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It’s time for entertaining, so what’s hot outdoors?

Dear Heather,

It’s time to start entertaining outdoors, but my outdoor areas aren’t looking their best. Do you have any ideas to spruce them up?


Dear Outdoors,

Outdoor living isn’t just about being outside. Today it’s about bringing all the comfort of the indoors out. The number one trend this year is a seamless transition from your home to your outdoor space using outdoor rugs, ottomans and side tables, and layered blankets and throw pillows. The backyard/porch has truly become an extension of your indoor space. One of our new favourite trends this season is decorating with furniture and decor that looks like it was created for the indoors.

• Patio covers

Patio covers that are an extension of the house are more popular than ever. These spaces allow you to incorporate similar architectural details to what you already have on your home and also add features like heaters or/and fans. With the indoor-outdoor trend showing no signs of slowing, having a covered area for lounging or dining can be a valuable addition to your home. But if you can’t afford this item, you can get a similar feeling with a pergola or gazebo. A sun sail or umbrella offers even less expensive options. Look for an umbrella with enough coverage and a cantilever so you can move it around as the sun moves around.

• Lighting

Lighting is becoming an important feature of outdoor spaces. Whether it’s illuminating key architectural or landscaping accents, adding a level of security or safety, or providing ambience for entertaining areas, outdoor lighting is now high on the list for many consumers. Among the most current lighting trends for outdoors, eco-friendly options top the list. The majority of people are going green with LED and solar-powered lights.

• Low-maintenance plantings

If you’re getting ready to plant, keep in mind that low-maintenance gardens, drought-tolerant plants and less turf grass have become the norm in landscape design. Homeowners now assume sustainable design will be a major part of the plan — both for economic and environmental reasons.

• Edible gardens

Another hot trend in today’s gardens: farm to table. Edible gardens may have been overlooked over the past couple of years, but they are making a comeback to the landscaping scene. Use this trend to help your healthy eating resolution for the new year if you have one. Fresh fruit and vegetable gardens are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they provide healthy food options.

• Outdoor kitchens

It’s time to look beyond the “typical” outdoor kitchen. That doesn’t mean giving up your grill but maybe you add something new this year. Wood-fired or hearth-baked pizzas are no longer just a restaurant order. Homeowners who want this unique, artisan flavour on their pizzas are purchasing stand-alone outdoor pizza ovens, as well as portable units that utilise grills for their heat source.

• Smart tech

Smart tech isn’t just for indoors. Integrating your outdoor living area can make your life easier. Your smart phone has the capability to manage many pieces of your daily routine, and outdoor living is no exception; great technology doesn’t have to stop at the door. Integrating wi-fi controls to your outdoor audio-video packages lets you enjoy your party without having to leave to control the volume or channel! There are also specific outdoor lighting systems, fire features, irrigation and water features that can be controlled by a smart phone with the opening of an app. While most needs can be taken care of with timers, you can go one step further and have the controls at your fingertips from anywhere in the world.

• Water features

Water features continue to be a top trend for outdoors but that doesn’t mean you have to build a pool. Add a fountain, which not only looks great but also adds a peaceful element to your outdoor space. It can also help lower stress. No matter what you decide to do, always remember to consider options in terms of the overall impact on your property value, after all, your home is your most important investment.

•Heather Chilvers is among Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty’s leading sales representatives. She has been working in real estate for 27 years. If you have a question for Heather, please contact her at hchilvers@brcl.bm or 332-1793. All questions will be treated in confidence. Read this article on Facebook: Ask Heather Real Estate