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In-home design consultation for outdoor living spaces


 Marcia Blake is a consultant for Roger's Gardens, Corona del Mar, Calif.

Homeowners in Southern California have found creating living areas outside the walls of the home instrumental in increasing real estate market value while adding useable square footage. Casual furniture and stylish weather-resistant outdoor fabrics promote this trend toward al fresco entertaining by mimicking indoor design concepts while achieving maximum resilience for outdoor use.

Designing outdoor rooms to reflect contemporary lifestyles has never been easier. Today professional interior designers, landscape architects, garden designers and homeowners are decorating their outdoor living spaces using the latest high quality and design inspired furniture and accessories to dress up these outdoor spaces. The weather in many parts of the country provides us the luxury of creating an additional living area with all of the comforts, design and style previously available only for our in-door rooms.

As an added value to retail clients at Roger's Gardens, in Corona Del Mar, Calif., we offer In-Home Design Consultation to assist in space planning and designing these outdoor living spaces. Whether or not your retail establishment is located in a climate like Southern California, this exclusive offering to your clients can increase sales exponentially. An initial visit to the home is instrumental in individualizing the client's style. This is accomplished by using custom cushion fabrics and choosing unique casual furniture collections that complement the existing indoor decor.

The key to creating an easy flow rests in designing an environment to continue the indoor decor. If Tuscan Villa or Mediterranean Seaside is the genre, it is easy to add value to the client's home through Italian stone tables and hand-painted pottery brimming with Mediterranean flowering plants or succulents. Adding custom outdoor pillows, throws, ottomans, lamps, water features, decorative bowls, plates and weather-resistant art helps to achieve the total effect. Multiple vignettes can be created just outside the family or living room doors to encourage movement from the indoors — out.

Follow up your first In-Home Consultation visit with a presentation to your client of the proposed floor plan, furniture, fabric and accessory selections. Upon completion, revisit the home to assure satisfaction and potentially recommend add-on items. Take photos to document the final outdoor living space and to use as marketing material for future clients.

Instead of dreaming of the French Riviera, the Tuscan Italian countryside, Bali's tropical paradise or New York City's urban delights, consider what you can create for your clients by bringing the inside out. Accentuate the outdoor living space while adding value to their home and your client will enjoy contentment they will experience in the new ambiance you have helped them create and that they now call home.

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