In our prior blog, we talked about 3 of the hottest trends in Northern California outdoor living. During my years as an interior designer, I come across so many exciting ideas that I decided to make a part 2 to share them with you. Here are 3 more of the hottest outdoor living trends under the California sun!
1. Outdoor Living Rooms
It’s called the living room because we spend a lot of time there, enjoying movies and tv shows, welcoming friends and family, and spending time with pets, so why not continue this tradition in an outdoor living room? With advances in UV-resistant fabrics and materials, nearly any indoor living room-quality piece can become the pride of your outdoor living space. Brands like Sunbrella and Perennials solution-dyed acrylic fabrics can be cleaned easily with a diluted bleach solution and water, and won’t fade in the hot California sun.
Another on-trend favorite is the outdoor fireplace in your living area, where the family can gather when a little ocean breeze brings a chill. You could also surprise guests with an outdoor movie screen – a rising trend both in Northern and Southern California cities that’s sure to be a hit with millenials.
2. Outdoor Baths and Showers
Who hasn’t dreamed of taking a long bath surrounded by a gorgeous garden view, just you and nature? Or if space is at a premium, an urban shower! Outdoor bathing is the height of luxury, and it’s considered not only polite, but also important to maintaining a sanitary environment, to rinse off before using a shared hot tub, pool or sauna.
If you don’t have room for an outdoor bath or shower, consider a splash pad. Similar to what you might have seen in a municipal park or theme park, splash pads are making their way to private residences. Jets of water shoot up from the ground in different directions, controlled by a computerized system that can make the water dance. They’re not exactly a common feature, but definitely an indicator that homeowners are serious about fun, and kids love them! And you might just start a new trend in your neighborhood!
3. Outdoor Bars and Game Rooms
The gentleman’s escape aka the home bar isn’t relegated to the basement these days. A home bar is perfect for entertaining business associates, welcoming the neighborhood association, or for a home-made refresher after visiting the community swim and tennis club, so bringing it into the outdoors just makes sense during warm summer months.
I know of one Menlo Park couple who built a tiki bar in their backyard, with an airplane wing forming part of the roof, in honor of his father, who served in the South Pacific. The back wall is augmented by a huge flatscreen TV that alternates between ocean views and mermaids swimming in a human-scale aquarium. Their backyard bar is so popular with friends that they started hosting a regular tiki night, bringing aficionados from all over the Peninsula!
Your bar doesn’t have to be that authentic, just make sure you have comfortable seating, a counter to lean on, a sink to clean up, and plenty of storage for all those cocktails and mocktails. You’ll also want to properly organize and display your vintage or ultra-modern barware accessories.
No longer just a lad’s lair, now the game room is also moving outdoors, to complement traditional lawn games like croquet, bocce, horseshoes, or massively scaled chessboards. Your modern game room could include a billiard table under a sunshade with twinkling fairy lights, or a space for tabletop games, in addition to that comfortable bar to serve your mates.
Now that you’ve seen them all, which outdoor room is your fave? Could you see yourself enjoying your new outdoor space by next summer?
Kimball Starr designs outdoor spaces for small or large families and couples in the Northern California and Lake Tahoe area. Request a personal consultation today!