The Outdoor Situation
Many garden-level homes have some sort of semi-private outdoor access. It's a good idea to consider options for how to best use outdoor areas before moving in, to make sure you take advantage of the space.
Tending plants in an attached patio or vestibule is one way of bringing the outdoors into your home. The city garden is a proud tradition, whether in simple window or herb boxes, or -- if you're blessed with the space -- larger DIY planters. A simple trellis with flowering vines minimizes your project's footprint while providing a wall of color or fragrance.
If you enjoy being outside, you might define your outdoor space as a living area. Sturdy furnishings, scented candles and some nice outdoor cushions are all you'll need to create a reading room or private dining area in the middle of the city.