Getting outdoors is great for your mental health and overall well-being. Studies show that the ideal amount of time you should spend outside is 120 minutes a week — although more couldn’t hurt! If your outdoor living space is a less-than-appealing eyesore, it may not be the relaxing environment that contributes to well-being.
Improving your outdoor space creates an area where you and your loved ones can decompress and spend quality time. Proper planning can help you create the outdoor oasis of your dreams. The information below provides insight surrounding outdoor upgrades.
Pick a Theme
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One way to improve your outdoor aesthetic is to have a cohesive theme. Mixing styles can make a space feel thrown together. Outdoor areas should represent your style.
If you like the “Boho” style, look for macrame, outdoor pillows, and plants. If you like the “Zen” style, add water features, bamboo decor, and stone. Choose a theme and stick to that.
Choose a Focal Point
It is easy to think of all the different possibilities for your outdoor living area, but you want to make sure that it all revolves around one or two focal points. This doesn’t mean you can only add two things to your space, just that you should avoid having “too much” going on. This can make an area feel small, cluttered, and overwhelming.
Choose a focal point. This can be an outdoor fireplace, a wooden pergola, a flowing fountain, etc. Plan out the best spot for your focal point, and build the rest of your design around it. This will help your space feel like a complimentary space, rather than a collection of items.
Create a Budget
A budget is a great way to manage how much you spend on your outdoor space. This is especially important if you have little to spend, or if you are trying to maximize your return on investment (ROI) when selling your home. Without a budget, it can be easy to spend a little bit here and there that ends up costing you thousands of dollars in the end.
Sit down and plan out a budget. List out your needs vs. wants and finalize a hard-and-fast number. Once you determine what you can spend, you can go ahead and start shopping around.
Map Everything Out
It is important to map out everything you plan to do with your space. Start by creating a list of inclusions, then once you have that established, create a sketch of your plans. This way you can determine if your ideas are feasible.
The best way to approach an outdoor living space is to simplify. Adding too much to an area can appear like a jumbled mess. Open space is not a bad thing. Overcrowding can make an area feel small.
If you have overgrown plants, trim them back. If your garden has spilled over into your seating area, prune them. When in doubt, go simple.
Add Features That Improve Home Value
There are certain additions you can make that will help increase the value of your home. If you don’t plan on selling your home, personal value and preference may be your priority. But if you want to ensure that you turn a profit on your outdoor efforts, consider the following backyard additions that add value to your home.
Decks have one of the best ROIs — especially if they are maintained well over time. The cost behind building a deck per square foot is much cheaper than the national average price per square foot for a home.
To get the return you are expecting, the deck needs to pass inspection. That is why it is best to hire a professional. Local experts — like deck builders in Malvern, PA — know the guidelines and processes to follow, and they have the expertise to get the job done right. Unless you have a construction history or a friend that does and is willing to help, it is best to leave it to the professionals.
Landscaping & Irrigation
Curb appeal is huge for selling a home. If a buyer comes in to see a disorderly landscape, this can be an immediate turn-off. If you don’t have an irrigation system, this can also be a deterrent because many are unwilling to water by hand or spend all that money buying a house just to spend more on a sprinkler system.
Consider cleaning up your landscaping and adding an irrigation system. Making simple changes like cement boundaries between lawn textures, or adding river rock along your fencing goes a long way. Be sure to shop around for irrigation installation pricing to make sure you are getting the best deal on materials and labor.
There is a debate whether a swimming pool adds value to a home. In some areas, a pool isn’t going to add value. But in others, it does so drastically — upwards of 7%. If your outdoor space has the room, consider adding a pool. A pool is a great focal point to build the rest of your ideas around.