Home Selling: Create the Perfect Outdoor Space

Create the perfect outdoor backyardAlthough everyone likes a little outdoor rest and relaxation, here in San Diego – with our fabulous year-round weather – outdoor “living spaces” become a hundred times more important.  As American Institute of Architects Chief Economist Kermit Baker noted, “Outdoor living spaces have become the new ‘great room’ in terms of must-have items for homeowners.”  Among the younger crowd – 34 and below especially – 63% of people surveyed said that outdoor living spaces and decks are “extremely” or “very important” in deciding which home to buy or rent.  In San Diego, most homes have some kind of outdoor space – but just because it’s there doesn’t mean it’s great!


Especially if you’re selling your home (and even if you just entertain frequently), bringing life and pizzazz to outdoor areas will help buyers – and guests! – imagine all the wonderful possibilities in these important spaces.


This isn’t just about having nice furniture, although some quality pieces never hurt, and get rid of those lawn chairs!  Nor is it just about keeping everything manicured (although this is VERY important).  This is about little details telling a story, and selling a lifestyle. What “story” do you want to tell with your outdoor space?  Here are some examples of scenes to create, and how to accentuate them for photos and showings:


  1. Romantic Getaway. Get rid of bulky lawn or backyard furniture, and replace it with two nice chairs and an end table.  Put a vase with flowers on the table, a couple candles, maybe two wine glasses and a bottle of wine. If there’s room to string romantic hanging lights, do it. Do you have a hot tub? Great, turn it on – and add some candles there too.


  1. Tranquil Hideaway.  For furniture, look for a low table and some comfy chairs or a love seat.  Get some nice outdoor pillows, and throw an afghan over the back of one chair.  A candle or two never hurts.  A book or magazine open on the table, a pitcher of lemonade and a few glasses – who wouldn’t want to relax!


  1. Intimate Entertaining.  Ditch the rusty grill in favor of a bistro table and a few elegant outdoor chairs.  Candles, a vase of flowers or a potted plant, maybe nice table settings.  Next, think about the ambience: how can you create a magical dining experience?  Think about hanging lights or low lanterns, potted trees and flowers, maybe planting something aromatic nearby, like rosemary or mint.
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