Walker Custom Homes & Remodeling

2021 Outdoor Living Trends

Looking ahead into 2021, we see some new outdoor living trends emerging. Much of this movement has been influenced by the rapid cultural shifts in lifestyle caused by the pandemic. As more homeowners begin to think of their outdoor living spaces as an extension of their interior spaces (and not just a place to barbecue or watch the kids play), outdoor design trends continue to have a major impact on look and functionality. Here’s how our team at Walker Homes and Remodeling predicts outdoor living to further evolve in 2021.

Large Scale Outdoor Living Projects.

Over the last year, there has been a shift to creating outdoor areas with multiple rooms for family and friends to enjoy. This will continue to expand moving forward. Outdoor areas have been the focus on much remodeling activity with strong growth in landscaping, decks, and outdoor living rooms.

Year-round gathering spots.

The most requested features for enhanced outdoor living spaces are upgraded seating, fireplaces, and fire pits. COVID-19 may be encouraging homeowners to get more year-round usage from their outdoor living areas. Millennials are particularly drawn to outdoor spaces that integrated more entertainment and gathering spots.


Homeowners are craving more privacy in their backyards, using their outdoor spaces more for meditation, exercise, rest, and recuperation. The more private the spaces, the more desirable they are for home buyers. Builders are adopting this trend in high-density areas by sheltering side yards, careful window placement, and offering covered patios. WHR is also finding that pergolas are gaining popularity. Pergolas are relatively affordable and can be installed quickly to provide shade for dining, lounging, and other outdoor activities.

Backyard cottages.

We have been noticing an uptick in demand for backyard cottages, also known as “mother- in law suites” or accessory dwelling units. Some of these backyard units are constructed onsite, while others are hauled in already constructed. These backyard spaces are being used to house older relatives who have returned from an assisted living facility, adult children needing a temporary home, tenants for additional income, or even as home offices. These spaces also could be used as study areas, a spare bedroom, or a home gym. For remote workers, they are seeking more of an outdoor connection, some research shows us that homeowners’ favorite spot to work from home is at the back of the house with direct access to the yard and patio.

Fully Functional Micro spaces

Micro spaces are emerging as a dominant form of renovation in neighborhoods where lot sizes are small. With more and more single-family homes lacking an abundant backyard, utilizing the space alongside a home or even on the front porches is becoming vital to the ability to add outdoor living spaces. Homeowners are also beginning to annex sections of an outdoor living area to create micro spaces for exercising and working from home.

Integrating Technology

Outdoor access to technology has become more vital than ever. It’s no longer just about piping in music or watching the big game. Technology integration is becoming necessary to carry out daily functions. This includes incorporating heating and lighting into an outdoor area, as well as WiFi and easily accessible electrical outlets to create a fully functional space that can support more activities throughout the year.

Neutral or Minimalistic Tones with Pops of Color

This prominent interior design trend began expanding into outdoor living design in recent years. In 2020, it became more important than ever to create a soothing outdoor space focused on recharging and relaxing with friends and family, or alone. Expressing balance through color will be vital in 2021 to keep the extended time at home from becoming overly monotonous. That’s why Marigold is been selected as the Color of the Year for 2021. This bright and energetic hue enlivens a space, injecting a playful and uplifting spirit into a monochromatic design scheme.

Modular and Geometric Patterns

Clean and simple lines continue to grow in popularity for pavers and landscape walls. These simplistic patterns allow for an uncluttered aesthetic that puts emphasis on furniture or features in the space, while also fostering easier installation and maximization of space. The newly emerging trend is to incorporate geometric shapes to add a visually interesting accent or to create a retro look.

Gardening Spots

This is one trend we can definitely get behind! During quarantine, the number of gardeners in the world has skyrocketed. In fact, Garden Media Group said 18-24 million new gardeners popped up last spring. It also doesn’t hurt that gardening has many health benefits that we could all use. So, it only makes sense that this would spill over into outdoor home trends.

Look for more people adding gardens to their backyard in 2021. Or, for those without backyards, balcony gardens, or even windowsill gardens! Fruit, veggie, and herb gardens will be in high demand and more raised garden beds will be added.

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