The greater outdoors: Homeowners focus on expanding their exterior living space

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Homeowners, but especially those in the Gen X and Millennial generations, are looking to expand their outdoor living space, according to the 2024 U.S. Houzz Outdoor Trends Study.

While one-third of all respondents said they wanted to upgrade their outdoor area to make it more livable, 41% of Gen X and 38% of Millennials were making this a priority. Upgrading entertaining space was important to 44% of Millennials and 42% of Gen X, who also put structural improvements such as decks, outdoor kitchens, pools and hot tubs on their to-do lists.

More than half of Millennials (54%) and 45% of Gen Xers planned to pursue outdoor decorating projects as well, while just 31% of Baby Boomers said this was on interest to them.

“With limited housing stock and higher interest rates impacting affordability, younger generations are squeezing functionality out of every inch of their current homes by focusing on the outdoors,” said Marine Sargsyan, staff economist. “Millennials in particular are most likely to invest in major structural upgrades in the yard and to add furniture and accessories to make it more personalized and livable.”

As to what respondents had purchased or were planning to buy to decorate outdoors, lighting for landscaping or the deck was No. 1 at 47%, with other furnishings including chairs (34%), rugs (27%), pillows and throws (26%), sofa or sectional (23%), dining seating (21%) and dining table (19%) were within the Top 10. Additional home décor purchases for the outdoors ranged from coffee or end tables to artwork to bar stools.

Nearly one-fourth (24%) said their outdoor space style was traditional, with transitional (15%) next in line.

Overall, decorating was cited by 37% of respondents as one of the upgrades they have done, are working on or are planning to do this year, putting it behind features (70%) and structures (57%) on the priority list. The structural changes planned or completed included decks (44%); open porches/verandas (23%); shade structures (20%); and sheds/workshops, built-in kitchens and screened porches/verandas at 12% each.

In renovating their outdoor spaces, homeowners said improving aesthetics was the No. 1 reason at 51%, followed by enhancing the entertaining space (37%).

For its study, Houzz conducted an online poll between May 25 and June 5, gathering info from 1,106 of its users 18 and older who were homeowners and had completed a project within the past year, were in the midst of one or were planning an outdoor renovation within the next six months.

See also:

  • Top outdoor design trend? Blurring the lines between indoors and out
  • Houzz identifies 7 emerging trends in 2024 summer report

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