From shag carpeting to popcorn ceilings, trends in home design come and go – but the popularity of outdoor living shows no signs of slowing down. The past decade has seen unprecedented growth in the outdoor living industry, which is expected to reach its highest level yet in 2019*. What’s driving this rapid rise? Innovative, low-maintenance outdoor living products, coupled with an amplified desire to relax and disconnect from today’s increasingly digital world.
“Whether it’s scrolling on a smart phone or working in an office, the average American spends approximately 10 hours per day in front of a screen – a number that continues to grow each year**,” said Leslie Adkins, vice president of marketing for Trex Company. “Outdoor living spaces offer a chance to decompress, enjoy nature and connect with friends and family. Thanks to the impressive design and quality of today’s outdoor products, these spaces often rival the convenience, comfort and design of the indoors.”
As the heart of the home shifts outdoors, Trex, the #1 name in higher performance, low-maintenance decking and railing, has gleaned insights from contractors, homeowners and industry experts to compile its annual outdoor living forecast. Following are some of the top trends that will be dominating the outdoor living landscape in 2019:
As younger, eco-conscious homeowners purchase and renovate homes, there is a growing interest in sustainable alternatives to wood products, which contribute to deforestation and can leave a heavy carbon footprint. Trex composite decking offers an appealing option that outperforms wood, with greater durability, less ongoing maintenance, and fewer harmful environmental impacts.
“Being environmentally friendly is in the DNA of Trex decking, which is made from 95 percent recycled and reclaimed materials,” explained Adkins. “Trex diverts more than 250 million pounds of plastic film, bags and wrap from landfills each year, giving it a second life in a product that will endure for more than 25 years.”
Beyond decking, composite materials also can be found in today’s hottest outdoor furnishings. Manufactured from recycled milk jugs and other polyethylene plastics, these high-performance, on-trend designs offer appealing and environmentally responsible options that resonate with today’s eco-minded consumers.
Down with Upkeep
Leisure time for many Americans is a luxury. This reality will continue to drive demand for low-maintenance materials in 2019 – especially outdoors. In fact, analysts predict that wood alternatives, particularly composites, will experience above-average annual gains in demand through 2020* – and for good reason.
Unlike wood, Trex high-performance composites resist fading, staining, scratching and mold – and won’t rot, warp, crack or splinter. No sanding, staining or painting is required, and food and drink spills wash off easily with just soap and water.
“Who wants an outdoor space that they have to spend more time maintaining than enjoying?” asked Adkins. “Trex low-maintenance composite deck boards deliver all the beauty and aesthetics of wood but without the back-breaking and time-consuming upkeep.”
Cozy and Clean
As homeowners spend more time enjoying their outdoor living spaces, comfort is key. From plush cushions and throws to warming features and cozy pergolas, today’s outdoor living spaces are designed to evoke serenity and peace.
For homes with elevated decks, the space underneath can offer the ultimate comfy haven. In fact, decking contractors have reported an increase in requests for drainage systems, like Trex® RainEscape®, which can be installed on any deck to divert moisture and create dry space beneath the deck suitable for furnishings, lighting, ceiling fans, entertainment components and more.
However, trend experts are quick to point out that “cozy” doesn’t equal “clutter.” Clean, minimalist looks are growing in popularity, as homeowners emphasize quality over quantity. In outdoor living spaces, this trend is manifesting in sleek lines, simple styles and a preference for durable, long-lasting products.
“Homeowners are increasingly thinking long-term when it comes to creating and accessorizing their outdoor living spaces, selecting high-performance materials with warranties that ensure decades of use,” noted Adkins.
On decks, this minimalist trend can be immediately seen in the growing popularity of streamlined, aluminum railings such as Trex Signature® railing, which offers both long-lasting durability and a modern aesthetic. Outdoor cabinetry from Trex® Outdoor Kitchens™, with its built-in trash bins and ice chests, color-coordinated to integrate seamlessly into a deck design, is another must-have for 2019. A place for everything and everything in its place.
Armed with information gleaned from TV shows, YouTube videos and other online resources, more Americans than ever are feeling confident about building their own outdoor living spaces. Lighter weight deck boards such as Trex Enhance® as well as innovative, easy-to-install railing panels, have made creating a dream deck on your own easier than ever.
“Nothing beats the satisfaction of building something yourself,” said Adkins. “If you are comfortable using a hammer, a power saw and a drill, you can build your own deck. Or, if you have a deck but it is showing signs of wear, you may be able to easily resurface it with high-performance composite boards over the course of a weekend, so long as the substructure is intact.”
For those ready to take the plunge, expert help is never more than a click away. Online installation guides, step-by-step instructional videos and detailed plans are readily available to take you from inspiration to project completion.
To view examples of outdoor living settings showcasing this year’s top trends, visit the Trex Inspiration Gallery at www.trex.com/inspiration/gallery. For more information about high-performance, low-maintenance Trex products, go to www.trex.com.