As the holiday season is starting Part 2 of my home exterior blog is focussing on how to make it really nice outside so that you can enjoy BBQ and playtime during these few summer weeks.
But stop, before you start decorating, look at the set up and use of space.
Review the positioning of your outdoor furniture.
Do they match the space? Especially in size? Just like in the interior, the most common mistake people make, is to buy large pieces of furniture which then overload the space and do not leave room to move around. So, if this is the case, eliminate some parts of your furniture, move the set around or even split it up and use parts of it in another outdoor area (if you have one of course).
I just followed all these steps myself and reviewing the position and fit of the outdoor furniture (I took a look from the distance as if I was approaching the house for the first time) I noticed that our table in the front garden was way too large in relation to the size of the terrace itself. And on the back terrace we actually had the opposite: a small round table which always felt too small when sitting down for an outdoor dinner. I simply switched the arrangements and voila… A whole new outdoor atmosphere has been created.
Talking about outdoor dinner… never place a fireplace, BBQ or stove in the Northwest sector of your home, terrace or garden. It may sound crazy, but this sector is considered to be the heavens gate! Don’t burn it down!
But back to the exterior and the last and most exciting task (for me at least): planting and decorating! I simply love it as it gives the opportunity to play with different colours and shapes when choosing the plants and pots. So, I tried to think and decide on a colour scheme for this season but somehow could not make up my mind whether I wanted red, white, blue or rather yellow or maybe a combination of two colours.
Again, I reminded myself to take a step back, distance myself from the property and look at it as if I was not living there. What did I want? What atmosphere and feeling did I want to create?
What I wanted was a balanced (Feng Shui) exterior for the terrace, the place where we barbecue, hang out with friends and neighbors while supervising the playing children; a place for socialising, exchanging and laughing.
But also the direction of the space is important. We have a North/Northeast facing terrace with just enough sun in the late afternoon and evening hours. So, I needed plants that could survive the cold, shady place while bringing enough colour to create a social and happy place.
Talking about Feng Shui, attracting good energy for living or even when selling the home, of course you will think there needs to be a pont or water feature somewhere. But let me get this straight! Water has amazing energy and can bring abundance and wealth if placed in the right position at the right time, but it also needs to be big enough to have an impact. Moving, yang water is in this case always preferable over still, stagnant, so called yin water.
In our case, I decided to replace the water feature with blue flowering plants as we have limited space and add table decorations with swimming candles in a large crystal bowl filled with water whenever we spend time outside in the evenings (you can also add flowers and make it a small water puja, a wish-fulfilling tibetian ritual).
What is left, is the lighting. Just a few words about the use of light to wrap it up. Make sure your home entrance is lit well in the evenings. It is protecting from break-ins and attracts positive energy at the same time; especially if it is the South sector it will bring you recognition and success. Placing lights in dark areas where negative energy could accumulate is always a good idea. Just follow your intuition to identify those areas. If you are out there in the evening and get goosebumps, this is where you need light!
Whether you simply want to create a nice outdoor space for yourself or intend to sell your home, the exterior of your home is extremely important. It is the first real impression and influences the mood and expectation of visitors, family and yourself and defines the energy entering your house. When you are trying to sell you home, you might not want to invest in it anymore, but rather spend the money on your future home decor. But have you ever put yourself in the shoes of a buyer? First the home search starts on platforms like Funda, Jaap etc. Here your interior presentation and quality of pictures counts to catch attention. Once a house-hunter is interested in your home based on the online presentation…. what would his next steps be? Exactly! An inspection of your house from the outside. If that does not make a good impression, the opportunity is lost!
If you need a neutral pair of eyes to point out the attention points in and around your home, let me know!
I am here to help YOU.