With much of the country under lockdown due to the novel coronavirus, people are focusing on having fun in their own backyards—and shopping for ways to make their personal patch of land more luxurious than ever.
So how do you pull this off? According to a recently released survey by Wayfair Professional on what its millions of customers are searching for right now, it's all about making outdoor spaces feel as comfy as the indoors.
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For instance: Searches on the Wayfair site for outdoor kitchen islands are up 130% over last year, while searches for backyard bars and wine fridges jumped 155% and 46% respectively. Want a fire pit for a weenie roast? They're also trending, with searches for gas pits up 99% and concrete fire pits soaring 173%.
"Since people are forced to spend more time at home, it makes sense that outdoor furniture is trending—since we're looking to create more varied living spaces," says Drew Henry of Design Dudes.
"And once people's social circles start to bubble to including visitors, homeowners will want to accommodate them with enough space and amenities," adds Ana Cummings of the eponymous design firm.
Searches for patio furniture sets is up 30% this year, while searches for comfy "deep seating" has spiked 171%.
"Gone are rigid metal patio sets—now you can have the same feeling as your living room since upholstered, deep-set sectionals are plush and comfortable, while also allowing more people to sit," says Lindsey Zborowski, a Wayfair style expert.
These outdoor amenities also add home value because you're increasing usable space—and creating an outdoor living area allows for distinct gatherings to take place simultaneously.
"For example, if one spouse wants to read quietly, the other could watch TV or listen to music on the patio and have the luxury of an outdoor kitchen to make snacks," says Henry.
Want to feather your nest with new gear? Here are some fab picks to enjoy with your family now and to share with friends later, once we've fully emerged from our homes.
1. Basket chair
Woven furniture is having a moment, including rattan, wicker and caning, in part because of its classic style and the texture it adds.
"Every patio should incorporate these pieces because they scream tropical and fun," says Cummings.
This basket chair ($360) comes in brown or white, and includes plush pillows in tan, beige, or lime-green stripes.
2. Wine fridge
"Restaurants as we've known them may not return soon, so people are going to want their outdoor living spaces to reflect a 'going out' vibe with a spot for having cocktails in the sunshine and fresh air," says Cummings.
This dual-zone wine fridge ($890) fits the bill nicely, with a modern glass front and five slide-out shelves.
3. Vertical garden
No space for a container garden on your porch? Look to your walls to install lush greenery.
"Adding plants to your patio or deck turns your outdoor room into a total summer hangout," says Cummings.
This metal wall planter ($75) holds three potted plants and can turn a blah backdrop into a verdant accent.
"If you want an herb garden close by for grilling or making drinks, a vertical garden keeps everything within reach, and it's relatively low-maintenance," says Zborowski.
4. Outdoor rug
Don't forget outdoor accessories, including rugs and cushions, say the pros, and try to blend your indoor and outdoor spaces to establish flow.
"Carry the same tile from inside to out, for example, and you'll make both spaces feel visually larger," says Henry. This geometric area rug ($31) in a poppy-orange hue comes in nine shades and more than a dozen sizes.
5. Outdoor bar
Bar sets have been top sellers, says Zborowski, especially ones that offer storage and seating as well as multiple sides for serving and prep work.
This affordable outdoor bar ($310) in chic chocolate-brown can live on your patio all season long thanks to its weather-resistant resin wicker exterior.
6. Patio lantern
"Outdoor lanterns with perforated patterns and geometric details are another popular item this year as they offer a bohemian aesthetic and visual interest," says Zborowski.
Hang this lantern ($42) from a patio tree or place a series of them along a walkway to light a path for family and friends.
7. Fire pit
Every kid flips for s'mores on a warm night, so consider this sturdy, yet compact, version for your outdoor setting. This attractive copper and black fire pit ($137) is a snap to assemble and comes with a poker and wood grate.