Ideas + Advice


15 Outdoor Living Trends to Try in 2020

Here’s what’s trending in outdoor decor – with the numbers to back it up. All trends are sourced from Google Trends search data. Check out the results below and what our designers have to say about them!

1. Coastal

By: Jessica Harris, Living Spaces Designer

Google Trends data shows a 22% rise in interest of the Coastal style over the past six months.

“Coastal style is being embraced almost from a nostalgic point of view. Many people have positive associations with the beach, whether it’s a memory of a summer vacation from childhood or simply the beauty that is the ocean. It’s easy to see why homes, including outdoor spaces, are attempting to recreate the images, colors and overall mood that the Coast can bring."

Get the look: “No matter if your style leans more nautical or tropical, you can’t go wrong with chunky sailor’s stripes!”

2. Boho

By: Jessica Harris, Living Spaces Designer

“Boho has been in for the past few years, but we’re now just starting to see a shift toward boho in outdoor spaces. As outdoor spaces themselves are starting to become more popular, and as homemakers start to ‘relax’ a bit and experiment more freely with their decor, the outdoor boho trend makes sense.” 

Get the look: “Patterned throw pillows (botanical and tribal print) are the easiest way to bring the style – and your outdoors – to life.”

According to the Google report, Boho is on one of the steepest rises for 2020, seeing a 76% increase in popularity from the past six months.

3. Green (Sage, Emerald, Mint)

By: Jessica Harris, Living Spaces Designer

Google Trends report for Sage, Mint and Emerald show a 41%, 24% and 67% popularity increase over the past six months, respectively.

“Green is contagious. It’s the color of nature; as we consciously move toward healthier living, green speaks volumes about the energy we choose to surround ourselves with.”

Get the look: “Incorporate sage, emerald and other trendy greens through fixtures like furniture framework, a painted accent wall or even a painted planter!”

4. Bringing the Indoors Out

By: Shelby Greene, Living Spaces Designer

“Bringing the indoors out is a product of our times. The need for ‘settling in’ – when we can’t travel – means curating an outdoor space that’s comfortable.” 

Get the look: “Think of your backyard as you would your indoor space, starting with a floor plan. Arrange groups of seating, focal points, serving stations and walkways for a trendy feel.”

Outdoor bars saw a 192% increase in searches over the past six months. Outdoor kitchens saw a 106% increase over the past six months – and 5% over the year as a whole.

5. Small Space Outdoor Furniture

By: Gabrielle Bocanegra, Living Spaces Designer

People are searching like crazy for ‘outdoor small space furniture.’ According to Google Trends, it’s on the rise by 243% over the past six months.

“Years ago, the average homeowner would have overlooked a small space patio or backyard. Now, people are doing double-takes. Thanks to shared ideas on the web and the popularity of articles (like this one), I’ve definitely noticed decorators get more and more creative with the spaces they have.”

Get the look: “Think round. Round tables, round stools . . . curves soften and open up a space, as opposed to harsh lines and enclosing angles.”

6. Patio Daybeds

By: Brynna Evans, Living Spaces Designer

“Patio daybeds completely fit in with the ‘indoors out’ theme of 2020, so it’s no wonder they’re on the rise!”

Get the look: “As the name suggests, position a patio daybed on a patio. Simplicity is key here, to create a calm outdoor space, so no need for a large coffee table; an end table or small pouf works just fine!”

Year over year, patio daybeds have an increase of 57%. From the past six months, it’s a whopping 257%.

7. Creative Outdoor Seating

By: Shelby Greene, Living Spaces Designer

From Google Trends: Adirondack Chairs are up 303% from six months; Hammocks 216% from six months and 25% from one year; and Egg Chairs 189% from six months and 43% from one year.

“As we adapt to a new way of life that encourages social distancing, outdoor spaces will be the preferred setting for family gatherings. As such, the rise in outdoor seating trends couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Get the look: "Egg chairs are cozy, and they also happen to be sleek (or, perhaps, it’s the other way around)! Either way, they’re trending in 2020.”

8. Modular Design

By: Brynna Evans, Living Spaces Designer

“Fixed spaces are a thing of the past. With modular designs now available for outdoor living, customizing and rearranging as your hosting/lounging needs change is easier than ever.”

Get the look: “Don’t think of a three-piece sectional as a three-piece sectional. Think of it as a couple of loveseats and an end chair, and arrange the pieces across your deck for spread-out seating.”

Google Trends shows a 6% increase of Modular furniture searches over the past six months.

9. Bright Colors (Coral, Lemon)

By: Brynna Evans, Living Spaces Designer

According to Google Trends, lemon yellow searches are up by 103% over the past six months; coral, by 50%.

“In with bright colors, out with boring neutrals! Spending more time in our homes and backyards means embracing more of our style personalities and learning to seize the present moment. What better way to do that than with splashes of fun, playful, energizing color?”

Get the look: “Neon furniture sizzles!”

10. Outdoor Woven Materials (Rattan, Wicker)

By: Brynna Evans, Living Spaces Designer

“Woven materials add texture, and when dressed up with decorative pillows, contrast. They’re easy and affordable. Given the attention people are starting to give to their outdoor spaces, it makes sense they’re on the rise!”

Get the look: “Woven chairs and seating are common right now – but don’t forget to also look below! An outdoor jute rug is one of the freshest and most exciting decorative pieces in line with today’s trends!”

From Google Trends: Interest in wicker is up 75% from six months; rattan, 63%.

11. Outdoor Tiles

By: Cha'queza Telp, Living Spaces Designer

People are searching for Outdoor tiles more than ever. Over the past six months, interest has risen 174%; 12% over one year.

“Outdoor tiles are just another example of how consumers are choosing to ‘bring the indoors out,’ to rethink and take a hold of their outdoor spaces. Tiles are also incredibly coastal-chic!”

Get the look: “2020 is all about making statements with color. Outdoor tiling is a great excuse to experiment with this.”

12. Edible Gardens

By: Shelby Greene, Living Spaces Designer

“With so much time spent at home, a lot of us have picked up a new hobby or two, and planting edible gardens is among the most popular. Edible gardens are trending for reasons of sustainability and health; the food is all-organic and you know exactly where it’s coming from.”

Get the look: “Forget, for a moment, the ‘trendiest’ color or style of furniture; sustainability is the ‘it’ look of 2020. Plant it before anything else!”

Edible garden searches are up 83% from six months; 30% from one year.

13. Blue (Aqua, Teal, Indigo, Turquoise, Navy)

By: Jessica Harris, Living Spaces Designer

From Google Trends: Navy blue is up 29% from six months, turquoise 32%, indigo 26%, teal 25% and aqua 39%.

“Blue is trending in outdoor spaces for the same reason Coastal is: it’s reminiscent of summer, and particularly the ocean.”

Get the look: “Via blue seat cushions to match with a blue outdoor rug. Bonus points if you can create a blue-and-white color scheme, mimicking a coastal Mediterranean-chic.”

14. Planters + Planter Wall

By: Brynna Evans, Living Spaces Designer

“As gardening becomes more and more popular, even those of us without lawns are finding ways to participate in the gardening trend – through planters.”

Get the look: “If you’re trying to save space, think vertical. Stack planters along shelves or window ledges. Hanging planters (with ropes) is also popular right now, as well!”

Planters are trending up 172% from six months and 27% from one year. Planter walls are trending 156% from six months and 34% from one year. 

15. Fire Pits

By: Jessica Harris, Living Spaces Designer

The numbers are on fire: Searches for fire pits are up 148% from six months and 19% from one year.  

“With so many of us spending more time at home, fire pits are becoming more popular than ever. As summer comes upon us, people are naturally drifting toward outdoor spaces. Slowing down, enjoying conversation and life’s moments are a few of the life lessons we’ve all had to learn over the past few months; in this way, fire pits are more than décor – they represent spending time with the ones we love.”

Get the look:
“An industrial fire pit with metal framework keeps things sleek and on-trend, especially when paired with matching metal chairs.”

Timeless Tips That Work Every Year

Most backyards have the room to extend your home's living space with a deck, patio, gazebo and/or outdoor cooking area. Not only do such spaces help you grow your square footage, but they add value to your home and allow you and your family to enjoy the fresh air and nature. How do you accomplish this and make your added outdoor space family-friendly? We have a few ideas.

1. Choose the Right Outdoor Furniture for Your Home's Architectural Style.

Matching your outdoor furniture to the architectural style of your home is essential to creating a beautiful, harmonious backyard living space. For instance, if you live in a Tudor-style home, you'll want to use heavy wood or wicker patio furniture. If you live in a colonial home, you'll want wood furniture or metal furniture with classic lines. And, if your home is modern, you can add to your exterior appeal with bright colored cushions and resin, metal or rope furniture with sleek, modern lines.

2. Lighten the Mood.

Outdoor lamps, lanterns and other lighting do more than help you see at night – they give your backyard a warm and inviting appeal. For a touch of outdoor elegance, place a couple table lamps with colorful shades on an outdoor dining table or bar; or, hang a set of outdoor string or tea lights in an especially darkened area for a pop of dazzling sparkle – and to up the romantic ambiance.

3. Create a Living Space That Will Work for All Seasons.

The more often you can use your outdoor living space, the more cost-effective it will be. If you live in a part of the country where the weather is chilly in the spring and fall, consider a fire pit or free-standing heaters to extend your outdoor season. If you live in an area where the summers are scorching, consider a retractable awning or umbrella to provide shade, or a small wading pool or other water feature.

4. Lay Down an Area Rug (or Two).

Large rugs help to define a living space and make your outdoor living area look like it has "rooms." Today's outdoor area rugs don't have to be taken in and out; they are designed so that moisture runs right through them and so that colors stay true for years. Transforming your outdoor living space into a welcoming and useful family oasis doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. Simply add a focal point, like a gazebo or pergola; make sure that your patio furniture complements your home's architectural style and add some sort of outdoor kitchen/bar area to make your outdoor living space more enjoyable for your family and friends year round.

5. Add an Outdoor Bar Cart.

Being able to entertain outdoors is one of the joys of the summer season. Not only does it keep your kitchen from getting hot and messy, food served outdoors just has a certain casual (and delicious) appeal. You don't have to spend a fortune to add an outdoor eating and cooking area. Setting up a bar cart next to your grill can help make your space more appealing.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.