While many of us across Illinois are staying at home right now, it’s important to remember that staying home doesn’t always have to mean staying inside — especially as we head for the warm, sunny days of summer.
Going outdoors and enjoying some fresh air and sunshine can have remarkable benefits for your health and well-being. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can give you an energy boost; improve your memory and concentration; and offer a broad range of significant health benefits.
In addition to spending time in Chicagoland’s many wonderful parks and greenspaces, look for ways to make the most of your home’s outdoor living spaces. Whether you have a sprawling backyard or a small patio, here are a few ways to really enjoy your home’s outdoor areas while staying safe and comfortable this summer:
Add Plenty of Seating
To savor your time in the great outdoors, give yourself plenty of places to settle in. Look for comfortable seating that fits within your outdoor areas. Get creative and find what works for your space, your budget, and your outdoor goals. You could add a bistro table for two, hang a hammock between two trees, set out a chic bench, install a swing, or even layer comfortable pillows and rugs for a chic balcony set-up.
Let It Grow
Whether you’re an experienced gardener or eager to learn, now is a great time to flex your green thumb. No matter how much space you have, you can start growing plants that can completely refresh your outdoor areas. If you have a little less room to work with, look for hanging baskets and planters, or use a wall to grow plants, flowers, and vegetables vertically. Looking for some inspiration on what to grow? You could focus on tasty herbs and vegetables that you can use around the house; bright and colorful flowers that can add a pop to your decor; or hearty bushes and border plants that can help define your lawn.
Keep Things Clean and Organized
Here in Chicagoland, the weather can change on a moment’s notice. Make sure your outdoor living spaces are always clean and ready to use by keeping them clean and organized. Regularly sweep and wash the floors of your balcony, front porch, or deck; wipe down outdoor furniture; polish your light fixtures and railings; clean glass doors and windows; and wash any rugs, pillows, or tablecloths that you keep outside.
Create Chic Outdoor Spaces
As you spend more time at home, think of all the ways you could use your outdoor living spaces. With a little creative and clever design, an outdoor space can serve many different functions. Setting up a projector and seating can turn your backyard into a classroom or movie theater, while a bench or swing loaded with pillows can make for a cozy reading nook on pleasant afternoons. A simple arrangement of tables and chairs makes a perfect dining room for easy al fresco dinners, while artfully arranged flowers and plants can create the feeling of being in a greenhouse, even on a small patio or porch. Get creative, look for new ideas, and set up the space that you’ve always dreamed about.
Set Up Fun Outdoor Activities
Want to get active and soak up some sunlight and fresh air, at the same time? You can easily use your outdoor spaces for your favorite workouts, from morning yoga to evening weightlifting.Add some simple markers in the backyard to set up a perfect playing field for football, baseball, or soccer; hang a net for badminton or volleyball; break out the sidewalk chalk and create a masterpiece with your whole family; or set up your favorite backyard games, like cornhole or lawn bowling.
Add Some Mood Lighting
A little lighting can completely transform your outdoor areas — and make it easier to keep using your favorite spaces, even after night falls. Get creative and see what works best in your space, from hanging lights; to simple lanterns; to a safe and secure fire pit with plenty of seating.
Tackle Chores In the Great Outdoors
Feeling cooped up inside on a beautiful day? Why not take your to-do list into the fresh air? In addition to tackling outdoor chores like cleaning off your patio, washing the car, and mowing the lawn, you may be able to set-up a space outside to answer emails, fold laundry, work on that carpentry project, and be productive while still savoring some time in the wild — or at least the back deck.
How Are You Making the Most of Your Time at Home?
This is the time to remember what’s truly important — health, family, and the bonds that tie us together. Whether it’s now serving as a school, office, playground, or simply a safe space, our home has never been more important. We know this is as well as anyone. At Baird & Warner, Chicagoland has been our home since 1855.
We are here for you, no matter what. We understand that you still have important real estate decisions to make, and our mission is to make achieving those goals easier. We will continue to provide the most updated information and guide you through this extraordinary time with a calm and steady hand. We know how resilient our Chicagoland community is — and we’re confident we’ll get through this together, stronger than ever.