2018-09-20 / Living

Expand living spaces with clever ideas

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 three-season 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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