Summer may be just around the corner, but now is the time to start building a cozy outdoor living area for fall.
With more than 40 years in commercial and residential building, Hickory Construction is an East Tennessee-based general contractor with a passion for creating exterior spaces that redefine outdoor living.
“We began seeing a move to outdoor living about 15 years ago,” says Hickory Vice President of Marketing John McMillan. “The trend is continuing to gain momentum.”
While summer is perfect for spending time poolside, it’s not the only season for making the most of outdoor living. Football and mild temperatures bring plenty of opportunities to enjoy dynamic exterior spaces in the fall. Screened-in porches, fire pits, and more deliver relaxing destinations for enjoying warm days and chilly nights.
“People love to entertain and an outdoor living area makes for a great venue,” says McMillan. “Adding comforts such as a fireplace or even gas heat turns an outdoor living area into a room that can be enjoyed practically year around.”
It’s important to remember that in order to have a finished space by the time the leaves change, you need to start designing and constructing your project by late spring/early summer. The team at Hickory can work with you to understand and execute your vision.
To help you start planning your family’s new favorite gathering place in time for college football kick-off, here are four trends taking over outdoor living in 2018.
Nothing brings friends and family together like an outdoor fireplace. Paired with comfortable seating, this classic trend is a hit any season; but it’s especially great when the temperatures dip. Grand fireplaces crafted using mixed materials (think stone, brick, metal, etc.) provide a focal point for porches and patios. Looking for something a little more subdued? Modern firepits offer options for any style and can be placed adjacent to a patio or further into the lawn.
Whether it’s a simple patio or a multi-level deck, incorporating a covered element (think: pergola, gazebo, canopy, etc.) to your outdoor area can maximize unused space. Pergolas are a favorite of homeowners in 2018 due to their versatility. Consider weaving in creeping greenery or fabric to the structure for some extra shade. Those with more space to work with can opt for a screened-in porch. Smart tech like retractable screens, flat-screen TVs, and Bluetooth speakers make this option ideal for tailgates.
Pools are popular, but they’re not the only way to incorporate water into your exterior. Small ponds, poolside waterfalls, and water/fire combinations are a great way to bring the soothing sounds of water into your backyard. Research shows that simply looking at water (a stream, waterfall, etc.) can restore blood pressure and heart rate to normal levels.
Outdoor kitchens have moved way beyond built-in barbecues. Full ranges, pizza ovens, stainless steel appliances, and more are all trending options for making cooking an open-air affair. The sheer square-footage required for an outdoor kitchen helps increase your home’s value, but the real benefit of this element comes with the experiences it creates. Guests will naturally gather around a pizza oven or grill, while welcoming furnishings and a wet bar will help friends unwind.