Fresh off the back of arguably the best summer the UK has enjoyed since 1976, 'outrooms' are becoming the new must-have property feature as homeowners fall in love with gardens again, extending living spaces and adding value to their homes.
Creating an ‘outroom’ has become an increasingly popular move amongst home owners 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 alone, 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 bi-folding doors will increase by up to 28% from 2017 to 2021, as Brits increasingly adopt the trend for an outdoor living room.
A recent survey conducted by door and window brand, Origin, showed that 94% of homeowners use the space differently in their properties after installing bi-folding doors.
To demonstrate the value an outroom adds to property price, experts from Emoov, were asked to value a property with and without the inclusion of an outroom through the installation of bi-folding doors. According to Emoov, the property with the outroom was valued at up to six percent more than the house without bi-folding 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 percent of homes in Britain have a garden, the time spent actively living in this space is limited.”
The term ‘outroom’ was first used in the 17th Century by poet Ben Jonson but has since dropped in popularity and is rarely used in modern English. Originally describing an outbuilding or outhouse, today homeowners, as well as influential interior designers such as Hygge for Home, are adopting the word to describe the living space created by the installation of bi-folding doors.
Brocklesby continues: “The average Origin customer said they spend between 11 and 20 hours a week in this space, compared to the majority saying they spent less than hour a week enjoying the space before the doors were installed. What’s more, 98 percent said it has made their home feel larger. Considering the average UK home is 85sq m and has five rooms, this traditional layout is set to change with the introduction of this new room in the house. Homeowners are now using outrooms to increase the square footage of their properties in a way that hasn’t been done before.”