It’s easy to neglect the outside portion of your property when you first get settled in. After all, the kitchen and bathrooms and bedrooms are the areas you’re most in need of. Maybe you also need to get your office set up, so you can continue working from home. Once you’ve gotten all your indoor needs covered, however, many people’s minds shift to the outdoors, to the yard, and all the activities they could be doing in it. It’s also a major focus for those looking to one day sell their property, as the curbside appeal is a major contribution to a potential buyer’s first impression of a home. The following will explore some of the things you can do to improve the feeling of your exterior space.
Take Care Of What You’ve Got
No matter how stunning a landscape arrangement is or how glorious a sweeping oak tree is, it won’t look fantastic for very long if you don’t take good care of your yard. Take the time to research the specific species on your property and ensure that you’re giving them all the love and care they need. Not only does proper exterior maintenance improve curbside appeal (which can bolster your selling price if you decide to move), but it also gets you outside, enjoying the fresh air and the sun. There is an element of Je ne sais quos in homes and yards that are well cared for. Somehow, in some way, people can sense whether or not love was put into something. It’s that secret ingredient that makes a home truly spectacular. As a side note, if you’re unable to manage the work yourself, you can hire a local professional (or even a local kid) to help keep up maintenance.
Seek Out Some Shade
No matter how gorgeous your yard is, you won’t be able to enjoy it fully if there’s not at least the option of shade. Spending time outdoors is wonderful, but too many hours in direct sunlight can leave you feeling hot, thirsty, or sunburned. While shade can be provided by big trees if you want to amp up the classy vibes of your exterior, why not seek out something like a louvered roof Covering patios or gazebos or pergolas with something that can give you lots of sky and sunshine when you want it, but also provide shade when that’s needed, gives you the best of both worlds.
Nothing gives off that classy feeling quite like a beautiful building covered in vines. Peruse through the different flowering vine options, and you’ll find something that suits the style of your home. Vines add old-world charm, lively energy, and prestige to nearly any surface. Consider growing them along your exterior walls, sheds, barns, or fences. Amp up the vibe even further by choosing something with a gorgeous scent like Sweet Peas or Star Jasmine. If you’re looking to cover up a surface quickly, try out a Virginia Creeper or Scarlet Runner Bean (as a bonus, Scarlet Runner Bean attracts hummingbirds). If you’ve got a shady area you want to be covered, look into Climbing Hydrangea or Honeysuckle (also attracts hummingbirds).
Plant For Wildlife
Mentioned above were a few vines that attract hummingbirds. Thinking about what a plant attracts is a brilliant way to add new beauty and life to your outdoor space. Some flowers call to butterflies, and bushes and trees draw certain types of birds. Read up on the types of plants that attract the wildlife you’re most interested in being surrounded by, and suddenly you have a garden fit for a Disney character. Of course, it’s a good idea to read up on a plant species’ original habitat before making a selection. Growing non-native plants can result in the native plants in your area struggling against the newcomer, and sometimes also means more work will be required for maintenance.
Humans love being near water. This probably has to do with our evolution—animals that have access to water survive, and those that don’t, don’t. Studies have even shown that being near running or rushing water is good for our mental health—the sound soothes us and reduces levels of cortisol in our bodies (the stress hormone). Maybe a creek is the right thing for your garden; maybe just a small bubbling fountain will do. Consider where you could include features with water, and spend a little time researching all the stunning options available. Be wary of standing water with no natural cleansing systems in place, though, as this can result in mosquitoes.
Similar to sitting near water features, humans also relax when they’re gathered around a fire, listening to it crackle. Again, this probably has to do with evolution. When we had a fire, it meant we were warm and able to cook our food and eat it. It also often meant we were gathered with lots of other people and enjoyed socializing, telling or hearing stories, and feeling secure because we were safe in such a large group. Bonfire pits come in all shapes and sizes, and there’s certainly one that is going to suit your aesthetic preferences. As a bonus, the house with the fire pit often becomes the place where everyone gathers.
If you want to spend more time outside, having comfortable seating can help. Something like a hammock or outdoor lounge furniture can turn any exterior into a family’s main space. Whether you want something natural-toned that blends into the lush vibes of your space or something sleek and modern and easy to keep spotless, outdoor furniture has you covered.
The above information should have gotten the exterior design ideas flowing. Once you start looking for ways to make your yard more comfortable and activity-friendly, you’ll soon realize that there are endless possibilities. Of course, if you are making changes with the hopes of increasing value when you sell, it’s a good idea to speak to your real estate agent first. Not all improvements result in more money when a home sells; sometimes, they actually reduce the value of a home, depending on what’s in style and what buyers are looking for.