Outdoor living space has become an increasingly important part of the home. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic shot it to new heights. 

In fact, according to a January 2021 survey conducted for the International Casual Furnishings Association, people are doing more relaxing, grilling, gardening, exercising, dining, playing with pets and children, and entertaining outside since the pandemic started. And, of those surveyed, 90 percent agreed that their outdoor living space is more valuable than ever before.

What’s trending in outdoor today? Read on to find out. 

Year-round gathering

The ability to enjoy an outdoor space beyond the summer months is something that’s now on many homeowners’ wish lists. Not only does a backyard, patio, or porch add additional square footage to the liveable space of the home, the pandemic has taught many of us what spending time outdoors can do for our wellbeing.

To create a welcoming — and comfortable — atmosphere in an outdoor living space, the foundation starts with multifunctional furniture pieces, as well as decor items like outdoor rugs, lighting, and accessories. In colder weather, additions like fire pits, fireplaces, and heat lamps are key. For those sweltering hot days during the summer, ceiling fans and misters are key. 


Don’t underestimate the difference lighting can make, either. From path lights along the patio perimeter to uplights on blooming plants to more decorative fixtures above furniture, a well-illuminated outdoor space can provide the same feelings as a home’s interior. Picture our Ronan hanging lantern installed under a covered patio and above a cool, modern setup, perfectly illuminating the scene.


Outdoor kitchens

Another trend? Outdoor kitchens.

Whether as a supplement to the main kitchen with a grill or pizza oven, or a second kitchen option with full prep and storage, outdoor kitchen spaces allowing homeowners to prepare and cook food outdoors are gaining popularity. In fact, in the NKBA 2021 Design Trends survey, 60 percent of homeowners said they’re looking to add outdoor kitchens to their homes.


Beyond the latest appliances and awesome decor, an outdoor kitchen also needs the right lighting. Consider task lighting over a grill and prep area — a pendant light like our Winchester hanging light would work great — as well as under-counter light to softly illuminate the bar and path lights to frame the sidewalk and seating areas.


Marrying outdoor and indoor living spaces 

As we said earlier, outdoor spaces are acting more and more like a continuation of a home’s interior living space. And because of this, extra care taken to the design details of outdoor space is key, creating a seamless transition from the indoors out.

Think about complementing an outdoor space with similar color palettes and styles as in the home’s interior. This is now easier than ever before — the outdoor furniture and decor available on the market today is more impressive as outdoor living increases in importance. Outdoor fabrics in gorgeous colorways and patterns, interior-quality finishes, and silhouettes that go beyond the basics can truly make an outdoor living space stand out.

Case-in-point: decorative outdoor lighting. No longer stopping at just wall lights or post mounts, expanded collections of decorative lighting meant for patios and porches can truly make a style statement. Take our Belmont lantern for example — combing natural wood detailing (?) with a beautiful Florence Gold finish creates a look that you’d mistake for indoor.


If you’re looking for even more outdoor lighting options to transform an outdoor space, check out our offerings here.