Create a focal point
Let’s face it, there is nothing quite as wonderful as the feeling nature brings us. Utilising your backyard or balcony, whether large or small, creates a wonderful link between your indoor and outdoor zones. And when it comes to selling your property, your garden is an integral part of the home, so presenting it in its best light just makes sense in order to achieve an outstanding sale price.
Well-designed indoor rooms typically start with one element — a sofa or piece of artwork, for example, which gives the eye something to land on. The remainder of the furnishings and accents support that piece. That same principle applies to outdoor living spaces. Create a strong focal point using a statement potted plant or a cluster of pots. Or update your entertaining space to feature a lounge or scatter seating with outdoor cushions that tie into your interior colour palette. Planting mature trees or shrubs are a great way to instantly fill in empty gaps, screening unsightly views as well as creating instant scale and impact.
This works particularly well for small spaces including balconies as it gets the plants up onto the wall freeing up precious floor space. It’s really important to introduce as much greenery as possible into these spaces to really bring them to life and create that connection with your home and nature. Get creative and use recycled materials such as crates or glass jars.
Play with fire
If you have a fireplace inside your house, you’ll know it’s where you love to curl up with a good book on a quiet night or where larger groups gather on chilly days. The same is true for outdoor living spaces as a source of fire draws people. If you have the space and budget, consider a full-size version. If not, shop around for a fire pit which provides flexibility as it is portable and is a more affordable option.
Take a seat
If you have a lot of family or love to entertain be sure to provide ample seating options to allow family and friends to socialise within the space more comfortably. Invest in an outdoor lounge setting for a more relaxed vibe or a dining setting for those summertime dinner parties. If you have the space, do both and create different zones within your outdoor area. If you are lacking space you could always go for a 3 piece café setting for intimate alfresco dining or an occasional setting for an afternoon cocktail. Built-in bench seating maximises the available space by utilising existing walls to build from and then doubling up the seating as storage.
Another simple yet effective way to enhance your outdoor area is the clever use of outdoor weatherproof lighting. A fool proof way to create instant no fuss outdoor ambience is using fairy lights strung above the table for a whimsical feel or lanterns with candles dotted around the perimeter of the area for a romantic vibe.
No matter the size of your yard, your outdoor living spaces will work better together if you establish traffic patterns. You can do this in a variety of ways, including laying formal walkways, creating shifts in materials, or planting shrubs or trees to establish corners and borders. Be careful not to include too much furniture to the space to avoid it becoming overcrowded and traffic patterns become cluttered.