6 Backyard Accessories That Are on Their Way Out, According to Real Estate Agents

published May 20, 2022
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Backyards, as the pandemic showed us, offer quite a lot of benefits to homeowners. Not only can they serve as extensions of your usable living spaces — like when you build an outdoor kitchen or set up table and chairs for dining al fresco — but they also offer another landscape (pun intended) for people to showcase their personal sense of style and taste.

Given that backyards can share so much in common with indoor spaces, it’s no surprise that popular features can come and go over time. I spoke with some real estate agents to find out which outdoor accessories are fading from popularity

One-Size-Fits-All Patio Furniture

While patio seating is still a backyard staple, Robbie Randolph, a Realtor with Blackstream Christie’s International Real Estate in Greenville, South Carolina, says there’s one type of seating arrangement you can expect to see a whole lot less of. “One thing that is definitely on its way out are outdoor sectionals,” he says, adding that individual pieces are the new rage these days since they allow homeowners to customize their seating.

Old-Fashioned Lighting

There’s a new trend in outdoor lighting that has taken backyard spaces by storm: string lights. Randolph says you shouldn’t expect to see too many of those oversized outdoor lanterns around anymore. Instead, the romantic ropes of lights have become a top pick for homeowners looking to brighten things up. 

Easy Access to Neighbors

If the pandemic taught us anything, it was the value of privacy within your living spaces, which is why Randoph said you can expect to see less open open-spaces. “Increased need for privacy can include fencing, walls, and doing secluded areas in the backyard,” he says. That means homeowners are likely opting to create partitions that divide their yard from their neighbors — or at the very least, obstruct their views. 

Hands-Off Gardens

Shannon and Tara Gannon, Realtors with Team Gannon Real Estate in Long Island, New York, say people no longer want non-functional landscapes. “We’re shifting from a more active backyard scene, full of workout equipment and playground gear to a more serene feel,” they say. This has led to a push towards water elements, hidden gazebos, and other accessories that make it easier to connect with nature.


The popularity of flagstone — which can be used for everything from walkways to patios — has died out. Instead, Ann Cassero of RE/MAX Desert Showcase in Peoria, Arizona, says pavers have taken over the scene: “There are a variety of options now in pavers and they are very popular.” 

Take heart, flagstone fans, Cassero says the shifting opinion on this type of hardscaping may work in your favor. “Those who love flagstone paths and patios may be able to get some good buys or even for free if they remove them from a yard switching to pavers.”

Ornate Flourishes

While wrought-iron pieces used to be a sign of high taste, Judy Chin of RE/MAX Villa Realtors in Edgewater, New Jersey, says they’re now on the chopping block. That extends beyond just your patio furniture — water fountains are also accessory non grata in backyard grottos these days.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 6 Backyard Accessories on Their Way Out, According to Real Estate Agents