ICFA report shows top outdoor trends for 2022

COVID-inspired nesting has motivated 78% of Americans to upgrade their outdoor living space in the past year according to the new Outdoor Furnishings Trend Report released by the International Casual Furnishings Assn.

Conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of the ICFA, the new research also shows that 63% of households plan to upgrade their outdoor furniture or accessories this year.

Nearly nine out of 10 of those surveyed (89%) have outdoor living space, whether that be a porch, patio, balcony, deck or shared public space. Enhancements that people made in the past year include planting new gardens and trees, buying outdoor furniture and adding fire pits, seating and fences.

With more Americans choosing to work from home even as offices and schools have reopened, people are spending a lot of that time outdoors. Ninety-one percent reported that they plan to do “more” in their backyards in 2022.

It’s all in the numbers

  • 63% of Americans will upgrade outdoor furniture or accessories in 2022. Planned purchases include outdoor lighting, lounge chairs, fire pits, dining tables/chairs, umbrellas, sofas, pillows and rugs.
  • 89% have outdoor spaces at home where they will do more relaxing, cooking, entertaining, gardening, playing with pets, dining, exercising and working.
  • 91% say that outdoor living spaces are important when choosing where to live.
  • 71% are spending much more time outside today than last year, on average seven hours per week.
  • 78% have made enhancements to their outdoor living spaces in the last year.
  • 91% of Americans will do more activities in their outdoor living spaces than last year.

Top outdoor design trends for 2022

Where there’s smoke: American’s wish lists are adding fuel to the fire of the outdoor dining trend. Interest in outdoor dining sets (43%) jumped 15 percentage points from last year (28%).

Mixology under the stars: Americans are eyeing their outdoor spaces as a place to relax and have drinks by the bar. Last year, just 14% had outdoor bars on their wish lists, but this year, it’s more than one in five (22%).

Wide-open spaces: More than seven in 10 of those with an outdoor space (71%) spend a lot more time outdoors compared with a year ago, including 79% of parents. More than nine in 10 American with outdoor space (91%) plan to use it even more this year compared with last, including 96% of parents.

Next-generation naturalists: Nearly four in five Americans under 40 (78%) are spending more time in the great outdoors than they were a year ago, compared with 66% of Americans 40 and up.

Moments that matter: Outdoor spaces have become Americans’ go-to for spending time together. On average, Americans spend seven hours per week in their outdoor living space, including nearly 47% who spend 10 or more hours.

Outdoor oasis: Americans plan to spend more time grilling (55%) and entertaining friends/family (45%), but more than anything, they want to turn their outdoor spaces into places of respite. The oasis trend has three in five people (61%) planning to use their outdoor living space for relaxation this year.

Living room, minus the room: Nearly all Americans (92%) have outdoor furniture and/or accessories on their wish list to buy in the future; even 76% of those without outdoor spaces have something outdoor on their wish list. Items include outdoor lighting (51%, up from 34% in 2021), lounge chairs/chaises (47%, up from 34% in 2021) and fire pits (45%, up from 35% in 2021).

Upgrades: Nearly two in three (63%, up from 58% in 2021 and 56% in 2019) plan to purchase more furniture and/or accessories for their outdoor living space at some point this year, especially those under 40 (77%, compared with 55% above 40). In the past year alone, 78% of those with an outdoor living space have made upgrades to it. One in 5, 22%, have added a seating area or updated it with a deck, patio, or porch, while 18% installed a new fence or other divider.

Going green: The enhancements include planting new trees or plants (39%) and adding garden space (30%). Others bought new outdoor furniture (28%) or added a fire put (24%).

The research was conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of the American Home Furnishings Alliance and ICFA among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18 and older between March 25-29.

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