So what’s new in outdoor living trends in 2016?  It’s hard to say, exactly.

But what we DO know is that outdoor living — as a home improvement concept — isn’t going anywhere this year or anytime soon for that matter.

Large Wood Deck with Separate Tiers for Dining, Relaxing and More, Designed and Built by Archadeck

Large Wood Deck with Separate Tiers for Dining and Entertaining by Archadeck

There’s no doubt, homeowners want to use every possible nook and cranny of their home’s space — both indoors and out-of-doors.  And building outside is one of the best possible ways to add value to your property — financial worth and lifestyle advantages too.

At the same time though, people want to be comfortable and look for conveniences from an outdoor space.  Sound like an oxymoron?  Not at all.

Covered Deck by Archadeck, includes Ceiling Fan, Lighting, and Outdoor TV

Covered Deck by Archadeck, includes Ceiling Fan, Lighting, and Outdoor TV

In this day-and-time, ‘convenience’ and ‘comfort’ are top-of-mind when it comes to a deck, screen porch or patio addition.   Learn why and how.

Outdoor living can be for everyone

Nowadays, you can easily find a way to ‘live your life outside’ whether you have a small backyard patio, a condo with a simple balcony or a king-size home with acreage — and for the rest of us who live somewhere in-between.

Small Patio with Benches and Fire Pit, by Archadeck

Small Patio with Benches and Fire Pit, by Archadeck

Condo Balcony Deck Converted To Screened Porch, by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

Condo Balcony Deck Converted To Screened Porch, by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

Deck with Raised Dining area by Archadeck

Deck with Raised Dining area by Archadeck

Regardless of the size of your home and your available outdoor space, there are simple (or elaborate) ways to make outdoor living a reality.

Outdoor living blends your home with your yard

Your home’s outdoor spaces can harmonize with the inside of your home just by blending materials, color and style.

As outdoor living has grown in popularity, retailers have capitalized on the high-demand for complementing merchandise.  And the upshot for consumers is this: outdoor products are readily available in a variety of ‘looks’ and within a wide price range too.

Screened In Porch by Archadeck, Furnishings, Lights, Heater

Screened In Porch by Archadeck, Furnishings, Lights, Heater

From furniture to rugs, pillows to cushions, lighting to electronics, portable grills to outdoor kitchens, fire pits to fire places, fans to misters… you name it, they make it!  From high-end specialty retailers like St. Louis’ Forshaw to Ikea, Walmart and Target, anyone can pursue the idea of ‘outdoor living’… not just the rich and famous.

Weatherproof furnishings, built to last, can be found in solid wood, wrought iron, resin wicker or even plastics.  Or you may prefer to change-up the look and choose furniture that is less expensive but can be switched-out, year-to-year or even season-by-season.  It’s up to you.

Wood Deck with White Rail Balusters and White Wrought Iron Furniture, Deck by Archadeck of West County, St. Louis Mo

Wood Deck with White Rail Balusters and White Wrought Iron Furniture, Deck by Archadeck of West County, St. Louis Mo

Low Maintenance Deck by Archadeck, Grill Station for Cooking and Furniture for Dining

Low Maintenance Deck by Archadeck, Grill Station and Furniture for Dining

Outdoor living and how to plan it

When it comes to an outdoor living space, think about ‘the big picture’ AND the nitty-gritty details.

  1. Consider your property as a whole and connections to your existing home.
  2. Consider what you need ‘right now’ and what are your future ‘dreams.’
Comprehensive Combination Project Design Rendering by Archadeck

Comprehensive Combination Project Design Rendering by Archadeck

Next, ask (and honestly answer) questions such as:

  • How much time will you spend outside and how many people do you want to accommodate outdoors?
  • Do you want minimal outdoor maintenance or do you enjoy puttering around the yard?
  • Will you cook, dine and entertain?  Or will an outdoor space be a special getaway, all your own?
  • Do you have children, elderly parents or pets to think about?
  • How about other outdoor activities?  Do you garden?  Have a pool?  Want a hot tub?

Well, you get the idea…

Outdoor living and how to design and build it

What needs to change out back?  Tear down an old sagging deck or upgrade an existing structure with new boards, rails and decor?  Block the neighbor’s barking dog or an ugly street view?  Or could you enhance a scenic view instead?

Glass Deck Rails Enhance Scenic View, Deck by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

Glass Deck Rails Enhance Scenic View, Deck by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

What materials do you love?  Wood and stone? Metallic and glass?  Look-alike synthetics or ‘green’, all natural materials?

How about colors, shapes and patterns?  Do you prefer the idea of ‘basic and simple’ or ‘mixed and eclectic’?

Deck Floor Board Pattern by Archadeck

Deck Floor Board Pattern by Archadeck

Think about how your outdoor space will look from the outside of your house AND from the inside?

And finally, when you envision a ‘master plan’ for outdoor living, how will the building plan be executed?  Occasionally a homeowner will take-the-plunge and renovate their entire yard, all at once but most folks improve their home — inside and out — in logical stages and over a period of time.  Which approach fits your budget?

Screened Patio Enclosure Built Under Existing Deck by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

Screened Patio Enclosure Built Under Existing Deck by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

Key takeaways

  • As home improvement goes, outdoor living isn’t a trend, it’s here to stay.
  • And with an increase in consumer demand, outdoor living is affordable for everyone.
  • The best outdoor spaces are designed and built to complement your home from the curb AND from your kitchen window.
  • Think about your short term and long term goals for a home project that fits your lifestyle and budget.
  • You don’t have to build all-at-once, you can improve your outdoor space in stages, over time.
  • If you don’t want to do-it-yourself, be sure to choose your contractor carefully. Check-out, How To Hire A Deck Building Contractor.

Next Steps

Do you live in the St. Louis Missouri area and are you looking for a reputable contractor for a deck, screened porch, pergola or other outdoor project? If so, please consider Archadeck.

Our offices are in St. Louis West County and we’re locally owned and operated.  We live here and we work here – just call 636-227-0800, anytime.

If you’re not quite ready to talk to a builder, you can find additional ideas for outdoor living by visiting our website west-county.archadeck.com.  You’ll see photo galleries, an online inquiry form, a free download for Archadeck’s design guide and video(s) too. 

Or find us on social media —  Pinterest, Google+ and Houzz.

And no matter where you live or what contractor you choose, download Archadeck’s free design guide.  It’s a helpful tool in the planning process.  Just enter your email to receive the guide; no strings attached!

Archadeck's Free Design Guide, graphic by Matthew Victor, St. Louis Mo

Archadeck’s Free Design Guide, graphic by Matthew Victor, St. Louis Mo

Live outside of St. Louis, Missouri?  Visit archadeck.com for other owners, nationwide.

Sources

Archadeck Outdoor Living, archadeck.com,  HGTV, Forshaw in St. Louis, centralctdecksandporches.com, Archadecks in Chicago, West Central and Southwest Ohio, Raleigh/Durham, Boston, Rhode Island, Nova Scotia

Design Guide Cover by Matthew Victor, Intern for Archadeck of West County. Contact Matt by email at mtvictor00@gmail.com.  Matt has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems from the University of Missouri–St. Louis and is currently completing a second degree in graphic design.

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