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Top Outdoor Living Trends for Summer: DIY Advice from HGTV Host Kate Campbell

Top outdoor living trends may change, but the goal stays the same: we all want an outdoor space that feels like home.


According to industry research, the popularity of outdoor living is expected to hit its peak this year, with homeowners across North America going all-in for the outdoors. Among the biggest trends is a shift away from seasonality as homeowners adopt more of a year-round mindset regarding their outdoor spaces.


That’s why Kate Campbell says it’s so important to plan your outdoor space thoughtfully so that you can incorporate all of the latest top outdoor living trends and get the maximum enjoyment out of it year-round – regardless of weather.


TV Celebrity carpenter Kate Campbell is defying stereotypes – framing her image as one of the stars of the HGTV home improvement shows Decked OutDisaster Decks and before that as part of the crew for Holmes on Homes. She’s found her calling and encourages other women to make their way into a field overwhelmingly dominated by men.


Kate, who runs her own company specializing in renovations and custom carpentry, recently tackled her own home renovation, and is showing other homeowners how they, too, can create their own ideal outdoor living space, regardless of skill level. Whether it’s resurfacing an old deck with new boards, accessorizing an existing space with new furnishings, or even starting from scratch with online tools and resources, Kate empowers homeowners to tackle a DIY dream deck and other outdoor living projects with confidence.


Other top outdoor living trends for this year include:


  • New trend known as “hygge”(pronounced hoo-gah): a Scandinavian design trend which beckons homeowners to infuse their home with comfort and coziness – indoors and out
  • “Hide & Chic”: storage and cabinetry that blends right into the space for a seamless look
  • Minimal maintenance, maximum enjoyment: using high-performance materials to cut down on upkeep

top outdoor living trends

Kate joined me to offer her expert insights with homeowners eager to achieve the outdoor space of their dreams. She also shared more about the latest top outdoor living trends along with practical tips for designing and building a functional and fresh outdoor area within budget.



Outdoor living and entertaining has been popular for years now, but what are people doing now that’s different from previous seasons?

I think one of the biggest things is the change in mindset that outdoor living is seasonal. So homeowners are incorporating into their design a more of a year round outlook and incorporating things like outdoor cabinetry and outdoor lighting and hot tubs. But cabinetry is one of those things that I absolutely love. And it’s one of my favorite things that I incorporated into my own outdoor space. So we’re really focused on extending that living space and making it purposeful.



Now you’re a professional contractor and your renovated space is gorgeous and quite impressive. Now is this really something that a homeowner can do on their own?

Absolutely. I think a deck is a great day DIY projects for a homeowner, especially if you have a couple of hand-tools and basic power tools like a circular saw and a drill, and maybe for instance, you have an existing structure with some pressure treated board and it needs a little sprucing up. So a deck resurfacing project is a great DIY project as well. Pull up those old boards and lay some new composite deck boards down, it really spruces up the space and you never have to worry about maintaining it again. Another option is installing a pergola. I installed a pergola on my own deck. And last but not least, if you don’t have the budget for a big backyard makeover, maybe just add some new outdoor pillows or outdoor furniture as well.



For homeowners who don’t already have a deck, but want to build one, what are some of your recommendations for starting from scratch and completing the project properly?

I always say plan, plan, plan, plan ahead. And one of your biggest decisions is going to be what you choose for your decking and really deciding how much time and money you wanna spend on maintaining that decking. With a traditional wood deck, you have to sand and stain or paint it every other year, and that’s a lot of time and a lot of maintenance. And that to me that makes composite deck a no-brainer. So you basically install it and you don’t have to worry about it again. It won’t rot, warp, crack or mold. It looks beautiful. It cleans up with some soap and open water, and really all you have to do is enjoy it.



In regards to the rest of the outdoor space, what are some other tips and advice? What other things can be done to incorporate top outdoor living trends to transform a basic backyard and to one that truly feels like home and is perfect for entertaining? 

I always love incorporating things like, if you’re on a budget, outdoor curtain. It adds a layer of privacy and a little bit of a design aesthetic as well. And don’t forget about landscaping, because landscaping really adds that green factor to really perfect your outdoor space. So from going from low maintenance composite decking to all of the bells and whistles to really create that perfect outdoor oasis.

top outdoor living trends

Your status in industry has also created a lot of buzz. What aspired you to go into building and construction? And do you have any advice for other women who are interested in the field itself, or even women who just wanna take charge of their own home renovation projects?

Definitely. I was always very active growing up, and I loved being creative and working with my hands, but it wasn’t until I picked up a power tool, that I really realized that I was passionate about building and want some career in the trade. Maybe it was intimidating walking on the job sites at first and I felt that it needs to be perfect. So my advice to other women is to really push past that fear and don’t be afraid to make mistakes because mistakes are how you learn, and really just to embrace whatever you’re passionate about, especially around the house. I love being able to fix things up around my own home, and this career path has been the best decision of my life. So just push through it, ask questions, make mistakes, and really embrace that if you can.

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top outdoor living trends diy outdoor advice kate campbellKate Campbell entered into the skilled trades in 2005. After graduating high school and realizing that the university path just wasn’t for her, Kate applied to a “Women In Skilled Trades” (WIST) course based out of Burlington, Ontario. After being accepted to the course and picking up a power tool for the first time, Kate realized she had found her passion. During the three month program she was introduced to carpentry, electrical, plumbing, finish carpentry and several other trades. Kate had always known that she wanted a career where she could stay active, be creative and constantly be challenged. Well… she found one! 

Kate has been working in the television and renovation industry for over ten years and has been taught by some of the Canada’s top renovators. She can be seen as part of the crew for HGTV’s “Holmes On Homes”, “Holmes in New Orleans”, “Holmes Inspection” and assisting the final contestants as a part of “Handyman Superstar Challenge”. 

While working with these shows she was faced with many challenges and was also exposed to every aspect of home renovation and building. Kate was personally involved in building two homes and helped out with countless renovations. She’s worked with the best designers, best builders and the most cutting edge building materials out there. 

Kate Campbell has also been featured as one of the crew in HGTV’s hit shows “Decked Out” and “Disaster Decks” where she helps build some of the most interesting and unique decks out there. 

Kate was also one of the cast members of “Deck Wars” a show where contestants compete against each other to see who can build the better deck with the assistance of Kate and the crew of Decked Out (Dave, Joey and Host Paul Lafrance). 

Kate is now one of the hosts on HGTV’s “Custom Built” which combines Kate’s skills from her early renovating days and her creative, fun attitude from building on Decked Out. After over ten years on HGTV Kate’s career has now come full circle.

top outdoor living trends

Wife. Mom. Believer. Writer. Advocate.

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