The pandemic increased both our sensitivity and our appreciation of our homes. During 2020 we became more aware of our immediate surroundings both inside and outside of our homes. Many began to plan, clean, repair, replace, decorate, and enhance their environments. And all of this ‘nesting’ overflowed to include a desire to enhance and improve the outside of our homes particularly as social distancing became more important. Outdoor living took on greater importance with the pandemic and led to an increase in installations of outdoor kitchens, outdoor fireplaces, firepits, and landscape lighting all with an eye on furnishing and beautifying our outdoor rooms.
For many, outdoor spaces were often just a dining table and chairs and perhaps a separate sitting area, but they have become much more of a true entertainment space, including tables, chairs, sofas, cocktail tables, firepits, plants, etc. Backyards have transformed into true living and dining rooms which require more durable furniture and fabrics which manufacturers have begun to provide. The introduction of these materials area direct response to the homeowner’s desire to enjoy the outside more than ever.
These changes also increased the demand for color and comfort. And color coordination between the indoors and the outdoors became essential. The pantone color of the year was now being incorporated in outdoor furnishings. In addition, mixing and matching furniture and decorative pieces became more popular. Many people were not in the market to buy “a set” but were seeking out complementary but unique pieces that reflected their tastes as well as their needs for the space.
With this migration to the outdoors, homeowners also became more aware of their landscapes. The need to satisfy all the senses of sight, sound, and smell became the goal.
Sight could be satisfied with color, texture, and structure. Sound can be satisfied with the calming effects of running and bubbling water and the smell of flowers is a simple solution to the need for immersion in the outdoors.
This trend has led to the incorporation of defined spaces, edible gardens, perennial gardens, and container gardens. The latest trend for these spaces is to incorporate each within the other; mixed gardens that take advantage of the colors and textures of annuals, planted adjacent to perennials mixed with vegetables in portable pots and containers. Of course adding specimen trees in an outdoor space always adds an element of interest and surprise particularly during peak blooming time, and highlighting those trees with up lighting was a big trend during 2020.
Another trend was the desire for ceramics which are a growing category both inside and outside of the home. The shapes and colors are infinite and engaging. In general, however, white pottery is the king today followed by black and red. These colors generally can be combined with most furniture and accomplish the goal of enhancing both the filler areas and wider surroundings.
The trend toward purchasing more neutral colors in furnishings in the recent past accelerated the purchase of colorful accents. Whether it be throw pillows, outdoor wall décor and paintings, or even tableware, the urge to light up the environment with pops of color is paramount to adding interest to an outdoor living space.
The new normal is to make the most of your outdoor living space and to make it as comfortable and inviting as possible. As we move into 2021, we hope everyone can enjoy their outdoor spaces even more with friends and family and show off the new environments they create.
At Down to Earth Garden Center in Rockland County, our garden center is filled with perennials, flowers, shrubs and trees, with new arrivals coming in every week. The 10,000 square foot showroom has an incredible selection of contemporary, classic, traditional and transitional teak, aluminum and all-weather dining and deep-seated furniture as well as home décor. We are a garden center near Bergen County and located at 1040 Route 45, open 9 am – 5 pm daily and can be reached at 845-354-8500.