Reaping the Benefits of Exterior Design
Spring has come to the Sonoma Valley
Spring has come to the Sonoma Valley - With the beauty of this area attracting people who want to live in an established, historical and gorgeous setting, this is a great time to place your property on the market.
Before you list with your agent, work with a design professional to carefully evaluate just what you need to do to show your property at its very best. A moderate amount of money spent on improving your property can reap far greater results, in, not only a higher sales price, but an even quicker sale. Staging is everything. I would say that it is absolutely essential for a successful sale.
Taking your exterior landscaping into consideration, realize that you are the “set designers” for the very important production of selling your home. In addition to trees, shrubs, and groundcovers, I always include any porches, decks, walkways, outdoor structures and lighting as part of the landscaping. Look at it as one large painting, with all of the elements complementing each other.
When creating a mix of textures, colors, dimensions, and focal points, the overall impression will be pleasing and appropriate. The details are important and careful editing will get you the results you want. Often it is the removing of a lot of accumulated items and the pruning back of shrubs and trees that opens up the property. Simplicity in design allows the focus to go on the property as a whole.
A few ideas follow that are helpful not only to someone selling their home but to those who have purchased a new property and are looking for ways to make it more attractive.
The walkway from the street to the front door should be obvious to your guests, wide enough for two people, level, and with non-slippery surfaces. Ideally it would also be a gracious curve. Small walkway lights will illuminate the area at night, as safety is also an important feature.
The front entry is one place to make a statement. Select a handsome door, choosing perhaps a strong accent color, which would coordinate with the style of the home and the exterior color scheme. For protection in the rain a covered roof/portico at the entrance and additional lighting is also important
An exterior lighting plan should be prepared to include the entire outdoor area and in my experience this has great potential. Special planting areas can be featured; soft subtle lighting suitable for outdoor dining; dramatic spotlights highlighting a few large trees; lighted pathways directing you to garden areas. All these will create an ambiance that is very desirable. At night when soft lighting is in the yard it brings an extension of the living areas and makes for a very pleasant view from within the home.
I prefer to use a landscape designer for all the plantings and placement of exterior special features such as fountains. This is her area of expertise, mine is the overall design. Every element and structure surrounding the home needs to be in complete harmony with the style of the house. Your home should be distinctive, design elements appropriate to its style and age, and, with colors that emphasize its best features.
The time, energy and expense taken before your home goes on the market will truly reap great rewards as even a few thousand dollars spent in renovations could bring a hundred thousand dollars more at the time of the sale. This is an especially competitive market right now so it is both wise and beneficial to be prepared.