real estate

7 ways to bring the outdoors in

Window boxes outside, fresh flowers inside
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Boxed plants on the porch

Window boxes "draw your eye through the window to the outside," Gillingham-Ryan says. So put them right outside your window, either in the windows or on a deck or patio. It visually extends your room out to the window boxes.

For a little extra verve, plant herbs, which are typically green and low-maintenance, he says. Or you can plant flowers for color.

Tip for success: Window boxes can get dry quickly. So if you often go away for the weekends, opt for something that doesn't need regular watering -- typically something green and hardy, rather than colorful and delicate, he says.

"Be ambitious, but be realistic," Gillingham-Ryan says. "If you overshoot and get disappointed, you're likely to give up."

Inside the home, flowers and potted plants add color, joy and warmth. The price is a barrier for a lot of people. Bromstad's pro trick is to buy from a flower wholesaler. "You don't have to be in the trade," he says. You just have to be willing to pay cash.




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