The Latest In External Home Design Trends

BY contributor | Thu Jun 27, 2013

Latest In External Home Design TrendsHave you ever felt like your home is just not big enough, but you don’t want to move? Or maybe you just purchased a new home and are looking for an interesting way to use your yard? If so, then adding an outdoor ‘room’ could be just the answer that you are looking for.

It is becoming increasingly popular to extend the home outside by using porches, patios and decks. This has been made possible thanks to the increased availability of outdoor furniture, kitchen appliances and even outdoor heating. Outdoor rooms make it possible to enjoy being outside in the Summer months, while extending this opportunity through Fall and into the Winter. Let’s take a look at some of the latest exterior design trends that are making this possible.

Outdoor Living Rooms

This is one trend that actually began a few years ago, but is now gaining a strong foothold. Homeowners are being inspired to think beyond a terrace with patio furniture. An outdoor living room have the feel and the function of an indoor room thanks to the addition of better furnishings, curtains, a music system and even cable or satellite television. This can be achieved on a deck or within a screened porch. Installing outdoor heaters such as a fire pit or electric patio heater means that your outdoor room can actually be used for most of the year.

Outdoor Kitchens

While outdoor lounges have been around for a little while now, there are those who are not quite satisfied that they have blurred the line between indoors and outdoors enough. To take things one step further they have taken steps to create an outdoor kitchen area. This can make entertaining outdoors lots of fun.

Gone are the days of just an outdoor grill, homeowners are now setting up complete kitchen areas outside complete with countertops, refrigeration, sinks and ovens. There is a growing trend for outdoor pizza ovens and gas, wood or charcoal powered stoves and grills. This allows more complex meals to be produced outdoors than would be possible with a standard grill.

If the climate allows, you may even consider planting a kitchen garden to stock the outdoor pantry with fruits and vegetables. An outdoor kitchen can be as simple or as elaborate as your imagination and your budget allows!

Stylish Patio Heating

If these ideas seem a little bit too extreme, then do not be discouraged. Even the humble patio or deck can be transformed into a stylish and sophisticated area for socializing, or just hanging out with the family. Think about your favorite restaurant or nightclub and the chances are fair that it has an outdoor seating area. All of those ideas can be translated to the home fairly easily.

Gas patio heaters are usually designed in such a way that they actually double up as a decorative feature. These are used in commercial settings to provide heat, light and décor. Why not use this same idea at home to add a little extra to your patio area? Not only can you enjoy your patio in the Summer months, but as the nights begin to grow colder you can keep making the most of it. This also eliminates the common problem of outdoor parties being cut short when the guest feel chilly in the cool evening air.

It is clear that this year the big exterior design trend is for blurring the line between indoors and outdoors. With a little imagination it is possible to create an outdoor living space which allows you to make the most of the fine Spring & Summer weather and with some clever screening and outdoor heating its use can be extended through Fall and even into the early Winter.

John Miller is an exterior designer working with He enjoys sharing his take on the latest outdoor trends with others through writing for various online publications.

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