Over the years, the ways and frequency with which we use the indoor and outdoor spaces of our homes, much has changed.
As consumers everywhere continue to re-evaluate where and how they spend their time, outdoor living trends for 2022 have never had a brighter moment in the spotlight.
“While much of what a post-pandemic world will look like long-term remains to be seen, one thing is clear – outdoor living space is more essential than ever,” says Leslie Adkins, vice president of marketing for Trex Company, the world’s largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking and railing, and leader in high-performance, low-maintenance outdoor living products.
“No matter where or how we live, there is continued demand for flexible outdoor areas where people can safely gather, appreciate nature, or simply enjoy a change of scenery. As we continue to navigate and adjust to new ways of living in the coming year, outdoor spaces will play a key role and will become even more important and meaningful.”
Each year, Trex captures input from consumers, contractors, retailers and industry insiders to compile its annual Outdoor Living Forecast.
Here are the top Outdoor Living Trends for 2022 and predictions, which industry experts have identified for outdoor living in the year ahead.
The Outdoor Den
Gone are the days of decks and patios that might be used to host a BBQ once or twice a year. Now, homeowners are seeking outdoor living areas where they can relax, watch their favorite shows, host a movie night with friends, play games and truly live every day.
As a result, deck designs are taking on new shapes and styles, from mid-century to modern. Outdoor dens and sunken outdoor living areas – inspired by the popular indoor trend from the 1960s – are expected to see a resurgence in 2022, and they’ll be outfitted with all the comforts and conveniences of the indoors, from upholstered furnishings and fully appointed kitchens to bars, big screen TVs, surround sound and more!
The concept of the den originally gained popularity for its ability to bring everyone in the home together in a relaxed, comfortable setting.
Bringing this concept outdoors and allowing homeowners to enjoy that same comfort and connection is the very definition and goal of outdoor living.
As our homes have become offices, classrooms, fitness facilities – you name it – space has become a precious commodity. So, it’s no surprise that nearly 60% of designers expect rooms that serve multiple functions – both indoors and out – to grow in popularity in 2022 and beyond. To optimize the usability of an outdoor space, look at dividing the space into multiple activity zones – spaces dedicated to various activities from relaxing and dining, to areas for play, work and sanctuary.
A pergola is ideal for instantly framing and defining a space. A relatively easy addition to any deck or yard, pergolas create the look and feel of an outdoor room while adding a distinct architectural element.
Of course, its main purpose is providing shade – essential for enhancing visibility of laptop screens and devices when working or learning from home, as well as offering cool relief on hot days. Another way to integrate dimension into an outdoor space is with lattice. These stylish and versatile panels not only act as dividers for activity zones, but also minimize unsightly views.
And, don’t overlook the space beneath an elevated deck. Adding an under-deck drainage system will not only protect a deck’s substructure from moisture damage, it will create dry space that can be used for storing seasonal items or be used as bonus living space fully outfitted with furnishings, lighting, ceiling fans and entertainment components.
The past two years have left us craving not only connection, but also increased safety and serenity. Thus, privacy is expected to be one of the biggest outdoor living trends for 2022. With backyards being used for everything from meditation and exercise to rest and relaxation, homeowners are seeking ways to enhance seclusion.
Another popular option is to incorporate privacy walls using cladding or leftover deck boards. An easy DIY project, these half walls create visual separation while adding a modern touch to any outdoor environment.
Eco-Friendly and Easy-to-Maintain
According to industry insiders, sustainability will be a cornerstone of home design and the products consumers are seeking in 2022, as homeowners assess the environmental impacts of their homes and purchasing decisions. Equally important are materials that are easy to maintain without requiring a lot of time, effort and expense.
Composite decking falls right in this sweet spot. One of the largest recyclers of plastic film in North America, Trex repurposes approximately 850 million pounds of polyethylene plastic and reclaimed wood scrap each year in the making of its outdoor living products.
Today’s time-stretched consumers increasingly opt for lower-maintenance materials that deliver on performance and sustainability.
In a marked departure from the clean, streamlined looks of recent years, curves will make a comeback in 2022. Contractors already are reporting increased demand for arched windows, doors and openings, along with curved footprints for porches, decks and walkways for landscaping.
Curves add character to any setting and create a truly custom look.
Outstanding Outdoor Kitchens
Homeowners everywhere have invested more in their kitchens than ever before – both indoors and out. As demand continues to soar for all things al fresco, from luxury grilling stations and elaborate bars to specialty features like pizza ovens, smokers, and refrigerated storage, demand for cabinetry is also on the rise.
Outdoor living is no longer restricted to spring and summer, nor reserved for certain parts of the country. Thanks to new high-performance materials and innovative design approaches, people everywhere are transforming their outdoor spaces into multi-seasonal extensions of their homes.