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Love it or hate it, yard art is definitely a case of beauty being in the eye of the beholder. Many homeowner associations have regulations about the use of decorative accessories in the front yard including the type of mailbox that is acceptable. Few regulate the backyard and that gives the homeowner the freedom of expression that may or may not delight their neighbors.
What separates classy from pretentious? What is corny and what is cute? What is classic and what is dated? Sometimes the lines are blurred by the objects and the materials they are made of, where they are placed, how they are used, the type of home, the neighborhood, and the occupants of the home.
Years ago, I would occasionally drive by a house that had a concrete goose on the front stoop. During the rainy season it had a yellow slicker, hat and umbrella. Then I noticed it had a costume for nearly any holiday. (The cupid costume was particularly inventive.)
I never saw the homeowners or knew if they had children or grandchildren or if they just had a sense of humor. I don't know if their neighbors enjoyed the show or if they thought it was an eyesore. (The costumes seemed well made and were always placed just so.) The people moved and the goose went with them. I miss it and the humor and effort that went in to the display.
I mention this because it could have been an eyesore if the costumes had become ragged or tacky looking. If they had added a lot of accessories or "friends" it would have changed the entire display. The homeowner's association, if there was one, apparently allowed it and it was the only decorative element in the front yard. The restraint, timing and subtle humor made it work, in my opinion.
That's the key to using yard art successfully. You may be restricted to having something only in your back yard but even there, use restraint. Just as too much jewelry will ruin an outfit, using too many decorative accessories outdoors will overwhelm the landscape and your home. You want to limit and coordinate your accessories, though everything needn't match. Continuity in a theme or look will result in a more seamless landscape. Placement is important. Does the piece complete the plantings or compete with them? Does it look like an after thought or stick out awkwardly? Does it make sense where it is or in relationship to the architecture of the home? If it doesn't add anything of value to the landscape then it's clutter.
As with most things in decorating, less is more in using yard art. You may be attracted to decorative dragonfly collectibles or maybe elves but you don't want to create the effect of a swarm of insects or Keeblerville in your backyard-or do you?
I guess it all depends on your sense of humor!
When trying to sell a home, there are no hard and fast rules. When staging a home, many hold to the saying that when in doubt, leave it out. If the yard art is controversial, cutsey, dated or worn it is not likely to help with the sale of the home.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.