Functional and beautiful outdoor spaces are quickly becoming one of the most coveted home features desired by home buyers. In today’s market, it’s important to stage the outdoor “living room” as much as indoor rooms. Outdoor areas can expand living space without expensive renovations, offer a place to relax, provide a safe place for kids and pets to play, and create an oasis for entertaining guests. Additionally, a growing body of scientific research indicates spending time in green space – including our own backyards – is good for our health and well-being. From stress reduction and improved memory to better heart health and relief from ADHD, getting outside is key to a healthy life. Here are the top five ways to stage the outdoor living room:
by Kris Kiser, President & CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI)
1. Spruce Up the Landscaping
Do some basic landscaping “clean up” to create a neat space. Things like fixing bare patches in the grass, keeping the grass cut to a healthy height (between 2-3 inches for most varieties), using a leaf blower to clean out flower beds, pruning bushes and trees, and adding a fresh layer of mulch are all important steps to take.
2. Ensure Living Landscapes
Nothing says “welcome home” quite like a beautiful living landscape, complete with flowering shrubs, trees, flowers, and other vegetation. Encourage clients to freshen up their family yard by planting flower beds and pots with colorful flowers and verdant plants. Vases of flowers can also help bring life – and a pop of color – to outdoor tablescapes.
3. Define the Outdoor Spaces
Living landscapes are also great for defining spaces in the family yard and helping buyers envision what they might do with the outdoor living room. A big patch of sturdy grass is a welcome invitation for kids and pets to play. Shrubs and bushes are great for offering privacy from neighbors, camouflaging unsightly pool equipment, or designating play areas from sitting spaces. Planters full of colorful flowers strategically placed between sitting and eating areas on a patio add visual interest while also inviting birds and other pollinators into the space – a whimsical touch for showings.
4. Invite the Outdoors In
Blending interior and outdoor living spaces helps the exterior area feel like an extension of the home, not an afterthought. Ensure blinds and curtains are open to the family yard, highlighting the outdoor oasis before the potential buyer even steps through the backdoor. If the weather is nice during a showing, leave sliding patio or French doors open to illustrate the space’s seamlessness.
5. Declutter & Clean
Store lawn equipment, children’s toys, and pet play things in a shed or garage. Have clients stash lawn ornaments and yard art, especially anything that is personalized. (After all, the goal is to get buyers to envision themselves in the space!) Thin out furniture and patio accessories to make the space look larger. Finally, give the entire area a good scrub down, sweeping away dust and debris to create a fresh, clean canvas. To learn more about the benefits of the living landscapes in your clients’ outdoor living room, go towww.SaveLivingLandscapes.com.