We all know that a lovely kitchen and a good bathroom have great appeal to a prospective home-buyer. Position is of course important – but there is nothing you can do to change that.
What is the first thing, however, that a buyer notices about your home? The outside. Either on the cover of an estate agent’s brochure or as they arrive to appraise it.
Kerb appeal is so important: you only get one chance to make a first impression and, be honest, what does your front door and garden say about your home?
Sometimes we stop noticing the unkempt flowerbeds, the faulty gate, or the flaking paintwork. A buyer won’t and, before they have even stepped over your threshold, they are reducing the value of your home – that’s if they get around to making an offer.
So take a long, hard look at your front garden … how could it be improved? Weeding and edging the beds, topping up the gaps with flowering plants, cutting back unruly hedges and shrubs all give the sign that you care about your home.
A fresh, bright colour on the door makes you stand out from the crowd – blue is popular, red if you’re brave, or something from the Heritage ranges, such as Farrow and Ball, for period homes. Reflecting the colour of your door in your planting creates a cohesive look. I like to use Farrow and Ball’s green-blue and follow through with blue-toned flowering plants, such as muscari or forget-me-nots in Spring; salvia, cornflowers, and herbs later on – it’s easier to orchestrate this in the front garden.
The value of your property lies in the space you are selling, the number of bedrooms and reception rooms, but, all too often, that large outdoor room called the back garden is neglected by the seller. You are selling a lifestyle, the TV home gurus tell us, so create a patio where people can imagine entertaining or barbequeing; if you have a patio, make sure it looks loved – no weeds, no dead plants in forlorn pots, no neglected garden furniture.
Do you have a means of venturing to the bottom of the garden – a few stepping stones if you can’t stretch to a path – to show the buyers where you like to sit for a sundowner? Is there somewhere to sit? A timber arbour with a coat of Cuprinol wood colour is not too expensive and has the attraction of being a focal point.
Now, you may not be thinking about selling, but wondering how you can maximise your outdoor space. Before you do anything else, consider calling in a designer. We here at Jardin have the experience to advise you. We listen to your requirements and help you avoid expensive mistakes. We work to a budget and pride ourselves on satisfied clients.
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(All photography mine)