Outdoor living doesn’t just mean a simple patio with a few chairs anymore, according to IBS presenter Maxine Lauer, CEO of Michigan-based Sphere Trending. Lauer says when it comes to outdoor space, home buyers wish to re-create what they have inside, such as a family room with comfortable seating and a fireplace, a dining area with a table and chairs, and an outdoor kitchen where they can prepare a meal.

Maxine Lauer, Sphere Trending
Maxine Lauer, Sphere Trending

The demand for this trend, says Lauer, who will be speaking on the topic at IBS, isn’t being driven by any certain demographic or generation. Rather, it’s driven by the overarching consumer desire for a healthier lifestyle, which includes getting more fresh air.

“It’s about incorporating outdoor spaces into an everyday lifestyle,” says Lauer, who adds that 51% of millennials say they like to decorate their outdoor spaces similar to their indoor spaces. One way this is achieved is with lighting and furnishing choices, from pendant lights to built-in seating on the deck. Exteriors are a great place to experiment with texture between materials, such as pairing rock and painted brick with rustic wood finishes.

The outdoor living trend isn’t relegated to just the backyard, either—front and side porches make excellent sitting areas. And for baby boomers, a private outdoor space off the master suite offers a retreat when their kids and grandkids are visiting.

Learn more about outdoor living ideas for every budget during Lauer’s “Reimagining Outdoor Living Spaces” presentation at the Builder's Show, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 10.