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The Upswing in Outdoor Living

Writer Design NJ

A 2023 Outdoor Living Report from Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens

Cabinetry by Danver Outdoor Kitchens.

Outdoor spaces are becoming increasingly essential for American homeowners, according to the 2023 Outdoor Living Report conducted by Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens with insights from a recent Harris Poll survey and top designers in the industry.

Report findings reveal that three-quarters (75%) of people looking to purchase a new home would prioritize one that includes an outdoor living space over one that does not. This appetite has positioned outdoor living as the “new frontier” for design professionals — rivaling kitchens and bathrooms, which have traditionally served as the primary value drivers for homeowners and the source of their largest investments.

As the summer season heats up and all eyes are on the outdoors, we share other key report findings:

The Rise of Renovations
Homeowners are inclined to renovate. More than 3 in 5 (63%) report an increased interest in renovating their homes due to the current housing market, and an equal number would prioritize investing in an outdoor living space if they were to renovate their home.

If they were investing in their home’s outdoor living space, over 7 in 10 survey respondents (71%) say it would be important to include or update an outdoor kitchen.

Bigger & Bolder Colors Outdoors
Over two-thirds of Americans surveyed (69%) feel outdoor kitchens present an opportunity for fun and different color selections compared with their interiors. Some top-selling bold color finishes from Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens provide insight into the latest color trends: Chili, Redwood, Boysenberry, Cotton Candy, Autumn, Mint, Sea Spray and Interstate Blue.

Incorporating bold colors in outdoor living spaces empowers homeowners and designers to create not only more colorful but more personal and creative designs outdoors. Shown is outdoor kitchen cabinetry in the color Chili from Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens.

Work From Anywhere Options
The pandemic has transformed remote work. This cultural shift has inspired many to seek out second homes, “work-cation” Airbnbs and other dreamy accommodations in the hottest destinations. With a rising demand for home-away-from-home conveniences — including a place to connect with friends or simply recharge — outdoor living spaces have become a top choice, especially those with kitchens.

“We’ve seen an even bigger push for outdoor living in clients’ second homes,” designer Billy Ceglia of Billy Ceglia Designs says. “This, and heavier use during the pandemic, has made clients realize the value of investing in high-quality outdoor materials that will stand the test of time.”

Sustainability Is Here to Stay
Whether seeking responsibly sourced or recycled materials, homeowners are embracing sustainable solutions that look beautiful and last longer — a balance that’s particularly important in hard-working outdoor living spaces, which are exposed to year-round weather conditions. When it comes to outdoor kitchens, the study says, stainless steel offers the best of both words as a recycled material with extremely minimal maintenance, the durability to endure any weather and a long lifespan.

Left: Over two-thirds of Americans surveyed (69%) say it’s important to them to use sustainable materials in home design. Right: Brown Jordan brings the indoor kitchen to outdoor living space with durable and eco-friendly stainless-steel cabinets from the modular Elements™ collection designed by Daniel Germani.

Traditional Style Takes Top Billing
While a fairly close vote, more traditional styles remain the leading outdoor design choice for Americans, with 30% preferring traditional looks. Twenty-one percent favor clean and contemporary, 18% beach/coastal, 15% transitional, 12% bold and modern, and 4% other styles.

More traditional styles remain the leading outdoor design choice for Americans, with a 30% preference..

Growing Interest in Backyard Bars
While some have speculated whether the growing remote workforce would drive demand for outdoor home offices, Americans are more apt to end their day outside, with 40% expressing interest in an outdoor bar.

Features such as wine fridges and kegerators make it easy for homeowners to tailor their space and create much-needed work-life balance by hosting friends and family after hours in the outdoors.

The Pursuit of “Zen” Escapes
Nearly half of the survey respondents (45%) are interested in creating their own “backyard escapes,” supporting a shift to more Zen, oasis-inspired spaces for the outdoors that serve not only to entertain but also allow homeowners to relax and indulge within their backyards.

More than half of Americans (56%) say their experiences at hotels or vacation home rentals have influenced their vision for an ideal outdoor living space at home, as a growing number are looking to create an everyday getaway.