Original article by: Lita Dirks & Co.
Merchandising Small Outdoor Spaces in a Model Home
Regardless of size, a well-merchandised outdoor space can make a big impact on the effectiveness of a model home. And now, more than ever, merchandising of the front porches, and other small outdoor spaces, of a model home, is imperative. Many of today’s homebuyers are anxious about buying a new home. The desire is there but with rising interest rates and inflation many buyers are understandably nervous about this big purchase. A welcoming front porch can put a prospective buyer at ease. It can help set the tone of the model and reassure the buyer.
Front porches can set the stage for a comforting, safe, and joyous experience. Unless your model home features a wrap-around porch, many front porches are often small spaces, without a lot of room for one to exercise their merchandising muscle. However, despite the size, front porches are a prospective buyer’s first impression of the model. They offer the perfect opportunity to set the mood and get the buyer ready and excited to see more.
In addition to helping set prospective buyers at ease, and get them in the right state of mind, thoughtful merchandising of porches, side yards, back patios, and other small outdoor spaces can make any space desirable and help it stand out from the competition. There are a variety of ways to make small outdoor spaces have a big impact on your models. Our design team will often employ the following techniques:
If the outdoor space is lacking in square footage, thinking vertically is key. We will often add decor to the walls or ceiling (if the space is covered) to make a visual impact without eating up precious real estate. Further, adding a “normally only seen indoors” type chandelier on a porch roof or covered deck is another fun and surprising way to give a smaller space a big impression.
When merchandising a model home, we are creating a snapshot of the future for a prospective buyer. We know we need to show them that despite the smaller size of the home’s outdoor area, there are options for the space. To that end, we try to include flexible, multipurpose finishes and furniture.
For example, outdoor floor pillows can provide extra seating when needed and then easily stored (and out of the way). Also, opting for smaller, rounder furniture can help create the impression of more space.
We understand that sometimes there really isn’t enough square footage to create multiple smaller spaces and doing so will make everything feel cramped and chaotic. However, using a small area rug, specific placement of chairs, or use of plants to create a border can help give the impression of a larger space. The borders may be small, but the distinct places help create separation rather than all blending together.
This model home’s second-story deck is a good example of creating separate spaces to give the illusion of more. Instead of just having the table and chairs in the middle of the deck, we included a small loveseat and used the two ottomans as a buffer to create the impression that there is much more space and more seating and entertaining options.
Merchandising a model home is about creating a dream. The prospective home buyers want and need to see the lifestyle they can live if only they buy your house. Thoughtful merchandising of all the outdoor spaces, especially those smaller areas, can help set the tone and make a buyer feel more at ease. And ready to dream of homeownership.
To find out how we can help your outdoor spaces have a big impact on your models, please contact us today.