After months of coronavirus-related restrictions, it’s no surprise that some homeowners are viewing their outdoor spaces in a different light. What felt open and functional in February, may seem less so as July looms. At the very least, perhaps there’s room for improvement.
While change may not be in the air for everyone, Adam Baker has taken enough calls to know that summer and fall might be the seasons for outdoor renovations.
“People have spent a lot of time in their backyards—but not in the same [leisurely] ways as before the [COVID-19] pandemic,” says the CEO of Broward Landscape. “When you do that, you start to notice things that didn’t catch your eye before. Because of that, there’s going to be interest in everything from minor enhancements to significant renovations.”
When it comes reimagining outdoor spaces, Baker and his team at Broward Landscape provide design options—including landscaping, pavers and decking, exterior lighting, outdoor kitchens, pergolas/arbors, and even synthetic turf for those tired of tending to their backyard grass.
The native of Coral Springs addressed some of the ongoing trends that he expects will make their way into people’s outdoor living areas.
• Pergolas: Aesthetically, pergolas are eye-catching elements that enhance an outdoor setting, create added privacy from neighbors—and increase your home value. “Covered pergolas provide added shade [since] we’re in South Florida,” Baker says. “But we’ll design them with fans and lighting and decorative fire pits, so it’s a separate area to quietly enjoy or to entertain a few friends.”
• Outdoor kitchens: It’s not just about grills and smokers. Baker says people are adding mini-refrigerators and freezers for added storage, wine coolers, sinks and prep counters, and gourmet pizza ovens (which can become a culinary bonding experience for the family).
• Pavers/walkways: For many people, Baker says, this is about expanding their overall living areas. “We see new construction that comes with a bare-bones outdoor setting—a five-bedroom house with a 10-foot-by-10-foot patio. Instead of a sea of grass, people will extend flooring and create walkways to bring the indoors outside.”
• Living walls (featured image above): “These add to the Zen-like settings some homeowners appreciate, and they also create more privacy from neighbors,” Baker says. “It’s an opportunity to think outside the box with clients about an area where maybe nothing has been going on for years. Suddenly, you have an outdoor shower with a lush living wall.”
• Exterior lighting: The drama that comes with a thoughtfully executed outdoor lighting scheme can create a night-and-day difference in your backyard. Broward Landscape designs these treatments with a variety of cutting-edge options.
• Fire features: Even though it’s South Florida, decorative fire pits maintain an allure for homeowners. “It can be 90 degrees at night, and people will step out of the pool and want that fire to sit by—just because it’s so nice to look at. Fire has that mesmerizing quality.”