2018 Outdoor Living Trends: Jaw-Dropping Transformations

outdoor living

By Audra Slinkey, Home Staging Resource

Outdoor patio spaces have sure changed in the last few years with the onset of new outdoor materials, furnishings, fixtures, Cantina doors, and the home owner’s desire for more outdoor living and entertaining space.  In fact, according to the 2017 National Association of REALTORS’ Profile of Home Staging report, the desire to see outdoor spaces staged when selling a home was at 63 percent.  It was not even mentioned in the previous survey.

This outdoor space total transformation is a great example of the kinds of living trends you can expect to see for 2018 and beyond.

Trend #1 – Capitalizing on Available and Unusable Yard Space by Creating Multi-Functional Entertaining Areas

This side yard off the kitchen and dining area was an unusable space used only for barbecuing and the occasional outdoor eating. The patio was too small.  Today’s yards are multi-functional and serve to entertain, lounge, and maximize lot square footage.

BEFORE / Photo credit: www.homestagingresource.com

The side yard appears to be much bigger than before and now serves as an extension of the kitchen and living room area.  The wasted and unused yard is now a highlight of the home adding nearly 1,000 square feet of living space.

Trend #2 – Bring the Outside In with La Cantina/Folding Doors

Removing the kitchen wall and adding La Cantina folding doors allows for seamless movement between the inside and out.  Almost every new home being built in San Diego County has one of these doors inside, so expect to see a lot more of these in the coming years.

Trend #3– Home Bars and Wine Rooms for Entertaining

The casual setting of a home bar is on the rise with a large selection of finishing materials and resources available online to home owners.  More people are entertaining larger crowds in a “help yourself” type of atmosphere.  The Houzz category of “Home Bar” is one of the fastest growing and searched type of photos. So it’s no wonder people are adding them to their outdoor space.

Trend #4 – Textured Walls/Tongue and Groove Siding

Part of making an outside addition appear to be seamless to the inside is to not have the walls look like the outside of a house.  An easy way to create the “indoor look” is to banish stucco entirely and use tongue and groove, as well as wood cabinets (treated and painted) to add character.

Trend #5 – Seamless Outdoor Heating that Works and is Energy Efficient

It wasn’t that long ago home owners were relegated to the indoors for most of the year due to cold and hot weather issues.  Sophisticated and low energy heating units embedded into the ceiling make this a year round space for watching TV and entertaining!

Trend #6 – Matching Flooring as an “Extension” of the Indoor Space

Keeping in line with the home owner’s desire for a seamless movement between inside and outside, flooring options have widened allowing owner’s to use tile that looks like wood but is hardy and easy to wash in their outside space.

From a resale standpoint, these outdoor spaces cost much less than additions and add buyer lifestyle value.  Light fixtures, finishes, and furnishings that can withstand the outdoor elements are easier to source than ever before, so it can be fun for the designer/stager to get creative with their clients.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Audra Slinkey is president of the Home Staging Resource, a RESA Accredited home staging training and certification company. Slinkey has personally trained over 3,000 stagers worldwide and is a bestselling author and international speaker. She also serves as president of the American Society of Home Stagers and RedesignersConnect with her on Facebook!

This content was originally published here.

9 Incredible Outdoor Living Spaces from Bloggers

outdoor living

Put down the design magazines and shut off HGTV.  These amazing outdoor living spaces from bloggers are some of the best I’ve seen.   I can tell you from experience that bloggers are some of the hardest working people I know.  It takes tons of time and energy to pull off a space that looks effortless.   Aside from supportive spouses, most bloggers that I know are working alone, there aren’t any design assistants behind the scenes (unless pets count).

This first space looks like a dream.  That table with the chippy paint, the wood awning, string lights and a view that looks like it goes on forever.

With gorgeous gray/blue shingles and a hydrangea garden to die for, this looks like it should be in a Hamptons magazine.

The beautiful house in the background and those enormous arborvitaes are the perfect backdrop for an extra long table and some simple string lights.

This little setting is simple perfection.

If you’re looking for gardening inspiration, this is one blogger you need to check out.  His gardens are truly spectacular.

A porch swing on its own is always beautiful, but I love how they took this one up a notch with those big rope hangers.   I am also really obsessed with those shutters.

If you love floral arranging, you need to visit this next blog.   Whenever I think she can’t outdo herself with her floral arrangements, she does.

You may remember Emily Henderson from HGTV, but did you know she has a blog too?

This blue and white porch has just the right mix of plants, chippy paint, and furniture to create the most serene outdoor living space.

porch with blue ceiling and stenciled floorvia: GH

These bloggers take outdoor living to another level, don’t they?

Speaking of working hard, I’ll be taking a little time off from the blog to catch up on a few things.  I’ll be back after the Fourth of July holiday, I hope yours in a safe and happy one!

The post 9 Incredible Outdoor Living Spaces from Bloggers appeared first on .

15 Great Tips for Outdoor Living Spaces

outdoor living

Have you ever had one of those days at work where you can’t do anything but dream of going home and getting outside?

You’re not alone. of US households have outdoor living spaces, and 70% of these households use the space at least once per week.

If you’re looking to build the backyard living space you’ve been dreaming of, here are 15 tips to get you started.

1. Have a Plan

Some people like an eclectic backyard that has been put together one plant and brick at a time. If you have a large backyard, it’s easier to get away with designing this way.

However, if you have a small backyard or a backyard with quirks like a hill or pond, you need to plan ahead. Especially if you’re going to tear up your backyard for significant landscaping changes.

Planning ahead will ensure that your backyard space is well-balanced and functional. It will also help you figure out what features matter most to you, and properly budget for the project.

2. Establish Traffic Patterns

Traffic patterns aren’t limited to air traffic controllers or traffic lights.

While you’re considering outdoor living space ideas and planning your landscaping project, it’s important to consider the traffic patterns.

After all, people will have to pass through the backyard whether you’re hanging out in the summertime or hosting a party. The most successful living areas make this movement feel natural.

You can do this through direct ways, like a formal walkway, or you can use more subtle means, like the layout of shrubs and outdoor furniture.

The trick is to lay out your yard properly. Here are a few tips to try.

3. Privacy

A significant part of your planning should also include privacy. After all, your backyard is a lot less relaxing if it feels like Rear Window.

There are a number of ways to keep your backyard sheltered from prying eyes. If you don’t like the look of a fence, you can use trees or shrubs as a natural barrier.

You can even repurpose weatherproof products like outdoor rugs to act as a screen.

4. A Variety of Comfortable Seating Options

Of course, one of the best ways to ensure that family and friends enjoy an outdoor space is to give them a variety of seating options.

Chairs are easy to move–set them around a table for dinner, or set them together for a chat. You can also use benches for more seating.

Regardless of what you choose, be careful not to overcrowd your living space in favor of more seating. Otherwise, you’ll make it difficult to move around in the space, and it will look cluttered.

If you’re not sure what kind of furniture would be best for your space, read more here.

5. Focal Point

Well-designed rooms, whether they’re confined by four walls or open to the stars, have one thing in common: a focal point.

A focal point is something that gives the eye a place to land when viewing a scene. In a room, this is often a sofa or piece of art–something that’s large enough or has a striking design.

The rest of the furniture and accents, when done properly, support that focal point for a cohesive, visually pleasing room.

With an outdoor living space, this could be a piece of furniture like a dining table, but it could also be a tree, pond, or even an outdoor fountain.

6. Smart Use of Outdoor Tables

That said, your choice of furnishings matters a great deal in an outdoor space, especially tables.

Sure, you could choose a table for the sole utilitarian function of having a place to put your drink, but you’d be missing out on some of the great design opportunities a table has to offer.

For example, a side table could offer a pop of color to brighten the furnishings–a fun turquoise or dramatic red. You can also use it for a bit of pattern to add depth and flair.

7. Boost Your Visual Appeal

On a similar note, small accents, whether it’s a table, pillow, or bed of flowers, make all the difference in outdoor living spaces.

A great way to make yours look more original is to dig around in flea markets, garage sales, vintage stores, or architectural salvage shops for unique accents that add visual appeal (without the expense or kitsch of shopping at your typical home goods store).

You might, for example, find a few flower pots you can use for small shrubs, or some old tile that can be artfully repurposed.

8. Brighter Ambiance

That said, if you want your accents to stand out (and your space to be usable after the sun goes down) it helps to bring in some lights. Remember, this is your outdoor living room, not a camping excursion.

If you want to create eco-friendly ambiance, invest in small solar lights. They charge during the day with the sun, and by night, they’re lighting your way. And since you don’t have to worry about wiring, they’re easy to stake in a path or plant containers.

If you need ideas for solar lights, here are eight DIY options to try.

9. Fire Source

Of course, if you want to bring light and warmth (and an extra something special) why not spend the extra time to get a fire source?

Maybe your kids (or the adults) will want to roast marshmallows. Or maybe you just want to curl up with a book and a blanket in front of a crackling fire.

If you have the lawn space (and the budget) consider going all-in with a full fireplace for friends and family to gather around. If not, you can also investigate fire pits.

Either way, make sure you know your local building codes so you aren’t breaking any fire safety rules. This will even change the placement of your fireplace, so make sure to do your homework.

10. Throw Some Shade

During the day, though, you want to protect your skin from the sun, especially if you plan on sitting outside for a while.

The simplest way to do this is with an umbrella. It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to set up–it often comes with patio furniture. But if you have the budget and creativity, you can explore other options.

For example, you could build a pergola. It’s a little more time-consuming, but if you know your way around wood, tools, and a measuring tape, you can set one up no problem.

And if you’re feeling especially creative, you could create outdoor curtains with a dropcloth and hang them on a curtain rod attached to the pergola. It really makes your space feel like an outdoor room, and it’s great for blocking the glaring sun.

11. Pops of Color and Texture

Even if you have a small space to work with, a bit of color and texture goes a long way to making your space visually appealing (and making it look more spacious).

Accents are your friend on this one. It’s your backyard, so why not make the most of your flowers? Some strategically-placed pots or a well-cultivated flower bed will go a long way.

You can also do quite a lot with a bright, patterned fabric or a brightly painted chair in blue, coral, green, or whatever color strikes your fancy.

12. Landscape in Layers

And now, for some technical tips: landscape in layers, which creates a sense of depth.

It’s simpler than it sounds, and it’s actually logical. A common example of layered landscaping is planting the shortest flowers at the front of your flower bed and putting the tallest ones at the back so that all the plants are visible and give the appearance of depth.

If you have centrally-located flower beds, though, you’ll want to put the tallest plants in the center and work outwards with the smallest plants at the border.

That said, if you have a small yard, use tall plants with care, as they can make your yard look even smaller.

13. A Sense of Discovery

Paths and natural barriers from shrubs or bushes are good for more than just traffic control.

Something as simple as a curved pathway leading you to a secluded backyard getaway adds a delightful feeling of discovery and adventure, especially if you make the most of your landscaping.

14. Get Creative with Containers

Of course, your creativity shouldn’t be limited to your flowers. Why not house them in beautiful, colorful containers?

A patterned, colorful planter is a great way to make a statement, but you can also use containers to create space.

For example, if you’ve been dreaming of an herb garden but just don’t have space, you can use a vertical garden on a wall or fence, or build shelves to house small pots.

15. Make Furnishings Work Twice as Hard

Finally, if you really want to make the most of your outdoor living space design, make your furnishings work double-time.

After all, space is at a premium in outdoor living areas.

A common example is a bench doubling as a storage space, but you can also get inventive by having your tables double as planters, which can work especially well on a table with a glass top.

Make the Most of Outdoor Living Spaces

Making the most of your outdoor living spaces requires planning, but it’s also a time to get inventive and see what surprises your backyard can offer.

Check out our blog for more tips and ideas, like this post on how to build a beautiful garden pond.

Outdoor Living Spaces – An Emerging Standard?

outdoor living

As the US housing market remains depressed and tightened lending practices by financial institutions have rendered the credit markets all but frozen, new home starts in the United States continue a dramatic decline (down approximately 68% and 58%, respectively, from levels realized during the 2006 and 2007 housing boom).  As bleak as the news may sound, the current circumstance has prompted an emerging trend among homeowners…the expansion of existing living areas, and more specifically in outdoor living spaces. Properties from the high-end custom estate home to the speculative tract home are now being outfitted with the essential outdoor living features. The stone patio of the past is no longer complete until incorporates a masonry fireplace as its focal point, or until it serves as the foundation for an outdoor kitchen and bar area with a completed roof or pergola overhead.

The range in style preferences with respect to outdoor living is vast. As result, the home-and-hearth and outdoor living industries have responded with newer products that are durable, comfortable, beautiful and functional enough to literally create an indoor living space outdoors. From pavers, patios and furniture to stone, water and fire features, there is essentially no limitation to the space that a creative eye and a bank account can create.

Whether the homeowner’s intent is to boast another status symbol by constructing a fully efficient outdoor bar and grill or the weekend barbeque’r just needs an excuse to stay outside in the cold for one more adult beverage, the proper outdoor living space is essential. And because it can be customized to fit any style, preference, or budget, I anticipate that interest in outdoor living expansion will continue into the foreseeable future, and that the outdoor living space will become a required aspect of any homes worth living in…or out of.   

Outdoor Living Spaces : Coastal Summer Patio

outdoor living

Isn’t it great that June is finally here?? Since we’ve had those long weekends in May here in Spain, I have been in a major summer mood and just can’t wait for it to start. So I’m excited that I’ve got my coastal summer patio ready. Finally. It took me a while to get it all set up, but now it is finally finished and I am so glad! I’m extra excited, because my friends are joining me today, so you will get extra inspiration at the end of this post. Make sure to ckeck out all the other outdoor spaces as well!

Well, I have to say, our patio didn’t change a lot from last year. We are actually house hunting, so we might be moving. I know I shared here that we were going to buy this house that we’ve been living in for the past 4 years. But a while back already, the owner changed his mind about selling it. So here we are,  still renting it and therefore those changes that we really wanted to make to it, didn’t happen.

A big idea of ours was, to enclose our patio. Make a sun room that you can fully open in the summer, but still use in the winter as well. We had a million other ideas that we wanted to get started, but hey, I’m sure it was just not meant to be in this house.

Anyways, I thought we would be out of this house already by this time. But we just can’t find anything we really feel could be ours right now. So here we are. Trying to make the best out of this rental without spending a ton of money.

Coastal Summer Patio

*Affiliate links used to show like or similar products.

So have a look at my coastal summer patio! We live a couple of minutes away from the beach and so it feels only natural to have a beach-y relaxed theme going on here.

We bought this outdoor sofa set about three years ago and I just love it! I normally prefer lighter tones, but I have to say, grey tones are just great for outdoors as they are easier to keep clean.

I used lot’s of blues and different patterns that work well together. At first I wasn’t sure about the grey curtains behind the sofa, because it looks a little too grey. But we do need the shade and they provide that perfectly.

Lot’s of plants, baskets and shells add a tropical touch to it all.

You can see my potting bench in the back. I change it up all the time and it’s just a great addition to the patio.

This is the back part of the terrace. It is too small for our outdoor dining table and chairs, so it is just another relax/chill zone for us.  I ordered this hammock and added some pillows and a throw and it is the perfect spot to have a nap!

And the bunnies are a big part of it all as well as you can see. Our Blanco just fits right in and found his favourite spot!

Well, my patio tour is done here, but below are the links that will take you to my friends blogs and their outdoor spaces! Enjoy & Thank you for stopping by today!

An InLinkz Link-up

Outdoor living spaces small yards

outdoor living

Designing Outdoor Living Spaces for a Small Yard

Designing Outdoor Living Spaces

Cozy Outdoor Living Spaces For Small Backyards High Resolution …

… Cozy Outdoor Living Spaces For Small Backyards High Definition Wallpaper Photos: Natural Outdoor …

Awesome Outdoor Living Ideas For Small Backyards 34 With Additional …

Awesome Outdoor Living Ideas For Small Backyards 34 With Additional Inspiration To Remodel Home with Outdoor

small yard makeover. Photo 4. Great outdoor living space. Perfect …

small yard makeover. Photo 4. Great outdoor living space. Perfect for a small yard.

Make the Most of Your Small Outdoor Spaces | Pinterest | Outdoor …

See more pretty outdoor spaces: http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/porch/ outdoor-rooms/small-outdoor-living-spaces/?socsrcbhgpin050913orangepatio7

Small Backyard Landscapes Latest Trends In Decorating Outdoor Living …

small backyard landscapes latest trends in decorating outdoor living spaces modern yard landscaping ideas

Patio Design Ideas | Pinterest | Outdoor living Living spaces and …

Outdoor living space

This home makes the most of its small yard by removing the lawn and …

This home makes the most of its small yard by removing the lawn and replacing it with an outdoor living area-in this case they chose to install a firepit …

Outdoor Living Spaces | Stone Pavers | Marvins Brick Pavers …

Create Versatile Outdoor Living Spaces with Stone Pavers Even in Small Yards

50 Stylish Outdoor Living Spaces | Outdoor living Living spaces and …

50 Stylish Outdoor Living Spaces. Small BackyardsSmall …

gazebo spa and fireplace small backyards – Google Search | Jessica’s …

gazebo spa and fireplace small backyards – Google Search.

Decks and Outdoor Living Spaces! | www.mchenryhomeremodeling.com

Decks patios outdoor living spaces terraced

Perfect Use of Small Outdoor Living Space-Black Ave. Pleasanton …

dsc05931-improved-2-low-res

small outdoor living spaces 7 – DecoRelated

42 Cozy Small Outdoor Living Spaces 25 Outdoor Living Spaces Design Custom Homes 2

Perfect Outdoor Living Ideas For Small Backyards 13 In Interior Home …

Perfect Outdoor Living Ideas For Small Backyards 13 In Interior Home Inspiration with Outdoor Living Ideas

Make the Most of a Small Backyard | HGTV

Shop This Look

How to create 4 outdoor rooms in a small backyard. The Backyard Room

Small yard yields 4 cozy rooms to escape

Refresh Your Outdoor Living Spaces

outdoor living

The warm weather and sunshine makes everyone want to spend more time outdoors. Whether you want play, party, or just relax here are some easy DIY projects using different types of foam to create, update and refresh your outdoor living spaces.

DIY Outdoor Cushions by A Beautiful Mess – Add comfort and design to your outdoor seating spaces with these quick, easy foam cushions. A great space to curl up with a good summer read and enjoy some me time.

Imagine lounging around with your family and friends on your pool deck, patio or at a back yard picnic with these portable floor cushions by Autum of Creative Little Daisy.

Aaah… I could see myself enjoying my morning coffee or just relaxing after a long work day. These soft cushions will help create that perfectly soft spot you can’t wait to sink into. The perfect addition to any wicker or outdoor furniture.

There is nothing like the feeling of softly swaying back and forth surrounded by the warm summer air in a perfectly placed hammock. shows us how to make it more comfortable with this cozy hammock pad. I know my kids are going to fight me for this spot!

We love these bright and happy crate seats by Tammy of Literacy Love Company.  And although school will be over soon we think these would work perfectly for summertime fun with the kids. You can store the games and toys inside the crates and easily bring them outside for some fun in the sun. Cleanup would be a breeze.

I can imagine sitting on this porch swing with a nice cold glass of sweet tea while enjoying a cool breeze. Create your own resting space with this 3 Step cushion and pillow tutorial by Curtain Queen Creates.

Add some bright fun and whimsy to your kitchen, porch or deck chairs with these colorful cushions by Diane of in my own creation.com. Wouldn’t they be great for a picnic or party décor?

Brittany of Pretty Handy Girl.com used coordinating shower curtains to create this beautiful bench seating. Her tutorial also teaches you how to make the piping around the cushion for a perfect added detail.

Pictures of outdoor living spaces

outdoor living

Spectacular outdoor living spaces

There’s nothing else to want in this incredibly spacious outdoor porch space built for a 2014 Homearama® home.

Inspiration: Outdoor Living Spaces | Water features Outdoor spaces …

Inspiration: Outdoor Living Spaces

Outdoor Living Spaces – Hurst Design-Build Remodeling

Outdoor Living Spaces

Outdoor Living Spaces 2 – HAMMERTIME CONSTRUCTION INC

Outdoor Living Spaces 2

Add Hardscapes to Your Outdoor Living Space

Outdoor living spaces

Outdoor Living Rooms Living Room Decorating Design

Outdoor Living Rooms New Outdoor Living Spaces Ideas for Outdoor Rooms

Ideas for Functional Outdoor Spaces

outdoor living spaces ideas | Outdoor living spaces should be an extension of your home.

Outdoor Living Spaces Outdoor Patio Spaces Gallery Western Outdoor …

La Jolla Outdoor Living Spaces With Fireplace

Outdoor Living Spaces Outdoor Kitchen Design | Gayler Design Build Inc.

Outdoor Living Spaces

Outdoor Living Spaces – Suwanee Duluth Alpharetta Johns Creek …

Outdoor Living Spaces – Suwanee Duluth Alpharetta Johns Creek Dunwoody – Realistic Lawn Care

Covered Outdoor Living Spaces 3 24 SPACES

Download by size:Handphone Tablet …

Outdoor Living Spaces Outdoor Patio Spaces Gallery Western Outdoor …

San Diego Outdoor Living Spaces with Patio Area

The outdoor living space is the new living room

Outdoor living space

Temperate Climate Permaculture: Permaculture Projects: Outdoor …

An outdoor kitchen will increase your time outside.

How to Plan Your Outdoor Living Space: The Ultimate Guide

Design Ideas for Your Outdoor Living Space

Make your outdoor living spaces beautiful and elegant CareHomeDecor

Outdoor Space – Homes Alternative | #8736

Outdoor Space