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Carmeon Hamilton for Yelp

When it comes to making changes to her outdoor space, Carmeon Hamilton, the founder of Nubi Interiors and former host of HGTV’s Reno My Rental, doesn’t factor in ROI. “I’ve fallen so much more in love with my house because of the details I made for myself and not necessarily for investing,” says Hamilton. Over the years, she’s completely revamped her front yard and backyard, from building a deck with a pergola to carving out an in-ground swimming pool. Her expertise in the area made Hamilton the perfect person to offer insights around Yelp’s annual Summer Home and Outdoor Trends report, which dives deep into what users have been typing into their search bar over the past three months. Terms like fake grass, drought resistant plants, and patio enclosures are just a few that are spiking compared to the same time last year. Ahead, we got Hamilton’s thoughts on how to best take advantage of summer at home.

The Pizza Oven Setup, Two Ways

pizza oven

Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Outdoor Pizza Oven, Amazon ($300)

Searches for pizza ovens saw a 105 percent increase from March to April of this year, according to Yelp. Hamilton says you can take this outdoor kitchen upgrade in two possible directions: Buy a countertop version that matches your grill and/or home’s exterior for a streamlined look or build a stand-alone one with fire bricks and make it the focal point of your dining experience. “I have a friend who lives in Atlanta, and hers sits on the corner of her patio with lounge chairs and a coffee table in front of it,” shares the designer. “So you can serve on the coffee table while enjoying it as a fireplace as well.” 

The “Totally Necessary” Pool Detail

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Brookleigh Outdoor Chaise Lounge, Wayfair ($1,450)

Shockingly, Yelp found that searches for pools have dwindled by nearly 13 percent, while hot tubs have jumped 28 percent since April of last year. But this doesn’t mean Hamilton questions building a pool in her Memphis backyard. She expects to keep her house in her family for the next 30-plus years, making the splurge a no-brainer. 

For the designer, the game-changing decision was adding a sun shelf with lounge chairs. “There’s something about being in the water but also having the sun on your body…it’s the most refreshing thing ever. It’s totally necessary,” she says. It’s a great in-between area when you want to immerse yourself without actively swimming, plus when friends come over with their toddlers, the ledge serves as a kiddie pool of sorts.

The Overlooked Bar Decor

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Oval Wall Mirror w/ Folding Shelf, West Elm ($250)

This is the year of the outdoor bar (search interest has jumped 56 percent already). In addition to having a cart—or in Hamilton’s case a row of metal cabinets from Wayfair—to spread out your glassware and bottles, there is another key element you might be missing: a mirror. “A lot of people don’t consider hanging things on their walls outside, but you should absolutely focus on them to help it feel like a living space,” she says (Hamilton scored her round mirror for under $200). “Mirrors outside are also amazing for when you’re getting out of the pool and need to check if you got sunscreen everywhere.”