As published in the Savannah Morning News - July 22, 2012
Need More Living Space? It’s Time to Create an Outdoor Room.
Create the space and they will come! Everyone wants to take the “tour” of the outside of my home. Simply put, it’s fun to experience the series of outdoor rooms connected by path ways. Each turn leads to an arched hedge, antique gate, or a pergola, where you enter another room. I always joke that whatever my mood, there’s a place to sit and contemplate, meditate or just relax after a long day.
Opening your living room through windows, sliders or French doors to your outdoor room adds value to your property. It extends the living space and invites you outside. Your home will be lighter, brighter and look larger with this extended space.
Creating these spaces takes some imagination, financial investment and a bit of elbow grease. Some pathways are laid with natural leaves or mulch, which are the least expensive to create. My hardscape paths and patios were built with old red bricks or flagstones, which can be purchased, or “found” and re-used. Low retaining walls were built with rocks or stacked flagstones for adding dimension.
Dividing the space can be accomplished by letting a hedge grow and cutting an archway. A natural turn around the house can lead you to a pergola with a gate that opens to another room. Corners of the yard are perfect for rooms created by landscaping , gardens and patios.
My yard incorporates local plants of many varieties blended together for a lush landscape. With only a few areas of grass, it takes minimal time to mow. Some areas were left natural, with a leaf path, bird bath and garden bench. A couple of times a year I trim everything back and the rest of the time, I enjoy!
It’s fun to find treasures and incorporate them into the landscape…lining a fence with birdhouses, and repurposing an old, cracked cement fountain base into a fire pit surrounded by Adirondacks. These add interest, ambiance and functionality. A fire pit area is a draw for cooler weather, and friends love to wrap in blankets and roast marshmallows.
When adding yard art and treasures, I use the same staging techniques as I do inside, less is best. Treasures tucked here and there are all you need to make this work. Be careful not to clutter, but create the atmosphere of discovery, delight and surprise.
Light it up after dark with Tiki torches, candles or low voltage outdoor lighting. We have had some great summer barbeques and fun times because of this extended space.
When entertaining, people will wander and enjoy all the outdoor rooms you have created. It’s fun, full of surprises and beautiful.
Summer is here and it’s time to get creative!
By Brooke Bass, Associate Broker with Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners and owner of Gracious Moves LLC, a Savannah based staging and move management company.
A nationally award winning Realtor, Brooke has been successfully selling and staging homes since 1985. For more information, contact Brooke at 912-655-9299 or visit www.GraciousMoves.com.