Outdoor lighting has come a long way from the days of patio lanterns and strings of lightbulbs. These days, there's an exhaustive array of options available to illuminate your outdoor space, and make it more appealing and comfortable, particularly in the evenings.
Here are just a few ideas:
- Solar garden lights. These lights are on stakes that can be easily inserted throughout the garden. Powered by the sun, they generate enough energy to cast a soft, pleasant glow along walkways or in flower beds in the evenings.
- Deck post lights. These are easy to install because they're designed to sit on top of a standard 4x4 wood deck post. Most are solar powered.
- Street-style lamps. As the name implies, these look similar to oldfashioned street lamps. Installation is a little more complex, but still DIY-friendly. They're eye-catching and have a dramatic impact on the look of your outdoor space.
- Portable lantern lights. These are outdoor lights that are portable and often made to look like a decorative fixture for a coffee table or side table. They can be placed anywhere.
- LED walkway lights. These are small lights that fit neatly and almost invisibly under stairs and around walkways. Walkway lights not only look good but also improve safety. Most are battery powered.
- Planter lights. This is one of the most interesting options. Each one is both a flower pot and a light in one! The pot itself is translucent which allows the light inside to shine through.
Design experts say you should treat your outdoor space as you would any room in your home. Lighting it up for evening comfort and enjoyment is a good place to start.
You've heard of the term "curb appeal". It refers to the initial impression buyers get when they first see your property from the street. If the impression is a good one, it sets the right tone for the rest of the home viewing.
How do you boost curb appeal? Here are some proven ideas that you can get done in an hour or so:
- Wash both the inside and outside of the front windows. You'll be amazed at the difference that can make.
- Sweep the walkway leading up to the front entrance. Add a new welcome mat. Also, wash down the front door.
- If possible, remove cars from the driveway. Let buyers imagine their own cars parked there!
- Mow the lawn. Lightly trim the hedges. Weed flower beds.
- Remove anything from inside window sills that may look unsightly from the outside. Try putting a couple of flowering plants there instead.
- Place any trash bins out-of-sight. For example, put them in the garage or neatly at the side of the house.
- If the entrance door hardware is old and worn, change it. New hardware can make a bigger difference than you might think.
- Make sure the outdoor lights are working, especially if you're showing your home in the evening.
- Add some flowering plants to flower beds, or buy a couple of portable potted plants and place them strategically.
- Clean your mailbox. If it’s rusted, replace it.
- If you have a power washer, give the walkway and driveway a quick blast. Just be sure it will be dry before the buyers arrive.
These one-hour improvements may seem minor, but anything that helps buyers form a more positive first impression of your home is worth the effort.
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