Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Create the Ideal Outdoor Living Space for Your North Shore Home!

While spring is officially here, although it may not seem like spring this week on Chicago’s North Shore; I’m sure many of you have begun to think about warmer weather. The spring, summer and even late into the fall seasons are a beautiful time to live in the North Shore, which means that an outdoor living space can be enjoyed for a nearly seven months out of the year!

If you do not currently have a place outside in which you can relax and enjoy the outdoors; maybe this is the year to invest in one! Creating an outdoor living space can be as extravagant or as cost-effective as you want it to be. The overall goal is to simply have an area that is designated and designed as an additional living area. Whether you want to simply curl up with a good book while feeling the warm summer breezes or you’d like an entire area designed for entertaining friends and family; you’ll find that creating this space will be well worth the investment!

Having an outdoor living space is also an added bonus if you plan on selling your North Shore home! Buyers will see this area as additional square footage and this can put you ahead of your competition. Designing an outdoor living space may be something you’d like to do on your own, or you may decide to hire a professional such as Nature’s Perspective Landscaping in Evanston or North Shore Hardscapes. Whatever you choose to do in your outdoor space; there are three essential elements you’ll want to be sure to include!

1. Fire- According to a recent national survey, landscape designer Michael Glassman, noted that the #1 request for an outdoor space is a kitchen. While designing and installing an entire outdoor kitchen can be very costly, there are other ways to get this same feel. Make an outdoor fire-pit, purchase a potbelly stove, or just use your charcoal grill. On cooler evenings in Chicago’s North Shore, roast marshmallows or cozy up by candlelight and a hot cup of tea. No matter your budget or size of your outdoor space, you’ll be able to find a way to creatively incorporate fire!

2. Water- The sound of trickling water always seems to have a calming effect. If you’re not close enough to hear the lapping water reaching the North Shore; there are other options for creating the serene water effect. A simple tabletop fountain or a pond or stream beside your patio or deck will bring the essence of tranquility and quiet to your outdoor living area. Just be sure to utilize the water you want in your space and keep out the water you don’t! A rainy day can put a damper on your outdoor activities, but having an awning or gazebo with naturally growing vines can offer the protection you need from a passing shower.

3. Earth- Since this is an outdoor room, be sure to include as many earth tones and natural objects as possible in your design. You want to maintain that outdoor feel instead of simply mimicking an interior space. Use things like rocks, branches or wooden objects or furniture to add interest. Of course the changing seasons will be the backdrop of your outdoor room, so be sure to play off the colors and vibrancy of the North Shore season.

I hope this gives you a few ideas for creating your own outdoor living space for your North Shore home! Now is the time to get started to ensure that it’s ready when the warm weather decides to stay and we’re enticed outdoors! If you plan on adding an outdoor living space in order to make your home more appealing to buyers, but have not yet found a North Shore Real Estate agent to assist you in selling your home; please let me know! I’ve worked with buyers and sellers in the North Shore Real Estate market for years and would enjoy the opportunity to assist you in selling your home.

Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions about North Shore living or for any of your North Shore Real Estate needs. I look forward to hearing from you!

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert

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