Lifestyle Blog

Five Ways to Make the Most Out Of Small Outdoor Spaces

Posted by Duane McPherson, CMCA, PCAM® on Sep 25, 2019 7:42:00 AM

No matter how small your patio might be, it's possible to transform it from one of those small common spaces you see in your neighborhood to a tastefully decorated outdoor space. While you may not have all the room you need to turn your dream backyard into reality; a small outdoor space gives you a chance to create a cozy little slice of heaven for you and your household. If you have no idea where to start, here are a few creative ideas to get you started. 

How to Spice up Your Small Outdoor Space

Spicing up your small space and turning it into an irresistible hangout is no rocket science and neither does it require a considerable budget. You just need a few tricks up your sleeve  as described herein, and you'll be good to go

Let an In-Built Bench Do the Magic

If your patio is incredibly tight on space, then an in-built bench is a great way to make the most out of it. Such a bench is usually customized to fit into your space, which makes it even more ideal as you get total control on how you want it to look. For a contemporary and vintage look, go for an inbuilt wooden bench and then later bring in a table and one or two stools to create the perfect chill spot. While at it, keep in mind that accessories will make your space appear bigger and cozier. Hence, dress up your bench by adding a few pillows, throws, and a beautiful rug to maximize comfort.

Create an Optical Illusion living

Living in a luxury condo managed by community associations comes with a whole bunch of perks. For instance you never have to stress about security, maintenance or upkeep. As a result, they're quite popular and demand is high. To satisfy this demand, HOAs are often left with no option but to reduce square footage which in turn means residents share common spaces and get smaller private outdoor yards.

Nonetheless just because the patio is small doesn't mean you forego the benefits that come with living in such a community. You can still enjoy these perks and at the same time the pleasure of having ample outdoor space by creating an optical illusion.  There are many ways to trick the eye, but one of the most effective is using bright colors.

For instance, the blue color tends to blend with the sky visually. Hence, painting your wall blue hides its hard edges, creating an illusion of a bigger space. Painting your deck with other bright colors also achieves the same effect.

If plants are your cup of tea, you can also use them to create an optical illusion of a bigger space by going vertical. Get yourself a few potted plants and create a beautiful hanging garden. Adding a few potted plants on your wall adds height and also draws the attention of your visitors away from the small space.

This, combined with the bright colors, is guaranteed to make small community spaces appear bigger. You can also place a few potted plants on the floor. However, be careful as too many potted plants will quickly clutter your space up, making it look smaller, which is what you're trying to avoid in the first place.

Screen Your Space 

In small common spaces, privacy might seem like an elusive pipe dream. However, with outdoor drapery panels, a lattice panel screen or a DIY bamboo screen you'll stylishly keep your business under wraps from nosey neighbors. For instance, outdoor drapes will give your small space an elegant and homely touch. If you have nowhere to hang the drapes, you can use the alternatives or get to work by installing a wood frame.

Let a hot-tub Reign

After a long day, we all want to come home to a long relaxing hot shower and then later slip into our pajamas. If you have a small balcony, you can make your evenings even more exciting by getting a medium sized hot tub. With this, every day will be a spa day for you and your significant other.

We believe there's no better way to unwind than sitting in a hot tub in the evening, sipping your favorite drink while enjoying views from your balcony and catching up with your spouse or friends. Spice up things by adding essential oils to your water to make the scene even more relaxing and thank us later!

But before anything ensure you consult the property managers to avoid sticky situations. Also, don't forget to screen your balcony for privacy sake!

Hammocks All the Way!

Again if you only remember you have a balcony when it's too hot inside, then a hammock is also a simple yet sophisticated way to enjoy your summer naps and get tanned. Bring in a hammock and install it on your favorite spot on your balcony. To create a complete impression of your own small jungle world, bring in faux grass and add a few faux plants and your summer naps will never be the same again.

Read More

Topics: HOA | Condo Amenity and Common Areas

High-Rise Security and Privacy Concerns: Best Practices for Better Safety

Posted by Duane McPherson, CMCA, PCAM® on Aug 28, 2019 8:09:00 AM

Living on an upper floor in a high-rise building presents different challenges for security and privacy than a single-family home. There are several reasons why proactive security and privacy measures are smart for association members. While it is impossible to keep everyone safe from harm at all times, there are ways condo association board members can safeguard against disaster. 

Read More

Topics: HOA | Condo Amenity and Common Areas, HOA | Condo Emergency and Safety

Every HOA Needs a Gardening Policy for Planting in Common Areas

Posted by Duane McPherson, CMCA, PCAM® on Jul 17, 2019 8:01:00 AM

Each year many owners want their beautification efforts to extend beyond their private yards. Without a gardening policy for common areas, an HOA is likely to experience one of two undesirable outcomes. The HOA board has to take on the time-consuming task of approving plantings on a case-by-case basis. Since there's no policy, the board runs the risk that owners will complain decisions are arbitrary. The other possibility in the absence of a policy is owners will plant whatever they desire in common areas. Then disputes arise among neighbors. What one owner considers beautiful is seen as an eyesore by another. Clearly, every HOA needs a gardening policy for common areas. 

Considerations for Your Policy

An HOA may choose to ban owners from planting in common areas. While that is a legitimate option, each HOA has to decide if an outright prohibition is consistent with the environment it's trying to cultivate in its community. A ban may send an unintended message that this is just a place to live rather than a community. 

To give your owners adequate guidance, the gardening policy needs to be explicit on what can or cannot be planted in common areas. The HOA may decide on a few general guidelines such as:

  • Forbidding the planting of trees, shrubs, or edible plants
  • Only allowing plants that grow to a certain height
  • Restricting plantings to annuals
  • The community will remove plants that aren't being cared for
  • The community removes all plants at the end of the growing season 

However, the HOA may want extremely specific regulations to maintain the look of the community. For instance, a gardening policy may list permitted annuals and perennials. Some policies indicate what color plants are allowed.

All policies should include a section on enforcement. A common way to enforce violations is to fine the homeowner for what it costs the HOA to repair the damage his or her policy violation has caused. Being specific can avoid future misunderstandings and complaints of arbitrary enforcement. For example, if a homeowner will be fined for the replacement of the entire weed barrier for breaking it by planting in a prohibited area, the policy should say so.

Read More

Topics: HOA | Condo Amenity and Common Areas

Subscribe to our Lifestyle Blog!

Stay up-to-date on the latest community lifestyle trends and best practices.

GrandManors lifestyle blog is written by industry experts and is a cumulative resource for educational material for boards and general managers, industry news, and trends for lifestyle communities.

Topics include management software, creating lifestyle programs, HOA and condo laws, board member training, and more!

Subscribe Today!

Recent Posts