Winter and COVID-19 spark reimagining of outdoor living

COVID-19 has impacted the culture of home-owning in the U. S. in a variety of ways, some of which we have documented here. With the danger of infection heightened in closed, interior spaces, people have moved outside to socialize six-feet apart. But as cases of coronavirus spike and the winter months inexorably approach, people are continuing to spend time outside of their homes. Homeowners are having to adapt to the winter weather in new and creative ways, the Wall Street Journal reports.

As the country began coming out of the most serious lockdowns over the summer, restaurants and bars were forced to increase their outdoor seating capacity. Insulated tents, increased patio space, and heat lamps were used to allow customers to dine outside socially distanced.

Now this move is being repeated in residential real estate. Even in areas with harsher winters, concerns over spiking COVID cases and social distancing are prompting homeowners to relax and socialize outdoors—on patios, lawns, or any other exterior space they might have available—late into the year.

High-end pergola company, StruXure, has experienced 50% growth in sales over the summer. They still going strong heading into winter. StruXure produces specially designed models complete with lighting and heating fixtures built-in to the structures. StruXure models can run as high as $100,000 depending on the extent of the custom features.

The luxury interior design group, Vesta, has stated that while they usually see a drop off in the purchase of outdoor furniture during the fall, 2020 has changed that entirely. Clients in New York and San Francisco are looking to stay outdoors well into the Fall and Winter.

The key idea in all of this, one that is broader than the current needs of COVID time, is the move towards more creative and adaptive uses of space. The modifications made to accommodate for COVID will likely stay, allowing homeowners to enjoy continually space that would be otherwise vacant for a significant portion of the year.

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