2020 Trends in Outdoor Living Design: Sunrooms, Screen Rooms and Patio Enclosures

Design Features & Trends

New year, new outdoor living trends. The old standard patio, deck or porch enclosure doesn’t fully satisfy today’s more demanding customers. Clients are looking for a more luxurious, fully incorporated design that can transform their backyard, bringing it to life. Our job is to interpret a homeowner’s vision, and bring it to life with our design team assistance creating a personalized outdoor living oasis. We all desire resort-style living with all the amenities. Recent trends in indoor/outdoor living design show the patio becoming the most important “room” in the house as it incorporates modern elements.

Traditional vs Contemporary


  • Patio Grill
  • Fire Pit
  • Concrete Slab
  • Basic Sliding Door
  • Separate Exterior Area
  • Aluminum Ceiling Panels
  • Stationary Wall
  • Solid Roof
  • Propane Heater
  • Wall-mounted TV
  • Pressure-treated lumber 
  • Spot lights
  • Water Fountain


  • Outdoor Kitchen with Entertainment Bars and Seating Area
  • Masonry Fire Place
  • Colored Floor Stamped Designs, Patterns and Shapes
  • Folding Glass Wall System
  • Cohesive Seamless Livable Space – One Home Experience
  • Wood Beam and Tongue & Grove Ceilings
  • Retractable Screen Wall Systems – Remote Control
  • Built-in Radiant Heaters & Cool Misting Systems – Climate Control 
  • Outdoor Theater Space with Hi-Fi Surround Sound Systems
  • Synthetic Deck Boards for multi-level lounging area
  • Landscape lighting sets a specific atmosphere or mood
  • Incorporated a waterfall or pond feature for relaxation

The Evolution

The first sunrooms showed up in the 17th century when wealthy Lords throughout Europe were looking for grand ways to improve the livability of their castles. They gained significant popularity by the 19th century around the world, when materials such as steel, manufactured screening, and large panes of glass were more affordable and readily available to common folk.

When insects, critters and dirt and debris became distractions that no longer that needed be tolerated, but could be eliminated from daily life, sunrooms evolved from screened-in porches, to something more substantial, allowing views of the outdoors without all the mess.

In the U.S. our concept of the backyard radically changed once World War II veterans came home and built in the suburbs. In the 1950s, the backyard became an extension of the house, designed for relaxing, recreation, cooking and entertaining. Outdoor living areas became an affordable luxury and many postwar families sought to create their own, personal, country club in the backyard. The patio became the perfect place for a barbecue grill and backyard enjoyment. Homeowners could create outdoor rooms suited to a variety of needs for the family. Exterior enclosures, whether a sunroom, screen room, pool enclosure, pergola or gazebo expanded living areas becoming the “second living room” in the home.

The Benefits

These multi-purpose, highly functional rooms increase the livable foot print, increase home values, are a lower per square foot investment as compared to other home additions, and add to the resale value/appeal. A Four Seasons room adds year-round enjoyment in all climates, and comes with new technology to enhance the atmosphere of the space. With extreme durability today’s sunrooms are low maintenance and versatile, custom designed to meet individual homeowners’ needs, tastes and budgets.

Carolina Home Exterior’s Tips

  1. Design it to be Connected – Blur the line between indoor and outdoor living, allow for a seamless flow to create a unified backyard escape with multiple access points creating a courtyard around the existing home.
  2. Design it to be Comfortable – Create your resort-style living oasis by incorporating designated areas such as a sunroom, outdoor kitchen, pool enclosure, pergola to entertain, lounge, dine and relax.
  3. Design it to be Covered – Protect family and friends from the elements and incorporate retractable glass or screen wall systems, aluminum & poly carbonate roofing systems, or solar shades while creating a comfortable atmosphere with built-in radiant heaters & cool misting systems. 

The Time is Now

Summer will be here before you know it, and now is the time to schedule your no-obligation, free design consultation. We are seeing big trends in outdoor living remodels and sunroom designs. When you begin to plan an outdoor remodel consider your entire backyard space, the amount of entertaining you do, as well as your family’s lifestyle and budget. When it comes to remodeling your outdoor living space your choices in design and style are endless. Make your outdoor living space as inviting as your indoor space and you will have created a new favorite living area for your entire family, and you will have increased your home’s value. It’s a win-win.

Why Carolina Home Exteriors?

We are celebrating our 40th Anniversary in 2020, and we’ve served over 10,000 customers in the Carolinas.

Our primary focus is on custom designed outdoor living areas: Sunrooms, Screen Enclosures, Patio Lanais, Pool Enclosures, Porch Covers, Pergolas, Decks, Motorized Screens, Replacement Windows and Doors, Hurricane Protection and Contemporary Home Additions.

Visit our in-house design center or online gallery to preview our full line of tailored outdoor living area designs.

Make the most of your existing home and yard by transforming your outdoor space into a natural extension of your most valuable asset; your home. We will design a custom area to relax, play, and entertain family and friends that will serve you trouble-free for decades. 

Industry experts building trust for 40 years.

Contact us at (843) 651-6514 for a free, no obligation consultation.