Brits embrace outdoor living

An ‘outroom’ is the new must-have property feature as the hottest summer on record saw Britons enjoying their gardens like never before, according to Origin.

Creating an outroom has become an increasingly popular move among homeowners and interiors influencers, extending the use of properties and adding value to homes without a structural extension.

The number of British homeowners looking for outdoor furniture traditionally only found inside the home hit a record high this summer. Online searches have spiked for terms such as ‘outdoor rug’ (34%+), ‘outdoor cushions’ (33%+) and ‘outdoor sofa’ (18%+), due to the increasing popularity of the outroom.

In the last 12 months, searches for ‘garden sofa’ have soared by 125%, with more and more people bringing interior trends from the living room out into the great outdoors.

This new room, located in the space between the home and garden, is created through the installation of folding, sliding doors. According to Palmer Research, the sale of bifolding doors will increase by up to 28% from 2017 to 2021.

A recent survey conducted by Origin showed that 94% of homeowners use the space differently in their properties after installing bifolding doors.

To demonstrate the value an outroom adds to property price, experts from Emoov, a leading online property agent, were asked to place a value a property plan with and without the inclusion of an outroom through the installation of bifolding doors. According to Emoov, the property with the outroom was valued at up to 6% more than the house without bifolding doors.

Ben Brocklesby, director at Origin, said: “An outroom can add a huge amount of functional living space to a home, whether that’s an additional seating area, dining room or even a second kitchen. While approximately 90% of homes in Britain have a garden, the time spent actively living in this space is limited.”

Founder and CEO of Russell Quirk said: “A combination of unaffordability and uncertain market conditions has seen an increase in the number of people building up, down and out, rather than upsizing to a new property.

“While basements and loft conversions are an obvious way to add value and space to your property, they can be expensive, so extending into a garden space can also help boost your property potential, creating a stylish living space in the process.

“Living space commands a greater premium than bedroom space and using cost-effective tips such as bifolding doors to create an outroom is an affordable way to add value to your home. While it is unlikely to push you into a higher price bracket, it can help you stand out from the crowd and if done correctly, could add up to 6% to your property’s value.”