Inn Consultants and Brokers Since 1993

The B&B Team
Idyllic Inn Setting

We are experienced speakers who have presented on a range of innkeeping related topics at the state, regional, and national level. We gather and analyze research for the Innkeeping industry and welcome the opportunity to share it with others. Contact Us

B&B Outdoor Living

Rockland Maine's Berry Manor Inn

Curb appeal-you bet. The Berry Manor Inn, Rockland Maine

Guests love your B&B outdoor living spaces. Right? I know it is February and many innkeepers in the northern climes have stored away their outdoor furniture and put their gardens to rest, but it is never too early to start thinking about spring. Touch up paint on the ‘ol rockers and window boxes or… maybe a fresh new design entirely. Read the following and you may get inspired.

Selling Secret #1: The first impression is the only impression No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers. You can typically get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal. Entryways are also important. You use it as a utility space for your coat and keys. But, when you’re selling, make it welcoming by putting in a small bench, a vase of fresh-cut flowers or even some cookies.

This tip is from HGTV about home sales (there are 10 of them, worth a read) but it is great advise for your B&B as well, whether you are planning to sell or not. Your outdoor living spaces throughout your property are prime areas to add inviting character to your Inn. I like to advise innkeepers to think of their porches, patios and balconies as extra rooms, just like their interior rooms. These spaces should be as comfortable, clean and inviting (and inspiring) as your common rooms and guest bedrooms.

Need inspiration? Pinterest is a great place to search for it. The B&B Team has three Pinterest boards devoted to B&B outdoor living  inspirational ideas.

Outdoor Living-Old Manse Inn, Cape Cod

Outdoor Living-Old Manse Inn, Cape Cod-Christian Giannelli Photography

Some examples of success  may also inspire. Brian and Charlie purchased the Old Manse Inn in Brewster on Cape Cod three years ago. Since their purchase they have not only upgraded the guest rooms and common rooms but also their outdoor living spaces. The private deck off their Lewis Bay Light Suite is a great example of that comfortable and inviting outdoor space guests love to experience. Talked to Brian recently and he told me since the redo this room went from 25% occupancy to 38%. Success!

Guests not only want to experience the outdoors but want to see it before they book. You know what’s coming next don’t you? Good professional photography. In our visual media world of today, this is not just a recommendation but a necessity!

Irish Hollow Inn, Galena IL

Irish Hollow Inn, Galena IL

One of my favorite porch photographs from Christian Giannelli, the Irish Hollow Inn in Galena IL. Now this is an outdoor living room with character!

Whether it is adding new updated patio furniture, a fire pit on the back lawn or a secret garden oasis, get inspired and start making memories in your outdoor living spaces. It’s sure to extend the ‘welcome’ along with the value of your B&B.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf


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