Written by: Connie Adair

It’s never too early to start planning and shopping for products to create the outdoor living space of your dreams. Here are some anticipated hot trends for spring/summer 2021 shared by Lydia Thammavong, marketing specialist, styles, and trends at Lowes Canada in Montreal.

You may want to consider incorporating these trends now before the products sell out as they did last year.

Fire pits: By the end of last summer, even before the cooler evenings of fall, backyard fire pits were sold out. People scooped them up because they wanted to extend the time they could spend outside. Buying a fire pit now will help you enjoy the backyard earlier this spring, as well as later into the fall.

Fire pits come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from more traditional round versions to long and low rectangles with a modern vibe. There are high and low profiles and even some that look more like lanterns.

Outdoor kitchens: People want to do everything that they can do inside, outside, so outdoor kitchens are expected to be a big hit this season. For those who are handy, a DIY kitchen can be built for less than $2,000.

Barbecues and smokers: In addition to cabinetry, outfitting the outdoor kitchen includes barbecues, from charcoal to natural gas and everything in between. Go with traditional black, a vibrant color, or stainless steel, in a variety of shapes and sizes suited to any backyard. While you’re at it, check out the “connected barbecue”, which lets you control the temperature from your phone.

And expected to be popular this season is the pizza oven, which lets people bake their bread outdoors and expand their culinary skills to pizza.

Pools: Above-ground pools sold out last summer, so pick one up for the kids now. For something more adult-friendly, there are smaller inground pools a little bigger than a whirlpool tub that are great for just sitting in to cool off.

Sheds: If you have a pool, you need to have a place to store related items, so check out sheds. Aluminum versions are fine for tools, but if you want a shed that can double as a summer-time office or cabana, check out wood sheds with double doors that allow the space to open to the outdoors.

Furniture: Consider the functionality of furniture, as well as the look, feel and design. For small spaces, look for pieces with concealed storage and sectionals that integrate tables as part of their design. Seating with wide armrests are great places to rest a glass of wine or an iPad. One coffee table lifts up to a comfortable eating height so there’s no need for a dining table and chairs.

Many people watch television or movies under the stars, so ensure the furniture is extra comfy.