May 2012

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live at home Boost Your Curb By Kelsey Sorenson A Yard of One's Own It's a perennial homeowner's dilemma: How to create an outdoor space to kick back and relax in once the weather warms while not living your life in full view of your neighbors. A tall hedge or trees can take decades to offer privacy, so the quick solution seems easy: Why not slap up a fence and call it a day? But hiding your backyard behind a sol- id wood fence isn't the only solution say many landscape professionals. "There are a lot of creative options for privacy and screening that also make your yard an amenity," says Errin Schlapbach, landscape designer with Ganshert Nursery and Landscapes. Case in point? The privacy screen. Offer- Thinking beyond the chain-link or clapboard fence to a stylish privacy screen in your yard winter as well," Schlapbach says, noting that privacy screens can be designed to re- flect a home's aesthetic and a homeowner's personality. An added bonus? "Often your neighbors like it better as well," she adds. The trend: Protecting your privacy in portions of your yard with a decorative yet functional trellis or screen, while leaving the rest of your yard open and airy. Best for: Those looking to add a touch of personality to their landscape beyond what a traditional fence can offer. Many privacy screens add to a yard's landscap- ing, rather than hiding it. ing both function and style, the addition of a privacy screen is becoming a popular choice for homeowners looking to add a stylish touch to their yards, rather than just hiding it. A free-standing structure, the privacy screen is an ideal choice to block specific areas of your choosing—say your deck or patio—and one that designers blend into existing landscape designs. "It's also something that adds struc- ture and interest to your landscape in the 20 BRAVA Magazine May 2012 The cost: Varies depending on the project. Expect to factor in costs for the design and materials as well as labor. A quality landscape designer will often make a visit to your home to create a personalized plan and budget. Pictured: Privacy screen by Ganshert Nursery and Landscapes, 5284 E. Lacy Rd., Fitchburg; (608) 274-2443 or Whether you're looking to sell or just spruce up your yard for summer, small changes and simple maintenance can drastically improve your home's curb appeal. But where to start? Libby Goodsell, co-owner of Premiere Home Stagers, offers three areas where a little attention goes a long way to giving your home an aesthetic boost. 1. Clean up the lawn and garden. Prospective buyers (and guests) form a first impression of a home in a mere 90 seconds, says Goodsell. Set the stage for a good impression by investing in new plantings or take the simple step of ensuring that your lawn is trimmed and any wild bushes, shrubs or perennials in your yard are tamed. Another small touch is to replace the mulch in your landscaping to freshen up flowerbeds and other plantings. 2. Take a hard look at your home's exterior. "A clean and updated exterior says the [property] is well maintained," Goodsell says. For a quick freshener, start by renting a power washer and taking it to your home and sidewalk to wash away dirt and buildup. Or for a simple facelift you can do in a weekend, add a fresh coat of paint on your doors, shutters and trim. 3. Add your personality and flair. Splashes of color from potted plants make any home feel cheerful while a bench or chair on a porch or deck makes a welcome respite for you and guests. If your home is for sale, these personable touches help potential buyers form a connection to a house. Appeal Three easy steps to an effortless exterior update for your home and yard Photo courtesy of Ganshert Nursery and Landscapes

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