The trend toward expanding outdoor spaces to embrace entertaining and relaxation continues unabated, according to area experts. “More people are spending time at home instead of going on vacation,” says Jay Tucker of Swim World Pools. “Our customers want to create a total backyard experience complete with pools, spas, fire pits, outdoor kitchens, arbors, and more,” he reports.
Outdoor Classic Structures’ Ernie Reynolds says his clients hope to bring their favorite indoor activities—cooking, dining, enjoying electronic media, and conversation—to the outside. “Our customers are well educated and have high expectations of their design/build investments than ever before in my more than 30 years in the industry,” he says.
“The trend is toward a more relaxed inviting outdoor sitting area,” says Mike Berkley with GroWild, Inc. “We are designing more areas with casual lines, natural stone, fire pits, and even moss as customers seek to embrace their natural surroundings.”
Josh Smith of Southbranch Nursery Co. reports that his customers are looking for ways to make their own backyard more enjoyable and useable. “Our customers expect to find unique items for enhancing their outdoor living space—firepits, furniture, fountains, and statuary they may be unable to find elsewhere. They want to personalize their space and in the past few years they have become more aware of quality in making their selections.”
According to Zach with Embers Grills & Fireplaces Store, his customers also see the value of quality. “As people are choosing to vacation at home and invest money in their homes with the view of remaining in them for longer periods of time, they see the value of spending the money to buy quality items. And while stacked stone is still very popular in outdoor kitchens, granite and quartz surrounds can really dress up the look.”
Karen Merritt of Silver Stone Designs agrees that granite incorporated into outdoor fireplaces and sitting areas can add a special touch of luxury homeowners are seeking. “They want a gracious outdoor fireplace to extend their outdoor living space,” she says.
Customers at Lynn’s Patio & Casual Furniture continue to favor neutral earth tones, according to Doug Franklin. “They prefer solids for the large cushions on their outdoor furnishings, choosing to add color splashes with the throw pillows,” he says. “Wicker continues to grow in popularity, and wrought iron has come a long way from the diamond mesh - to the micro-mesh. Domestic wrought iron is now lower in price than Chinese cast aluminum, and we’ve been been happy to see that. We like to offer lines made in the United States, such as Meadowcraft.” Franklin also reports that firepits remain very popular with the store’s customers.
“Most of my customers want to use more unique fabrics and repurposed items for their outdoor havens,” says Brannon White of Revival Home Inspirations. “I do a lot of outdoor draperies and offer a unique line of outdoor fabrics. Customers want their outdoor spaces to be an extension of their indoor spaces with a seamless transition.”
Helping to ease that transition is Mosquito Squad, which provides outdoor pest control to make outdoor living more enjoyable. Undercover Systems of Tennessee provides under-deck ceilings that provide shaded, dry living space under decks suitable for screen porch conversions.
There are a number of sources in the Greater Nashville area for outdoor living products including:
Outdoor Classic Structures
Revival Home Inspirations
Silver Stone Designs
Swim World Pools
Undercover Systems of TN