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Outdoor Living Trends That Will Spruce Up Your Yard


If you’re looking for ideas for your backyard this summer, these outdoor living trends will give you some inspiration. With outdoor garden rooms, backyard cottages and pet living spaces, you’re sure to find something that sparks your interest.

outdoor living trends to try in your yard

Since I love to entertain outdoors, I am always looking for ideas to make my deck, patio and yard more inviting.

So I was really interested to see that outdoor living ideas are trending on Pinterest (more inspiration from the top 100 trends report that Pinterest publishes every year).

This is the first time there have been so many outdoor living trends in the list!

So I couldn’t resist reading all about them…and sharing them 🙂

8 | Garden Rooms

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Garden room with vertical plant wall and slatted roof and sides ©Chinnachote - stock.adobe.com
©Chinnachote – stock.adobe.com

Number 8 on the outdoor living trends list is Garden Rooms. Searches for it on Pinterest are up 104%.

I totally get this! I love creating outdoor rooms in my backyard. They always feel so inviting and relaxing.

And there’s many ways to make an area of your yard feel like a garden room.

You can build a structure that really looks and feels like a room (like the picture above).

Vertical garden growing on a lattice fence

This picture has another trend that isn’t in the Pinterest list but I’ve been seeing everywhere…vertical gardens. They’re a great way to get the lush garden feeling in a small space.

Garden room with a bench on a patio

Another garden room idea is to create a destination in your yard with a cozy-looking bench and surround it with plants.

This isn’t really a room but the privacy and seclusion makes it feel like one.

Wrought iron arbor over a path leading into a garden room

Even a curving path in a small space surround by plants can create that garden room feeling by hiding the destination. Which is what they’ve done in one of my favorite cities for garden rooms – Charleston, SC.

You can see more garden room ideas inspired by Charleston HERE.

7 | Bring The Outdoors In

Large glass folding doors leading to a patio ©Jodie Johnson- stock.adobe.com
©Jodie Johnson- stock.adobe.com

The next outdoor living trend is the idea of bringing the outdoors in. Searches for it are up 108%.

I’ve always liked the idea of having wall to wall doors that opened out to the patio. What a great way to blur the boundaries between the living room and your backyard…although I’m not sure how you keep all the bugs out 🙂

Dining room with fresh flowers and doors leading outside

You could also go with the much simpler option of putting some beautiful flowers on your table and opening the patio doors.

Greenhouse and potting shed with lots of plants ©Deidre - stock.adobe.com
©Deidre – stock.adobe.com

Or if you love plants and have the space, your own greenhouse is another way to get that lush garden feeling indoors.

Wall painted with wisteria vine on arbor to look like an indoor garden room

For those of us who can’t keep plants alive indoors (that would be me!), painting a trellis on the wall with some stenciled Wisteria vines may be the best way to create an indoor garden room. (You can find the tutorial HERE).

6 | Granny Pods

Granny pod on a platform in the backyard ©coralimages - stock.adobe.com
©coralimages – stock.adobe.com

Number 6 on the latest trends list is Granny Pods.

In case you’re not sure what a Granny Pod is, it’s a tiny house that is usually built in the backyard to allow elderly family members to live with you, but still have their own space.

Searches for “granny pod backyard cottage” are up 159%, so apparently more people are looking into this as an option for aging parents.

Small backyard cottage or garden house

You can even order the tiny home kits like this one* on Amazon!

5 | Dog Toilet Areas For The Garden

Dog toilet area

Next up on our list? Creating a doggy bathroom in your yard. Searches for it are up 214%.

Having a designated area for your dog to do his business would certainly keep the grass in better shape.

However, as Michael from Garden Therapy explains, the smell can get pretty bad. So he came up with a way to create a flushable doggy toilet area. Be sure to check it out if you think this might be something you want to do for your house.

4 | Solar Light Crafts

Making crafts from solar lights is the next one of our outdoor living trends. Searches for it are up 427%.

I love the idea of making a garden chandelier that will light up on its own, like this one from Stephanie at Garden Therapy.  Using a hanging basket as the frame is genius!

3 | Catios

Cat sleeping on a shelf in a catio ©kayeela - stock.adobe.com
©kayeela – stock.adobe.com

Pets seem to have a big impact on outdoor living this year! There’s two pet-related searches in the top 5!

Catios are the #3 trend on our list. Searches for “cat playground outdoor” are up 512%.

For those of you who are new to Catios, they are outdoor fenced in areas for cats that people are installing for their pets.

Many are attached to the house with a cat door so that your furry friend can go out and enjoy the sunshine whenever she pleases.

standalone catio structure

But you can also get stand-alone versions* like this one from Amazon.

Cat playground ©wooooooojpn - stock.adobe.com
©wooooooojpn – stock.adobe.com

Many even come with built-in steps, landing pads and other options to give the cats something to play on.

If you’re interested in seeing other people’s Catios and happen to live in the Portland, Oregon area, there’s even an annual Catio tour!

You can see pictures and find out more information about Catios and the Portland tour HERE.

2 | Australian Garden Landscaping

Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens in Melbourne, Australia ©FiledIMAGE - stock.adobe.com
©FiledIMAGE – stock.adobe.com

Australia has some beautiful botanical gardens, like Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens (pictured above) in Melbourne. (We’re keeping our fingers crossed that they haven’t been burned by the recent fires).

Contemporary patio garden ©Jodie Johnson - stock.adobe.com
©Jodie Johnson- stock.adobe.com

But besides the plants, Australians also seem to know how to blend indoor and outdoor living by incorporating two of our earlier trends (garden rooms and bringing the outdoors in) into their garden designs.  .

So I guess it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that searches for Australian garden landscaping are up 781%!

1 | Outdoor Kitchen Bar

Pink and turquoise outdoor kitchen bar

The number one outdoor living trend this year is outdoor kitchen bars, with searches up a whopping 2750%!

This is one trend I can say I’m totally on top of! I built the outdoor kitchen bar in my backyard over 10 years ago (which is why it needed a makeover back in the spring…if you missed it, you can see all the details of that HERE).

It’s not a fancy one…it doesn’t have running water. But it does have a refrigerator and a grill…and lighting so we can use it at night. And it is still all of my friends favorite place to hang out at my house.

Outdoor kitchen with herbs planted close by ©Garden Guru - stock.adobe.com
©Garden Guru – stock.adobe.com

But if you want to go all out, I love the idea of an outdoor wine fridge, a large sink (with a cover) and a vertical garden with all the herbs you would ever need for cooking!

Other Home and Garden Ideas You Might Like

Which of our outdoor living trends is your favorite? Tell us in the section below.

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top outdoor living trends

This post was originally published on January 17, 2020 but was updated with new content on January 25, 2021.

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One Comment

  1. Lucky Ibeakanma says:

    These trends are actually nice and I seem to be missing out on applying some in my home. Will definitely do something before weekend.