By Jennifer Gannon
Every year, we like to start fresh and keep things new and exciting. Fashion and home décor reflect this desire for the latest trends and styles. Likewise for outdoor living. More than ever, there is a need for a peaceful oasis, a reprieve from a hectic pace of life and sense of urgency that leads to stress. Creating an outdoor resort at home makes easy living the goal—a place to relax, recover, rest, and renew. Backyards, patios, porches, and terraces are now the ideal locale for entertaining friends and family with kitchens, dining options, fire features, outdoor lighting, comfortable furniture, and beautiful water features. Here’s a look at current trends in Canada’s outdoor living marketplace.
You light up my life
To extend the use of the backyard well into the night, try adding outdoor lighting with LED products. It is an easy way to shift gears and enjoy warm summer nights poolside or in the hot tub. Besides adding lighting to dining and cooking areas, consider using it to highlight aspects of your backyard’s landscape design or certain trees to add dramatic flair to the garden.
Compared to halogen bulbs, LEDs are a more cost-effective solution. Not only do they use less energy, but they can improve safety on walkways and steps.
About a decade ago, homeowners really started to embrace the idea of maximizing terrace and deck space to expand their living area. Today, these same spaces are taken to the next level and have the look, feel, and function of an indoor room with amenities such as top-of-the-line furnishings, fire pits, and even televisions equipped with full audio systems. Combine all these amazing features with automated lighting, bar fridges, grills, and built-in sound systems, and you have a private oasis of your own.
Take it outside
Outdoor food preparation is an interest that has escalated over the past few years and there are no signs of it slowing down. Choices can range from the simple barbecue grill to an elaborate built-in cook’s station equipped with refrigerator, sink, storage, and pizza oven. Grill masters can enjoy the next level of luxury with a personalized outdoor kitchen. Featuring outdoor bars, grills ranging in size, and warming drawers, the kitchen is complemented with an expanded dining area, allowing homeowners to spend more time outside entertaining friends and family.
Modular outdoor kitchens come in various sizes to fit specific individual needs. With top-of-the-line equipment and lots of extra storage space, grilling dinner for the entire neighbourhood is a real option.
Bringing the kitchen outdoors is also helping to spark an interest in planting a vegetable garden. All that is needed is healthy soil, a successful drainage system, water, and a little tender loving care. For suggestions in terms of what to plant, look no farther than the items you like to eat and cook. Popular choices are herbs like basil and rosemary, along with vegetables such as tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, and peppers.