The trend of turning outdoor areas into an extension of daily living space is still going strong, and no one's complaining! Boosting your home's functionality in this way increases its appeal, and ultimately its value too.
Here are some popular ideas for outdoor spaces of all sizes.
Why not spice up your surroundings with appealing plants that attract interesting visitors such as hummingbirds and butterflies? It's quite easy to do even on a small patio or balcony, and some varieties give off appealing fragrances as well. Here's a good list of flower options:
Tip: Apparently single flowers (those with just one ring of petals) provide more nectar and pollen than double flowers. Bees tend to prefer blooms with blue, purple, or yellow petals, according to this "Attracting Beneficial Bees" article.
Mood Lighting that Makes Magic
Soft exterior lighting creates a relaxed and intimate feel that enhances quiet evenings and festive occasions alike. You can use this to your home's advantage in a number of ways.
- Solar-powered stair lights and post cap lights
Lighting incorporated into a deck, walkway, or stairs makes for an elegant evening look that's useful as well. Solar power means this decor is eco-friendly and cost-efficient.
- Fire pit table
Nothing beats gathering around a real fire, and a fire pit table allows you to do this almost anywhere.
String lights come in many styles and create an inviting atmosphere for evening gatherings. (This is partly why it's not uncommon for lights that were hung for a party to end up staying permanently.)
- Battery-powered flameless candles
Flameless candles provide surprisingly realistic and attractive light, with most models flickering like a real candle. Many come with a timer and remote control, like these weatherproof versions for sale on Frontgate.
Shade Sails that Give Shelter
Shade sails are an attractive and versatile way to expand your outdoor living options by creating shelter from sun, rain, and wind. (Not all varieties are water-resistant, so be sure to check.) These can be a great temporary solution for condo balconies, where homeowners may not be allowed to put up permanent structures.
There are so many types of gas, charcoal, smoker, and other grills on the market that shopping around can start to feel overwhelming fast! Fortunately, some people live and breathe grill-talk. Here's a useful Grill Buyer's Guide from the passionate people at the Amazing Ribs website:
Electric grills are often a good choice for condo owners who may not be allowed to have an open flame on their deck or balcony.
A Sport Court that Gathers Friends and Family
Did you know that a growing trend is for homeowners to trade water-dependent lawn areas for... a bocce ball court? It's no joke, according to landscape experts who have seen increasing demand for backyard sport courts over the last few years.
Popular in Europe for centuries, bocce is catching on in the U.S. due in part to its "come as you are" appeal. (It can be played by people of all ages and skill levels.) A typical backyard court size is 10 by 60 feet and costs around $7 per square foot for a do-it-yourself install, according to Frank McNutt, owner of Bocceman.
If that sounds like too much space, consider a cornhole court, horseshoe pit, petanque court, or croquet course - all part of the growing "backyard sport court" trend. Here's a helpful guide to court sizing:
Coconut Hummingbird Cake Rest assured, hummingbirds are not an ingredient. :) This cake looks great and appears relatively easy to make.
The Lighter Side
With wedding season in high gear, here's a little reminder of a few things to
not do on the big day! Click here or on the image above to watch the video on the America's Funniest Videos YouTube channel.
Are you thinking of buying or selling a home in the next year, or could you use some remodeling advice? Even if you just need the name of a good service provider, please remember that we're always here to help you. We welcome the opportunity to serve you, your friends and associates with our expertise and recommendations.
Please give us a call today at (952) 442-1300 if we can be of assistance!