Outdoor living spaces add value to a home year-round

A few amenities outdoors add value not only to life in your home but to its attraction to buyers. (submitted photo)

Summer may be ending, but it’s not too late to spruce up your outdoor space. In fact, there are several enhancements that can be made to extend your outdoor living time well in to the fall and even year round.

“Offering an outdoor sanctuary adds value to a home, whether it’s a garden, screened-in sun room or a gourmet kitchen,” says Robin Peterson, president of Coldwell Banker Burnet. “These outdoor living and entertaining spaces have made their way to the top homebuyers’ wish lists.”

According to the 2014 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey, consumer demand remains strong for outdoor living space that allow for entertaining and relaxing.

Landscape architects who specialize in residential design across the country were asked to rate the expected popularity of a variety of residential outdoor design elements. The category of outdoor living spaces, defined as kitchens and entertainment spaces, were one of the most popular ratings at 92 percent.

Follow these tips to extend your time outdoors later in to the night and in to the cooler weather:

Lighten up: Continue entertaining into the evening by installing outdoor lighting.

For example, tiki torches add a tropical vibe, low voltage lighting provides a cozy atmosphere and downlights along pathways and walkways are popular choices.

Feel the heat: Further helping to blur lines between outdoor and indoor spaces is the rise of screened porches, heat lamps and outdoor fireplaces, making them livable nearly year-round.

Pergolas, awnings and other coverings for patios will also help protect from wind and inclement weather.

Comfort that lasts: Choose furniture for year round use that is durable and doesn’t need storage or annual maintenance other than cleaning.

Stay away from traditional wood and wrought iron furniture that needs to be stored in the winter and instead opt for items with removable cushions and rustproof hardware.

Even in cool Minnesota, people have grown to love their outdoor living spaces so much that they bundle up, sit around the built-in fireplace and gaze at the stars. Taking a few moments to enjoy a “silent night” outdoors can help to alleviate cabin fever.


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