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Posted by Maryann Clancy on 3/6/2020

Image by Andy Giraud from Pixabay

Your backyard is just as much a part of your property as your kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms. And yet, you may not spend very much time enjoying the space when all is said and done. If you want to give yourself a reason to get out in the fresh air, you may have to invest in a few luxury items that will make the Great Outdoors worthwhile. 

Just Add Water 

The trickling of water can bring a sense of peace to residents and visitors alike. Displaying it near a dining table can make a meal, snack, or glass of wine that much more enjoyable, especially at the end of a difficult day. Look for fountains that fit the home's overall style. A more modern home may look better with a fountain of intricate stonework than a traditional two-tiered contraption.

You can also consider adding a rain garden to the yard (an indented area that collects runoff from the roof or driveway). Rain gardens are great for the environment and they're perfect for planting colorful flowers and attractive beautiful butterflies.

The Drama of Fire 

Permanent fire pits can be installed in the yard to add more character as well as functionality. These pits can be used year-round, giving warmth to chilly nights and even providing a chance to roast anything from hot dogs to marshmallows. (A fire pit should be placed away from the home, ideally on a patch of concrete or stone pavement.)

You can also purchase a quality grill, one with countertop and fridge space for more gourmet cook-outs. Even amateur home cooks can add a little flair to their burgers, sausages and chicken by giving everything just the right amount of char. 

Lights Above 

Industrial lighting strung over the backyard can give it an outdoor bistro vibe that's perfect for quiet nights and big gatherings alike. It's equally fitting for winter holidays as it is for summer festivities. Use ambient lighting throughout the main areas and task lighting to illuminate the paths and deck of the yard. 

Adding a cluster of lights above an outdoor bar can also be a way to create extra stations on your property. From the fire pit to the cooking station to the bar, you create a flow to the outdoors that will keep everyone having a great time. 

No matter how you spruce up your back yard, remember that there's no harm in investing in the area. If you're only using a small fraction of your property, you're missing out on everything you've worked so hard to build.  




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Posted by Maryann Clancy on 12/7/2018

Most new home shoppers have a list of must-have features in their new abode. Having such a list is a great way to zero in on which houses will make the cut and which are off your list. You will also be able to have a more clear idea of how much of your budget to allocate for upgrades after the final sale for any missing features. Afterall with such a large investment shouldnít your new house be your dream home?

Here four sensible upscale upgrades youíll want to add to your list ASAP.   

Radiant heat flooring throughout the home will keep your feet warm and room temperatures steady. Your energy bill will be cut significantly while also avoiding the on/off repetition of other heating systems that leave you hot and cold. The only flooring radiant heat doesnít work well with is carpeting. So if your home has any consider this your ticket to finally replacing them with some gorgeous hardwoods.   

Whole-house electrostatic precipitator is installed into the ductwork of your home's forced air heating system. The electrostatic allows these electrically charged filters to catch particles like pollen, smoke, and dander as if they were a magnet. And while installing this system is an investment upfront, unlike other filtration systems you donít need to buy replacement screens each month. Instead, you simply wash the plate every few months and pop it back in to continue doing its job.   

Plan extra outlets for better cord management. Floor outlets under a desk, entertainment center or dining room table allow for easy cord management and avoid tripping hazards from cords stretched, mid-air across a room. Place an outlet mid wall where you plan to hang your television for another clever cord management solution. While installing you should also consider picking up an in-wall cord system kit to easily DIY a hidden path for tv to console cords.

Energy efficient features come with multiple benefits and never an upgrade a homeowner would stick their nose up at. Iím sure the first that comes to mind is windows. They keep heat/AC in and outdoor temps where they belong - out. A smart thermostat can help you learn how much energy youíve used before your electric bill comes in and which temperature settings are the most efficient. Not to mention you can easily adjust the temperature from its app so you no longer need to get up just to change the thermostat.

Upscale upgrades arenít all indoor basketball courts and massive home theaters. There are many that are sensible and add to your quality of life for the better. Keep a running list of which homes on your wishlist have these features and how much budget to set aside if they donít.




Tags: luxury   upscale   upgrades  
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