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What’s Hot in Outdoor Living

It’s not quite spring yet, but it’s not too early to start thinking about your outdoor living areas. Surveys show that having an attractive outdoor living environment ranks very high with today’s buyers. Creating an “outdoor living room” for your home will pay off when you sell. Not planning to move? Then do it for yourself and your family. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to give yourself more space for living and entertaining.

What features are most desirable? The American Society of Landscape Architects conducts an annual Residential Trends Survey. It’s 2011 survey, reported these features as the most popular outdoor living feature trends:

  • exterior lighting (96.2%)
  • fire pits and outdoor fireplaces (94.2%)
  • seating and dining areas (94.1%)
  • grills (93.8%)
  • installed seating, such as benches, seat walls, or ledges (89.5%)
  • weatherized outdoor furniture (83.5%)
  • counter space (74.2%)
  • utility storage (61.3%)
  • stereo systems (58.3%)
  • sinks (54.7%)
  • refrigerators (50.2%)

The survey showed increased interest in technology for the outdoors, such as stereo systems, Internet access and televisions. Low-maintenance landscaping and water-efficient irrigation systems are also growing increasingly popular.