As temperatures heat up, so does outdoor living. Backyards are turning into entertaining spaces (83%), outdoor eating spaces (73%) and outdoor living rooms (53%). Features such as patios and decks (83%), barbecues (48%), fire pits (48%), sound systems (19%) and outdoor kitchens (14%) are getting a lot of homeowner love. For evening entertaining, seven in 10 homeowners are installing lights to illuminate their hardscape.
More than half of homeowners (56%) are making updates to improve yards for entertaining. The other half (55%) want to solve a range of issues, such as flooding (41%), sun exposure (25%) and privacy (23%). After a dry winter in the West, 30% of homeowners in that region are working on their yards to address a shortage of water.
Other backyard improvement trends include:
- Homeowners updating the lighting in their yards are going green, using either LED (58%) or solar-powered lights (56%).
- Most homeowners (92%) choose plants native to their region.
- Traditional lawns remain popular but significantly less so in the West (69%) versus the Midwest (88%), East (87%) and South (86%). Alternatives to traditional lawns are appearing throughout the country, with homeowners in the South choosing mondo grass (20%) and those in the dry West saving on water bills and upkeep with artificial lawns (16%).
- Many homeowners are joining the local food movement, with nearly two-thirds (64%) planning to grow edibles in their yard. Seven in 10 are growing edibles for the first time.
- Herbs are most popular (73%), followed by vegetables (70%) and fruit trees (51%).