August 1st, 2021

Outdoor Living: 6 of the Biggest Backyard Design Trends for 2021

Turns out there is nothing like being stranded at home for a year and a half to inspire us to find new ways to appreciate our outside spaces. Many believe there is no better place to put your money this year than into your outdoor living areas, whether your space is a small balcony in the city or sprawling acres in the countryside. And with the increases in heat, there is nothing more important than stay cooling by creating shade that protects your property.

Our backyards, patios, and gardens have diligently fulfilled more significant roles than ever before as office spaces, social gatherings, gyms, and retreats to savor and be inspired by nature. The popularity of outdoor living spaces will only continue to rise in 2021, not just as a result of COVID-19 but also as many of us strive for more sustainable lives and better mental and physical health from the comfort of our own homes.

In this article, we’ll cover six hot outdoor living trends to inspire your projects this Summer. 


As people spend more time outside, they require more seclusion, sun shade, and protection from the weather. A combination of landscape and furniture can offer protection for your outdoor activities, whether it’s an inconspicuous spot to exercise without distractions or a place to work on your laptop without glare.

Awnings are an ideal solution for adding some privacy to your backyard. If your home layout leaves your backyard exposed to upstairs neighbors or extreme exposure to the elements, a couple of well-placed awnings can fix all your problems. 

During the Summer, our back patios become the most popular outdoor room in our houses for many of us. A retractable awning will turn your patio into the ultimate summer place, making those backyard barbecues and lazy summer evenings even more delightful. They can also be programmed to automatically deploy, providing shade in the day and privacy in the evening.

Retractable awnings are and should be viewed as an investment. That is because the cost for a retractable awning is significantly higher than a stationary awning. This investment is not necessarily a bad thing, though, as a quality retractable awning will increase the value of your home.

When it comes to shady and privacy, nothing beats awnings and drop shades. Drop shades are used to keep the heat out of a room. These are also useful for adding privacy to an outdoor living area in the backyard. They’re more durable than the roller shades because they’re made of screen mesh rather than cotton. They provide instant shade when you need it and retract to allow the sun to shine in when you want it. It can also be used to block glare from entering a neighboring space.

Drop shade systems like retractable awnings are the fancy sports cars of the awning world. They can be customized, upgraded, and improved with fancy electronics. Drop shades are similar to retractable windows, but they lack side rails and do not have bug protection. They are operated by a cord, much like indoor blinds. One disadvantage is the lack of screen cover when not in use, as they do not have housing to retract.


Outdoor kitchens are the perfect place for friends and family to gather around for some quality time together. Choosing the ideal outdoor kitchen means finding the right design, style, color, and function for your space. When it comes to creating your perfect outdoor kitchen, it’s essential to personalize the design to your lifestyle.

Consider how you plan to spend time on your patio. Will you be the BBQ master of the grill? The bartender serving up cocktails by the pool? Or maybe you want to do some socially distant entertaining of guests outside. You will be much more inclined to go out and enjoy your space if you have customized your outdoor kitchen to meet your culinary preferences and entertainment needs.

Outdoor kitchens can be simple in design or quite complex. For some, a simple grill and dining area is perfect, while others may find having an entire kitchen’s worth of appliances an essential factor for an outdoor kitchen. Want to run a load of dishes outside? With the right design, it can be done. 

Pro Tip: As you create your design, make sure to plan for features that you don’t necessarily plan to build (at least not right away). By doing this, you future-proof the space for additions later on. It can be costly to install plumbing and drains or run electrical after the fact, so it’s best to lay the groundwork for upgrades in your initial design. Trust us; your future self will thank you.


Because most of us have been confined to our homes for months due to the lockdown, our gardens – or whatever outside area we have – have become more important and well-used than ever. 

Many of us have also been cooking more than normal, making the possibility of an excess of tomatoes produce, whether consumed or traded with neighbors who are also producing their own, a benefit rather than a difficulty.

Composting is a popular issue right now, and community composting initiatives have grown by 65 percent since 2015. Composting not only helps to minimize landfill waste, but it has also assisted San Francisco in reducing the quantity of trash it sends to landfills by 80%. It’s like a “super fuel” for your plants, and it can help them survive. As sustainability becomes a more profound concern across the country, expect people and communities composting to increase.

Setting up a drip irrigation system with a rain sensor to water your plants, avoiding toxic materials and chemicals to help your plants grow, covering bare soil with green mulch, opting for a diversity of plant species, and choosing perennials over annuals when possible are some essential tips for cultivating a sustainable garden. Native plants are wonderful to include in your garden since they help local birds and insects, and they are frequently more adapted to the soils and temperatures in your area than decorative plants.

Expect this trend to continue into next year, as even individuals with the tiniest bit of outdoor space make use of windowsills, balconies, and pots to reap the advantages of homegrown fruits, vegetables, and herbs. This trend also sees many people exploring the benefits of awnings such as a custom patio canopy.


Homeowners are searching for practical and fashionable solutions to exercising outside, especially in small spaces. It’s common knowledge that exercising outside is beneficial to both the body and the mind. An outdoor gym may provide a variety of options for home exercises throughout the summer months. Patio awnings are ideal for giving a cool, shaded place for your home workout, as well as an added layer of seclusion for outdoor spaces that neighbors may observe.


The popularity of innovative home technologies has risen steadily in recent years. People all over are searching for new ways to incorporate smart technology into our homes and backyards. Electric awnings with smart and no-touch control have witnessed a surge in demand across the whole awning sector. Accent Awnings provides various simple hand-held remotes and smart applications that allow you to control your awning without lifting a finger. Now that Summer is in full swing, sunlight sensors that automatically open the awning when the sun gets too hot and wind sensors that close the awning if the wind gets too strong are a practical and money-saving investment to consider.

As technology advances and more household objects can be operated remotely, speech recognition technology may become more widespread in the home, eliminating the need to touch switches, appliances, and remote controls, all of which are typical germ magnets. Sensor-controlled taps and lights are becoming more popular, according to specialists; thus, no-touch technology is expected to become more prevalent in exterior settings as well.


Customers seeking shade for their patio or garden, as well as a comfortable area to relax in a while spending more time at home, have increased their demand for awnings as a result of the pandemic. With soft LED lighting and outdoor heater choices, awnings can provide a beautiful place for alfresco dining on a warm summer evening. The right awning can transform your patio into a comfortable dining and lounge area, perfect for friends and family to gather under.

Another side effect of the pandemic is that people now appreciate the benefits an outdoor space can bring to their lives, especially when they are at home all the time. As such, people are expanding the scope and functionality of their yards to accommodate the increased use. From outdoor offices to fully equipped movie theaters, taking the indoors outside is the hottest trend of the year. Whether you are building a fire pit for gathering around, installing a projector screen for movie night, or constructing a proper outdoor kitchen, consider a decorative awning at every step. The right shade system will take your outdoor experience to the next level. 

For more information on awnings for your home in San Diego, CA contact Accent Awnings today.