Ex­pand liv­ing spa­ces with clever ideas

The Prince George Citizen - The Citizen - Real Estate Weekly - - Real Estate Weekly -

Home­own­ers look­ing to add more space to their homes do not nec­es­sar­ily need to make ma­jor ren­o­va­tions. They sim­ply have to see the pos­si­bil­i­ties in out­door liv­ing spa­ces. Out­door liv­ing spa­ces are cov­eted niches in a home. The Amer­i­can Home Fur­nish­ings Al­liance says more than 70 per­cent of Amer­i­can house­holds have out­door liv­ing spa­ces, and nearly 70 per­cent of peo­ple use these spa­ces at least once per week in-sea­son. Fur­ther­more, home­own­ers are in­creas­ingly in­ter­ested in en­hanc­ing these spa­ces to make them more us­able and com­fort­able. A re­cent sur­vey from the on­line home de­sign and re­mod­el­ing re­source Houzz found that more than 4,500 users were plan­ning a land­scape up­date. In ad­di­tion, 56 per­cent of home­own­ers sur­veyed were mak­ing up­dates to im­prove their yards for en­ter­tain­ing. While the cre­ation of out­door liv­ing spa­ces can cost thou­sands of dol­lars de­pend­ing on the ren­o­va­tion, home­own­ers have more bud­get-friendly op­tions at their dis­posal as well. The fol­low­ing are some ways to cre­ate invit­ing spa­ces no mat­ter how much square-footage is present.

Re­vamp a garage or shed

Rather than turn­ing a stor­age area into a catch-all for items time for­got, clean out the space and put it to bet­ter use. For in­stance, kids may ap­pre­ci­ate their own club­house away from the main liv­ing area. These spa­ces also can be handy bonus rooms for when Mother Na­ture doesn’t co­op­er­ate and back­yard guests need to seek shel­ter. Wall art, cur­tains, a pen­dant light, and some com­fort­able out­door-com­pat­i­ble fur­ni­ture can quickly trans­form a space.

Cre­ate a re­lax­ing nook

Whether there’s a ledge, over­hang, small ter­race, or porch off the house, turn it into a re­lax­ing area for read­ing a book or sip­ping a bev­er­age. Use a few out­door pil­lows, pull up a small fold­ing ta­ble and dress the area with hang­ing lights and pot­ted plants for a quiet re­treat.

Add pri­vacy to a porch

If it’s pri­vacy you covet, in­stall cur­tain rods and hang light­weight mesh or an­other translu­cent ma­te­rial that ob­scures neigh­bors’ views with­out block­ing out nat­u­ral light. In­vest in out­door so­fas and chaises to cre­ate an out­door liv­ing room right on the porch. If your bud­get al­lows, con­sider clos­ing in the porch as a true three­sea­son room so it can be used through­out fall, spring and sum­mer. Out­door liv­ing spa­ces are boom­ing and highly achie­ve­able, and many such spa­ces need not be ex­pen­sive.

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