Investing in the Outdoors!

Thanks to an outdoor remodel, AFM advisor Mitch Strobel finds that getting away from it all is as easy as stepping out the back door.

When he and wife Alex bought a Baltimore townhouse in the Hampden neighborhood almost three years ago, changes were in order to bring the 105-year-old home into the 21st century. They were soon busy with projects such as tearing down a wall to reconfigure the kitchen, which created an open floor plan more suitable to entertaining.  Carrara marble countertops and new cabinets, lighting and fixtures enhanced the look and usefulness of this part of the home.

While they rolled up their sleeves to do much of the demolition, painting and finishing touches, they also relied on building professionals to make sure that everything was done to code.

As they worked on the interior, the couple realized that the exterior could use a facelift as well. Their tiny backyard was flanked by chain link fencing.  Its raggedy lawn was neglected.

Wooden fencing was selected to provide much-needed privacy as well as a neutral backdrop for design. Slate-toned tile was installed. Alex, who works in administration, is also a florist. She understood that plants would soften the hardscape by lending color and personality. All-weather furniture and outdoor lighting sealed the look of an inviting outdoor room.

The fresh-air living space is also a favorite destination for the Strobel’s two dogs, Arthur and Gusteau.

“We love it,” says Mitch.  “The yard improvement didn’t cost all that much in terms of time or money, but the payback is huge.”

Mary Lou Smart, FPQP