Pretty Patios & Balconies

Summer-Porch-with-CoffeeJune is almost here and it won’t be long before we’re enjoying our morning coffee on the front porch or catching some rays on our backyard patios! At this early stage in the season, trees and shrubs are still budding, your gardens are rather barren and you might be craving a little colour! Luckily, there are so many ways that you can add some serious style to your patio, porch, decks and backyards without spending a fortune!

For some instant green foliage, bring your indoor plants outside. May is usually a safe time to start acclimating plants to the outdoors for the summer season but be sure to bring them inside at night if it’s still cool, and don’t place them in direct sunlight for more than a few hours. Strategically place plants around the seating area, just as you would indoors.

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UsingĀ fabric is a wonderful way to make an outdoor space homier. Search clearance bins for colourful throw pillows you won’t mind tossing after the summer season and find a couple outdoor rugs to really bring the space together. Place a larger, neutral-coloured rug down first, underneath your patio furniture and place a smaller, more vibrant area rug centred on top of the first to add a little pizzazz. If your space is very exposed, you can create privacy with a screen, some old shutters or a few curtain panels. Bed, Bath and Beyond sells outdoor curtains in a variety of pretty patterns that are built to withstand the elements.

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A hot trend in 2017 is the vertical garden. Ideal for backyards where space is a commodity, a vertical garden will become a gorgeous focal point in your outdoor space while providing privacy, visual interest and even food! You can DIY the project using old pallets, chicken wire, wooden boxes, an old dresser, even old, plastic pop bottles! Check Pinterest for ideas and step-by-step instructions. Love to cook? Plant herbs in your vertical garden and enjoy fresh, flavourful dishes all summer long.

For the finishing touches on your outdoor space, hang some artwork or a mirror on outside walls, add some mood lighting or place a few sturdy candle holders on tables.

Jennifer Birch – Realtor

Creating Great Curb Appeal

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Freshening up the exterior of your home is critical if you want to get those all-important buyers to your front door. Here are some tips to update your outdoor living spaces that are sure to help you close that sale:

Colour code – Add a bit of drama to your front and rear yards by creating a theme or using a consistent colour scheme. Add splashes of vibrant colour like lime or teal in planters and on throw pillows for the chairs on your front porch. Be sure to update outdoor furniture with wrought iron or trendy wicker. You don’t have to purchase an entire set, even updating one main piece will do.

Re-arrange it – Literally, re-arrange it. A swapping of plant material and a little top-up of fresh mulch in your garden beds will reinvigorate your front and back yards.

Trim – A good prune and shearing of shrubs and hedges is a must. A good rake helps wipe out even more garden debris.

Year-round blooms – Choose flowering shrubs and perennials that bloom throughout the varying seasons. Yews, false cypress and Alberta spruce can all be potted to give your home an instant formal entrance. A long border of mums in a bright colour scheme is eye-catching. Hanging baskets of Boston Ivy and miniature hostas can change the look of any deck or patio.

Clean up walkways – Even stone walkways and driveways need a good cleaning. The easiest tool to use to get the job done is a power washer. After power washing, it is a good idea to remove any grass or weeds growing out of cracks with a hook knife and spade – this will show how well the property has been lovingly maintained.

Jennifer Birch – Realtor