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THE exterior of a home should never be neglected because that is the first thing outsiders see.
According to Anthony Bird, owner of Eagles Landscapers, an increasing number of homeowners are looking to extend their home decor outdoors in an attempt to harmonise their living spaces and to bring beauty and luxury to their exteriors.
Bird says that there are limitless possibilities to what you can do to enhance the exterior of your house.
He shared some of these limitless possibilities with us.
Bird says that comfort is the keyword in outdoor design this year.
"From patio furniture to relax on, innovative lighting and heating accessories or outdoor hi-tech kitchen equipment - everything is designed in such a way that we can spend more time outside," Bird says.
"It does not matter whether it is a hot summer's day or a cool evening, everything is aimed at making the most of the fresh air and nature around us.
"We are taking the indoors outside by creating entire living rooms, family rooms and kitchens outside, with quality furniture and fittings." Bird says.
Bird says that once you identify your main pieces of furniture, you can add more atmosphere to your garden and patio with outdoor lighting.
"Lighting arrangements can change the entire feel of your outdoor area. You can go for festive, subdued, ornamental, warm or bright.
"The possibilities include freestanding lamps, table lamps, shaded and globe lamps, lanterns, umbrella lights, braai lights, string lights and ground lights. Shop around for what appeals to you, as well as what's practical for your purpose,"
Outdoor paint colours
According to Bird neutrals are hot colour trends this year.
"A wide variety of neutrals and even some colours you might previously not have considered neutral are being used," Bird says.
"Greys are very strong this year. Then add a bit of personality with your trim or accent colours to set your house apart."
Here are some tips and ideas for exciting exterior home improvement and decorating:
Some pillars and big pot plants will make all the difference to a driveway.
Decorating your garden
You might want to have a walkway through the garden. You can use circular shaped concrete stepping stones. You can also choose your favourite plants and flowers , maintain the height of existing plants or just cutting the grass short . All this entirely depends on your own taste and nature.
Painting the exterior walls
Painting the exterior walls of your home is a part of exterior home improvement and decorating.
Exterior paints fade faster because they have to endure rougher weather conditions and more sunlight.
Repainting the house is of course the best facelift but can be expensive. Reduce costs by painting only the mouldings and trims.
Mowing the lawn
Getting rid of weeds and dead leaves and trimming the hedges will make your home almost like new.
Cleaning the shutters, windows and doors and repairing them can also make your home look new.
Porch or patio
If you already have a porch or patio, adding new furniture can make a difference.
Alternatively you can buy new cushions or covers for your existing patio furniture.
Other quick patio spruce ups can be as simple as putting out a few flowering potted plants, adding statues or putting a small water fountain into the space.
Having walkways outside your home add homey and inviting feel to the overall outdoor presentation.
A straight concrete walkway can be improved by putting a bit of garden bed edging along each side, fitting small solar walkway lights or planting colourful annual flowers on the walkway.
Putting a little something extra in your yard defines you and your tastes and gives your home a more unique personality that stands out from your neighbours.
Potted plants have such an important place in the decorative scheme of both house and garden that no one can afford to overlook them.
Flowers, plants, vinesand bushes
Probably the most popular way to improve your outdoors quickly is to simply put out some pretty plants, shrubs, vines and flowers.
You can also give a modern touch to your house design with an attractive door. - additional info www.how-to.com