Up & Coming Weekly

May 16, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 12 of 24

12 UCW MAY 17 - 23, 2023 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Outdoor living spaces are popular upgrades a STAFF REPORT A recent survey of home renovation industry professionals conducted by Fixr.com found that creating outdoor living spaces was homeowners' biggest priority regarding renovations. e survey found that 62% of renovation-minded homeowners said outdoor dining areas are their most sought- after living space. Certain features were especially popular, none more so than comfortable outdoor furniture. Firepits, outdoor fireplaces, swimming pools, hot tubs, and outdoor connectivity were some addition- al popular features among homeowners. e role of nature in home design Outdoor living spaces were prioritized during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when public gatherings were greatly limited and individuals were urged to stay home as much as possible. Such demands have had a ripple effect on various indus- tries, including home design. According to a survey conducted by the New Home Trends Institute in collaboration with Pro Builder, 58% of the more than 300 residential archi- tects, designers and design-minded builders who participated, said connection to the outdoors/na- ture will be an important influence on their design choices in the years to come. About half of respon- dents indicated increased attention will be afforded to outdoor entertaining spaces. So, what might the outdoor spaces of homes built in the not-so-distant future look like? Respondents to the survey anticipated a growing demand for various built-in outdoor features, including firepits or fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, gazebos or pergolas, pools, and spas or hot tubs. ough trends and consumer demands are ever- shifting, architects and designers are anticipating that future homeowners will want more developed outdoor living spaces and greater access to nature, which is something current homeowners can keep in mind when renovating their properties. Turn a backyard into your own relaxing respite Backyards have long been places to unwind and enjoy some peace and quiet surrounded by nature. anks in part to financial instability brought on by rising inflation and measures to tame it, homeown- ers may decide to forgo traditional vacations in favor of staying home this summer. ere's no better time to invest in a home, par- ticularly outdoor spaces, to make them welcoming respites. e following are some ways to accomplish that goal. Incorporate a water feature e sound of trick- ling or bubbling water can make surroundings more serene. A low-maintenance water feature can help to create a calming ambiance. A fountain that does not require a collection pond will reduce the chance it becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Locating the fountain out of the sun can keep algae growth at a minimum. Add lights for ambiance Outdoor lighting options include profession- ally installed, hardwired lights on the home itself or accent lighting that draws attention to trees or architectural structures on the property. It also may include twinkling lights, which some consider a must-have for any outdoor retreat. Lights come in all types and price points. Hang them on porches, pergolas or cement posts inside decorative planters and then string lights between the posts. is way the lighting can be moved around as desired. Lounging spots A comfortable outdoor loveseat or chairs may be a focal point of the yard, but build in some additional cozy spots specifically for lounging around. Nestle a hammock in a quiet corner of the yard, or enhance a chaise lounge with throw pillows and a large um- brella for napping poolside. Add lushness with plants Plants can transform any space. Use a combi- nation of planted varieties around the yard, then enhance certain areas with potted plants as needed. Plants can make an area more warm and inviting, plus they give butterflies, bees and hummingbirds places to stop by and visit. Consider the help of a professional landscaper to bring a vision of a lush, plant-filled retreat to life. Blend in the pool or spa With some unique landscape architecture, the pool or hot tub can be built right into the land- scape, making it a cohesive part of the design. is can make the yard seem even more like an oasis, especially when the pool is flanked by a waterfall or bubbling fountain. Add some music anks to wireless speakers that rely on Bluetooth technology, it's easy to have music piped right into the backyard. Set up a wireless speaker in an in- conspicuous spot, such as inside a planter or in the rafters of a gazebo. Turning a backyard into an oasis can provide the respite many people look for on their properties. COVER 2023 05 31 23

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