Asoutdoor living spaces we move into the heart of summer, people everywhere are moving their weekend gatherings outdoors. In the past, people were content to pop open a few folding chairs in the grassy backyard and fan away smoke and the mosquitoes as they chatted around the barbecue grill.

These days, homeowners have taken outdoor living spaces to an entirely new level. Whether you opt for a backyard deck or a patio, the seating is more comfortable, the spaces are shadier and cooler, and walking around on itchy grass is a thing of the past. Here are the trends we’re loving for outdoor living spaces this summer.

Transforming the Yard into an Outdoor Living Room

While a deck or basic patio made of pavers works well to delineate your backyard entertaining space, many homeowners are upping the ante and creating outdoor living spaces that are practically additions to their existing home. These spaces are essentially open-air living rooms, complete with a beautiful floor and a roof to keep out the elements. The sky’s the limit with this type of entertaining area; you can include ceiling fans to cool things down, an outdoor kitchen, or even some type of fire element.

Including a Fire Element

Speaking of fire, installing a fireplace or a fire pit is one of the hottest (no pun intended) trends for outdoor living spaces. Fireplaces bring a traditional, homey vibe to any living area. Fire pits, however, are a bit more flexible in terms of seating, as you can place chairs and benches all around them. There’s nothing like a backyard fire on a dark summer night, and this will be particularly enjoyable for your family to gather around with mugs of hot chocolate as the weather grows cold again. In a time when we’re constantly barraged by technology, a fire is a fantastic way to get everyone to turn off the screens and come together for talking, singing, and laughing long into the night.

Choosing Heavy, Comfortable Furniture

Remember those folding chairs from the days of yore — the ones that would leave horizontal marks across the backs of your legs if you were wearing shorts? Furniture like that is a thing of the past in today’s outdoor living spaces. With the current trend of bringing the living room outdoors, modern patio furniture is big, deep, heavy, and worthy of reclining in as you take a well-deserved nap. From outdoor couches to lounge chairs with comfortable ottomans, the furniture you’ll find on today’s outdoor patios is comfortable and spacious.

Picking a Palette with Coastal Colors

Whether you go navy blue and white or choose hues that involve Mediterranean-inspired turquoise colors, you can’t go wrong if you decorate your outdoor living space with coastal colors. Even if you live hours away from the nearest beach, this is a fantastic way to turn your backyard into a staycation getaway. Choose blues and turquoise greens for your cushions, as well as for large, comfy throw pillows that can be used throughout the entire space.

Mixing and Matching Your Outdoor Living Spaces

Uncomfortable folding chairs aren’t the only types of patio furniture that have fallen to the wayside. Matchy-matchy furniture is also on its way out. Many newly-designed outdoor living spaces these days have tables and chairs that are complementary, but are far from being a matching set. You may find a solid teak table paired with more relaxed wicker chairs, for example. Going mix-and-match and eclectic is perfectly fine, as long as it’s usable and comfortable!

While we’re seeing these trends all over this summer, the design you choose for your outdoor living space will depend on your budget, as well as your family’s lifestyle. As you plan out the space, talk to your contractor to get inspiration and ideas. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying a meal al fresco in your brand new outdoor entertaining area.

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