Make the most of your outdoor space with these tips from landscape designer and HGTV Canada star, Carson Arthur.

Talk of a home’s resale value (and how to increase it) typically involves the standard kitchen and bath reno, but it’s your landscaping that will be making the first impression on a potential buyer. How can you get your outdoor space to work for both you and your home? We caught up with Carson Arthur, landscape designer and founder of Carson Arthur Design and co-star of HGTV Canada’s Critical Listing, for his tips on how to best up the value of your home from the outside in as he prepares to share his expertise at the upcoming Calgary Home + Garden Show.Consider curb appeal.If you’re looking for a high impact project, look no further than your home’s front yard. Not only does a well-landscaped facade appear more attractive to potential buyers, it can also increase a home’s perceived value by up to eight percent—not bad for a first impression. And while you’re fine-tuning the greenery, consider adding outdoor lighting, too: “Having outdoor lights that highlight the best parts of your home is key to setting it apart from others,” says Carson.Get a second opinion.When it comes to renovations, it can be tricky to view your home with an unbiased eye. But whether you’re planning to sell today or years from now, developing a plan of action with a professional designer or your local garden centre expert allows you to better understand your space’s potential and create a staggered workload that aligns best with your own budget and timeline.Think long-term.Sure, installing a wood deck will be great for summertime BBQs—but will it age well in a space you’d like to call home for the next ten years? Decisions regarding any outdoor structures, both manmade and natural (plants may require patience, but they add value as they mature), should be made in anticipation of the time you plan on living at a home. This will ensure you get the most from your exteriors before and come sale time.Add function.Creating a useable living space that functions for both your family and future buyers can also add significant value to your home’s resale price. Whether you opt for building an outdoor dining area, a blooming vegetable garden, or a cozy focal point defined by a standalone propane fireplace or solar-powered chandelier (two big trends Carson predicts for this spring), be sure to incorporate multi-purpose furniture pieces as well. “It’s just like indoors,” says Carson, “You don’t want an empty room—you want it to have a purpose.”Be realistic.While a beautiful outdoor space may add value to your home, it’s not enough to close a sale alone. To this end, it’s important to understand that your home’s exterior is just one part of a continuous whole: “Your home isn’t just your house anymore,” says Carson, “It’s your whole property.”Carson appears on the Home + Garden Stage on Saturday, February 28 at 3PM & 7PM, and Sunday, March 1 at 12PM. Tickets to the show can be purchased online.Carson Arthur outdoor space