MillBoard - Outdoor Living

9 Outdoor Living Trends for 2020

Daniel Major Uncategorized

Al fresco living is increasingly popular, with homeowners spending more time socialising, dining and relaxing in their outdoor spaces. This year, the focus is on transforming gardens and back yards into spectacular and functional additional “rooms” that the whole family can enjoy. Let’s explore nine of the top 2020 outdoor living trends.

Bringing the indoors out

Blur the line between your home’s interior and exterior spaces by blending design, materials and colours from the inside-out. View your garden as an extension of your home and create an inviting garden room that flows naturally from the indoors to the outside. A great way to do this is to update your outdoor paving with colours that complement the rooms overlooking your garden. For example, if you have a neutral-coloured carpet or wooden floors inside, opt for similar coloured paving – perhaps natural stone paving – to create a seamless transition from inside to out. Ceramic flooring is a key design trend for 2020, too, which can be replicated outdoors as an alternative to traditional patio paving.

Outdoor kitchens

Entertaining friends and family outside has become more than throwing a few burgers and sausages on a barbecue. Today, outdoor kitchens are all the rage – with options ranging from built-in grills and ovens to fridges, islands and fancy outdoor bars. Be the perfect host and make the most of the summer months by cooking outside whilst your guests watch from the outdoor bar with a drink in hand. One of Pinterest’s trends for 2020 was “outdoor kitchen bars”, with searches up by 2,750% last year.

Pet-friendly spaces

This year, pets and humans will spend time together outside in harmony. ‘Catios’ for feline friends and dog patios keep pets safe and stimulated. These enclosures can include mini-gardens and climbing frames, as well as seating for owners to relax with their pets. Another way to create a pet-friendly outdoor space is by using artificial grass or turf instead of natural grass. As well as requiring little to no maintenance, your furry friends will enjoy playing on it and you won’t have to worry about them digging holes in soil or creating mess. Meanwhile, comfortable seating areas with cushions and pee pads that are specifically designed for your pets will ensure they feel content in their own little outdoor haven.

Clever lighting

Not only do garden lights help make gardens feel safer, they allow you to enjoy your outdoor space once it gets dark, too. What’s more, effective lighting can help create a particular mood, colour or atmosphere in your garden. Use up-lighting to highlight plants at night and install permanent light fixtures on patios or decking to create a homely feel. There are plenty of stylish garden lighting options that you can use to accentuate your outdoor living space, including LED lights, string lights, coloured lights and spotlights.

Biophilic design

Biophilic design incorporates natural elements into your garden design to create a striking look and a tranquil space in which you and your family can relax. Combine constructed aspects of your garden, such as pergolas, patios and seating areas, with softer elements such as gravel, wooden planters, plants and turf, to add texture and an organic feel to your outdoor living space. Using mixed materials is a key garden design trend this year and enables you to create a unique, interesting space. 

Outdoor fireplaces

Give your neighbours garden-envy by installing a spectacular outdoor fireplace. Last year, fire pits and chimineas were popular, but this year people are going that one step further and creating ultra-homely gardens that match the interior of their homes. Statement pieces like outdoor fireplaces make outside spaces liveable year-round. Reinforce the “room” concept by choosing a paver pattern that includes a rug design, to be positioned near the outdoor fireplace. Contemporary block patterns, different paving colours and swirly designs are eye-catching and can imitate the look of a designer rug – and accompanied by cosy furniture will have the aesthetics and feel of a living room.

Garden-to-table dining

Having a vegetable patch or a greenhouse is not a new trend, however, people are now using their home-grown produce as a way to involve their guests when entertaining outside. Invite guests to pick some fresh sprigs of mint for their mojito, select some vegetables for their main course, or choose some strawberries for their Eton Mess. Or, create the perfect elderflower gin cocktail by adding some hand-crushed elderflower cordial. Involving guests in this way can make outdoor entertaining more collaborative and enjoyable. Plus, with your new outdoor kitchen, everyone can get stuck in together.

DIY garden ornaments

A clever way to bring the indoors out is by upcycling worn or used household items that would otherwise go in the bin. Repurposing items is environmentally-friendly and can create interesting focal points in your garden. Old pallets and crates can be transformed into rustic garden seating, whilst old sinks can be made into stunning wall planters. Create the ultimate living room by complimenting your outdoor fireplace and paver rug with a framed planter, made by hanging a picture frame on a fence or wall and adorning it with colourful plants. All it takes is some imagination and you can recycle anything you want.

Clean, sleek lines

In 2020, garden designers are focusing on creating individual zones within outdoor spaces by using clean lines to define areas. Create an extension of your home by highlighting “rooms” such as the outdoor kitchen, outdoor lounge and party area with outdoor bar using contrasting colours, designs and materials. Mix-and-match decking and paving for the flooring, and incorporate ingenious designs to separate each room.


Outdoor living in 2020 is all about creating an additional space to the home where families can relax comfortably throughout the year, whatever the weather. Clever design, landscaping and garden furniture will go a long way in forming your private outdoor sanctuary.