PAINT THE TOWN RED One day. Hundreds of open houses. Thousands of food donations. One color.

November 10th, 2016




On November 13, all seven offices of Keller Williams Realty are coming together to do something no brokerage in the city has done before: hold over 500 homes open on the same day. Our goal is to help our clients sell their homes, but also to do something big to help say thank you to Kansas City for embracing our company and helping us to succeed. Click here for a complete list of Open Houses


September 8th, 2016


Though the parade of Pumpkin flavored things have arrived at your local grocery store, Fall is still 12 days away, thank goodness. I for one, am in no way prepared to start thinking of winter that cold time between fall and spring, but I have been thinking about what things should happen in your home to get ready for fall to make it easier to transition into the chilly nights that are sure to come sooner rather than later. I hope these help you start to think about your home’s cold weather needs, and starts getting you excited for the next season. Salut!

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Caulk Drafty Areas

The nights are definitely starting to get that crisp feeling, and I think one of the best ways to help be more energy efficient and save money  is to do a check of your windows and doors and fill in any holes or cracks with calk or spray foam (for anything larger than a half inch or so). This will keep your AC in your house during the summer and heat inside for the winter, not to mention keep general draftiness to a minimum.

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Get an Inspection of your Water Pipes 

This is definitely something to do before the first snow or hard freeze, because it’ll cost you thousands of dollars if you have a pipe freeze and burst, leaks should be fixed as soon as possible, and water valves or spigots should get a thorough cleansing to make sure there’s no corrosion or build up. This video can show you what you’re looking for and how to fix common problems. IF there’s a leak or something more complicated, definitely  call a plumber: there are 3 things in my world that require experts, anything having to do with water, anything having to do with electricity, and anything having to do with gas lines.

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Tune Up Your Heating System

This will ultimately help you save money! Call a local technician to do a quick inspection and tune up. You can also get a programmable thermometer so you can set it to a lower temperature during the day or when you’re not home.

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Clean and Extend the Gutters 

This may have to wait until the leaves get closer to falling, but clean out your gutters so snow melt and water doesn’t clog up in there, potentially damaging your siding, roof, and actual gutters. It’s also a good idea to add 3-4 feet of gutter to the end so that any melt will be diverted away from the foundation of your home.

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Drain Your Water Heater 

Your water heater can develop sediment and gunk in the bottom, resulting in less water heated at a time, gunk in the water that can get into your pipes and sinks & tubs, and maybe even destroy the thing. This video can show you how to do it easily and quickly, but if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself you can always call a technician to do it for you

Author: Bonnie Cavoto Marketing

Here’s the skinny on the Real Estate market so far this year!

August 18th, 2016

Here’s the skinny on the Real Estate market so far this year!


NEW opportunities for Kansas Citians who want to live downtown KC!

August 2nd, 2016


Union Hill and One Light usher in a wave of new opportunities for Kansas Citians who want to live downtown.

Story By Katy Schamberger  |  Union Hill photos by Jason Dailey

Downtown Kansas City’s transformation has been nothing short of remarkable. Once-vacant buildings, run-down blocks and little pedestrian activity outside of typical business hours have evolved into a thriving mix of commercial and residential development sparked by projects like the Sprint Center, Power & Light District and the Kansas City Streetcar, as well as wildly popular events like First Fridays.

Yet people don’t just want to work in or visit downtown Kansas City—they want to live there, too, a demand that’s fueled a flurry of new residential projects. Consider this your VIP tour. Fair warning: you might just want to move downtown when you’re finished!

A House on the Hill

Union Hill
Perched just south of downtown Kansas City awaits Union Hill, which spans 16 blocks and offers an enticing blend of history and modern construction. And if you thought downtown Kansas City’s revitalization is a compelling story, Union Hill just might top it.

One of Kansas City’s oldest continuous neighborhoods, Union Hill was established in 1857. More recently, the area’s preservation and advancement is credited to local developer Bob Frye, who first proposed his plan for Union Hill’s development in his master’s thesis statement, then soon began buying pieces of land in the neighborhood until he fully bought out Union Hill’s original developer, Jim Young, in the late 1980s.

Now three decades later, Union Hill is thriving, home to an appealing mix of development that includes apartments, condominiums, townhomes, single-family homes and commercial buildings. Two new apartment buildings will soon be added to the mix—the Campbell building, opening in June, and the McCoy Building, scheduled to open in September.

John Price, Union Hill’s leasing director, says Union Hill is now home to approximately 1,200 people, and the waiting list continues to grow.

It’s no wonder Union Hill proves especially popular during the warmer months, when the neighborhood’s mature trees, carefully designed landscaping and walkability are in full splendor.

“People don’t always realize how close Union Hill is to everything,” Price says. “You can walk to First Fridays, Crown Center and Union Station. We have two hotels in the neighborhood, plus more than 30 businesses, including restaurants, bars and retail.”

Events are also popular in the neighborhood, an ideal way to bring both residents and visitors together. Price helped start a Food Truck Friday event last year, which drew more than 300 people to a picnic in an unexpected location.

“We ate in Union Hill cemetery,” Price says. “Not a lot of people can say they’ve done that!”

There’s much about Union Hill that makes it an enticing choice for a variety of residents, but the diverse living options take top honors. A mix of apartments, townhomes and condominiums are available in three styles, each thoughtfully designed and carefully built with convenience and comfort in mind.

Saab kitchen
The Classic Lifestyle collection includes stone and brick architecture inspired by Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. Buildings include Union Hill Place, located near the World War I Memorial and Crown Center; the Michael Diveley Building, Mattie Lykins Bingham Building and Johnston Lykins Building, all part of the Founders community; and M.C. Wood Building townhomes, an ideal blend of affordable urban living with the comfort and features of a full-size home.

For those who covet loft-like features in a more traditional neighborhood setting, Union Hill’s Loft Lifestyle properties include the Allan B.H. McGee Building and, later this year, the John Calvin McCoy Building. You simply have to step inside the McGee Building to see the attention to detail that’s common throughout each Union Hill home. Multicolored LED lights are cleverly placed in the ceiling, welcoming you with a vibrant glow. The contemporary lighting is balanced by the warmth of load-bearing cedar beams and benches made from locally reclaimed wood.

Inside apartments, loft-inspired features like exposed ductwork and open floor plans effortlessly mingle with chrome hardware, serpent-style lighting and spacious kitchens accented with islands. Walk-in pantries offer ample shelving that Price says “justify a Costco trip,” and bathrooms are made more spacious with recessed sinks.

For those who covet luxury, Union Hill delivers. Seven of the neighborhood’s buildings are part of the Platinum Lifestyle collection, inspired by Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. You’ll be greeted by concrete pineapples that top the entrance gate to the Jacob Ragan Building, part of Founders Phase II that also includes the John Taylor and John Campbell buildings. A stone-paved courtyard features exquisite landscaping and a bubbling fountain, which leads into an elegant lobby complete with marble tile floors.

Apartments in the Jacob Ragan Building, part of Union Hill’s Platinum Lifestyle Collection, offer ample storage, gas cooktops and crown molding.

Apartments in the Jacob Ragan Building, part of Union Hill’s Platinum Lifestyle Collection, offer ample storage, gas cooktops and crown molding.

Inside, floor plans are available in several layouts, including studio, one-bedroom with den and two-bedroom. Kitchens are a haven for cooking aficionados, complete with gas cooktops and electric ovens. Interiors are made even more spacious by 9- and 10-foot ceilings and accented with stylish finishing touches like crown molding and wood plank flooring. Several units offer wood-burning fireplaces and outdoor brick terraces, the perfect spot to savor the view over a morning cup of coffee or evening cocktail.

Although Union Hill offers a range of residential developments, all homes share a number of common features including full-size washers and dryers, walk-in closets, personal intrusion systems and parking. And though you might not immediately associate an historic area like Union Hill with state-of-the-art technology, the neighborhood is home to three buildings—the Taylor, Ragan and McGee—that were the first in the world to be built with Google Fiber in the walls, rather than being retrofitted for fiber Internet and television. Additionally, select buildings include Nest thermostats.

Yet history remains a vital part of Union Hill. Look up at the Greenlease Cadillac Building, for example, and you’ll notice Cadillac emblems, reminders of the building’s past as the first Cadillac dealership west of the Mississippi. It’s that sort of thoughtful approach—and Frye’s visionary leadership—that propelled Union Hill into what might be its most successful chapter yet.

Shining Bright

One Light Tower, Kansas City, Missouri
It’s not often that residents lease an apartment without seeing it first, but that’s exactly what happened at One Light Apartments.

“One Light is the fastest project I’ve ever worked on,” says Marnie Sauls, director of residential management. “When we opened [in November 2015] we were 85 percent leased. Now we’re fully occupied. It’s crazy if you think about it—85 percent of people leased sight unseen.”

The soaring glass building occupies a prime piece of land at 13th and Walnut streets, putting residents in the heart of downtown Kansas City. The Power & Light District, Sprint Center, Crossroads Arts District and the Central Business District are all a short stroll away. Plus, One Light residents can get to Cosentino’s Downtown Market and Onelife Fitness without leaving the building, unmatched conveniences that Sauls says “you just can’t duplicate.”

Inside One Light, the sense of luxury is all encompassing, from the stylish, welcoming lobby to the building’s open concept floor plans accented by floor-to-ceiling windows, 9-foot ceilings, quartz kitchen islands and backsplashes and luxury appliances. It’s the windows—and, by extension, the views—that Sauls says contributed to “such high demand. When you think about what makes most people happy where they live, it’s sunlight, those windows and the views.”

Apartment Unit at One Light Tower
Thoughtful finishing touches contribute to that coveted luxury aesthetic, including eye-catching pieces of local art placed throughout the building with help from Weinberger Fine Art Owner and Executive Curator Kim Weinberger. Additional building amenities include a rooftop pool and bar, a business center, nightly rental suites, a wine wall, entertainment kitchen and club room. Those amenities—and a perpetually full activities schedule that includes two monthly residents events—contribute to what Sauls says is one of her favorite things about One Light.

“I think what I love most about the building is the sense of community,” she says. “Typically you don’t get that in an apartment community because you’re more spread out, but One Light residents know each other and the employees.”

As a result of One Light’s incredible popularity, plans have already moved forward to build Two Light, a 24-story tower under construction between Grand Boulevard and Walnut Street. The building is scheduled to open in March 2018 and will include 300 luxury residential units on 18 floors. The remaining six stories will house commercial and parking space. Sauls says the second project offers prospective tenants a wider range of options and a chance to find a home that fits their preferences.

“It just depends on what’s more important to you,” Sauls says. “Do you need a little more square footage? Or do you want the grocery store right there, so you don’t even have to go outside? It makes people stop and think and really prioritize, and no one else offers that in the city.”

Apartment Unit at One Light Tower
Sauls says One Light—and soon, Two Light—filled what had been a gap in the downtown residential market.

“We were missing that luxury lifestyle of being downtown,” she says. “I think other builders are catching on and understanding that residents want to pay more, they want a lifestyle—they will come downtown if we give them the product that they want.”

That said, demand for downtown living is so high that Sauls says there’s room for a variety of residential projects.

“Somebody moves out, somebody moves right back in,” she says. “We haven’t hurt anyone’s business by bringing on these units. Everyone’s still staying full, and that tells you how many people want to live downtown.”


June 28th, 2016
When it comes to celebrating the Fourth of July, there are a lot of fun things to do in the Kansas City area for families and adults alike. When it comes to seeing the best Fourth of July fireworks, there are also a lot of nice opportunities. Whether a person wants to see fireworks in Kansas City after a fun day of Independence Day entertainment, while listening to some great patriotic music, or while enjoying the countryside, there is something for everyone in Kansas City. Here is a look at when do July 4th fireworks start in Kansas City for 2016 and where to watch Fourth of July fireworks in Kansas City for 2016.


Longview Lake, 11101 Raytown Rd., Kansas City, MO 64134



College Boulevard Activity Complex, 11031 S. Valley Parkway ., Olathe, KS 66061



Leawood City Park, 10601 Lee Blvd., Leawood, KS 66206



Recreation Park, 1021 S. Madison St., Raymore, MO



Richard L. Berkley Riverfront Park, 1298 Riverfront Dr., Kansas City, MO 64101



Corporate Woods, 8717 W 110th St., Overland Park, KS 66210



Main Street Parkville Association, 122 S Main St., Parkville, MO 64152



Fountain Bluff Sports Complex, 2200 Old State Hwy 210, Liberty, MO 64068



Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm, 1200 E Kansas City Rd., Olathe, KS 66061




Platte Ridge Park, 17130 371 HWY, Platte City, MO 64079



Merritt Lake, Grant Ave., Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027



Smithville Lake & Campground, Missouri Highway DD and Litton Way, Smithville, MO 64089



Powell Gardens, 1609 NW Hwy. 50, Kingsville, MO 64061


KC’s Memorial Day Weekend Planner

May 19th, 2016

KC’s Memorial Day Weekend Planner

2016 Edition

Memorial Day Weekend Kansas City

Memorial Day Weekend Kansas City

Kick off summer fun with these great ideas for Memorial Day Weekend!

  1. Attend Celebration at the Station May 29 at 8:00 p.m. at Union Station (30 W. Pershing, Kansas City, MO). The best Memorial Day weekend event in the Midwest returns for its 14th rousing year. At 8 p.m., conductor Aram Demirjian will lead the Kansas City Symphony in a two-hour concert event featuring crowd favorites such as The Stars and Stripes Forever, and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Special guests include local jazz greats, saxophonist Bobby Watson and vocalist Kevin Mahogany. This free performance is followed by Kansas City’s largest fireworks display. Picnic on the north lawn of the National WWI Museum and Memorial while enjoying fabulous pre-concert entertainment.
  2. Catch Matilda the Musical at Starlight May 24-28. The winner of 50 international honors, including four Tony Awards®, Matilda The Musical is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.
  3. Check out Jurassic Garden: A Prehistoric Adventure at Powell Gardens thru Oct. 3. Travel back millions of years to explore the lost world of dinosaurs and prehistoric plant life! You will encounter incredibly realistic dinosaur replicas, designed by Missouri’s Guy Darrough, a well known fossil collector, fossil preparation expert and illustrator. From his Lost World Studios in Arnold, Mo., Guy creates realistic models of prehistoric animals using fossilized bones and other materials. The lifelike dinosaurs, large and small, will be placed throughout the Gardens and include a 32-foot T Rex, 30-foot Hypsibema—Missouri’s state dinosaur, and many more! On May 28 & 29, participate in Digging for Dinos. Dig into the paleontology field and experience hands-on how hard it is to dig fossils out of stone! Drop by any time from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. And don’t miss Jurassic Garden: A Prehistoric Adventure! See incredibly realistic dinosaur replicas scattered throughout the Gardens. Visit for details.
  4. Be the first to visit The Adventures of MR. POTATO HEAD® at Crown Center thru Sept. 5. FREE Admission. Hours: Mon-Fri, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sat, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sun, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is an exciting hands-on traveling exhibit created by the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in collaboration with Hasbro. The exhibit features MR. POTATO HEAD, the much-loved silly character, who becomes an explorer, scientist, and adventurer with a change of his “parts.” In addition to building a variety of essential academic skills, the exhibit encourages children to welcome new experiences with confidence, curiosity and humor, to think about all they can be and do, and to always respect themselves and others.
  5. Guests to Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun enjoy admission to both parks for the price of one. New in 2016, enjoy five NEW rides at Planet Snoopy! Plus, Oceans of Fun opens for the season on Memorial Day weekend.
  6. Schlitterbahn opens for the season Memorial Day weekend. Parking is always free, picnics are welcome, and memories are made as guests ride the world’s tallest water slide, float through rapids, and swim the day away.
  7. Enjoy Kid’s Night Music in the Park in Lee’s Summit. May 27 starting at 6:30pm in Howard Station Park in Downtown Lee’s Summit. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and/or blankets for seating.
  8. Explore the newest exhibit at Union Station, BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life. The exhibit invites you to consider the form, function and beauty of the human body through all stages of life.
  9. Local outdoor pools open for the season. Visit and click “Going Places” for a complete guide.
  10. Lawrence Busker Festival May 27 – 29, Lawrence, KS. Now in it’s 8th year, the Lawrence Busker Festival is the area’s largest gathering of street performers in the area. Come join us for three days of fun. The festival is partnering with the Art Tougeau Art Car Parade to make it a really weird weekend. Look for bigger better acts that you have never seen before! Over 25 different acts on 5 stages in 3 days.
  11. Cool Crest offers great Memorial Day specials! Enjoy classic family fun, whether you love go-karts, miniature golf or arcades. Cool Crest is the place for fun.
  12. Enjoy Kansas City’s lakes. The swim beaches open for the season, and several local lakes offer boat rental. Key: S=Swim Beach, B=Boat Rental, F=Fishing

The Hot List: Beautified Basements

May 12th, 2016

 The Hot List: Beautified Basements

Nab function and styling ideas from the most popular basement photos on Houzz so far this year

May 4, 2016
Houzz Editorial Staff; writer, design enthusiast, reader, softball player.
Uploaded to Houzz in the past three months and saved to the most ideabooks since, these basement photos provide hot tips on how to make the most of your underground lair. Whether designed to host a party, catch up on the latest blockbuster or cook up a storm, a basement provides endless possibilities. Here are 10 ideas we’ve gleaned from the year’s most popular basement photos so far.

The Kansas City Real Estate Market Skinny – 1st Quarter 2016

April 28th, 2016

The Kansas City Real Estate Market Skinny – 1st Quarter 2016

The Kansas City Real Estate Market Skinny - 1st Quarter 2016

The Kansas City Real Estate Market Skinny – 1st Quarter 2016

Smart Home, Happy Pet: How Today’s Tech Is Changing the Game for Pet Owner

April 21st, 2016

By Terri Engels

The smart home revolution has led to some mind-boggling advances to our daily routine. From brewing a world-class cup of coffee from your smart phone to streaming your favorite Spotify playlist through a lightbulb in the kitchen, it seems there’s no end to the daily life hacks now available to us. However, it’s not just humans that are benefiting from this otherworldly technology.

It should be no great mystery to the devoted pet parents out there that in 2014 Americans spent $19.7 billion on their beloved furry children. This means most owners want the very best for their pets and are willing to spend the necessary money to achieve that. There have been several smart home innovations geared towards keeping pets happy, healthy and stimulated that showcase this trend – so what are they?

Staying Cool and Keeping Warm

One of the main concerns when leaving a pet at home during extreme weather is how they would fare in the sweltering heat or blisteringly cold. Heat especially can put your canine compadre at risk. Did you know that a dog is susceptible to a heat stroke when the heat index hits 105°F – a level that can be reached when the weather is actually as low as 90°F?

In the past, pet owners would simply set the thermostat before they left for the day and hope for the best, disregarding rising temperatures and the inherent inconsistencies of many animal systems. But luckily for the more diligent pet owners, smart thermostats now enable you to tinker and toy with the temperature of your home in order to completely meet your pet’s needs. This is because your smart thermostat can be accessed by your smart phone, tablet, or computer regardless of where you are.

Many smart thermostats are relatively inexpensive to purchase and install and offer energy savings for your home. Sometimes smart solutions are a complete no brainer; this is one of those cases!

Meal-Time Innovations

Another struggle with busy pet parents can be ensuring you get home in time for their dinner. As pets thrive on routine, skipping or delaying feeding times can be to their detriment.

However, smart technology is now enabling owners to make feeding time happen from afar.

For example, the Petnet SmartFeeder is making waves due to its wealth of features, ease of use and low price tag. Not only can you dispense food from your smart phone, but you can also control how fast the food comes out of the feeder and into the bowl. This is helpful for dogs (and cats) who treat their mouths like vacuum cleaners, which in turn can lead to a dangerous amount of bloating.

In fact, these smart feeders are so smart that they can also notify owners when the food supply is running low, as well as offer completely customizable scheduling options. A welcome innovation for when your plate is full but you want your pets’ to be too!

Potty Time

Regardless of how well-trained your dog is, it’s simply not fair to force your pup to hold it in if you’re away from home for an extended period of time. Happily, smart home innovations have made it much simpler for your canine to go outside without fear of letting anything else in.

This is due to the wave of smart dog doors that have entered the market. These smart solutions go beyond the traditional doggy-doors by using radio waves to let your dog in and out. This is accomplished by a simple key that attaches to your dog’s collar and alerts these devices to open and close accordingly. Now your dog can take care of business regardless of your situation.

Safety Solutions

Above all else, you want your pet to be safe when you aren’t around. So how can smart security devices help you kick your worry to the curb?

“You’d be surprised about the number of calls and emails we get from people specifically asking about security for their pets,” says Jay Robertson from Home Security Company Protection 1. “It’s important to note that many systems you find aren’t specifically set up to monitor pets, which can cause false alarms and a lot of unnecessary worry. Utilizing sensitive motion detection is key.”

Further, a smart security system is important due to the fact that pet theft has increased each year since 2012. Many smart security solutions offer real time video feeds that can be accessed through any smart phone or computer at any given time.

From temperature setting to feeding scheduling and all the way to motion sensors, there are a lot of new answers for your smart pet concerns, ensuring that tail will be wagging for years to come.

This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for real estate tips and trends.


6 Deck Styles: Which One is Right for Your Home?

April 19th, 2016

There are many reasons to build a deck in your yard. Besides the added value to your home, a deck gives you plenty of extra living space. Nothing is better than stepping outside onto a beautiful deck to enjoy a good meal, relax or entertain friends and family.

When choosing the appropriate deck style for your home, assess your living and entertaining needs. Do you enjoy eating outdoors? Do you throw parties often? Do you prefer to relax in the sun or under the shade? How many people live in your home? Will you have a grill or hot tub on the deck? Along with your personal needs, the size of your home and lot may also dictate the kind of deck you can install. A yard with an unusual shape or slope may call for a different style deck than a yard with a flat terrain. Start with these six options to find the deck that works best for your home.

1. Attached

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An attached deck is connected to the house. This is the most common deck style, usually built at the back of the house, and can be raised or level with the yard. This deck gives you easy in-and-out access and becomes an extension of your interior living space.

2. Island

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An island deck is a free-standing deck installed away from the house and out in the yard. You might have an especially lovely cluster of trees and want to take advantage of the shade, or maybe there is a pond or flower garden next to which it makes sense to build a relaxing seating area. Maybe you simply want to create a “secret garden” deck away from your home. This deck is more an extension of your yard than of your house.

3. Floating

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A floating deck is built on a platform and seems to “float” above the ground. The foundation and structure pieces are hidden underneath. A floating deck is low to the ground and can work on uneven or rocky terrain, as you don’t have to worry about leveling the area like you would with a concrete or stone patio.

4. Wraparound

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A wraparound deck is built on two or more sides of the house. It allows you to take advantage of multiple views, and when one side of the house gets too sunny, you can move to the shade while remaining outdoors.

5. Multi-level 

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Multi-level or tiered decks are perfect for yards with steep slopes or uneven terrain, or for homes with two or more stories. Connected with a series of stairs or pathways, they take advantage of the great views a taller home has to offer and create several spots for entertaining and relaxing. Multi-level decks can also consist of wide stairs that lead down to the yard. Each stair is extended to become a mini-deck of its own, creating additional space for seating or entertaining.

6. Around a Tree

If you have a grand old tree, consider building a deck around it. This style is similar to an island deck in that it’s not attached to the house. For a more natural look, add wood furniture and chairs for seating.

Get creative and have fun designing your new outdoor living space. Try built-in seating around the edge instead of traditional railings, add custom planters for an intimate flower or herb garden, or install an outdoor kitchen or fire pit on your deck. The ideas are endless!

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By Merri Cvetan

As an interior designer, Merri Cvetan provides design advice for the inside and outside homes. She writes on a range of topics from creating a unique kitchen backsplash to designing a deck to fit your lifestyle. To see more ideas on deck planning, visit The Home Depot.