Whether you’re thinking about selling your house in a year or two or just wanting to make your house more welcoming, increasing its curb appeal will make you happy.
Using a coordinated color scheme is probably the easiest and least expensive way to do this. Just driving through my neighborhood last year, I saw innumerable homes with chairs placed on the front porch or front lawn so the owners could watch their children or chat with their neighbors. The chairs had been painted the same color as the front door for color echo. Sometimes this echo was reinforced with flowers or cushions that were the same color or picked up that color.
Another facet of color echo, either as a stand-alone feature, or as a reinforcement of the door/chair color echo, is the use of lovely containers that are the same color as either the door or the path in front of it.
While brightly colored plastic containers are inexpensive, glazed terra cotta pots lend an air of elegance. The pots don’t necessarily need to be planted. I have a simple but large, turquoise glazed pot that sits in my front yard in front of a large hydrangea but behind some perennials. It is most noticeable during the winter and it then becomes apparent that it is echoing the color of the window frames.
Window boxes are an accessory that complement and beautify any home. The owner of a brick house went to extreme lengths to create a harmonious image, adding window boxes to every window, but just adding boxes on the first floor would have been enough to attract the eye. Many houses are painted in drab colors but adding window boxes full of flowers brightens the scene immediately.
If you install window boxes, be sure that you stuff them so they look full. Most of the time, you also want to be sure that some of the plants trail. Watering can be a drawback. Can you easily reach to water them? If not, you probably won’t. Do not install window boxes unless you know that you will water them or install a watering system for them. Having dead plants in those boxes is much worse than having no boxes at all.
A front yard is frequently delineated with a hedge, hopefully in good shape. If you wish to make it more attractive, add posts and a gate, preferably one with a distinctive design. If possible, relate the design to architectural details of the house. Open gates make the visitor feel welcome. A closed gate can still be welcoming, particularly if it is low enough to see past it to the front door.
Most sidewalks are too narrow. Visitors have to walk in single file instead of side by side. Anything you can do to change that will enhance curb appeal. A four or five foot wide walk is a vast improvement over the common two to three foot wide walk, especially if the part closest to the driveway or public sidewalk is even wider.
Many sidewalks and driveways are white concrete. Replacement with brick, stone, or pavers would add so much curb appeal but if replacement of the entire walk or driveway is too expensive, consider adding a contrasting edge.
At many homes, the lawn has been allowed to grow into the beds. Spading a neat edge to separate the two lets everyone know that you take care of your landscape. It also means a lot less weeding. Ultimately, much less work is involved if you pay to properly install a brick or stone edge. This means on a grit base with steel edging (that does not show) so that the pieces can’t move and wide enough that mower wheels can run right over it, thus negating the necessity to weed-whip the edges.
Choosing to implement one or two of these ideas will surely boost your curb appeal.