Home Design Trends: Then and Now, Inside and Out

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Living Styles That Grow On You

In the 1990's the new hot trend in home design was "Bringing the Outside, In".  Designers created boldly themed outdoor inspired rooms with natural color palettes of grays, greens and browns. Typical outdoor elements of wood, wrought iron and cut stone brought in texture and provided visual interest.  Brick walls and cobblestone pavers, used in kitchens nationwide, are a timeless look that wears well while looking great. Miniature indoor gardens popped up and large palm and ficus trees dominated once empty corners. This style was, and still is, a great way to beat the long cold days and nights of winter and continues to be a popular décor choice.

Turn It Inside Out

These days, more and more folks are taking this a step further by "Bringing the Inside, Out". Why? By bringing indoor elements to outdoor spaces you're not only choosing a new décorand lifestyle, you're adding livable square footage and value to your home. And outdoor living spaces are easy to create in just about any sized yard. Savvy homeowners are now expanding kitchens and family rooms right out the back door. Think of it as putting on a home addition, just forgoing the roof.  

West coasters have been doing this for years, taking advantage of moderate temperatures year round. But with today's outdoor fireplaces, outdoor zone heating, ceiling fans and water features, east coasters can now enjoy fresh air activities well past what was once thought to be typical outdoor entertaining times.

Follow Trends, But Don't Get Trendy

When planning an outdoor living space, take advantage of the many resources dedicated to creating your perfect space.

However, be cautious! While it's important to investigate new ideas and styles, don't get caught up in products or features that you just won't use or that clash with your existing home's characteristics. Love that lily pond you saw in the catalog but know nothing about aquatic plant life? Skip it, and opt for a fire pit or vertical herb garden instead. If you don't know what architecture style your home falls under, let that be your first step.  Dutch Colonial, Arts and Crafts, Victorian and Art Décor are just a few and each has their own distinct traits and common features. While some opposing styles look great juxtaposed with others, not all work well. In other words, adding a colorful patio made from cobblestone pavers to a neoclassical home with broad columns may look misplaced and disjointed.

Look Around, Then Ask the Experts

As with any moderate to large investment, it's always wise to first consult with a professional. While your friends and family will be sure to have their opinions and suggestions, let the pros guide you. Not only do they know all of the new features available, they know how to overcome land that slopes the wrong way, yards that don't drain properly and how to work around trees that can't be moved.  

Most importantly, they know the success stories. What trends, designs, and features past customers liked most after they were installed and lived in. Really consider your outdoor living this year and develop gardens and landscapes that will bring the mood of your living room to your back yard.