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2021 Trends for Outdoor Living Spaces

Written by Cristina Miguelez

Published on May 4, 2021


2021 Trends for Outdoor Living Spaces

People are more willing to invest in outdoor spaces than before the pandemic. In our latest report, Fixr.com analyzes top outdoor living trends in 2021.

To provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information, we consult a number of sources when producing each article, including licensed contractors and industry experts.

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In the spring of 2020 when more people were staying at home than ever before, homeowners began looking at their outdoor living spaces in a new way. They spent more time and more money on their backyards, patios, decks, and porches than in the past. What were once spaces that were sometimes neglected or barely used for most months of the year suddenly became vital areas for people to enjoy with their families during difficult times. This in turn started to shape the outdoor living trends for 2021.

This year has made people look at their outdoor space from a different perspective, willing to make the most of every inch of their backyards. These past months we've seen people having video calls from their patios, kids playing around, and families spending time together in the privacy of their dwelling.

With this in mind, and as the summer and warm weather approach, many people are getting ready to take on some new outdoor projects in the hope of not only improving their outdoor living spaces, but also adapting them and maximizing their usage.

To find out what the outdoor trends of 2021 in single-family homes will be, Fixr.com asked industry experts to weigh in. They were given a series of questions to help uncover what the latest materials, styles, and trends are for outdoor living.

Whether you're a homeowner looking for inspiration or a landscape designer wanting to know what people are looking for this year, we hope that you'll find something of value in this outdoor trends 2021 report.

  • 85% of experts believe that homeowners are more willing to invest in outdoor living spaces in 2021
  • Outdoor kitchens are the most desired addition to outdoor living spaces, say 61% of surveyed professionals
  • According to 74%, an indoor/outdoor blend is mostly achieved by folding and sliding doors and windows
  • Around 48% of outdoor spaces will be adapted to year-round use
  • 80% of experts note gathering with friends and family as the most popular use of outdoor space, followed by 61% saying for relaxation

Table of Contents

85% of Experts Agree that Homeowners are More Willing to Invest in Outdoor Living Spaces Than Before the Pandemic

When asked about the willingness of homeowners to invest in their outdoor living spaces, 85% of experts responded that their clients are more willing now than they were before the start of the pandemic. Many people put off vacations and travel, choosing to spend the time at home instead or having to due to restrictions. This in turn put a bigger focus on the living areas. With a better yard or outdoor living space, you may find more enjoyment at home than you did previously.

Outdoor Living Areas Will be Bigger Than Before the Pandemic, According to 63% of Construction Experts

In addition to the number of people investing in outdoor living areas, experts also predict that these spaces will grow. 63% of respondents answer that they think the outdoor living spaces in a new single-family home would be bigger. People who are building right now may be remembering the previous summer and how much time was spent at home, when their backyards became part of their daily life and the place for more activities than usual. The recent emphasis on outdoor living has brought about an added importance to outside space. Planning for a larger outdoor living space going forward also gives them more flexibility in how they'll spend their time there or how they'll finish the space.

There are many different types of outdoor living spaces. When asked what they think would be the most popular arrangement, 48% of experts respond with a porch and a patio as the preferred combination. This is followed by a distant 19% feeling that a porch and a deck is the right move.

With a porch and a patio, you get a lot of different benefits. Porches can help improve the curb appeal of your home and also give you a place to gather and entertain whatever the weather. Patios are more private. At ground level, they're also more accessible to the rest of the yard and to the house itself. They have the option of being covered also which allows them to be used during rainy or cooler days. Combined, they give you a lot of options to choose from for where you'll entertain or use the space.

If something is clear this year after so much time spent at home it is that there is a general interest in bringing the outside inside. But when it comes to indoor/outdoor living spaces, there are several methods for creating this type of connection from the interior to the outside. 74% of experts say that using folding or sliding doors and windows is the way to go. 48% feel that using glass walls that can fold and slide is also the right answer. This added open space continues the relaxing vibes from inside the home to the outside, and welcomes the outside into the interior in a way which a wall or standard door would not. The openness also creates a sense of bigger space for those with limited outdoor areas.

An indoor/outdoor space is ideal for people in warm and moderate climates because this type of space can be used nearly all year round. It allows you to move seamlessly from your indoor living room to your outdoor living room. This means that you can have more flexibility in how you'll spend your time, entertain, or simply gather with your family. It also makes it easier to pack up and move between spaces depending on the whims of the weather.

When it comes to additions to your existing outdoor living space, outdoor kitchens top the list. 61% of respondents answering that the outdoor kitchen is the most popular. Outdoor kitchens were already very popular last year, but with a renewed interest in cooking and outdoor spaces, they have gained a lot more popularity. Outdoor kitchens allow for many different designs and layouts, freestanding, attached, and the choice of appliances that best suit your needs

Coming in second place with 59% of the votes is a fire pit, which is a great focal point throughout the whole year. In third place is shading with 41% of experts opting for this option. Covered patios may be a good choice for many homeowners - you can have shade, space for an outdoor kitchen, and often a fire pit as well. A patio cover will add privacy and protect your outdoor features from the elements but also add comfort to your gathering spaces on hot summer days.

Homeowners Most Commonly use Their Outdoor Living Spaces to Gather with Friends and Family

2020 saw many rooms of the house converted into multifunctional spaces, and the backyard is definitely no exception this year. 80% of experts say that the main purpose of outdoor living spaces is to gather with friends and family. 61% also feel that relaxation is high on the list, while 46% feel that it should be a place for kids to play as well. Since indoor gatherings have been difficult this past year, outdoor gatherings in a backyard have become many people's first choice for things to do. This is true for both adults and kids, so by including numerous gathering areas and activities, it makes it easier for whole families to get together and relax more safely in one space.

Around 50% of Outdoor Spaces Will Be Adapted for Year-Round Use in 2021

When asked the percentage of outdoor spaces they feel would be adapted for year round use in 2021, respondents answered that roughly 48% on average would do so. Adapting a space to year round use can vary a lot by climate and region. Spaces that have warmer temperatures in the winter may get more year round use than areas that see much colder temps. The size of the space, how it's currently outfitted and used, and whether it can be easily converted are also considerations to make when determining whether such a thing may be possible in any given yard.

Outdoor Heaters And Fireplaces Are The Top Choices To Adapt Outdoor Spaces For Year-Round Use

When the weather turns colder, 54% of experts say that the way to stay warm outdoors is to add an outdoor heater to the yard. 41% say that adding an outdoor fireplace can be the right way to go. 27% also feel that both covered outdoor living spaces and fire pits are the right answers. Each of these methods can be influenced by the type of space you have, the amount of room available, and how you use the space. Because outdoor heaters are portable, they make a good choice for those that may want to move them back out of the yard when it warms up. Covers can also be a good choice for keeping the sun off in the summer, while fireplaces and fire pits can make great gathering places for parties.


For this report, Fixr.com surveyed 48 top experts in the home construction industry. Each of the professionals who responded have acquired vast experience and are currently working in the building, remodeling or landscaping fields. To gain a better understanding and inquire about the latest outdoor trends, they were each asked a mix of open-ended and multiple choice questions. All percentages were rounded.

The chosen contributors to this report were selected based on their extensive expertise, as well as their successful projects and reputable designs. Their combined responses represent a clear picture of current trends based on their innovative and expert knowledge.

Industry Experts

To create this report, we asked for input from a number of construction and remodelling experts. We appreciate the time and effort each one of the contributors put into sharing their expertise for the creation of this report. We extend a special thank you to them all.