The Link Between Indoors and Outdoors is Forecast to Grow

The Link Between Indoors and Outdoors is Forecast to Grow

The boundary between indoor and outdoor living spaces, already becoming increasingly blurred, will be "non-existent" by 2020 a trend that promises to have major implications for kitchen/bath space planners.

That's the finding of a major new research report conducted by the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA), a Washington, DC-based trade association.

According to IFDA, "garden rooms will be added to existing homes, patios and decks will be expanded to accommodate the expected increase in outdoor entertaining, and more substantial furnishings will be used to make outdoor spaces more livable."

In essence, IFDA noted, living environments will blend into "one big, comfortable space."

"Kitchens are moving outdoors, particularly in the Southwest, but also in other parts of the country on a seasonal basis," said Raymond Chevallier, executive v.p. of  F. Schumacher & Co.

"More homes are also going to be built with garden rooms, either enclosed conservatories or in areas adjacent to the kitchen," added Chevallier, one of 2,000 leaders in virtually every segment of the interior furnishings business who were surveyed for IFDA's recently-released special report, "20/20: IFDA's Vision for the Future."

"The number one and two hobbies in the U.S. are cooking and gardening, and this is having a direct impact on home design," Chevallier observed.

Along with the trend toward outdoor entertaining, IFDA members predicted that it is likely that decks will become larger, that homeowners will use more substantial furnishings outdoors, and that there will be more hot tubs.