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Take the Indoors Out

Homeowners are hot to remodel outdoor spaces — and willing to spend the cash

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Backyard at 6607 Desco in Dallas
Wood arbors are a hot trend in outdoor living spaces right now. Photo courtesy of Dave Perry-Miller & Associates
3821 Beverly Drive in Highland Park
According to a new report from Zillow Digs, more than two-thirds of remodelers are planning outdoor home improvement projects. Photo courtesy of Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty
Porch at 10453 Epping Lane in Dallas
Outdoor remodels add living space — and value — to a home. Photo courtesy of Briggs Freeman Sotheby's
Backyard of 5800 Armstrong in Dallas
Homeowners are adding more indoor-like furniture to their outdoor spaces. Photo courtesy of Dave Perry-Miller & Associates
Backyard at 6607 Desco in Dallas
3821 Beverly Drive in Highland Park
Porch at 10453 Epping Lane in Dallas
Backyard of 5800 Armstrong in Dallas

Homeowners hoping to expand their living spaces are looking to the outdoors now more than ever. According to the recent Zillow Digs Home Design Trend Report, more than two-thirds (68 percent) of remodelers surveyed are planning outdoor home improvement projects this season — a 70 percent increase compared to last summer.

Plus those remodelers are throwing more money at these projects: Median summer remodel budgets increased 100 percent to $1,000 since the beginning of the year.

 Wood arbors help define the space and create an “open-air ceiling” effect. 

So what do they want to do with that money? Open-air living rooms are all the rage, and expanding usable square footage for year-round use adds value to the home. Wood arbors, upholstered seating and muted color palettes were among the trends cited for these revamped outdoor spaces.

Wood arbors, especially bedecked with greenery, help define the space and create an “open-air ceiling” effect. White curtains can add freshness, and twinkle lights are a popular decorative touch, in particular for those who like to throw outdoor parties.

Another way homeowners take the indoors out is with fully upholstered sofas and other lounge seating. Even accessories typically associated with the indoors — such as rugs, lamps and wood coffee tables — are finding their way outside, according to Zillow design experts.

As for color scheme, homeowners are dialing back the brighter hues that defined last season, say the experts, opting instead for more subtle tones. Turquoise made way for sea glass, watermelon moved to grayed shrimp and bright orange has become sherbet, for example.

The Zillow Digs Home Design Trend Report depends on a survey of the Zillow Digs board of designers, whose members span across the country, and the most popular outdoor photos on Zillow Digs, a hub for home improvement and design inspiration.

Speaking of inspiration, check out these open-air living room ideas on the Zillow blog. On a related note, there are also some good tips for extending the life of that outdoor furniture you’re about to splurge on.

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