After 18 months spent mostly indoors, it’s no wonder homeowners are seeking to create lush sceneries with green color schemes, potted plants and floral prints. Backyards have gotten a major upgrade as well, according to Houzz, which released its latest emerging home design trends report on Wednesday.

“The trends reflect a need for dedicated activity spaces within the home, a desire to bring the outdoors in, a requirement to create flexible interior spaces and a passion for luxurious colors and materials,” the report read. “Outside, people are getting creative with swimming pool styles.”

Here are the top five emerging trends for 2021:

Bring a piece of the outdoors inside

Over the past year, the popularity of green kitchen cabinets has increased an astounding 829 percent, with green tile bathroom floors (+ 771 percent) and green accent chairs (+754 percent) getting just as much love from homeowners.

In addition to green flooring, decor and cabinetry, professional and DIY designers have relied on artificial trees (+658 percent) and indoor planters (+353 percent) to recreate the freshness of the outdoors. “The 2021 Houzz Kitchen Trends Report found that one in five homeowners are opening up their kitchens to the outdoors,” the report explained. “That openness to nature and the role of greenery in our homes is a trend that seems to be accelerating.”

Get more bang for your buck with multi-use furniture

Credit: Matthew Niemann Photography for Houzz/Paper Moon Painting

Homeowners are making the best of their spaces with multi-use furniture that enables rooms to serve as bedrooms, playrooms, offices, and family activity rooms with the turn of a table or the flip of a bed. Television armoires with pocket doors (+2259 percent), Murphy beds (+2081 percent), swivel chairs (+1922 percent) and nesting side tables (+1918 percent) are fan favorites for their mobility and functionality.

Tap into your inner Picasso

Credit: Caroline Sharpnack for Houzz

Although homeowners are embracing the multi-functionality of their homes, there’s nothing like having a dedicated space to unwind or practice a hobby. “People have been relying on their homes to provide new avenues of activity and entertainment since the beginning of the pandemic and it shows in the emerging search trends we’re seeing for art studios, home bars and wine cellars and home theaters, home gyms and home offices,” the report read.

The search for art studios (+875 percent), home bars (+277 percent) and wine cellars (+271 percent) have boomed since 2020, with home theaters (+190 percent), home gyms (+156 percent) and home offices (+108 percent) also getting extra attention.

Revamping the living room

Credit: Jessica Cain for Houzz

Homeowners are giving their living rooms much-needed updates with new throw pillows, home accents (e.g. a focal point of a room such as a bright couch or chair), decorative accents, abstract paintings, display shelves and slipcovers. Velvet furniture, crystals, and gold and champagne finishes are at the top of designers’ living room wish lists, as they add a luxurious touch to nature-inspired decor.

“The living room has always been an important gathering space within the home,” the report read. “As people have spent more time within it over the past year, they may be seeking inspiration to refresh the space, with searches for living rooms up 52 percent compared with the same period in 2020.”

“Accent pillows and home accents, in general, have seen some of the most dramatic increases (up 51x and 25x, respectively),” it added.

Make a splash with a new pool

Credit: Carolyn Reyes for Houzz

In 2020, homeowners were all about outdoor kitchens and entertainment spaces. Now, owners are taking their backyard ambitions up a notch with pool upgrades. Searches for pools with water features have increased nearly 800 percent year over year, with rectangle (+576 percent), lap (+269 percent) and infinity (+214 percent) pools rounding out the top four spots.

Email Marian McPherson

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