Shop Wayfair's 2021 Outdoor Living Trend Report for Your Most Stylish Patio Ever
When it comes to decorating our homes, Southerners believe that first impressions always begin outside the front door. We can style a party-worthy porch in a pinch and pull off killer curb appeal just as well as any old home on the local garden tour. But for many, 2020 kicked things into high gear. Our outdoor spaces, once perhaps only used for looks and leisure, suddenly became multifunctional. They've doubled as offices and classrooms, workout spots and all-around sanity savers.
And along with the increased use came an even bigger emphasis on creating a stylish yet practical haven for all your alfresco activities. This year, the experts at Wayfair Professional have identified six decorating trends set to take over our outdoor spaces this summer, based on search data from millions of customers. Here's what shoppers are currently loving—and what to buy to up your own outdoor game right now.
The Trend: Monochrome Metals
Metal outdoor furniture can sometimes get a bad rep: It often conjures up images of stiff, rust-prone hunks of iron you wouldn't enjoy sitting in for more than a minute. But today's iterations aren't the heavy metals of yesterday. Taking inspiration from midcentury lawn chairs, contemporary styles are sleek, lightweight, and slapped with a powder-coated finish that enhances both durability and aesthetics. According to Wayfair, look to minimalist profiles in vibrant shades to steal to the show—and don't be afraid to go a little matchy-matchy. "Play up a single head-turning hue for a cohesive setup," says Wayfair Professional Interior Designer Olivia Giacobbe.
Buy it: Roberta Outdoor Rocking Chair, $170; wayfair.com
The Trend: Outdoor Kitchens
When you can't dine out, the next best thing is dining outside in your own backyard. And this year, shoppers are fully embracing their patio's café-like potential. According to Wayfair, searches for outdoor kitchen islands have more than doubled in the past year. Meanwhile, furniture and accessories that support the restaurant vibes, like bar-height tables and stools, are also gaining serious traction. Throw in a pizza oven and you might never have to leave your house again.
Buy it: Enloe Wicker Patio Bar Stool, $310 for two; wayfair.com
The Trend: Natural Wonders
While rattan and wicker continue to be a staple of indoor décor, natural materials appear to be getting hotter on the outside, too. According to Wayfair, shoppers have shown increasing interest in things like all-weather wicker and teak patio furniture (searches are up 59 percent and 65 percent, respectively). The mix-and-match approach (think stone with sisal with wood) is particularly timely, as are nature-inspired hues like warm beige, terracotta, and deep jade.
Buy it: Hailsham Wooden Coffee Table, $185; wayfair.com
The Trend: Inside Out
Gone are the days when our outdoor spaces were expected to be a step down from our indoor comforts. As we spend more time in yards and patios, things like couches (searches are up 84 percent, says Wayfair) clad with soft cushions and plenty of pillows are becoming staples of our outdoor décor. Lamps, rugs, and even artwork can complete the transition from cold, drab patio to cozy outdoor living room.
Buy It: Crichton Outdoor Pillow, $55 for two; wayfair.com
The Trend: Garden Escapes
Chances are you've spent a good portion of the past year whiling away the days with your hands in the dirt (according to Wayfair, searches for things like greenhouses and raised garden beds have skyrocketed). Now, it's time to create a pretty little nook where you can enjoy the fruits (or veggies) of your labor. When picking furniture, look to neutral shades and natural materials like teak and wicker. Add romantic touches with things like string lights, lanterns, and (of course) fresh-cut flowers.
Buy it: Solar Powered Outdoor Lanterns, $38 for six; wayfair.com
The Trend: Bright Colors for Small Spaces
Looking to decorate a balcony or pint-sized patio? According to Wayfair, it's time to start thinking bold. "Saturated hues lend lots of energy to even the tiniest patios," says Wayfair Professional Interior Designer Billie Gage. The trick is to stick with pieces that are more compact, with thin silhouettes that won't overwhelm a small space (or opt for a single statement piece, like an accent chair, in an electric hue). If colorful furniture seems a tad too daring, go wild with accessories, from throw pillows to planters.
Buy it: Blue Indira Outdoor Patio Chair, $198 for two; wayfair.com