A noticeable trend over the past few years has been the expansion of the indoor area to the outdoor; these days most things you have indoors you can also have out. As outdoor patios and decks are expanded, heating and lighting are added which then extends the outdoor season. Once you have protection from rain, wind and the cold it adds a whole new element to your outdoor environment. BBQs can be used during winter, outdoor projectors set up and movies watched during a cool winters night from a spa pool, teenagers can sit outside with their friends and not take up the lounge in the evening.
It is a global trend that has seen homeowners look to make better use of their outdoor spaces by starting to invest more time and money into creating outdoor entertainment areas. Some of the main new additions to outdoor spaces have been fire pits, outdoor speakers and outdoor LED lighting. Fire pits of course not only provide a functional use in the warmth and light they give off but create a great focal point to gather around for social occasions.
Outdoor fire pit (from HomeDIT)
Waterproof speakers and wireless connectivity allows homeowners to install speakers strategically around their outdoor space for ease of music listening.
Outdoor speakers from Bose
With advancements in LED light technology bringing down the cost to make LED lights much more affordable and so adding a new dimension to outdoor lighting - strip lights which can be added underneath stairs or deck railing; eco-friendly uplights to highlight plants and trees; or decorative lights which are multicoloured, wireless and rechargeable.
LED light cubes from Larala Lights
This trend is evident in New Zealand as most newly built homes now incorporate an indoor/outdoor flow and new decks are built to be an extension of the living room. We love our summer and our BBQs so it makes sense to invest in creating a comfortable outdoor area that one can use during the winter months. Nothing beats coming home from a hard days work and having a drink in a spectacular outdoor space.