Step up outdoor walkway appeal

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

Before we decided to purchase our home, one of the biggest drawbacks we considered was the trek up and down the 23 steps leading from the front door to the driveway. At the time, our daughter, Lina, was just 1 1/2 years old and our son, Joseph, was still on the way. We decided the steps would keep us fi t and would be worth the work in the long run.

Fast-forward more than a year later, and I have come to actually enjoy the trek — most of the time. Lina and I point out geckos and plants while taking in views of Diamond Head along the way. I have also been pondering other ways we can spruce up the walk.

The top two things to consider when adorning your outdoor spaces are climate and maintenance. In my case, I need things that can stand up to occasional extreme weather like high heat or wind gusts. I also suffer from ongoing “Mom Brain,” which makes me consistently late and forgetful. Therefore, low maintenance is another big key. If you, too, are in need of ideas for boosting the walk near your outdoor stairway, consider some of these:

Light it up

Deck lighting has come a long way from the uber-expensive, electrician-required options of the past. Now, you can get a pack of solar-powered deck lights that are as easy to install as peeling and sticking. Place them on the posts of your stairway or even on the steps themselves.

Add water

Water features have the benefit of adding appeal that you can see and hear. From pot fountains to faux waterfalls and even small ponds, these features can be as big or as small as you want them to be. Just remember to consider your surroundings when installing. If you have landscaping and plants nearby, you may need to clean out the water feature more than you would like. Evaporation may also come into play. In this case, maintenance may require adding water to keep levels up in addition to regular cleaning.

Pick pots

Place potted plants in clusters on the sides of your steps. Add some elegance by keeping them consistent. Choose pots in a similar color family, but alter their height, width and even the plants you choose to place inside. This will create visual interest but allow you to do so with a cohesive feel. When it comes to maintenance, remember that size will help to dictate how often you will need to water. Typically, larger pots mean more soil volume and water retention, therefore, less frequent watering.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.