Top 5 Outdoor Living Features for 2011
Custom Home Ideas include five ways to make your outdoor space more enjoyable
Here are the top 5 most popular outdoor living features for 2011, as surveyed by the American Society of Landscape Architects:
1. Exterior lighting
Both practical and pleasing to the eye, exterior lighting can highlight the unique features of a home's exterior, while increasing safety in traffic and activity areas.
Some examples of exterior lighting include:
Wall lighting: extra lights mounted near doorways or along stairs and walkways
Landscape lighting: in gardens, along decks, and throughout the yard
Cut Outdoor Lighting Costs by Thinking Ahead
Low Cost Electrical Additions during construction makes outdoor lighting much less costly later.
Add outdoor outlets in strategic locations.
Add underground conduit and sleeves - where and how you should plan.
2. Fireplaces and Fire Pits
Use your outdoor living space throughout the year.
In the fall and winter, use your fireplace or fire pit to keep warm and cozy with roasted marshmallows and hot cider.
In the spring and summer, enjoy cookouts and picnics, with a warm glow as the sun goes down.
3. Seating and Dining Areas
Seating and dining areas can be built in structures of stone or brick, or they can be puchased after construction as sets.
Seating and dining sets can be a beautiful and useful addition to a deck, screen porch, or landscaped area.
Don't need an entire seating or dining area? A simple grill might be right for you.
Whether built-in or placed on a backyard deck, screen porch, or patio, having a way to cook outdoors can allow you to spend more time in the fresh air with friends and family.
5. Installed Seating
Installed seating can include benches, seat walls, ledges, steps, and boulders, among others.
Installed seating is ideal for a casual hang out area of conversation and drinks, and they can be smoothly integrated into your home's structure. Need a retaining wall for your lot? Consider installing a stone wall topped with a flat seating area.
According to American Society of Landscape Architects, here are the Outdoor Living Feature popularity ratings in 2011:
Lighting – 96.2%
Fire pits/fireplace – 94.2%
Seating/dining areas – 94.1%
Grills – 93.8%
Installed seating – 89.5%
(Percent rating somewhat or very popular for 2011)
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