The Perfect Outdoor Space

Local expert Ginger Knutson shares how to curate stylish outdoor spaces this summer and increase the value of your home.

The sun is out, and whether you’re looking to sell your house or simply have friends over for a cookout, it’s time to liven up your patio and backyard for the season. Everything from curb appeal to a relaxing backyard ambiance can be tweaked and shifted to perfect your space for any occasion. Ginger Knutson, a local real estate agent with Titan One Realty, lends her own advice for sprucing up the outdoors.

Start with the Front Yard

While the focal points of a home’s value are typically the kitchen and the bathrooms, Knutson reminds us that the outdoor spaces can be just as critical—especially as Coloradans love the outdoors. According to Knutson, “Having good curb appeal sets the tone upon entering your house, so having a clean, low-maintenance front yard is ideal.” As the front yard is more of an invitation into the home, it doesn’t need to be as extravagant as the backyard; some minimalist décor and clean landscaping can be welcoming to guests.

Spend More on the Backyard

“For me, spending the bulk of the landscaping budget on the backyard is the way to go,” Knutson explains. “Often, from May until October, we can use our outdoor space for relaxing or entertaining. I always like to add rugs to create warmth and to define an area, and I love to have various seating areas as well: a dining table, a set of chairs or a bistro table, and a comfy couch.” With so many defined seating areas, you can have a dinner off the grill in one space, then move to the couch for an outdoor game night. With a bigger budget in mind, Knutson confirms that adding a deck can provide up to a 90% return on investment. "This is a great way to affordably add living space to your home," she says. "Furthermore, adding a pergola to your deck or patio can give you almost year-round outside time.”

Final Quick Tips

Sometimes all a space needs is a little fix or a simple adjustment, and outdoor spaces come with some simple solutions for just that. Knutson shares, “First, if you have dogs, get turf, and have it professionally installed. Second, use weather-resistant furniture, such as wicker, powder-coated metal, or pressure-treated stained and sealed wood. Third, build your deck out of Trex; it will save you in the long run, as it doesn’t require upkeep or periodic staining and sealing. Fourth, always add lights—hanging twinkle lights or solar lanterns and faux flickering candles that can be turned on with remote. And last but not least, it’s always a great idea to consult with a designer if you are not a confident decorator.”

Trends Can be Fun

Paying attention to trends in design is a good idea, but like with everything, there’s a catch to staying trendy. “I love trends because I love current design. However, it’s not always practical or feasible to switch out your finishings every couple of years,” Knutson adds. “For Colorado, I'd say make your backyard as fun and livable as possible. Turf, decks, extended stamped-concrete patios, hanging twinkle lights, fire pits (gas only, since we are often under fire ban), and water features are great examples.”

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