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.
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 Redesigners. Connect with her on Facebook!