By Liz Johnson

Outdoor living space is in greater demand than ever and one of the top amenities home buyers are looking for, say local Realtors. A National Kitchen and Bath Association survey found that 60% of homeowners are looking to add outdoor kitchens like grills, pizza ovens, prep space, sinks, storage and even refrigeration. If you’re looking to lure people into your outdoor lair, here are a few ideas to get you started.

Plant an immunity garden –Enhance your garden with a mix of herbs such as basil and flowers such as echinacea. Not only are they great to look at, but they are elixirs of good health, definitely a selling point this year. Check out Hunterdon Happening 2020 List Finalists Sweet Valley Farms in Ringoes for ideas.

Woman with herbs in the greenhouse

Think about repurposing furniture – Modular tables that can serve as seating, a cooler that can be used as a table or a chair and a fire pit that also serve as a tabletop when not in use will make your outdoor area more functional and inviting.

Put up a privacy screen – This can be anything from a sheet of canvas that acts as an awning to outdoor drapery panels. Plant walls are also in vogue. Even an umbrella that tilts can offer some privacy.

Check out Hunterdon Happening 2021 List Finalist Rutgers Landscaping and Nursery in Ringoes for inspiration.

Perk up your porch – Front yards became the new living room during the pandemic thanks to drive-by parties and socially distance gatherings. Consider ways to give a little zing to yours by adding a bistro table, some rocking chairs or even just a coat of paint.

A beautiful summer breeze parts the curtains on an bright and expansive porch.

Set up an outdoor theater – Thanks to wireless technology, creating a space to listen to music or set up a movie screen to mimic a drive-in theater is easier than ever.

millenial mom drinking her first glass of red wine before the backyard movie begins with kids.

Create an outdoor living room – Set up a couple wicker settees around a table with a jute rug and voila, you’ve just added an inviting room to your home.

Happy bohemian dressed woman in her outdoor kitchen

Container gardening in small spaces – All it takes are a few different sized pots and some flowers, herbs or vegetables to bring a patio, deck or balcony to life. Hunterdon Happening 2021 List Winner J and J Landscaping in Flemington offers a good selection of pottery for plants.

Pot with plant in a floral shop

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