always reflect that. You can bring the water home to your outdoor spaces with ponds, waterfalls, birdbaths, and fountains that help with calmness, serenity, and balance.
Outdoor Lighting and Heat
Whether you’re trying to relax at night or extend your outdoor time into the fall, it’s amazing how a fire table or heat lamp can change your outdoor space. The right option can keep you toasty and comfortable, or work with your lighting to illuminate your garden for a beautiful nighttime scene.
Some of our clients are taking it a step further and adding a gazebo to their property. This creates an intimate space not directly connected to the house, providing a little more privacy and separation.
Outdoor Cooking and BBQs
The other day, I was shopping at Johnstone’s Barbecues in North Vancouver, and while talking to the salesperson they mentioned that BBQ sales are at an all-time high. In fact, they had pre-sold six of the latest high-end Napoleon model before they’d even hit the showroom floor. Not only are standalone BBQ sales high, but so are built-ins for new outdoor kitchens. In short, if you’re looking to cook outdoors, there are more options and advice available than ever.
Before you fire up the grill, we should also mention another trend that’s on the menu. That’s right — you have the option of adding a pizza oven to your outdoor space. With appearances on popular HGTV shows like Celebrity IOU and Island of Bryan, people are opening up to this and other ideas to make their spaces more comfortable. Imagine it: how cool would it be to have a pizza oven in a West Coast-style cedar and stone outdoor kitchen? With the right design, you can enjoy pizzas year-round as a comfort food antidote for the colder/wetter months.
For larger properties, we are seeing homeowners incorporate outdoor putting greens with artificial turf that is woven right into their landscaping and walkways. With the right lighting, this feature can provide you with an easy, fun activity along with a boosted sense of space and separation in your yard. It’s a great option for relaxing on your own, playing with your kids, or having some friendly competition with your friends. The best part? It’s surprisingly cost-effective and low maintenance, explaining why this feature is so big in 2021.
These are just some of the most popular options for bringing the great outdoors home in 2021. If they’ve got your creative juices flowing, why not reach out to find out how we can help with your next outdoor renovation?