(BPT) - With the new year just around the corner, you may be thinking ahead about home improvements you want to make in the coming year. Especially if you'd like to maximize your outdoor space, planning ahead is crucial. Imagining exactly how you want to use the area outside your home can help you make decisions for expanding your living space beyond its four walls - comfortably and beautifully.
To start your planning process, these 2024 design trends may influence your decision-making, along with tips and tools to help turn your outdoor living dreams into reality.
1. Unique usage of space
Due to higher interest rates and other factors, today's homeowners are staying in their homes longer. As a result, homeowners are getting more creative around using their existing outdoor spaces, and are heavily investing in this part of their property. Instead of just an outdoor barbecue area where friends and family can hang out, outdoor spaces are fulfilling functions traditionally seen only indoors.
Beyond building entire outdoor kitchens, homeowners are creating outdoor office areas for remote work in the fresh air, studios for creative endeavors and areas suitable for meditation, yoga or other forms of exercise. The sky is the limit when it comes to your outdoor space. How about a gaming area or a movie theater? Imagine how you most want to spend your time outdoors, then see how you can make it happen.
2. A backyard retreat
Another result of today's economic climate is that multigenerational homes are becoming more popular. And with more family members sharing a home, many may be seeking ways to create more private spaces for family to enjoy a little "me time."
Outdoor spaces present a huge opportunity to create more breathing room and expand beyond the four walls of your home. Separating parts of your outdoor area by adding screen panels or shade structures can help invite solitude for individuals needing a little escape. You can even find ways to mask intrusive noise such as a water feature or wind chimes, which can make a world of difference for developing a peaceful outdoor oasis.
3. Eco-friendly attitudes
Although this is not a new trend, 2024 will see further expansion of environmentally friendly projects like pollinator gardens, stormwater captures, native planting, zero-scaping and using permeable pavers in outdoor spaces.
For example, Belgard's permeable pavers, also known as permeable interlocking concrete pavements (PICP), are installed with layers of varying-sized stone or aggregate underneath that filter and direct stormwater to underground aquifers, mimicking the way natural land absorbs water. With permeable concrete pavers and permeable grass pavers, any rain falling on your patio, walkway or driveway seeps back into the ground, reducing the burden on storm drains.
The primary goal for all these approaches is to develop a more eco-friendly outdoor space requiring fewer resources - making it easier and more natural to maintain.
4. Natural tones and materials
The emphasis on the environment and incorporating nature into your outdoor space also inspires design choices based on colors found in nature, and materials with the look and feel of organic elements.
Staying within this aesthetic, you can find hardscaping options ranging from retaining wall systems, outdoor kitchens, fire pits and pavers for patios, walkways and driveways from Belgard offering a color palette ranging from neutrals to cool and warm tones - but always appearing natural and pleasing to the eye.
5. Gardens galore
One of the biggest shifts across the country is a renewed interest in gardening and growing your own food. From those who want to live more healthful, balanced lives to foodies who seek to use the freshest produce in their culinary creations, gardening is the answer - and a fun, easy way to spend time outside. This trend also brings generations together, from those who've been gardening for decades to enthusiastic new gardeners of Gen Z.
Another great thing about gardening is that you don't need much square footage to get started. Container gardens, raised beds and vertical gardening are all ways to explore growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs.
Ready to get inspired? Learn about all the possibilities for your outdoor space at Belgard.com.
For additional help envisioning your outdoor space, Belgard Rooms Planner gives contractors and homeowners a templated outdoor design plan that can be further customized to meet every homeowner's needs. Even better, Belgard Rooms provides an augmented reality (AR) feature, letting you select AR plans and drop them into your outdoor space to view, walk through and scale templated outdoor rooms, bringing them to life in your own backyard. AR Rooms makes it easy for you to test a variety of rooms, features and styles in your outdoor space, also making it easier to communicate your vision with your contractor. Currently, 38 AR Rooms can be viewed on any device that will help you design your dream space in 2024.