Design to make Visual

Summer outdoor trends for your home

Here are a few ways to warm up to a fresh design

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The warm weather is coming! The warm weather is coming! After months of chilly temperatures, Canadians are once again looking forward to using backyards and balconies as outdoor living spaces.

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But as we clean off last year’s patio furniture and bring decorative items out of storage, we may feel like the old standbys need some updates. That’s where 2023’s outdoor living trends come in. While many designers recommend your space retain a timeless feel to maximize versatility and budget, a judicious sprinkling of up-to-date elements can keep things fresh.

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Here’s a quick look at some of the trends making waves this spring and summer:

1. Spaces that nurture. “This summer’s outdoor looks are all about feeling calm, soothed and uplifted — in style,” says Lydia Thammavong, the head of design, styles and trends at home improvement retailer RONA.

This year the company has defined three themes for its products that fit the bill. Tranquil Moments blends boho chic, seaside architecture and Japandi style — think wicker furniture and decorative stitching. Primitive Ties celebrates craftsmanship and ethnic accents, with elements like earth tones and dark floral motifs. Urban Roots, meanwhile, salutes modern and industrial Scandinavian styles with retro influences.

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2. Conscious choices. Living areas aren’t just meant to look pretty — they also need to incorporate the needs of its residents and accommodate external realities. To wit, climate-resilient gardens will be popular as droughts become more widespread, says the Bob Villa website. It recommends working with a local arborist who can help you choose the best plants for your environment.

Sustainable furniture, too, is continuing to make inroads in the market. “The sustainable outdoor furniture industry is booming, with so many more choices like pieces made from bamboo, recycled plastic, rattan, and other eco-friendly materials,” the website says.

Finally, accessibility is top of mind for those who are aging or have mobility issues. “This looks like sturdy furniture that is easy to get in and out of and raised beds that don’t require bending over to tend,” says the website, which also suggests sturdy, wide pathways that can accommodate wheelchairs or support aids.

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3. More muted roofing. Don’t forget the exterior of your home — if you’re in the market for new shingles, consider a grey-beige shade such as Morning Mist from BP Canada. Although black is currently the top-selling shingle colour at the roofing and building material company, grey shingles have become more popular in the last year — especially in Western Canada.

“Coming out of the pandemic, consumers tastes are changing as they look for finishes that exude a sense of cosy, calm and security,” says Nathalie Lambert, the company’s marketing director. “They want the best of both worlds — a balance of traditional and contemporary, soothing and invigorating, sober and bold, and a style that asserts individual personality at the same time.”


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