Great outdoor living space – which is essentially real estate and design speak for a nice back garden – is very high on a number of home buyers’ want lists these days. And as nice as it would be if we could all have the kind of large outdoor living space that you see in all the glossy home decor magazines for many people that is simply not the case. So is this a potential deal breaker when you are trying to sell your home?
Not necessarily. Having a small outdoor space does not have to mean that you cannot create and stage a very attractive and functional one – even if you only have a simple balcony to work with or a postage stamp sized patch of lawn.
Creating a workable small outdoor living space does require a bit of planning and imagination but it is perfectly possible to create a magazine worthy look. Here are a few tips:
For a Very Small Lawn
If you only have a small patch of lawn it can be hard to see how you can create a great outdoor living space and the temptation can be to just give up and set a lounger of two outside when the sun comes out and be done with it, hoping that that is enough to inspire a little interest in potential buyers when they view it.
However, the construction of a simple patio can be a great solution in this case. A patio is a great way to designate an outdoor living area without having to do a lot of construction or even spend a great deal of money.
There are a number off different patio material choices you can choose from. Stone pavers are a common choice, but ceramic tile is also just as durable and thanks to all the different colors and patterns that even outdoor grade ceramic tile can be found in you can really create a very unique ‘floor’ for your patio that is a real showstopper. Other great choices include gravel and concrete.
One of the best seating and dining solutions for a small patio is a bistro set which is a space saver while still being a very practical way to dine. Choosing a wrought iron version means you will be making a very durable choice and although they may cost a little more than plastic furniture upfront the investment tends to pay off in the long run.
If you want to be able to cook outdoors the standard large BBQ will probably be too big for a small patio. Instead you could invest in a portable fire pit. These days they come in a wide range of styles, you can find them in gas burning and wood burning models and they offer a cooking experience that is rather different and can certainly be a lot of fun and you will of course be able to take it with you to your new home when your house is sold.
For a Balcony or Small Terrace
For many smaller home or even apartment and condo owners the idea of having a balcony or terrace sounds good but then knowing quite what to do with it can be tough.
To make the most of this kind of space as a center for outdoor living thinking smaller and portable is a must. Small cafe style two seater bistro tables work very well on a balcony and if you have the space you can always opt to add two – or even three – to create your own version of a street cafe and a great place to sit with a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine) and relax. And that is a great staging ‘picture’ to set in a home buyers mind as well as something you can still enjoy while living in the home.
To add some natural color to your balcony space for a more ‘garden like’ vibe choose pot plants that are bright but also easy to take care of, reasonably hardy and that can be moved indoors if the weather turns very cold and nasty.
Alternately you can choose to become a real container gardener and use your outdoor balcony space to grow edible goodies like herbs or container friendly fruits and veggies like tomatoes, peppers and strawberries, plants which all tend to do well on a reasonably sunlight balcony or terrace, stage up beautifully and even help you cut your food budget a little bit!