Move Over Kitchen: The Backyard is the New Heart of the Home


As millions of Americans ready their outdoor space for summer season, a new study from Saber Grills reveals just how enamored U.S. homeowners are with their backyards. Eighty-three percent of homeowners across the country say their outdoor living space is the favorite place in their home. And it is the most used space in American households just behind the kitchen, and way ahead of the game room, living room and dining room. Saber Grills’ OutdoorLiving2014 study included responses from 1,500 homeowners across the USA.

While spaces like dining rooms and formal living rooms have lost favor in American homes, the backyard has gained popularity each year. Saber’s survey showed the overwhelming majority of current U.S. homeowners (81%) consider their outdoor space the heart of their home.

“It doesn’t matter if your home is valued at $75,000 or $775,000, if you are an American homeowner, you are proud of your outdoor space and consider it an essential part of your home,” said Rob Schwing, GM of Saber Grills. “Homeowners use their backyards to relax and reconnect with family – just like the kitchen.”

It’s not surprising then that 51% of all homeowners say they update the space as often as their favorite interior rooms. And, new man cave trend alert, a full 30% of male homeowners say they are solely responsible for decorating their homes’ outdoor space. Topping the guy’s wish list for 2014 outdoor space additions? A pool or hot tub. One thing they can’t live without? Their grill. And, not surprisingly, “access to wi-fi” is now among the top five most common items in demand for outdoor living spaces.

Super engaged with their outdoor space are Baby Boomers who live in older homes, mostly congregating in the Southern and Midwestern U.S., the survey revealed. Their backyard is more likely than others to be equipped with TVs, wi-fi and special lighting. They own at least two grills and are adventurous entertainers, frequently trying new recipes with groups of five or more.

“We’ve dubbed this group ‘super relaxers’,” said Schwing. “The outdoor space was a major factor in their home buying decision and they are very engaged in making it comfortable. This group leads the way in defining how an outdoor space can be used and decorated.”

Interesting regional facts:

-Midwesterners are the most interactive with their outdoor space: they update/accessorize most often and 75% use it throughout the week.
-Top of the wish of outdoor furnishings for all was a pool or hot tub. Southerners and Westerners are most likely to include “kitchen” in the top three.
-South and Northeast residents have the biggest parties, usually entertaining more than five people.
-Southerners are most likely to own two or more grills, Northeasterners just one.
-Roughly 40% of all outdoor chefs consider themselves average grillers. More than 30% of Northeasterners, however, identify themselves as “confident” grillers.

Detailed survey results are available at

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