It may be hard to believe, but spring will be here before you know it. Now is the time to start thinking about upgrades to your outdoor living spaces. From planning a new deck to shopping for new patio furniture, there is a lot you can do right now to prepare for spring…even during the frigid days of winter.

As you make plans to spruce up your outdoor spaces, keep these outdoor living trends for 2022 in mind.

Bring Indoor Comfort Outside

One of the biggest outdoor living trends for 2022 is to bring all of the comforts of your indoor spaces outside. 

Create cozy, private spaces outdoors with comfortable seating, plenty of tables or other surfaces for drinks, electronics, and books, ambient lighting, and more. Add a covering like an umbrella or awning to enjoy your deck or patio even on rainy days (as well as to protect you from the sun’s rays on hot days).

To really ramp up the coziness, hang outdoor drapery from a pergola, add a water feature, and position containers full of greenery around the space.

Outdoor Kitchens, Living Rooms, and Offices

Continuing with this theme, homeowners are bringing more than just tables and chairs to their outdoor spaces this year. Outdoor living rooms, kitchens, and offices are having their moment in the sun.

For an outdoor living room, start with what we described above — cozy furniture, lighting, and some kind of covering. Then, bring the indoor entertainment outside, with an outdoor sound system and a weather-safe TV or projector for outdoor movie nights. To set the mood, add an outdoor fireplace, fire pit, or string lights.

An outdoor kitchen involves more than a grill or pizza oven. Many homeowners are creating full kitchens outside, including shelving or cabinets, sinks, and even appliances like refrigerators and cooktops. Don’t have room for a full kitchen? Start with that grill or pizza oven, and add on from there. To round out your outdoor kitchen and boost the ambience, add a bar for entertaining or a fire pit dining table for cozy summer dinners (s’mores for dessert anyone?).

And if you work remotely, take advantage of your ability to work anywhere by moving your office outside. You might as well enjoy some sunshine and fresh air while poring over those spreadsheets. All it takes is a weather-safe desk, a comfortable chair, and an extension cord. Add a cup of coffee and your laptop, and you’re all set!

Gardening for Small Spaces

Love the idea of gardening, but don’t think you have the space? Think again. With container gardening and vertical gardening, you can have your own mini garden in even the smallest of outdoor spaces.

  • Container gardening. Grow your own veggies, fresh herbs, or flowers without a big yard or garden bed — all you need are some containers, soil, and seeds! Use a variety of containers: hanging planters, wall planters, floor planters, smaller pots on tables or shelves, or even small raised garden beds if you have the space. Bonus: containers can double as dividers for different outdoor zones (separating your dining area from your lounging area, etc).
  • Vertical gardening. Another way to garden without taking up much space is with a vertical garden. A vertical garden is like a plant wall formed with a trellis or other upright structure. It is ideal for growing vines, flowers, and even some vegetables. This type of gardening allows you to maximize every square inch of your available space.

Sustainability and Recycled Materials

It should come as no surprise that sustainability is a continuing trend for 2022. Sustainable gardening, furnishings made of recycled materials, and recycled decking material offer a few ways you can spruce up your outdoor space while keeping your carbon footprint low.

  • Sustainable gardening. Planting wildflowers and native plants is not only better for the environment, it ensures your plants will thrive with fewer resources (and less effort from you). Plus, they attract pollinators, especially when you add a fountain to your garden. Mix veggies and flowers in your garden beds to create more biodiversity and entice pollinators.
  • Recycled materials. Sustainable doesn’t mean ugly. Furnishings and decorative items made from recycled materials have come a long way. Look for flower pots, furniture (like this furniture made from recycled milk jugs!), rugs, and more made of recycled materials to care for the planet in style.
  • Recycled decking. If you’re building a new deck this year, opt for recycled decking material, like Trex. Trex is made of 95% reclaimed wood and recycled plastic film. Even better, this high-performance composite decking is low-maintenance and durable! Contact us to learn more about building your next deck with Trex.

Clean, Modern Lines

As far as design goes, one of this year’s trends is a clean, modern look.

Use clean lines and geometric shapes to create an uncluttered aesthetic. From furnishings and decorative elements to patio flooring, geometric patterns like hexagonal or herringbone patterns add interest and a modern appeal to a space.

Another way to create a modern look is to create distinct spaces — or “zones” — for different purposes, just as you do with different rooms indoors. Zones can help make your outdoor space feel less cluttered, more accessible, and more relaxed. 

Rather than building walls to create different rooms outside, use color to create different zones by choosing decking boards in contrasting or complementary colors. Utilize this technique to draw attention to a focal point like an outdoor bar, to separate a formal dining area from a lounging area, and so on.

Color: Pastels, Warm Tones, Monochrome, and More

This year’s colors run the gamut from pastels to warm tones to dark accents. In other words, nearly anything goes. Here are a few color concepts to consider:

  • Pastels, especially pastel yellow, green, or lilac. These calm yet lively colors give your space a year-round spring appeal. Add pops of pastel color in the form of throw pillows, decorative objects, or floral patterned accent chairs. Pair pastels with natural wood elements like a bench, table, or bar cart to add warmth.
  • Warm tones like terracotta, rust, rose, or moss green. This color scheme is full of comfort colors. It creates an aesthetic with rustic earth element appeal for the ultimate in cozy outdoor living. Look for furniture, plants, and accessories in warm tones to create this look.
  • Monochromatic color schemes. Rather than using a variety of colors, choose one base color and incorporate it into your space in varying tones. You can do this with the pastels or warm tones listed above, or with any color you like.
  • Dark accents. Another hot trend this year is hardscaping or landscaping in dark tones like deep charcoal gray. Use dark accent colors for patio flooring, walkways, retaining walls, and more.

Backyard Play Spaces

Classic swing sets are great, but for 2022 we’re getting even more creative. 

Giant lawn games like checkers, jenga, or lawn bowling will be a hit whether you have kids or just like to throw backyard parties for your friends.

Create an outdoor reading nook to encourage your kids (or yourself) to read more. 

Build an upgraded tree house — a simple deck attached to the side of a tree with stairs, decorated with throw pillows, blankets, and lanterns. 

Love sports and have yard space to spare? Add a backyard basketball court (or half court, depending on the size of your yard)! It could double for other purposes as well, like tennis or other outdoor workouts. Use landscaping or lounge seating around the perimeter to help it blend into the rest of your yard.

Inviting Front Porches

In 2020 and 2021, our front porches became meeting spaces and socially-distant gathering spaces. In 2022 they continue to be valuable extensions of our living spaces.

A comfortable front porch invites neighbors and guests to stay a while. And it doesn’t take much to create a welcoming front porch that invites conversation and connection: Simply add a bistro table with a couple of chairs, a bench, or a porch swing, and accessorize with potted plants, throw pillows, and lighting.

Hot Tubs and Fire Pits

Whether you like to entertain or prefer quiet evenings at home, a hot tub or fire pit helps to add warmth and coziness to your outdoor space.

A hot tub is the ultimate luxury, inviting you to slow down and enjoy the moment. Add a tub to an existing deck or patio, or build a raised deck around the tub to bring the ground up to the tub’s level. Add string lights overhead for ambience.

Fire pits have always been a hit, but today’s homeowners are increasingly converting to pits that use cleaner, more convenient fuel sources like natural gas, electric, or even biofuel. As for design, many people are trading the classic fire pit for a fire table for a sleeker, more linear look that complements modern design trends.

Multi-Seasonal Elements

The more you can use your outdoor living space, the better! Outfit your space to withstand the elements and make it usable for more than just those perfect summer days. Try adding one or more of the following this year:

  • An umbrella or awning to protect from rain as well as heat from the sun’s rays
  • A wading pool or other water feature to cool things down on hot days
  • A fire pit or free-standing heaters for cool spring and fall evenings
  • Lighting, such as deck floor lights, landscape lighting, or string lights to enjoy your space well into the evening

Adding multi-seasonal elements like this allows you to use your outdoor living area for more hours of the day and more days of the year.

How Will You Implement These Outdoor Living Trends for 2022? If a deck, porch, or hardscape upgrade is on your list for 2022, the team at Outdoor Solutions is here to help. Contact us to start planning your project today!