Privacy, Greenery Prized Perks in Outdoor Spaces

June 24, 2020

Outdoor living spaces are growing in popularity, and Americans are reassessing their spaces to spruce them up or hunting for new homes that offer more yard appeal.

“Everyone has been cooped up since mid-March,” architect Michael A. Menn, owner of a Chicago-based design/build firm, told Forbes.com. “I have seen more people ask for outdoor living environments, screened porches, gazebos and decks. Being able to spend outdoor time with your family has been an escape—and close to freedom. People are enjoying their outdoor environments more and more.”

Privacy and greenery are top of mind.

“We’re seeing a huge increase in requests for shade structures and privacy screening,” Vanessa Slivinski, design director of Chicago Roof Deck & Garden, told Forbes.com. “This hits on the fact that homeowners want to feel secluded in their spaces, even though their homes tend to be a few feet from their neighbors. Also, shade plays a huge factor in making a space comfortable.”

The addition of more plants can enhance a relaxing and inviting atmosphere and bolster privacy to backyards and patios, Slivinski says.

Also, homeowners are focusing more on singling out areas in their backyard for activities, such as gardening.

Popular outdoor luxury features that homeowners are adding include premium lighting, fireplaces, and comfortable furniture. As the pandemic continues into the fall and winter, households could see longer school breaks and longer weekends spent at home with less travel and want to make their homes feel yet more inviting, Kate Bailey, senior director of category management for the Ferguson Bath, Kitchen, & Lighting Gallery, told Forbes.com.