To help you make the most of your outdoor living spaces in the coming year, we’ve teamed up with design experts Paul Lafrance and Kate Campbell of HGTV’s “Decked Out” series to compile our annual Outdoor Living Forecast.

In this two-part series, we’ll unveil the top six trends these “Trexperts” predict will influence the look, feel and function of outdoor spaces in 2016. In no particular order, here are our first three:

This deck brings traditionally indoor comforts to the outdoor space.

A Trex Pergola and comfortable furniture help create the perfect spot to relax or have a small gathering of friends.

1. Outdoor “Rooms”
“The trend used to be toward bringing the outdoors in, but many people today are doing the opposite – bringing traditionally 'indoor' comforts out to the deck, porch or patio,” says Lafrance. “Thanks to advances in all-weather materials, furnishings and accessories, you can outfit an outdoor living space in much the same way that you would any room in the home.”

Campbell agrees, citing increased demand for deck features such as integrated benches with upholstered cushions, privacy walls and accents like ornamental post caps and railings with decorative balusters, similar to those found inside the home.

To make an outdoor space truly feel like a “room,” Campbell suggests integrating interior-inspired accents like decorative outdoor area rugs, cushions, pillows and throw blankets made of weather-resistant materials.

Trex decking and railing combine to make a spectacular outdoor oasis.

Trex railing duos take the complication and confusion out of the railing selection process.

2. Railings that Rule
Another outdoor element that's influenced by indoor styling is deck railings. No surprise, really, since that’s the most visible aspect of a deck. When it comes to selecting the best railing for your outdoor space, Lafrance recommends using one of the “Three C’s” – coordinate, contrast or change it up.

To make the selection process even easier, Trex recently introduced a set of decking and railing duos that pair beautifully with the brand’s most popular decking colors, offering a variety of choices that reflect regional, architectural and personal preferences.

Americans have taken backyard cooking and dining to a whole new level.

Today's homeowners are going "beyond the grill" with areas that feature all the accessories of indoor kitchens and bars.

3. Cooking with Class
While outdoor cooking once meant a basic grill and a bag of charcoal, Americans have taken backyard cooking and dining to a whole new level. As we head into the 2016 outdoor living season, expect this trend to continue with increasingly functional outdoor kitchens complete with cooking islands, pizza ovens, refrigerators – and, yes, even the kitchen sink.

Ice coolers and trash storage cabinets are just two of the new options in our Trex Outdoor Storage collection

Trex Outdoor Storage provides beautiful and functional cabinetry for the outdoor kitchen space.

“Homeowners are hungry for fully-appointed kitchens with features like integrated trash bins, ice chests and cabinetry that add convenience and luxury,” Lafrance says. “They also help to keep an outdoor space organized and reduce all those pesky trips back and forth into the house.”

Later this week, we'll unveil the final three trends from this year’s Outdoor Living Forecast.

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