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Top 8 Outdoor Reno Trends You Need in Your Own Home

Jun 8, 2021
7 min read
  • Outdoor Reno Trends that You Need in Your Own Home

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With Canadians opting for staycations and small outdoor gatherings with family and friends this year, the term “explore your own backyard” takes on a whole new meaning. Turn your backyard into an oasis with eight of the best landscaping renovation trends. 

1. Outdoor kitchens

Move cooking outdoors with the rest of your family’s activities by installing an outdoor kitchen. A backyard cooking station will not only add to your entertaining potential— you could receive a 100 per cent return on your investment when calculating the resale value of your home. 

2. Weather protection tools

Get more year-round use of your outdoor spaces by incorporating weather protection tools into your exterior home renovation

Retractable shade fixtures

Installing retractable shade fixtures on your pergola will expand your options for your outdoor living area. At your next small gathering, you and your guests can switch between soaking up the sun and lounging in the shade at the touch of a button.  


If a remote-controlled retractable shade for your pergola is not in your landscape renovation budget, installing an umbrella on your patio will provide sun and rain protection in a pinch. A quality outdoor umbrella is easy to install and can be purchased for under $1,000. Pergola costs, meanwhile, are increasing with the prices of lumber and can run you an average of $5,000 per installation.

Bug screens

Warm weather can also bring unwanted guests to backyard barbecues. Keep flying pests at bay with a screened-in outdoor dining space, perfect for weekend brunches and evening board game marathons.

3. Outdoor work and entertainment spaces

The desire to work and relax at home makes multi-purpose spaces one of this year’s landscape trends. Update your backyard to support a work-from-home, play-at-home lifestyle with budget-friendly installations of smart technology, multi-functional patio furniture, and fire pits to keep the fun going well into the night.

Home office

Taking your work outside is a sure-fire way to boost your mood and productivity—until you wander too far from your router. Adding an outdoor Wi-Fi connection and a patio set that can double as a desk will provide more flexible workspace options, especially if you are living in a smaller space.


When the workday ends, turn your office into an outdoor living area. Build a backyard movie theatre with speakers and a pull-down projector screen or keep things simple with waterproof patio furniture and a sound system.

How much will a landscaping renovation cost?

The cost of a landscaping renovation varies depending on the size of your exterior area and the extent of construction. Generally, minor landscaping and basic yard maintenance will cost between $300 and $1,000, while a full backyard renovation can cost up to $30,000.

4. More privacy and protection

It’s no surprise that a privacy fence is one of the top backyard trends in 2021. With inquisitive neighbours staying at home alongside you, two metres of social distance can seem uncomfortably close. Even family can seem like a crowd when you’re living and working together 24/7. Look into ways you can divide spaces and create privacy while still making the best use of your outdoor space.

Use patio furniture to define a space

Adding an extra room to your home can be as simple as rearranging the furniture. Talk to an interior decorator about staging your patio as an outdoor living area, using rugs and planters to delineate a private space without throwing your money into the lumber market boom.

Reclaim your privacy with an accessory dwelling unit (ADU)

When multiple generations are back under the same roof, things can get a little too cozy. Build an apartment above your garage to give your distance-learning offspring some much-needed breathing room, or install a prefabricated, handicapped-accessible accessory dwelling unit for older relatives who need an occasional helping hand, but appreciate their privacy. Constructing an ADU is one of the most popular exterior renovations in 2021. Costs for ADUs will average out at $300 USD per square foot.         

5. Edible gardens

Use the freshest ingredients when cooking at home—by harvesting them from your own garden! Gardening sustainably is a major landscaping trend in 2021. Whether you want to go the DIY route or prefer to consult a landscape architecture expert, planting an edible garden will provide you with a significant return on your investment. Not only will you save on grocery money by growing your own vegetables and herbs; your family will benefit from eating fresh food without pesticides or additives. Check out these gardening ideas for a healthier home and a leaner grocery bill:

Vertical gardening

Looking to grow your own food in a small space? A popular small garden renovation idea is vertical gardening, which makes use of your vertical outdoor space. Repurpose a wooden pallet to make a vertical herb planter, install a trellis on the exterior of your home to grow your own cucumbers, or use old bricks from a previous backyard project to construct a herb spiral.


With environmental concerns looming large, Canadians are looking to reduce their food waste. Backyard composting puts your kitchen scraps to good use by turning them into garden soil. Prevent unwanted smells by purchasing a prefabricated compost bin or having an enclosed compost area constructed on your property.

How much will an edible garden landscaping renovation cost?

If you use old planters and sweat equity to sow your garden, the cost of your backyard renovation will be the price of seeds and soil. Otherwise, a full exterior renovation that includes hardscaping and landscaping components can cost up to $15,000. Use the Smart Reno cost estimate tool to get an idea of how much to set aside for your project.

6. Multi-functional furniture

Hardscaping with multi-functional furniture is a rising trend in backyard design. Save money on labour and invest in these furniture pieces:  

Outdoor rugs

Rugs help define a space without the added expense of walls. Invest in a reversible outdoor rug to change up your outdoor decorations without buying a new set of patio furniture each week.

Modular tables

Modular tables can divide your backyard into private work zones for each family member. On the weekends, bring the tables back together for small gatherings. Easily rearranged outdoor surfaces offer infinite possibilities for customizing your backyard on a budget: a modular table will cost between $500 and $1,100.

Covered fire pits

Use a covered fire pit as a coffee table during the day and open it up at night for an unparalleled camping-at-home experience. A fire pit with a lid is the perfect multi-use furniture piece for your active family: a games table, plant potting station, and fireplace all-in-one.

7. Beautiful lighting

It’s no surprise that outdoor lighting is a top landscaping trend for summer 2021. After a long winter, no one wants to go back indoors just because the sun went down.

When it comes to designing a lighting plan, make sure you vary the type and intensity of your lights by location. Choose spots you would like to highlight in your yard. Floodlights will provide the greatest amount of illumination and should be installed in primary entertaining spaces. Use downlighting in trees and surrounding gardens to call attention to landscape features. If you are investing in an outdoor kitchen, consider adding intimate overhead lighting to the dining area.

8. Front yard renovation

Front porch hang outs are making a comeback. Embrace the nostalgia and reimagine your front yard as the new destination for pop-up neighbourhood gatherings.

Ideas for front-of-house landscaping

Save the vertical gardening for your backyard—see what you can do with ground covers in your front yard. Replacing grass with native plants or edible ground covers can add character to a plain house exterior while cutting down on your lawn mowing time. Add in decorative stones, install ornamental flower bushes, or even plant trees to protect against erosion.

How much will a front yard renovation cost?

A full front yard landscaping renovation will cost about $15,000 USD, depending on the materials used and square footage utilized to create your outdoor space. Front yard renovations tend to be less pricey than a full remodel of your backyard landscaping, but will often lead to a greater return on investment by boosting the curb appeal—and resale value—of your home.

What you need to know about landscaping trends in 2021

This year homeowners are using their outdoor spaces for working, dining, and entertaining. Both small gatherings and increased privacy are a priority for renovators, who are seeking multipurpose hardscaping to accommodate new lifestyles at home. Edible gardens and outdoor kitchens are growing in popularity as more families continue to cook at home. Aesthetics is still important, but the emphasis is on function in an exterior home renovation.   

Keeping up-to-date with major landscaping trends will give you lots of ideas, but your vision for your home is your own. Make your landscaping dreams a reality through careful planning, meticulous budgeting, and close attention to your family’s needs.

Submit your landscaping renovation project today to match with a qualified local contractor.


This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

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