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US Patio and Outdoor Living market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Patio and Outdoor Living market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?


This Report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Patio Living – US, March 2011. This Report examines the US retail market for patio and outdoor living.

For the purposes of this Report, the patio and outdoor living market has been defined as follows:

The term “outdoor furniture” is used collectively to describe the products covered in this Report. Outdoor furniture includes all furniture designed and marketed for outdoor and casual use in the porch, patio, poolside, or garden area of the home. Outdoor furniture also includes furniture designed for beach use, camping, and other recreational activities. Furniture may be made of metal, plastic, rattan/wicker, and/or wood, and includes products such as seating products (eg chairs, loveseats, settees, stools, ottomans, benches, and lounge chairs), tables, cushions, and umbrellas.

This Report covers furniture for consumer use only, not furniture intended for commercial, business, or institutional use. The Report does not include indoor furniture designed solely for use indoors such as bedding and bedroom furniture, formal and casual dining room furniture, upholstery, home office furniture, entertainment center, and infant and youth furniture. The Report also excludes other home appliances and décor, such as carpets, drapes, accents, and built-ins.

Outdoor living products such as grills, fire pits, outdoor ovens, fans, lighting, outdoor heating appliances, and landscaping products are not considered outdoor furniture and are not included in the market size or segmentation of this Report. However, some of these products are discussed in the context of broader outdoor living trends and also are analyzed in the consumer research sections in order to offer further insights into how consumers are using outdoor living spaces.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Rebecca Cullen, a leading analyst in the Retail & Apparel sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The patio and outdoor living market continues to steadily gain momentum parallel to the improving economy and housing market. While the majority of Americans have some form of outdoor space, living situation and household income determine what purchases and enhancements can be made. Further growth in the category hinges on appealing to key consumer groups, such as Millennials, Hispanics, and parents. Entertaining and expanding the comforts and conveniences of the indoors to the outdoors are important motivators for category purchases, which should be emphasized in marketing and in-store displays. Rebecca Cullen
Household Care Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Patio and outdoor living market experiences steady growth
            • Figure 1: Total US sales of outdoor furniture, at current prices, 2012-15
          • Space limits engagment for some
            • Figure 2: Types of outdoor space at primary residence, February 2016
          • Older adults lack interest in added to outdoor space
            • Figure 3: Select outdoor furniture purchases, haven’t purchased but interested, by age, February 2016
          • The opportunities
            • Entertaining, design motivate furniture and décor purchases
              • Figure 4: Purchase motivations, February 2016
            • In-store displays offer inspiration, better product visibility
              • Figure 5: Sources of inspiration, February 2016
            • Hispanics, young adults, parents express most enthusiasm for category
              • Figure 6: Select attitudes toward the outdoors, by age, race, and Hispanic origin, and parental status, February 2016
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Sales of patio and outdoor living estimated at nearly $4.4 billion
                • Mass merchandisers, home improvement stores’ sales growing slowly
                  • Favorable home improvement and housing market benefit category
                    • Consumer confidence create challenges
                    • The Patio and Outdoor Living Market

                      • Patio and outdoor living market approximately $4.4 billion
                        • Figure 7: Total US sales of patio and outdoor furniture, at current prices, 2012-15
                    • Market Breakdown

                      • Dining sets dominate category
                        • Figure 8: Total US sales of patio and outdoor living market, by segment share, 2015
                        • Figure 9: Total US retail sales of patio and outdoor living, by segment, at current prices, 2014 and 2015
                      • Direct to consumer, furniture store retail channels garner sales
                        • Figure 10: Total US retail sales and market share of outdoor furniture, by retail channel, at current prices, 2014 and 2015
                    • Market Perspective

                      • Increase in spend on indoor and outdoor DIY home improvement
                        • Housing market benefits category
                          • Figure 11: Housing starts: total: new privately owned housing units started, thousands of units, monthly, seasonally adjusted annual rate, 2005-15
                      • Market Factors

                        • Shaken consumer confidence
                          • Figure 12: Consumer Sentiment Index, January 2007-May 2016
                        • Declining homeownership rates slow, renters rates increase
                          • Figure 13: Households, by homeownership status, 2004-15
                        • Lot size decreases while median home size increases
                          • Figure 14: Change in median home and lot size, 2009-14
                        • Postrecession renovations boost market
                          • Social media inspires creative solutions
                          • Key Trends – What You Need to Know

                            • Shopping experience differentiates retailers
                              • Millennials, indoor-to-outdoor expansion trend benefits market
                                • Less-functional features, over-coordinated designs less appealing
                                  • Enclosed spaces, smart technology create new growth opportunities
                                  • Key Retailers

                                    • Lowes
                                      • Home Depot
                                        • Target
                                          • Wayfair
                                            • What’s In

                                              • Millennials enjoy the outdoors and elements of it
                                                • The blurring of outdoor and indoor spaces
                                                  • Furniture innovates to survive the outdoors
                                                    • Versatile and cross-functional rugs
                                                      • Urban farming and agrarians
                                                      • What’s Fading Out

                                                        • Outdoor living trends on the way out
                                                          • “Matchy-matchy” color schemes
                                                              • Figure 15: Qualitative responses: Likes and dislikes of patio and outdoor living décor and furniture
                                                          • What’s Next?

                                                            • Enclosed outdoor spaces
                                                              • Move over man caves
                                                                • Sheds are no longer just for equipment and tools
                                                                  • Figure 16: Select outdoor living space additions, February 2016
                                                                • Smart home spreads to the outdoors
                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                  • Yard space more prevelant among adults 45+
                                                                    • Age, race, and income dictate outdoor furniture purchases
                                                                      • Entertaining, replacement, and design drive category purchases
                                                                        • In-store displays, media provide outdoor design inspiration
                                                                          • Most aspire to purchase staples
                                                                            • Outdoors is relaxing and an extension of home for most
                                                                            • Outdoor Living Spaces

                                                                                • Majority of Americans have yard space with grass
                                                                                  • Figure 17: Outdoor living spaces at the primary residence, February 2016
                                                                                • Those aged 45+ more likely to have yard space
                                                                                  • Figure 18: Outdoor living spaces at the primary residence (backyard with grass), by age, February 2016
                                                                                • Black consumers least likely to have outdoor space at residence
                                                                                  • Figure 19: Outdoor living spaces at the primary residence, by race, February 2016
                                                                              • Outdoor Furniture Purchases

                                                                                  • Patio furniture a must have for outdoor space
                                                                                    • Figure 20: Outdoor furniture purchases, February 2016
                                                                                  • Younger adults show most interest in new purchases
                                                                                    • Figure 21: Select outdoor furniture purchases, haven’t purchased but interested, by age, February 2016
                                                                                  • Hispanic, Asian consumers express interest in range of purchases
                                                                                    • Figure 22: Outdoor furniture purchases, haven’t purchased but interested in, by race and Hispanic origin, February 2016
                                                                                  • High-income consumers buying wider array of outdoor items
                                                                                    • Figure 23: Outdoor furniture purchased, by household income, February 2016
                                                                                • Outdoor Furniture Purchase Drivers

                                                                                    • Entertaining drives purchases, yet design and updating important
                                                                                      • In their words
                                                                                          • Figure 24: Outdoor furniture purchase drivers, February 2016
                                                                                        • Eye-catching displays, promotions could appeal to younger consumers
                                                                                          • Figure 25: Outdoor furniture purchase drivers, by age, February 2016
                                                                                        • High-household-income shoppers more prone to furniture replacement
                                                                                          • Figure 26: Outdoor furniture purchase drivers, by household income, February 2016
                                                                                      • Sources of Outdoor Inspiration

                                                                                          • In-store displays provide inspiration
                                                                                            • Figure 27: Sources of inspiration, February 2016
                                                                                          • Millennials look to media for inspiration
                                                                                            • Figure 28: Select sources of inspiration, by generation, February 2016
                                                                                          • Hispanics seek out guidance, trust friends and family
                                                                                            • Figure 29: Select sources of inspiration, by race and Hispanic origin, February 2016
                                                                                        • Aspirational Purchases

                                                                                            • Patio furniture tops aspirational wish list
                                                                                              • Figure 30: Aspirational purchases, any rank, February 2016
                                                                                            • Highlight experiences to appeal to Millennials
                                                                                              • Figure 31: Select aspirational purchases, any rank, by generation, February 2016
                                                                                            • Hispanics want amenities of the kitchen but outdoors
                                                                                              • Figure 32: Select apirational purchases, by race and Hispanic origin, February 2016
                                                                                          • Attitudes toward the Outdoors

                                                                                              • Outdoors ideal for relaxing and activities
                                                                                                • Figure 33: Attitudes toward the outdoors, any agree, February 2016
                                                                                              • Many find value in updated space, some look for family focus
                                                                                                • Figure 34: Lowe’s Hypermade video – DIY Globe String Lights, May 2015
                                                                                              • Looking to improve outdoor space yet don’t want to invest time
                                                                                                • In their own words
                                                                                                  • #Outdoorgoals: An oasis for relaxation and enjoyment
                                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                    • Data sources
                                                                                                      • Sales data
                                                                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                          • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Market

                                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Total US sales of patio and outdoor living market, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-15
                                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Total US sales of outdoor furniture, by segment, at current prices, 2014 and 2015