As warm weather approaches and summer kicks into full swing, outdoor activities are top of mind for many Americans. Last year, Yelp saw mentions of interior designers increase 372% as people spent more time in their kitchens, converted spare rooms to offices, and completed projects around the home amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This year is all about the backyard: Searches for terms like “outdoor deck”, “patio heaters” and “outdoor lighting” have skyrocketed (jumping 373%, 263%, and 88% respectively) as homeowners are looking for more ways to spruce up their outdoor spaces for al fresco entertaining, rest and relaxation and fun with the family.
To forecast these backyard trends, our data science team surfaced the terms experiencing a meteoric rise in interest among consumers. They looked at the words used in searches and review mentions to pinpoint the terms experiencing the largest increase in 2021, compared to 2020. Additionally, they identified trends on the rise in the last several months. Terms experiencing a large spike already in 2021, coupled with those rising year-over-year, helped us determine the backyard trends that are poised to take off this summer. Finally, we tapped one of our favorite Yelp fans, and star of HGTV’s “Rock the Block”, interior designer Jeremiah Brent, to offer expert insights and tips for each trend.
“To put it simply: we’ve never been more ready for summer. Over this past year, our outdoor spaces have truly become our haven. Through a little bit of intentionality and connections to the right resources, there are so many beautiful ways to transform your backyard into a timeless escape for your family,” says Brent.
As you consider how to maximize your outdoor space this summer, Yelp can help you find and hire highly-rated, trusted professionals for these backyard upgrades. Millions of people come to Yelp each month to connect with trusted home services pros using the Request a Quote feature.
Click the below link to view the full list of the top summer 2021 backyard trends, according to Yelp and Jeremiah Brent, and view Yelp’s Summer Home Maintenance Checklist here.
Elevated Al Fresco Entertaining
Outdoor dining has evolved since the onset of COVID-19, sparking a renaissance for al fresco dining at restaurants across the country, as well as in our own backyards. Though people are returning to restaurants, on Yelp we’re seeing trends that indicate a desire to make simple upgrades to improve the experience of at-home dining, and elevate what it means to entertain. Searches for outdoor pizza ovens increased 193% in March of this year, compared to March 2020, and searches for “BBQ island” increased 90% during the same time period; two additions that add a social and interactive element to outdoor entertaining, and create a new space to enjoy family meals. Highly-rated businesses like LA Custom Grill Islands specialize in adding these coveted kitchen island features to backyards.
Searches for outdoor lighting upgrades were up 88% during the same time period, as people look to transform their backyards and add more entertaining-friendly ambiance to their outdoor spaces. Installing light paths, hanging lighting fixtures, or adding lighting underneath the stairs or railing of a deck can make a backyard look brand new.
Outdoor Living Rooms
As we bring indoor decor outside, having a cohesive, serene aesthetic between the two spaces is more important than ever. Searches for fire tables, like this one from Infantry Landscaping in Atlanta, GA, have increased 76% in searches in the last year*. A more modern and sleek version of fire pits, adding this backyard feature creates an instant feel of luxury. Searches for patio heaters increased 263% during the same time period, indicating that the desire to have an outdoor living space that can be used year-round isn’t going anywhere. In addition to a patio heater, consider adding soft throw pillows that complement the decor of the space.
Deck & Patio Additions
Yelp data indicates searches for outdoor decks were up 373% this year*, and increased 64% between February and March. It’s clear that deck and patio additions will be one of the hottest home trends of the summer, as searches for these features are continuing to rise each month. With four stars and 85 reviews, LA Decks in Los Angeles, CA is a great source of inspiration for a brand new deck or porch. Decks come in so many shapes and sizes, that there’s an option for almost every home, whether it’s a patio, screened-in porch, or elevated deck.
Searches for pool installation were up 449% in March 2021 from March 2020 and up 680% from the same month in 2019. Adding a water feature like a pool or fountain is a great way to upgrade a backyard, and there are thousands of home pros on Yelp, like Custom Pools Miami, who specialize in pool installation. Homeowners who like to try a backyard project before committing may be interested in stock tank pools (searches for the term increased 407% in March 2021 compared to February) like these from Cowboy Pools in Austin, TX, which provide a temporary solution to warm days without the heavy spend. This March, searches for water features on Yelp were up 46% from March 2020 and up 62% from March 2019.
Easy, Rustic Landscaping
Plants provide decor, fresh air, and a pop of color to any space, including our backyards. For those who may have developed a green thumb with houseplants this year, greenhouses (up 11% in searches in March**) add a unique element to any outdoor space. Searches for planter beds have increased 47% this year*, and drip irrigation systems increased 103% during the same time period, indicating that our obsession with all things plants isn’t going anywhere. Summer 2021 is all about landscaping with ease: Planter beds are an easy solution for those with small spaces, and greenhouses protect against critters who may enjoy your plants as a midnight snack.
With the ability to instantly create the feel of a private retreat, it’s no surprise that searches for hedges (up 317% in March**) have increased. This landscaping addition is a great way to incorporate greenery and solitude into the backyard without an expensive – or obtrusive – fence. Adding in hedges is not typically a DIY project, and by using Yelp’s Request A Quote feature, you can easily find local home service professionals in your area with the skills to complete any outdoor project on your timeline. Simply select one or more businesses you prefer, answer a few questions about your project, and Yelp will send your responses and messages to the businesses to provide a quote directly to you.
Reducing and Reusing
For those who like a low maintenance backyard, artificial turf is becoming a popular landscaping trend with searches up 75% in the last year*. Bonus: It’s typically cheaper than grass and is especially good for dry climates. Artificial turf is an easy solution for backyards to look bright and healthy, but not require constant watering or treatment, which is easy on the homeowner and environment. Additionally, we’re seeing an increased demand for antique furniture (up 30% this spring from March 2020 and up 34% from March 2019) , perhaps influenced by more intentionality when it comes to upcycling clothing, furniture and materials.