in the know

Dine out…

How to make your garden sell your home

We’re heading fast into the months when dining outside suddenly becomes important. As we don’t live on the Spanish costa, or have daily access to a small cobbled piazza in Umbria, we simply have to make the best of warm nights by setting the scene in our own back garden, courtyard or balcony. 

When viewing a home, buyers want to imagine themselves living there – the dream made real. While actually sitting outside to eat your lunch or evening meal might be a relatively rare occurrence, by showing the glamour of the possibility, you are showing your home to its best advantage.

So, how to create the perfect outdoor dining spot?

First, watch where the sun goes and pick a spot that catches the afternoon and evening rays. If there’s a flowerbed there, seriously consider whether converting it to a small dining zone might not be a bad idea. Investigate decking squares or paving and put a little effort into creating a flat area in which you can fit a table and chairs. 

If you’ve already set up an area, take a hard look at whether it needs a bit of a spruce up. 

  1. Clean the decking or patio – there’s nothing so satisfying as the first big clean with a pressure washer, you’ll be hooked. 
  1. Take a look at the lighting. Place solar powered lights into flowerbeds, string them from nearby trees, pin them to close-by structures. The aim is to create ambience; a gentle lighting scheme that makes everything, and everyone, look beautiful.
  1. Examine your dining set. Could it do with a wash down and a re-paint? Wooden furniture does well with an annual scrub and wash down. Don’t use a pressure washer, you could split the wood if it finds even a tiny gap. Use a wire brush to clean off any debris, then wash down with a mild solution of washing up liquid. Let it dry fully, then apply a treatment oil, if your furniture is a hardwood such as teak or oak, or apply an oil-based paint or varnish made specially for wooden furniture. There are so many colours to choose from now, including a simply vast range from Valspar at B&Q, that you can choose to lighten the mood with a delicate lilac or go dark with a fabulous forest green, and everything in between. Metal furniture can also be easily updated – a wire brush and hot soapy water will give you a good starting point. If you fancy a colour update, make sure you remove any loose or peeling pain. Rust Oleum do a fabulous range of paint colours and have loads of How to… YouTube videos to guide you on your way.
  1. Of course, you might prefer to invest in some new furniture – after all, you can take it with you to your new home!
  2. Finally, dress the dining area as you would want others to see it – glasses, a jug, a colourful bowl – and take some photos in the dusk light, when the lighting has switched on, to share with your estate agent. As most viewing happen in the daytime hours, this gives people a chance to see, and imagine themselves in, your perfect al fresco dining area.

Eddie – Friday 13th May 2022.