Making More of the Outdoors: Stay Fresh This Summer with a Patio Makeover!
A KlopasStratton blog by: Bridget Chambers, Life Coach, Writer
We can almost hear the grill sizzling. Taste the corn roasting. Feel the sun shining. Summer is here in sweet home Chicago, and I want to help you bask in it. (FOX 32 Chicago Meteorologist Mark Strehl predicts that June 21st – the true first day of summer – will be the city’s hottest day yet at a whopping 97 degrees, so ready or not, here it comes!)
The only common summertime complaint among Chicagoans? The season just isn’t long enough. Between the festivals, concerts, outdoor rooftops, and up-and-coming restaurant patios, it’s hard to fit all the fun in. Last month, we highlighted some of the city’s most enticing outdoor recreation. This month, we want to talk about the best way to both revel in the weather and beat the summer heat. What is the key to maximizing your enjoyment at home while also keeping it current and aesthetically pleasing for future buyers? I think - being a Life Coach and all :) - that sometimes it is best to start from the inside out.
Whether a balcony, patio, deck, greenspace, or rooftop, here are five top tips for making the most of your home’s outdoor space:
1) Start with the end-goal in mind
Supermoney.com contends that a patio or similar structure can bring huge future value to your current home. “Outdoor living spaces can generate a great ROI for a homeowner if they are done properly and offer a unique value added to the home. If the project looks like you skimped on quality to get it done, you’ll lose big time. But if you spend the time and money to make it a feature of the home, you could potentially add 8% to 12% of value to the home, and an ROI of over 80% or more for you.”
If you’ve been waiting to add some flair to your outdoor space (or don’t yet have an outdoor living area to enjoy), it might do you good to remember that adding the right things to your home can make it feel both lavish and valuable. Many people steer away from adding to their condos or homes because they aren’t meant to be lived in “forever.” However, the savviest homeowners know that adding the right embellishments can create a large payoff, too.
2) Set the scene
Everybody loves dinner al fresco in the perfect summer weather. If the Covid pandemic taught us anything, it was that meals at home can feel just as indulgent and beautiful as those out on the town. Keeping in that spirit, outdoor areas can create a lush and inviting backdrop to a romantic dinner, cocktails with friends, or a picnic with the kids. When searching for ways to make your outdoor living space conducive for dining, consider sturdy seating and weather-proof materials (teak is a resilient wood best suited for outdoor tables; Sunbrella makes durable and fade-resistant cushions). If you’re starting from scratch, choose outdoor furniture from brands you trust – and where warranties are readily available. Don’t let splashy online home store ads stop you from checking out local furniture shops. Trying to choose outdoor furnishings without seeing and feeling them first can be a fool’s errand. The best set-up is the one you know fits your lifestyle best.
3) Suit your style but keep it simple
When styling your outdoor living space, it is important to honor your style and taste while also keeping it in the realm of palatable to most. Principal home stager Barb Perez puts it best when she tells Apartment Therapy.com, “Staging outdoor spaces adds a lot of visual interest,” says Perez. “Buyers want to imagine themselves entertaining in their backyard, drinking a glass of wine while enjoying the garden, or eating a quiet meal with their family.”
So, how can you keep things authentic to you while still appealing to others?
If you’re adding to an existent space, add light, basic water features, or a reading nook. Remove anything that feels too big or too small for the space. Ensure that overtly personal items are ones that can be removed later on – that family crest in stone, I’m looking at you. On the other hand, if you’re creating a brand-new space outside (by way of patio, deck, or revamped yard), consider consulting classic styles and ideas that seem to outlast the trends. Chances are, you will find ideas that blend general appeal with your specific style.
4) Get that garden glowing
The most cost-effective way to spruce up your outdoor space is by adding fresh mulch, lush flowers, or even small trees. Gorgeous spaces can often fall flat without any greenery, so if you’re overwhelmed with that direction to go, this is a great place to start. The best way to commit to keeping up with the gardening and yard upkeep is to make it a part of your weekly routine. If you feel like a gardening novice, peruse online resources, enlist a friend to help you with a vision, or head to your local nursery, where employees are trained on which plants are best for your specific space. If you prefer utilizing a lawn service, recruit their expertise on what would shut the conditions of your lawn or knoll. If you, yourself have a green thumb, even better! Making your outdoor area an oasis doesn’t have to break the bank. Keep up with your greenery, and you’re already ahead. Even a small balcony shines brighter with potted plants adorned there.
5) Make it your happy place
Sure, maximizing home value is a prudent and smart thing to do – no matter your stage of life. However, in the spirit of summer, it is also important to make the best of your time – right here and right now. Start with some questions:
- -What would make your outdoor space more enjoyable?
- -How do you spend your time outside currently? What do you wish was different?
- -Are you the consummate party host, or more a quiet introvert? Is your outdoor space conducive to those traits?
- -What is the least expensive way to add joy to your outdoor living experience? What is a more expensive way? Which sounds feasible to you now?
- -Consult your family or housemates. What do they think about your outdoor areas? What is on their wish list?
If summer is making you feel antsy to sell, get in contact with Sophia Klopas and Jason Stratton. They will help you amplify your space while getting it ready to sell!
Summer in the city is second to none. This season, won’t you make your most adventurous meals and meet your most pleasant company right outside your own doorstep? Won’t you try creating the summer’s best memories in your own backyard?
Meet you there.