It’s never too early to start planning and shopping for products to create the outdoor living space of your dreams. Here are some anticipated hot trends for spring/summer 2021 shared by Lydia Thammavong, marketing specialist, styles and trends at Lowes Canada in Montreal.
You may want to consider incorporating these trends now before the products sell out as they did last year.
Fire pits: By the end of last summer, even before the cooler evenings of fall, backyard fire pits were sold out. People scooped them up because they wanted to extend the time they could spend outside. Buying a fire pit now will help you enjoy the backyard earlier this spring, as well as later into the fall.
Fire pits come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from more traditional round versions to long and low rectangles with a modern vibe. There are high and low profiles, and even some that look more like lanterns.
Outdoor kitchens: People want to do everything that they can do inside, outside, so outdoor kitchens are expected to be a big hit this season. For those who are handy, a DIY kitchen can be built for less than $2,000.
Barbecues and smokers: In addition to cabinetry, outfitting the outdoor kitchen includes barbecues, from charcoal to natural gas and everything in between. Go with traditional black, a vibrant colour or stainless steel, in a variety of shapes and sizes suited to any backyard. While you’re at it, check out the “connected barbecue”, which lets you control the temperature from your phone.
And expected to be popular this season is the pizza oven, which lets people bake their bread outdoors and to expand their culinary skills to pizza.
Pools: Above-ground pools sold out last summer, so pick one up for the kids now. For something more adult-friendly, there are smaller inground pools a little bigger than a whirlpool tub that are great for just sitting in to cool off.
Sheds: If you have a pool, you need to have a place to store related items, so check out sheds. Aluminum versions are fine for tools, but if you want a shed that can double as a summer-time office or cabana, check out wood sheds with double doors that allow the space to open to the outdoors.
Furniture: Consider the functionality of furniture, as well as the look, feel and design. For small spaces, look for pieces with concealed storage and sectionals that integrate tables as part of their design. Seating with wide arm rests are great places to rest a glass of wine or an iPad. One coffee table lifts up to a comfortable eating height so there’s no need for a dining table and chairs.
Many people watch television or movies under the stars, so ensure the furniture is extra comfy.
Pergolas: Sun shelters, big or small, offer protection from glaring rays.
Along with standard sizes, a new product, Tojagrid, lets people build their own custom-sized pergola. They can be compact and super functional for smaller spaces. Curtains provide some privacy and keep bugs at bay.
Privacy: Privacy screens and kits create products that are functional and attractive. Garden walls, the vertical trend in garden décor, trellises and metal grids with plants growing on them also create privacy. Going vertical with garden walls saves space, is decorative and creates privacy.
Plants: Plants, whether decorative or edible, were hugely popular last year during the pandemic and will continue to be so this year. Many stores have ordered ample seed packets and plants to accommodate the rush.
Greenhouses and rain barrels: As people continue to want to grow their own food, small greenhouses will grow in popularity. If you have extra space and want a larger harvest, you may want to go with a walk-in size. For more compact spaces, there are versions that consist of covered shelves.
Water barrels are popular with eco-conscious people who use the rainwater for their gardens.
Water features: Fountains and waterfalls come in large stand-alone versions as well as small designs suited to tabletops. The sound of water drowns out unwanted noise and adds a Zen feeling to the space.
Lighting: In order to stay outside after sundown, and to create mood, there’s an assortment of outdoor lighting. Coloured LED lights, popular with teenagers for their bedrooms, are now available for use outdoors. They also come in more adult-friendly versions that can be used under the bar counter and in planters for ambiance. There are lights on strings, garden lights to laminate the path edges and an umbrella with integrated lighting.
For the birds: For those who want a little nature, bird baths and feeders are also expected to be popular.
Not to be forgotten: The front porch also adds more outdoor space. Dress it up with curtains on the sides for privacy and everything from single seating to sectionals. Thammavong says she likes the ball-shaped rattan chair on feet that offers a modern boho vibe.
Last but not least: Customize your space with style, colour and accessories, from placemats to dishware to planters and outdoor carpeting. Make it your own and enjoy.
Photos courtesy of Lowes Canada