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By: Jean Dunkerley
Simplicity, authenticity and balance will emerge as overarching themes in outdoor living space design in 2015. At least that’s what outdoor living experts nationwide predict.

“As our lives become more complicated, we’re making our spaces more streamlined, straightforward and balanced,” says Houston outdoor living space designer Wayne Franks.

“This is especially true of our outdoor rooms – the place where we’re truly supposed to get away from it all.”

Here’s how these outdoor living space trends look to play out in 2015, according to Franks and other outdoor design pros.


“Outdoors, we’ve been adding all the technology and amenities we have indoors while at the same time wanting a less cluttered look,” says Franks, owner of Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. “So now we have custom outdoor kitchen islands with built-in appliances, rollout trash and warming drawers and hidden storage. We have outdoor media centers with cabinets concealing components. And we have built-in fireplaces with bench storage serving as a decorative shelf, cabinet or seating.”

The desire for simplicity, he notes, also comes through in the efficient and streamlined lines of outdoor décor and accent pieces. “There’s a reason we’re becoming more attracted to rounded, organic shapes and the minimalism of Scandinavian design,” says Franks. “It’s fluid, calming and integrated. Our eyes – and brains − don’t have to work so hard.”


The perfect foil for all this streamlined efficiency? Natural materials and handmade-looking accents, which add a human, down-to-earth element.

“A mix of wood, metal, glass and leather, weaved baskets and furniture upholstery, plaited details and blends of textures look surprising and stylish,” says Lushome in this article on home design in 2015. Outdoors, Lushome says, the growing popularity of nature-inspired elements can be seen in all the outdoor water features, natural stone structures and use of wood.

“With all the screen time, technology and gadgets, people want to look at, touch and experience things that are real,” says Franks. That’s why he thinks outdoor living space design is gravitating not only toward more natural materials, but also toward “upcycled” pieces made with reclaimed or salvaged elements.


“Home environment is celebrating the masculine influence, just as the work place did with women,” says outdoor living expert Suzi McCoy in the Garden Media Group’s 2014 Garden Trends Report. “Strong, bold décor replaces cutesy feminine prints, and man caves are embracing technology and décor.”

Franks is increasingly seeing this balance in Houston outdoor living design. The masculine can be seen in the popularity of industrial design, which is red-hot among Franks’ outdoor living space design clients. It can also be seen in the outdoor man caves where tricked-out media centers feature the latest audio-visual systems and large flat-screen TVs for watching the football game.

“That same area, however, may be decorated just like an interior room,” says Franks, “with feminine prints, curves, accents and colors.”

A sense of balance can also be seen in the relationship between the indoors and outdoors, he adds: “People are knocking down sections of walls that lead to the patio and installing large picture windows, glass walls or sliding glass doors that can be left open to integrate the two spaces.”

More information on Halloween Outdoor Decorating can be found on Outdoor Homescapes of Houston’s website, at

The author is an expert of interior and exterior decoration and is therefore responsible for writing articles, press releases and blogs on a regular basis on such topics. See more at:

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