Patio Party Anyone?

THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK
The Official Krisztina Blogsite

I’m feeling that summer has arrived (finally) and so thought it would be appropriate to talk a little about backyard patios – particularly since our Oak Park neighbourhood design gives most Oak Parkers a unique little backyard enclave. With careful planning and consideration, a backyard patio can be the perfect extra living space for the summer without building walls! OASIS. PARADISE. SANCTUARY. MEDITATION ROOM. HAVEN. If any of these words sound appealing to you, then that’s the first step in designing your open-air room! Everyone should have a space that provides an escape from the daily grind as well as a peaceful setting for hosting family and friends. Outdoor spaces have come a long way in recent years. Fade resistant and waterproof furniture, gazebos, outdoor fireplaces (check your local by-laws), ornate planter boxes, patio heaters, outdoor wireless speakers, speakers disguised as rocks and tin fence art (check out Winners/Homesense) are just some of your considerations. Start with a great foundation. Whether it’s brick, stone, concrete or wood, having a dream patio can be achieved by anyone! And if your patio consists of a hot tub or outdoor grilling area, you may want to consider different levels for your patio. Give some thought to your colour scheme. It seems the Romans knew a thing or two when it came to outdoor rooms and colour. Their surviving frescoes consistently use soothing water and earth tones. Although we may have more choices today when choosing furniture and accessories, aim for a uniform look that evokes a serene feel. If you want to create a cozy atmosphere for long evening conversations, lighting matters. Consider solar powered lamps in your flowerbeds and wall lanterns. Even small spaces can be split – think about creating an eating area and a sitting area (or as I like to call it, a cocktail area!!). One of my neighbours has done both, covering her eating area with a gazebo strung with lights and it looks stunning. Little things make a difference. Think about accessory pillows, planters and matching tableware and glassware. The more you love your space, the more you’ll use it. In this current economic environment, we’ll all be spending more time at home, so we deserve a great outdoor space. For more inspiration, invite friends over, try a new recipe on the grill, create a specialty drink for the evening and put a fun summer music mix on your iPod dock.

If you’re not currently in a position to upgrade your home with a move, then upgrading your home with a great outdoor living space is the next best thing this summer. And if you’re considering selling, finishing off your backyard space will increase the visual appeal, and ultimately the value of your home. Home Real Estate prices have been quickly returning to their pre-recession levels according to the latest data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (although number of transactions as well as number of homes on the market are down). This means that committed buyers and motivated sellers are the ones currently moving properties. And I can testify to that – all my listings have been moving quickly!

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