The outdoor living trend continues to be a strong influence in homebuilding. Since the emergence of the “staycation” in 2008 and bolstered by the forced at home time due to COVID in 2020, outdoor living spaces continue to be hot.
AIA ranked Outdoor Living as their top growth category in six consecutive years (2014-2019), and while it was narrowly displaced in 2020 by the COVID fueled rise of the Home Office, it did finish a very close second. Kiplinger reports that 87% of homebuyers want an outdoor patio, while probuilder.com lists both Outdoor Living Space and Design Trends That Continue to Blur the Lines Between Indoor and Outdoor Living as top 50 Most Desired Home Features in 2020. Homebuyers continue to seek outdoor living amenities that are more similar to indoor features. Plush furnishings, covered spaces, TVs, kitchens, and fireplaces are all features that at one time were seen as luxury items, but more and more are becoming the norm in outdoor spaces.
Along with luxury, one of the most desired attributes in these next-generation outdoor spaces is privacy. Gone are the days of a simple deck and table for four. Today’s homebuyers want to enjoy the outdoors in comfort without the watchful eyes of their neighbors. Outdoor fireplaces deliver on both these wishes. Fireplaces, whether it be an indoor/outdoor solution, or a true outdoor fireplace can deliver that luxury element to an outdoor space by blurring the line between indoor and outdoor. Outdoor fireplaces also make for a fabulous design element in divided spaces such as a dining and living area, while its walled structure can give more privacy from neighbors, block the wind, and provide shade from the sun. Combined with hardscape, storage, planting, trellises, or even a grill station or outdoor kitchen, fireplaces can anchor a space in the same way it anchors an interior room.