By Alberta Krämer. Home Decoration. Published at Monday, April 15th, 2019 - 08:02:14 AM.
Landscape designer Laurie Van Zandt, founder of The Ardent Gardener in Huntsville, Utah, finds her clients with smaller yards are just as happy. “Most want to putter [in the yard] but dont want to be gardeners,” she says. More clients want to sit with a cup of coffee or glass of wine and enjoy their outdoor space than be wedded to the ongoing weeding and maintenance that larger gardens often require. However, gardens shouldnt be done away with completely. Greenery in small or large doses benefits a home owners physical and psychological well-being, and it may also help sell a listing faster and for a better price. In New York, Amber Freda, a landscape designer who founded Amber Freda Garden Design 15 years ago, has seen her business grow steadily. “The amount of finished outdoor gardens rather than raw spaces has increased. They definitely are a selling feature, especially when they have some features such as outlets for electricity, faucets for water, and a gas line for a grill,” she says.
Listing agents have long had to manage the role of pets in selling a home, including removing smells, accessories, and even the pet themselves in the showing process. Many agents still follow that pattern but other prefer to downplay, rather than hide, all evidence from potential buyers. “I might leave a single leash hanging by a door because that might make a pet owner think of their animal and bring a smile to their face while not upsetting someone who doesnt like dogs,” says Kimberly Cantine, an associate real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Village Green Realty in the Hudson River Valley. Real estate salesperson Barb St. Amant with Atlanta Fine Homes, Sothebys International Realty, in Atlanta, prefers to cite the creature comforts available in online descriptions to stir interest in a listing rather than showcase them visibly.
Audible charms. Wind chimes may please some; others, such as neighbors, may find them annoying, Sachs warns. Thats why she cautions homeowners to be thoughtful about how they incorporate them. Sachs also notes that a mass of tall decorative grasses can add soft rustling noise as a less intrusive sonic alternative. Because of the cost and space needs associated with large water features, home owners may want to avoid a pond or babbling brook, says Carman. But a small stream can add tranquil sights and sounds. Alternatively, a soaking tub can offer a source of calm and way to ease aches and pains, Christensen says. Landscape designer Susanne Fyffe, whose eponymous firm is based in Arlington, Va., has used a recirculating fountain to add trickling noises without wasting water, which also drowns out street traffic. Song birds and bees add wonderful music to the air too, Carman says. And besides using just plants, berries, and flowers to attract them, water in the form of baths and feeders stocked with food will likely bring more to your garden, Sachs says. The plethora of wireless speakers also makes it easy to bring music into a garden. Baumann says the addition of a chicken coop in the therapy garden behind their firms office has offered a new way to experiment with some less predictable outdoor features: “There is something about chickens and animals that brings us all back to our childhood—that simplicity of interacting is healing. We all have a bit of nostalgia, dont we?”
Point out top brands. It pays to learn whats considered the industrys crème de la crème by studying websites, reading design magazines, and visiting top kitchen showrooms. “Then, drop names in marketing materials and with buyers,” says Mallios. A few products that regularly rate five-star cachet for bold creativity or artisanal craftsmanship include Bertozzi and Smeg ranges, Waterworks and Ann Sachs tiles, Flavor Paper wallpaper, Farrow & Ball and Benjamin Moore paint palettes, and Elegance in Hardware pulls and knobs. “Even if some buyers dont recognize the name, citing them gives the impression, ‘Oh, this must be special. I should Google and check it out,” Barnett says. Double down on the bold. Designers and stagers have a grab bag of tricks to tone down bold choices and attract a wider buyer pool tailored for specific situations and features. But heres one you might not have considered: Instead of trying to make a colorful range disappear, Pogonitz repeats its hue on walls or in artwork. “Any color becomes a neutral when used elsewhere in a room rather than remaining the focal point that pops,” she says. If the boldness is in a floor pattern, she takes one of its colors and repeats it in a solid on walls or counters for a unifying effect.
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