Kirsty McLuckie: How does your garden light up?

Image: marinadreams – stock.adobe

Since about mid-February, every time the sun shines, I’ve dreamed of the type of furnishings often seen in the pictures of prestige properties on these pages – with designer sofas, coffee tables, parasols and teak dining sets.

While our subsequent purchase will not be the cover of an addition to a home, the modest rattan set we settled on has hosted barbecues, late-night drinks with friends and afternoon tea with parents and parents in the four days since it arrived a lazy day lounging in the sun.

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If it weren’t for the torrential rain on Monday I’d almost say it was worth the money.

However, according to my husband, it turned me into a kind of hyacinth bucket.

For example, he balked at my suggestion that our young adults shouldn’t sit on our new furniture while drinking beer from the can, they’d have to take a glass.

Likewise, at the end of a meal, the dishes should be immediately removed from the table and the entire set wiped down and symmetrically rearranged at the end of use – no matter how long into the wee hours that may be.

No doubt it’s very shallow of me to care so much about looks, but part of the reason I wanted to create a beautiful outdoor seating area is because it’s so much easier to keep it aesthetically pleasing than the inside to manage the house.

Keeping the garden beautiful means unexpected walkers can be accommodated in a controlled environment – on hold, if you will – without ever having to set foot in a house that hasn’t seen a window cleaner since the pandemic began.

The panic that arises when visitors need to use the restroom is something I haven’t solved yet, but focused decluttering, tidying, and decorating the entry and exit path should fix it.

Apparently I’m not the only one who cares about looks. Living in the internet age has impacted the way we prioritize home buying.

Research by Scotland-based proptech company Pixel has found that the modern home buyer is more concerned with the perception of a property than with its features. Street views of developments receive almost a third more views from potential buyers than the actual properties they are looking to buy. Once virtually inside, public spaces like kitchens, lounges and dining rooms receive 150 percent more attention from shoppers than private spaces.

The data presented yielded property sales worth in excess of £218m across 100 developments marketed through the company’s digital showhome and option selection tools over the course of 2021.

Cat Smith, Director at Pixel, says, “It’s not surprising that looks are a higher priority for the new generation of homebuyers, as we live in a world of Instagram and Tik Tok.”

That’s just another way of saying that today’s youth are just as interested keeping up appearances as Hyacinth always was.

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