By Kathy Franco
Temperatures are rising, and the time has come to embrace outdoor living. Whether you’re a homeowner looking to add some pizzaz or a seller hoping to attract that perfect buyer, elevating your outdoor spaces is a great place to start! I have done this in my own house, and as a realtor I have seen countless clients add pops of excitement to their homes before they hit the market.
Embrace the power of curb appeal
First impressions matter! A well-maintained and thoughtfully decorated exterior can be the “wow factor” that significantly increases a home’s appeal.
Take a drive around nearby neighborhoods, what stands out to you and catches your eye? Is it a statement color on the front door or beautiful plants on the porch? Maybe it’s a unique piece of furniture that inspires you.
Variety and color are keys to curb appeal. Try a small table and chair, add pre-potted plants to your favorite decorative planters, or hang a seasonal wreath on your front door.
Create outdoor living zones
Functional and fun outdoor space is key in summer decorating. Potential buyers and house guests are drawn to well-defined spaces for relaxation, dining, and entertainment. By delineating specific areas with well-grouped furniture, guests begin to envision themselves truly enjoying the outdoor space at your home.
On our back porch, we have a sectional couch with a propane fire pit that doubles as a resilient coffee table. Whether it’s s’mores with friends, or decompressing after dinner, that space is always ready to entertain. There is an outdoor TV and a covered pergola above it, which lets us use the outdoor living room even in light rain or hot sun. And the ceiling fan we installed keeps the bugs away.
Our second space is a dining area on the deck. I found a glass top table and chairs a few years ago that fit right outside the door to the porch. I added a bright umbrella to give some shade when the sun is too bright, and sconces so we can have light well into beautiful summer evenings.
How could I leave out our grilling space? Nothing beats local sweet corn and a cookout during the summer months. A space to cook where the mess stays separate from the rest of our entertainment has been a practical perk.
Harness the power of lighting:
The party rarely ends when the sun goes down, so make sure your space is usable after dusk. Thoughtfully placed lighting will create an enchanting ambiance during warm evenings. String lights, lanterns, or solar-powered pathway lights can illuminate walkways and architectural features. Tiki torches are a fun and inexpensive way to brighten the yard, too.
Incorporate natural elements
A small fountain can add tranquility and serenity to your space. Plants, shrubs, and trees will provide shade and privacy. Bringing living and moving elements into an outdoor space will elevate your home’s overall appeal and create a fresh, calm atmosphere.
Add color and texture:
We get plenty of gray during the winter months, so add some color to your home! Infuse your outdoor spaces with bright colors and eye-catching patterns. Throw pillows and outdoor rugs will show off your personality. Look for weather-resistant fabrics and materials to ensure longevity, and don’t be afraid to experiment with bold and contrasting colors to make a lasting impression.
Pay attention to details
Add the little touches that you think may go unnoticed – because they won’t! Try adding decorative accessories like garden sculptures, artwork, or a witty doormat. Upgrade your plain flowerpots to decorative planters with plenty of greenery between bright flowers. Think about installing a privacy screen or a shade to really make your space into its own outdoor room.
These small details make a huge difference in overall appeal and perceived value of your home!
As a real estate agent, I have seen outdoor spaces really make or break deals. When buyers are greeted by an attractive outside, they are excited for what’s to come once they open the front door. As a homeowner, I make sure our family can enjoy every part of the backyard to entertain or just to sit and relax on quiet nights. Adding the illusion of additional square footage through a beautiful outdoor space also helps keep family harmony.
What are you waiting for? Roll up your sleeves, grab a friend, and unleash your creativity to create the backyard oasis you deserve!
Editor’s note: Kathy Franco is a licensed associate real estate broker with Coldwell Prime Properties. She can be reached at [email protected].