Curb appeal is one of the most important factors in the first impression created by your house. It can also be the easiest to screw up. Luckily, with some thought, way less money than you’d think, and a little elbow grease you can be on your way to a serious curb appeal upgrade.
What is curb appeal, exactly? It’s almost exactly how it sounds—the way your home exterior looks when standing at the curb. Much of it is superficial, which means it can be easy to achieve. With that said, here’s our list of the 15 best techniques that’ll let you nail your curb appeal landscaping.
Create a Pathway
Your front yard should create a visual path for people to follow. The easiest way to achieve this is with a well-manicured pathway. Let it meander its way to your front door and cut right to the chase—in either case, ensure your path isn’t crumbling and looks pristine!
Experiment with Symmetry
Symmetry is pleasing to the eye, even at a subconscious level. When someone looks at your home from the curb, make sure what they see makes sense in their mind by making it as symmetric as possible! This is as simple as planting shrubberies at equal distances, in pairs, and ensuring every other facet of your yard is paired up in some way or another. At the visual center should be your front door!
Planters are a great way to introduce vibrant color to your front yard and instantly increase the credibility of your landscaping in less than a day’s work. Be they hanging planters or potted plants on the ground, stuff them full of perennials to give your home an easy burst of color.
Keep it Simple
Unless you’re a professional landscape engineer, it’s best to keep your landscaping simple. Sure, we’d all love to have a koi pond with a waterfall feature in our front yards. But ask yourself if you’re prepared to maintain that level of complexity. The simple, beautiful yards in the world are the ones with happy owners—they can actually enjoy the fruits of their labors without toiling away at them day after day.
Create a Controlled Unruliness
Some of us like to have a “wild” look to our landscaping. A lawn with overgrown grass is one thing, but one that carefully allows wildflowers, bulbs and other types of flowers that pop up year after year, and other local flora to take hold and run free has a certain untamed beauty to it as well. However, ensure that you have some control over your landscaping’s unruliness, lest it becomes too wild.
Upgrade Your Fence
Even a new fence can look ugly if it’s not chosen to blend in with its surroundings. Beyond that, almost all old fences are ugly—they’re typically peeling paint, covered in rest, and almost always falling down in one form or another. The quickest way to clean up your curb appeal is by throwing out your old fence and putting in a new one.
Add Shutters to Your Windows
Not all windows need shutters, but large windows that are missing them can sometimes look naked without them. Try going outside and looking at the neighboring houses on your block built in a similar style. Do they have shutters? If they do, and they look good, then it might be time to look into getting your own installed. A brand new set of shutters on your windows can completely change the face of your house for the better.
Invest in a Nice Mailbox
For many of us, we’re using the mailbox that came with our house. It might be a little wobbly, its corners rusting, but it still holds out mail, right? While that’s true, a modern mailbox can make all the difference to your curb appeal. Be it classic, contemporary, or ultra-modern, ensure the mailbox you choose fits your house!
Add Outdoor Lighting
Solar-powered light fixtures are one of the cheapest things you can buy for your home. Not only is investing in outdoor lightning inexpensive, but it can also create a shocking change to your front lawn at night. Strategic outdoor lighting edging your pathway and spotlighting your trees can make your house come to life as the sun goes down.
While it may be a strange term, xeriscaping is a great idea that more and more people are employing to complement their climate and save on their water bill. If you live in an arid region, then a xeriscaped yard might be exactly what you’re looking for. To put it simply, xeriscaping is all about replacing grass with a substrate (like rocks) and planting arid, drought-resistant plants like succulents and cactuses. It’s beautiful, and would totally suit the houses in climates that would allow it.
Edge Your Pathway & Your Driveway
It’s easy for your lawn to spill out onto your pathway and driveway. All it takes is a couple of years before the soil in your yard shifts slightly and brings the top layer of grass along with it. Before you know it, you can no longer ascertain where your concrete starts and your yard ends. To ensure this never happens, you need to regularly edge your yard by trimming the grass and cutting away any shifting soil from the edge of your pathway or driveway.
Plant Some Trees
So many homeowners become so focused on gardens full of flowers and yards full of grass that they completely forget about the supreme satisfaction of planting a tree and watching it grow year after year. Ensure you plant your trees away from your foundation and choose one that suits the area. Before long, as the years slip by, you’ll find you’ve created for yourself a place for shade and comfort that you and your growing family can enjoy for decades! Young trees are great facets to your landscaping and, as it matures, it will slowly become a focal point to your landscaping.
Use Bold Colors
Don’t be afraid to paint your house in bold colors. While white is a safe choice, you’re losing out on so many other options by not considering the other colors of the rainbow! Don’t forget to choose a complementary trim color, which will tie a bow onto the whole thing! When painting yourself, definitely go with a professional company that knows what they’re doing to ensure your paint job lasts as long as possible!
Colorful homes can also attract the attention of potential buyers. They typically see a blur of white houses in their search, so one that stands out from the crowd will surely get their attention! Just make sure your color choices are tasteful.
Upgrade Your House Number
Just like the mailbox, your house number is often an afterthought. After all, there are only so many house number options sitting on the shelf of your local big-box hardware store. Instead, check places like Etsy or local craft fairs and snag yourself a unique, handmade house number that shows the world that you’re a person of great taste.
Make Your Porch Comfortable & Beautiful
Sometimes your porch can become an inadvertent dumping ground for everything that doesn’t quite cross the threshold into your house. Find a less conspicuous spot for your bicycles and keep your front porch clean. Even better, add some elegant rocking chairs—sitting on your front porch on a warm summer night is the best way to make friends out of your neighbors. Furthermore, a useful but spare porch simply looks good from the curb!