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Outdoor Spaces in Luxury Homes: Builders Follow the Santa Barbara Example

Untitled Four trends that luxury homeowners across the country are implementing across the country to adapt the California dream of outdoor living
I just read an article in the Wall Street Journal about outdoor spaces in luxury homes becoming bigger, more elaborate and more central to the home, just like we have here in Santa Barbara. According to the article, the American Institute of Architects found that 69% of firms saw increased demand for outdoor living space, which is the second-highest response since the question was first asked in 2005. Today, homeowners across the country are savvy about extending the use of outdoor spaces like we do here in sunny Santa Barbara, despite inclement weather. The current growth in outdoor living space is all part of a cultural shift away from formal living spaces.
“It seems to be coming back stronger than in the boom,” says Kermit Baker, the AIA’s chief economist.
Even the size of outdoor spaces is growing. The average size of luxury home decks grew across all regions of the country last year according to a 1,300-builder survey by Home Innovation Research Labs, an independent subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders. In the Northeast, for example, the average deck measured 406 square feet; up 53% from 2014. Chilly nights on the deck are offset by fire pits, heated floors and other outdoor amenities, such as swimming pools, massage areas, putting greens, fire features and more: all things Santa Barbara luxury homes offer. One luxury homeowner in Houston even installed air conditioning on the outdoor veranda.
Here are the top 4 trends to create a fantastic and functional outdoor space retreat:
Trend #1: Wider, Larger Decks
The latest trend in decking is the increase in square footage. Gone are the days when homeowners were okay with a 20 x 10 square-foot deck where they can put patio furniture and a grill. Now, deck designs usually rival the indoor square footage of the home, in fact there are some that include multiple levels to provide different functions. There are decks that have walls to provide privacy, pergolas, built-in pieces for additional seating and storage, and planters to define and beautify the deck spaces.
Trend # 2: More Time to Enjoy Outdoor Spaces
With all the exciting decking products available such as glass deck railing systems, outdoor lighting, fireplaces, appliances and pits, homeowners are using their decks 30% more than they used to.
Trend # 3: Fully Functional Outdoor Kitchens
Another big trend in decks is creating fully functional outdoor kitchens that have all the amenities you need including cooktop or grill surface, countertops, cabinets, sinks and refrigerators. Outdoor kitchens are now taking on a whole new look with weather-resistant furniture that rivals their indoor counterparts.
Trend #4: Adding Water Features
Water features are another huge trend in the decking industry these days. A fountain can add soothing sounds of trickling water, a hot tub or a Jacuzzi can complete the relaxing atmosphere of your deck and add to the illusion of having the perfect getaway destination right at your home.
If you are considering moving to a new luxury home with amazing outdoor spaces in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities, please allow me to help. Simply take a look at my comprehensive website, then call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at I am happy to show you the amazing properties available in sunny Santa Barbara, the place this luxury home trend all began.

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