Now more than ever, the pandemic has taught us the importance of home. What better way to spend a leisurely weekend than to enjoy a cookout or soiree with family and friends outside? It’s also about being with the ones we love, surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature, which brings forth a real “joie de vivre.”

If you are looking at your patio or deck and wondering how to create that perfect outdoor retreat, no need to worry. We went to one of our interior designers at Designer’s Edge to help you set the stage for the ultimate backyard space this summer.

A backyard makeover doesn’t have to be costly to be luxurious – Here’s how!

PATIO FURNITURE

There are so many options when it comes to furniture, and it doesn’t have to break the bank! If space and budget are top of mind, all you need are a few cushy chairs and a table for resting drinks or books.

If you are looking for something a bit more upscale that will last for years to come, our designers say investing your money in well-built furniture is well worth the initial cash outlay. Some of the best materials for withstanding the elements include wood (teak, and cedar), metals (aluminum, or steel, and wrought iron), and synthetic resins and plastics. These are all great options and, best of all, you can just cover them over the winter and leave them outdoors.

THROW IN POPS OF COLOUR

Injecting a splash of colour can instantly give your patio or deck a burst of personality. This year is all about pastels, which are inviting and welcoming! Get ready for the return of softer shades of blue, pink, yellow, orange and green in outdoor living.

ADD PATTERNS

Stripes

Contrast stripes with bold colours to make a statement. Don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns for an outdoor space that will emanate timeless elegance!

Varying Textures

Playing with accent pillows of different textures and colours can create a comfy, yet sophisticated vibe. They add visual interest, and personality to any outdoor space.

ADD A FIRE FEATURE

Portable fire pits and fire tables have become increasingly popular as they create a cozy gathering spot into your patio design. They come in a plethora of shapes, sizes and styles, and we know the kids will them for smore’s night!

ADD PLANTS AND GREENERY

Placing an assortment of plants – whether that be ferns, exotic plants, or your favourite flowers – will help to boost the essence of the outdoors in your own creative way. Terra cotta pots and planters can help to create a vibrancy and add a touch of sophistication to your patio! Varying the height of your plants also helps to add dimension and can even help with privacy (hint: we love vining plants climbing up a trellis or lattice!).

EYE-CATCHING LIGHTING

We’d love to help shed some light on the situation by making it known that string lighting is one of the most affordable and simple ways to bring warmth and cozy ambiance to your patio. Draping them across your covered patio or pergola ensures you can enjoy your patio throughout the lighting transition past sunset in the most decorative way.

Another great way to add some lighting is to incorporate floor lanterns and/or candles. Nothing speaks to romance or mood lighting more than candles which you can scatter around your patio/deck. If you have little ones running around or are planning a larger gathering, LED candles are a great alternative as well!

It’s a common misconception that the first step to buying a new home is searching for your ideal community or choosing the perfect floorplan to meet all of your needs, but it’s not! The first step on your journey to new home ownership is knowing your budget and what you can afford. Before you even start saving home design pictures on Pinterest or falling in love with a beautiful new community, you need to get pre-approved for a mortgage.

WHAT IS A MORTGAGE PRE-APPROVAL?

A mortgage pre-approval is an evaluation of your current, overall financial position. It tells you and your sales team how much money a lender is willing to grant you to purchase your new home. It’s important to keep in mind this number can change from when you get pre-approval to when you purchase your home. For example, it can increase if you have a co-signer or if your financial position improves over this time.

WHY DO I NEED TO GET PRE-APPROVED?

It’s important to understand your current financial position so you can make educated buying choices when it comes to your new home. The worst feeling is falling in love with a home and later finding out it is out of your budget. Knowing your pre-approved mortgage amount will help you and the sales team focus on homes that are within your price range.

WHO CAN I WORK WITH TO GET PRE-APPROVAL?

There are many channels you can use to get pre-approved for a mortgage including, but not limited to:

  1. Mortgage Brokers – They will be your middleman; the line of communication between the lender and yourself. A mortgage broker is responsible for gathering the best rates, from multiple lenders, giving you lots of options to choose from.
  2. Your Banking Institution – Banking institutions offer preferred mortgage rates to their current clients. However, it is important to keep in mind that they will only be able to offer you their rates and you will not have the ability to compare with other options.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

All of the above sources need a few things to calculate your total debt ratio in order to start the process of a mortgage pre-approval. Some of these documents include:

  • Photo ID
  • Employment Verification
  • Credit Score
  • Proof of Assets & Debt
  • Proof of Income
  • Personal Verification

We can all agree that location, size and style are crucial when building a new home; but the most important factor is your budget. Hopefully, you found this information helpful and now have more confidence about the mortgage pre-approval process and why it’s an important first step in the home buying process.