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Top 2023 Outdoor Living Trends

Backyard bushy garden with pathway



With the pandemic now a thing of yesteryear (literally), you might want to consider investing in these backyard trends this summer.


In the last couple of years, we all spent more time at home than we wanted to.


But we also reconnected with every space of the house. The backyard especially became an oasis we escaped to, entertained in, relaxed in, or used to enjoy nature.


In 2023, there are tons of trendy options you can use to redo your outdoors. We will talk about some top ones to save you thinking time.


One theme you will see consistently is sustainability. Changing climate patterns and mega weather events have people thinking about ways they can adapt their lives and living spaces.


Let’s dive into what’s the latest in outdoor trends.



Let Nature Take Over

Plants aren’t just for breathing a new life into green space — they’re also for adding privacy to your backyard.


Fences and walls are fine and dandy for marking off your property, but thick and high-climbing bushes create a soft buffer between your backyard and surrounding properties.


A second plant-related trend is to use all the vertical space in your backyard as an extension of your horizontal garden. You can use pergolas, trellises, hanging baskets, planter boxes, fence shelving, mounted containers, and pouches. If you want your wall to disappear entirely, consider installing a living wall.


Work with a landscape designer to identify backyard vegetation best suited for the weather conditions we’re now facing and make your outdoor space sustainable and climate responsive.



Kitchen Gardens are Back

Well, technically they never left, we just started relying more and more on grocery stores for all our veggie needs.


But over the last couple of years, kitchen gardens have seen a huge comeback and will be all the rage going forward, too. This trend works for most spaces because you can grow vegetables in planters or in raised beds in the backyard.


Remember that living wall? Well, it could also become your vegetable wall if you go about it the right way.


This trend is also a small way to alleviate farming pressures. Droughts are becoming more common, making it harder for production to remain at the same level. Why wait? Why not grow your own vegetables to become sustainable right at home?



Create a Zen Garden

Gardens are already ideal relaxing spots, but with some tweaks, you can turn them into proper Zen spaces for focused recharge time.



Backyard zen garden


Begin by marking off a flat area in your backyard. Fill it with sand or gravel that can be gently raked into a pattern of choice. Add rocks, plants, a shade, and any other calming décor items and turn it into your personal Zen corner.


Spend 15 minutes every day in your personal relaxation space and you’re never going to want to leave it.



Explore Various Textures

When redesigning your outdoor space this year, play around with colour and texture, diving into creative project opportunities.


Instead of choosing one type of surface material to cover an outdoor area, mix and match materials, like wood, metal, glass, and gravel. Eclectic design can elevate the look and feel of a space.



Be Bold with Colours and Textures

Colours and textures are design tools that add depth and dimension to spaces.


An up-and-coming, exciting outdoor décor colour trend is jewel tones. Much like the name suggests, colours of gemstones, like rubies, sapphires, and amethysts, give rich, saturated hues for an eye-catching, dynamic effect.


Viva Magenta, which is Pantone’s 2023 colour of the year, is a perfect example of a jewel tone.


But if you’ve never worked with bold colours and are nervous about incorporating them into your outdoor spaces, start small. Use brighter colours as highlights instead of as the main palette for your outdoor living space. Instead of buying all-new patio furniture set in jewel tones, draw attention with brightly coloured throw pillows, side tables, lamps, or vases. You can also add bold colours by planting flora with bright blooms.



Colour Me Terra Cotta

If you decide to venture into the universe of jewel colour tones, you can balance it with terra cotta.


Look for earthy tones when you’re out buying planters, pots, and garden statues for your backyard this year. Terra cotta is more than a colour tone, it’s also a sustainable and natural product. You can use it as the material of choice for turf-block stonework. It blends well with landscaping and makes for great, long-lasting outdoor material that holds steady, even in harsh weather conditions.



Classy but Sustainable Furniture Options

This outdoor trend for 2023 is more proof that people are taking steps to make small, but progressive changes in their outdoor trends.



Bamboo outdoor furniture


The sustainable outdoor furniture industry has found its voice and it’s booming. If you want to go this route but remain classy yet contemporary, think of furniture made with repurposed materials. There are tons of choices, like bamboo furniture, items made from recycled plastic, rattan, and other eco-friendly materials.


Sustainable accent items to add to your backyard include jute welcome mats, solar-powered lights, and biodegradable pots.



Merging Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

This may not be a new trend, but it’s a hot one for sure. People are more and more viewing their outdoor and indoor spaces as functional extensions of one other.


The aim is to bring nature as close to the living space as possible, while still maintaining an imperceptible separation between the two. The more seamlessly you’re able to do it the better it is.


The goal is to align the outdoor space style with your home’s interior decor to create a well-integrated flow from inside to outside.


This outdoor extension to the indoors gives homeowners a chance to incorporate different levels of privacy, especially if they have a smaller lot. Shade-giving structures, like pergolas and decorative screen panels, provide seclusion and protect from the sun and heat in scorching summer days.


Special design elements to merge indoor and outdoor include folding glass doors, ultra-comfortable and luxury furniture pieces that look like outdoor items but feel more like indoor ones.


You can also consider opening up the home to partially covered gardens, enclosed verandas, or a covered patio.



Trendy Outdoor Lighting

Whether you’re merging your outdoor with the indoor or not, upgrade your lighting to be more trendy.


Add a touch of drama to your outdoor space by using accent lighting, like outdoor string lights or flush mounts. Elevate the outdoor mood with some simple touches and convert the space into a fantastical wonder world.


Dazzle your visitors with glamorous chandeliers, dusky smoked-glass sconces, celestial-inspired lamps, woven rattan shades, and marble bases. You could also go with curvy pendant lights, floor lamps featuring heavy natural stone bases, or lanterns filled with fairy lights.


But if you’re going for more of a cozy feel, outdoor fireplaces and soft, layered lighting that highlights landscaping and architectural features properly works well.



With Sustainability Comes Functionality

Optimizing outdoor space means making it functional as well as beautiful.



Putting course in backyard


The backyard has always been and now is even more so a go-to spot for fun.


You can make enhance it by adding games to the mix, like a pool table, a mini-golf range, and even outdoor chess or checkers tables. Incorporating these into the overall backyard design will maximize entertainment while retaining functionality.



Expand Your Outdoor Kitchen

Games are great for expanding outdoor entertainment options, but the biggest backyard entertainment for North American summers is barbecuing.


Upgrade your barbecue routine by adding outdoor sinks, mini-fridges, prep stations, and a dedicated cooking space that can be used for all meals of the day.


All this combined with an outdoor vegetable garden sets you up perfectly for the barbecue season, with fresh veggies just an arm’s reach away.



Outdoor Spaces are Becoming Inclusive

Outdoors means high energy and activity. But the outdoor space also needs to be inclusive and accessible for everyone to use, no matter their ability level.


Adding accessibility elements can allow those with mobility issues to easily use the backyard and enjoy being in nature.


You can go start with accessibility by adding a ramp if your house and backyard are not level. Wide and roomy pathways will help those using mobility devices to navigate the garden with ease. Add raised flower beds to eliminate the need to bend over and reach down.


It may not always be easy for people to reach for the light switch, so place motion-activated lights in higher-traffic areas, such as stairs and walkways, to light up paths people and kids walk frequently. Consider replacing regular doorknobs with lever-style or push-and-pull handles.



Pick Your Path

Not all trends suit everyone’s taste and vision for their outdoor space. And with so much to choose from, it can get overwhelming.


But the good thing is that you can either pick one trend or mix and match if you’re feeling adventurous this year.




Steve Livock at 9:00 AM
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Get Ready for Smoking Times this Barbecue Season

Outdoor meat smoker



Are you melting away the snow with dreams of barbecuing? You’re not alone.


These dreams will eventually come true, so you had better be prepared with the best cooking ware options in your arsenal. Previously, we’ve talked about the best grills, the fuels you can use, and how to clean the grills — but there’s much more.


The right selection of outdoor cooking ware will make your barbecuing skills the talk of the town.


Let’s get grilling!





Smokers are designed for cooking food slowly over low heat.


Just like all good things take time, so does smoking a piece of meat. It requires close attention as it takes its time to cook in the smoker.


But it’s all worth it when you think of that piece of meat melting in your mouth and the flavours bursting on your tongue.


A word of caution here though, if you smoke the meat too much, it will end up tasting bitter and acidic.


Smokers don’t just work on the flavour of the meat, but they also work on its look. As the meat absorbs smoke, it develops a dark, chewy, spicy, tangy, and crust-like texture on the outside. This is called the bark. It coats and protects the tenderness and juiciness of the meat inside it.


Smokers ensure the meat doesn’t lose all its moisture as it cooks. Slow cooking allows meat to retain its collagen — the connective tissue — helping retain the softness and juiciness.


Smokers have become popular over time because of the variety of fuels you can use with them, like electricity, wood pellets, and even gas. Remember though, the flavour you’re looking for may only come with traditional fuels, like wood, charcoal, and pellets.


Different types of fuel will give the meat different flavours. You can choose a new taste for every day of the summer. If you have two smokers, you can vary the taste on the same day, too.


Smokers come in a range of sizes and styles, including offset smokers, drum smokers, and cabinet smokers.



Offset Smokers

Barbecue experts consider this style as the most proper way of smoking meat.


The smoker has a barrel-shaped belly that is laid out horizontally. The heat source is set off to the side of the main chamber. The fuel most commonly used for this style is charcoal or wood. The latest models could also have temperature control options, but you still need to handle heat and airflow. Inexperienced grillers may find it difficult to control temperature variance when using offset smokers.


Look for the built-in large heat baffles and reverse airflow features — they certainly help and might just save the day.



Vertical Smokers

Just as the name suggests, these smokers are made of an upright cabinet-shaped cooking chamber. The heat source is directly below the vertical barrel.


This design makes it easier for even temperature distribution throughout the cooking chamber, making it convenient to manage heat and smoke that naturally rise toward the food. Vertical smokers are mostly electric but some models will also work with charcoal, pellet, and gas.



Unconventional Smokers

Unconventional smokers are somewhere in the middle of offset and vertical smokers. But they’re way more versatile than either of the previous categories.



Unconventional bbq smoker with two levels


Unconventional smokers can look like a standard grill but it’s what’s inside that matters. Depending on how you position the charcoal basket inside the body, the smoker can function like a charcoal grill or as a vertical or offset smoker.


All models of smokers can be built in as part of an amazing outdoor kitchen in your backyard. Or if you value mobility, you could buy a more portable option.



Spit Roasters

Spit roasters are popular when you need to cook large pieces of meat, like whole chicken, slowly over an open fire. Their winning feature? Rotation.


The meat is mounted on a skewer that turns it over the fire for evenly cooked tender and succulent results.


Most spit roasters use wood and charcoal as fuel, but they can also function well on gas.


When it comes to roasting, meat prep is crucial for getting the right results. It’s second only to knowing how to control the fire and temperature. You can get the pre-cooking routine down pat, yet mess it up while cooking. One reason for that could be because of the pan you use. An aluminum drip pan will help prevent flare ups. You’ll also need a butcher’s twine (to tie the meat), proper mitts, and a meat thermometer, which you will use to check for optimal cooking temperature.


Much like smoking meat, roasting it takes great patience and careful process. You will end up with dry, chewy, and stringy meat if you use very high heat or cook the meat without properly marinating it.



Outdoor Ovens

Outdoor ovens are multi-purpose devices and can be used for baking, roasting, and grilling.


If you have a large backyard and are prone to having large summer gatherings — outdoor ovens are the way to go. They can easily be fixed into a structure in the backyard or come installed on a portable cart for mobility around the yard.


When shopping for an outdoor oven, consider the shape, design, and materials it’s built with. You’re looking for substances that retain high temperatures for best performance. All ovens need to be pre-heated slowly so the cooking chamber collects and retains heat longer.


Ovens use a variety of fuels, from traditional to modern to a combination of the two.


A wood-burning oven feeds heat into the cooking chamber, which can be offset from the center. This style uses radiated heat to do the trick.


Gas ovens are novice-friendly and make cooking a breeze, because they’re easy to light and allow you to conveniently set the temperature. A gas-powered oven may be a better-suited barbecuing option if you’re new to this cooking ware. You can either connect it directly to the house gas line or go the portable way with propane.


You can always upgrade to an oven that uses a different fuel source or get a hybrid model. With this style, you can enjoy the wood-burning aroma and control the cooking temperature to your liking. Hybrid ovens come with a special cover over the gas burner to protect it from wood soot, so it doesn’t conk out on you every summer.



Going Traditional

Barbecuing isn’t just a yes-in-my-backyard activity, as avid campers, we’re also prone to indulging ourselves in some outdoor cooking while reconnecting with nature.


We’ve talked about technology and all the bells and whistles it adds to outdoor cooking ware.


Let’s also consider these traditional styles.



Camp Stoves

These are portable devices that can run on a variety of fuels, including propane, butane, and wood.


Let’s begin by nailing down the right stove style. There are two main types: freestanding models with legs and the more portable tabletop designs.


Freestanding stoves are usually larger, and heavier, feature two or more burners, and generally produce more heat than tabletop units.


If you’re camping with a group and don’t want to worry about carrying the stove from one place to another, go freestanding. Another benefit is that these stoves can be set up just about anywhere — that’s right, they don’t necessarily need a flat surface.


On the other hand, a tabletop stove can be moved from campsite to campsite.


Prop it on a picnic table or bench, and you’re ready to get cooking. Because they’re legless, tabletop stoves are smaller, compact, and easily portable. But the smaller size means less cooking capacity.



Classic Fire Pits

These age-old tried and tested barbecuing tools are the best option for open camping.


Fire pits are a great way to cook food of all sizes, from marshmallows to hot dogs, and even a full roast. Plus, they’re great for cozying up on chilly nights.



A word about the tools of the trade:


In our last installment on barbecuing, we talked about a variety of grilling tools.


Here’s another one that’s a must-have for anyone that claims to be a barbecue buff.



Dutch Ovens

Why a Dutch oven?



Dutch oven on open fire


Well, because they’re perfect for making a variety of food.


A Dutch oven is a pot used for cooking on — well, pretty much on any type of fire. The heavily insulated materials used to make Dutch ovens prevent the food from burning, even if cooked over high heat.


The thickness of the pot’s walls helps maintain a constant temperature after it’s warmed up. The heat then radiates inside the container so the food cooks evenly. The tightly sealed lid retains moisture by pushing condensation back onto the food, making it succulent and tender.


A classic way of cooking with a Dutch oven is to immerse it in hot coals for a delicious, juicy, and flavourful dinner.



Timeless Barbecuing Tips

We’ve written extensively about how to keep your barbecue cooking ware clean for a longer life and better performance. Read our barbecue cleaning hacks here to make life after barbecuing easier.



When you’re ready for a fantastic outdoor kitchen in your yard, contact the experts at Decks By Premier.




Steve Livock at 9:00 AM
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