Spring is a great season for sprucing up the exterior of your home. The invigorating freshness of the season inspires many homeowners to improve the world they live in by adding new features! Many times we think about painting our home as soon as warm weather comes. My idea is to look at your home objectively and think about improving what you have before you even think of planning your paint colors!
Spring Improvement Plan.
With every home there are permanent features which you want to consider. Think about if you need a new roof, driveway, new pavers or even new hardscaping. All of the elements come in colors, think if you will be changing any of these before you start thinking about paint colors. This is only the first step in your spring improvement plan.
Now is the time to think about new additions. It is rare that you think about putting an addition onto your home before you paint, but in some cases it will really make a difference. Here are some features that you might want to think about. Each one of them will improve your outside living, and improve your quality of life in some way.
If you like to entertain, adding an out door grill or expansive kitchen area is an exciting way to share a meal with friends and family. An outdoor kitchen can be used for anything from a midday barbecue to a candlelight dinner. Entertain as many people as you would like and your outdoor kitchen is a feature that feels like pure luxury! In regards to color, I suggest using materials that relate to the building it is attached to. An outdoor kitchen should feel as if it was created at the same time as the original home.
The beauty of a pergola is that it can be a place to enjoy the fresh air, without being closed off. A simple structure that is open on all sides allows you to sit comfortably without being in the direct sunlight. Pergolas are often made with raw, stained or painted wood. When you paint the structure it will require more maintenance, if it is left to weather your color statement comes from the surrounding landscape. If you would like to make your pergola a focal point, add flowering plants that will stay close to the top of the structure. It adds richness, greenery and a colorful accent to your garden!
Paths or walkways are a great way of adding direction, as well as color to your garden landscape. Dividing the grassy areas with patterned brick or decorative pavers can be a way of dividing play areas and formal gardens. It also can be a directional tool to lead you to the private, secluded areas. Walkways are a great tool, but can also add a magical quality when they are installed creatively! If there is brick on the home I suggest carrying the same brick color throughout your walkways. Otherwise try to great a path or walkway that blends in with natures color palette. That way the design of the walkway is all about beauty, and less about contrasting colors.
Years ago I purchased a home that came with a grape arbor with a mature grape vine covering it completely. I quickly did some research to know how to care for this plant that was left in our care. Once I lived with it, I fell in love with it and cannot recommend a grape arbor enough! The beauty of the grape arbor is that it has the design similar to the pergola, but the grape vines are dense and aromatic! It is an amazing experience living with a healthy grape arbor. It’s as rewarding as being in a garden surrounded by sweetness all day long!
The reason to have a deck, a patio or a gazebo, is to have a destination / attraction within your landscape. Any one of these can offer seating, tables and places to relax. By being a destination, it gives you a place to be focus your design. The beauty of a gazebo, is that it has more of a sense of privacy about it. A little less open to the environment, a gazebo is a quiet place where you can hear the world around you but not necessarily be seen or heard. Enjoying the beauty of nature and enjoying your privacy at the same time, is a win-win on so many levels.
Every one of these ideas is unique and provides a new outdoor space for you to enjoy. Adding a feature to your home can provide a place to entertain, or a place to enjoy some privacy. Choose what you are looking to use the space for, before you decide what feature is best for you.
In regards to colors, look at where each feature will be installed before you decide on your colors. If your feature is in a natural setting, I like the colors to feel like the surrounding environment so they blend right in. There is always a lot to consider before you jump in.
Will you be adding a feature to your home this year? I’d love to hear from you!
Adding a feature to your home is the first step in completing the design of your home. Our next step will be thinking about new colors for your home. Watch for upcoming Color911 blog posts, choosing your garden or paint colors will certainly be coming soon. Stay tuned, it will be a great season of posts on Color911.com, I hope you’re inspired!
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/69764650@N00/4939529812