Home Help: Steps to an updated outdoor entertaining space
Is your outdoor patio or deck looking a bit dated and dingy? Does it reflect your home's personality? Whether you're planning to host outdoor festivities with friends or just firing up the grill with the family, a few changes can really liven up your outdoor space and add value to your home. Follow these simple steps for an updated look.
Clear it off: The first step when updating any patio or deck is to remove all items from the area. This includes furniture, planters and even the weathered layer of grime that sits atop the wood. Use a power washer to remove any mildew and debris.
By starting with a clean surface, you'll be able to see the current state of the wood. If the stain is faded or wearing away, consider re-staining it. Wood exposed to the outdoor elements should be coated with an oil-based finish, never a latex or acrylic paint.
Dress it up and add some color: Repaint drab furniture with outdoor pillows and cushions. Change up the layout for another fresh look. By moving furniture into a more square or circular shape, you'll increase conversations. If a focal point exists, such as a fire pit or great view, arrange furniture to face that.
Lighten up your space: Many outdoor gatherings can carry on past sunset, so lighting your deck area is important. Hanging lanterns in trees creates a fun, party feel. Sufficient lighting will encourage guests to stay past dark and allow everyone to enjoy a warm summer evening.
To enhance curb appeal, maximize your home's exterior appearance. A well-maintained house appeals to more buyers and can sell faster and may sell for a higher price. Keep the lawn and landscaping edged, cut and watered. Inspect doors, windows, trim, foundation and siding for peeling paint. Repaint and replace items as needed. Clean out gutters and replace missing caulk and shingles.
Did You Know
Even when they're turned off, electrical devices draw power as long as they're plugged in. "Vampire power" or "standby power" refers to the electricity wasted in this manner. In developed countries, standby power probably accounts for 5 to 10 percent of residential energy use, according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Many of today's top home decorating trends are relatively easy to recreate, and will add resale value to the homes. One new trend on the rise is temporary partitions between the living space and kitchen, according to Pedro Lima, an interior design instructor at the Art Institute of New York City and owner of Pedro Lima Interiors. These partitions can be of varying heights, whether it's a two-way fireplace or modern book shelving. Partitions are a great option for homeowners who want that open-floor plan for the kitchen and living room, while still maintaining a defined space for each.
Gardens need less water than many think, thriving on as little as 1 inch of water per week whether it's delivered by rain, drip irrigation, sprinklers or a hand-held hose. To save time watering all season and prepare a garden to get through extended dry spells, add programmable water timers to water spigots and hose systems. Even inexpensive timers can deliver water to suit particular plant and climate needs. Early morning watering is best. Midday sun can burn wet leaves. Evening watering can lead to plant ailments and mildew.