Add Curb Appeal to Your Home
It’s easy to transform a house into something you’re proud to call home. A dab of paint, a few plants and some pretty details will refresh and renew your home, giving it unique character and generous curb appeal. Start by enhancing your entryway to make a strong first impression and spruce up your garden (or plant one) to add depth and character. Make it cheerful and inviting with bright blooms and bold paint colours. Then add a few charming touches like exterior lights or a winding pathway from door to driveway. You'll surprise yourself with how quickly you can restore your home to its former glory with these quick and easy landscaping and home-improvement ideas.
Curb Appeal 101
Make a grand entrance
Create an inviting entryway with a few simple touches that make guests feel warm and welcome. Paint your front door a bold, dramatic hue that stands out from the exterior colours: it will be a focal point that makes a lasting first impression. Embellish your entryway with new hardware, such as a polished metal kick-plate, entry door lockset and knocker, along with coordinating house numbers, lighting fixtures, a welcome mat and a wall-mounted mailbox. Finish it off with a beautiful wreath on the door that reflects your unique personal style
Light the way
Illuminating your walkway and front porch adds warmth and ambience to your entryway. It also makes it safer for you and your guests because would-be criminals tend to avoid well-lit areas. Well-placed porch lanterns and path lights can add ambient light to seating areas and amp up your home’s curb appeal. Landscape lighting can be used to highlight your garden, trees and shrubbery, and to brighten walkways, porches and steps. Solar fixtures fitted with sensors are bright ways to illuminate your garden while keeping costs and energy consumption low.
Enhance your front entrance with flowers to add colour, beauty and personality to your home. Container gardens, window boxes, planter boxes and urns overflowing with bright blooms can add colour and charm, and allow you to change the look of your home with the seasons. Adding rose-, wisteria- or clematis-covered arbours or trellises will further enhance the look of your front yard and boost its curb appeal. Spring for larger, mature flowers rather than flats of annuals for maximum impact. You can also mix and match flowers to suit your lighting conditions and complement your home’s colour scheme.
Spruce up the front garden
Groom your garden beds for maximum impact by pulling weeds, pruning overgrowth, trimming hedges, replacing mulch and planting mature plants and flowers. Consider lawn edgings, such as iron, flagstone, rocks or plants (like alyssum or thyme) to define your landscaping beds. Add decorative mulch to keep your garden weed-free, well maintained and looking its best year round. Contrast plant sizes, colours and textures in your front garden and along driveways and walkways for best results, and choose trees and shrubbery that frame your home rather than obscure it.
Add a pretty pathway
Smooth the transition between your street and your front steps by creating a welcome-worthy walkway of flagstone, brick, gravel or stone. Upgrade a straight pathway to a contoured one made of natural elements for a more inviting feel. Surround it with midsize shrubs and flowers, landscape lighting and tidy groundcover plants like thyme to create the perception of a well-loved home. Accent it with a cozy garden bench to lend charm and character to your front yard.
Decorate with garden art
Garden ornaments can lend character, interest and beauty to your front yard. Choose tasteful elements that complement your home’s natural palette, and blend well with the style of your home and garden. Wrought-iron birdbaths, decorative fencing and terracotta or glass garden sculptures can introduce one-of-a-kind charm to your garden; cascading water fountains and bubbling water features add both visual appeal and relaxing sounds to your landscape.
Give it a fresh coat of paint
Renewing the paint on your home’s exterior is an easy, affordable way to give it a fresh facade. Once you’ve repaired any cracks, chips and rotting wood, look for ways to add complementary colour to things like doors and shutters. By painting your siding, trim, porch and garage in classic colours that highlight your home’s architecture, you'll further enhance its curb appeal and value.
Furnish your front porch
Create an outdoor room on your front porch with indoor comforts to expand your living space. Overstuffed wicker or teak outdoor settees, cozy Muskoka chairs, a chic bistro set or even a porch swing can make your entryway more inviting and encourage lingering with your morning paper or evening tea. Add plenty of plush outdoor cushions and accessories, like flower-filled decorative pots, for an inviting, homey touch.
Keep your lawn lush
A glorious green lawn can make your home the pride of the neighbourhood. When it comes to lawn care and maintenance, invest in the right tools (a lawnmower with regularly sharpened blades, a trimmer and an edgerare a good start). You’ll also benefit from learning a few trade secrets, like using a weed-and-feed treatment to ensure your grass has all the needed nutrients, and cutting the grass at the mower’s tallest setting during summer. Installing an irrigation system can help keep your lawn looking lush all summer long.
Let your windows shine
One of the easiest, most economical ways to freshen your home, inside and out, is to wash your windows until they’re squeaky clean. To make picture windows gleam, clean them like the pros with a squeegee, a lint-free rag or chamois and a window-cleaner solution. For multi-pane windows, use a handheld sponge. Giving your windows a good cleaning twice a year will let the sunshine in and keep them looking their finest. For best-dressed windows, make sure window treatments look good inside and out and complement the colour of your home.
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