Curb appeal makes an important “buying element” when trying to sell your home. It also serves as an important consideration when you wish to live in your home comfortably and happily.
The appearance of the exterior of your house and the quality of your landscaping combine to create your house curb appeal (or lack thereof).
The impression your home (and by extension you) make on passersby, visitors, neighbors and potential buyers will greatly decide by the exterior condition of your house and the competence of your landscaping design and its upkeep.
The front yard of your house lets everyone know about who you are and how you take care of your property.
While the home itself is the centerpiece and focal point when it comes to the appearance of the entire property. However, the curb appeal is the first to make an impression on guests.
When people drive or drop by for a visit, you want the front yard to shine with style! You only get one shot at a first impression. Do your neighbors to see the grass is greener on your side! Does your frontyard curb appeal rate as the best front yard on the block?
Positive curb appeal can affect:
- The value of your home
- Your relationship with your neighbors
- Your quality of life
- Your enjoyment in your home
In this article, we will share some basic concepts and some tips to help you create a yard and garden that will stand out for all the right reasons. Read on to learn more.
Maintain Your Home Properly
No matter how beautiful your yard and garden look, a shabby house will detract anyone from a good first impression. Before you chart your curb appeal ideas landscape plan, try looking at your house and your yard with “fresh eyes.” This may seem a little bit difficult to do, but think about the time you invited a guest to your home and suddenly try to become aware of how your familiar surroundings might look to a stranger.
When getting a home ready for sale, every little project that can increase and add curb appeal while keeping the cost down is a worthwhile one. Simple landscaping jobs add new flare, while also being easy on the wallet.
Take a step way back and try to get a sense of the whole area, a fresh perspective. Look at the paint, front door, porch, walkways and garden borders for clutter. Look at areas that might seem a bit too sparse or barren. Start with those and work out to the whole yard.
Take a stroll around the block and try approaching your home in this frame of mind. Try to see it as a stranger might. Do you see bare spots in the grass, overgrown shrubbery, problems with the house or fencing?
Make a list of the imperfections that stand out. This is where you will begin your quest to create curb appeal. [source]
Make solid plans to address each of the items on your list and then tackle them in an organized manner. Begin with simple things that you can do right now for little or no cost and without a great deal of planning.
- Take a tour of your yard with a sharp pair of shears
- Rake up leaves and pick up twigs and branches
- Put away kids’ and pets’ toys
- Organize your tools
- Pick up clutter
Simple decluttering and removal of rampant foliage will make a big difference in the span of an afternoon. Take care of any minor repairs to your house, and make plans or arrangements to address any major problems.
Quickly Add Curb Appeal With Seasonal Decorations
Once you decluttered and tidied up what you already have, you can begin thinking about adding attractive features to your yard and garden. Adding seasonal decorative features is a quick way to spruce things up.
- A few pots of chrysanthemums on your porch in autumn
- An evergreen wreath on your front door in winter
- A few pots of daffodils and tulips in springtime
- A planter filled with colorful coleus plants on your porch in summer
These small, inexpensive touches can quickly make a big difference to the appearance of your home.
Related: How To Grow Coleus From Seeds
What About Lawn Decorations?
Lawn ornaments can make or break your curb appeal. It really all depends upon what sort of ornaments you choose. You should not use lawn statuary, chimes, spinners, gazing balls, and other items used in your front yard.
These sorts of things does not work as one of the landscape elements. As you call them personal property, you can take them with you when you decided to move. For this reason use them in your backyard makes it far more intimate and personal.
While gazing balls and garden gnomes look lovely to you, adding them to your front yard may cause you to lose buyers and draw criticism or even ire or envy from your neighbors.
Your portable lawn decorations will become much safer from damage and theft in your backyard, and they will less likely seem cluttered in your private space than in your public space.
A Well Kept Backyard Adds Value And Livability
Having a tidy, usable backyard adds to the value of your home both in terms of resale and in terms of your own everyday use. An unattractive, cluttered backyard will put off potential buyers. Even if you are not planning to sell your home, a backyard that you cannot use and enjoy is very likely to put you off, as well!
When you imagine your home in your mind’s eye, you want to think of it as inviting and comfortable. A chronically cluttered and unruly backyard makes it more likely to feel like a burden than a haven.
Just as with your front yard, begin by decluttering and getting overgrown trees, shrubs, grass and weeds under control. If you don’t hold adequate storage space for your tools and recreational equipment, prioritize on setting it up as soon as possible.
You can also make space by rearranging and sorting the items you already own. If not possible, invest in a portable shed to achieve the space you need.
With ample storage and workspace, you can arrange your tools, gardening, lawn care equipment, and supplies in such a way that you can access them easily. It functions as an important step if you want to beautify your walkways, concrete patio, front and back yards and keep them that way.
Just as with your front yard, once you cleaned and organized your backyard, you can begin thinking about beautification steps. For example, if you own a patio, walkway, or other concrete surfaces in your yard, you can make them much more attractive by giving them a good cleaning and then adding a coat of concrete stain.
When you switch out your seasonal potted plants on your front porch, plant them in beds in your backyard. Doing so will allow you extended time with them, and with good care some may come back year after year.
Small Jobs Deliver Big Value
There are a number of small home improvements you can do on your own that really make a big difference in appearance. Below includes a few quick and easy projects you could take on to give your house a mini facelift.
- Give the front door and others a new coat of paint.
- Install cute decorative and functional shutters.
- Upgrade your old mailbox and plant a little garden around it.
- Replace your old house numbers with bright, spiffy new ones.
- Add window boxes filled with geraniums, herbs or seasonal plants. Window boxes with side items or striking colorful flowers will also look great.
- Pay attention to your windows. Replace damaged glasses and frames.
- Don’t forget to check your garage door. Paint it with a color that matches the whole theme of your house. Try some great ideas for garage doors such as having farmhouse details, using a glass door, aluminum or giving it a French country vibe.
This collection from DIYnCrafts has just to many to describe and do justice. Not only will these (over 150) do-it-yourself tips result in a home you’re happier to see, you’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing it’s beauty is attributable to your own efforts, and that you saved money in the process of earning that sense of satisfaction.
Add Lighting For Good Looks Day And Night
These days, you can pick up inexpensive walkway or solar path lights at your local dollar store and other retail outlets. This makes a quick, easy, cheap way to spruce up your pathways in both your front and back yard. Having your yard well-lit provides great curb appeal day and night.
A home appearing well lit looks safe, cheerful and inviting in the evening. If you sell the property, your potential buyers will feel encouraged when they see your nicely lit home and yard. If decided staying, your friends and neighbors will feel welcome and so will you when you pull into your driveway at the end of a long day.
A home with great light fixture works truly safer than one lacking in exterior light. Good lighting helps prevent accidents and discourages burglars. You may also win a discount on your homeowners’ insurance if you light the home exterior and yard as well. [source]
Tackle Major Landscaping Jobs
With cleanup and small improvements out of the way, you can begin planning major landscaping improvements. While you may balk at the expense necessary for some large landscaping projects, remember that these costs can be considered an improvement in the value of your home. Even if you are not selling, investing in good landscaping can make your home more valuable, inviting and worthwhile for you.
If your yard appears poorly landscaped, you cannot enjoy it fully. Furthermore, problems caused by lacking landscaping (e.g. water runoff, lack of privacy, and more) can cause disagreements with your neighbors. Keeping your yard properly maintained and landscaped helps it look better, makes it more functional and displays your consideration for those around you.
Plan your projects logically. Remember that landscaping on the street side of your home plays an utmost importance for home curb appeal. Create a realistic project calendar to help you prioritize, plan your budget and time your projects in a workable way. Good planning will help you avoid frustration as you move forward.
Keep It Simple
Although it feels tempting to go for an ornate or fussy appearance, you should realize that clean and simple designs look actually more pleasing to the eye when it comes to landscaping. Additionally, neat, clean, simple lines will tend to add actual value to your home because they possess universal appeal.
If you invest a lot of time and money into landscaping and decorating your yard in a very personal way, you may lose your investment and see your improvements chucked in the trash when you sell your home. Save more ornate, personal landscape, and yard decoration touches for your backyard. This is a more personal space.
In your front yard, plan your plantings carefully. Keep it traditional with selections of simple, elegant plants acting as a uniform backdrop for carefully selected specimen plants. Establish plantings that will enhance the positive architectural features of your home, so you don’t want very showy or “trashy” (i.e. plants that drop lots of leaves, fruit or blossoms) in front of your home becomes your ultimate goal.
Maintaining your front yard landscaping should work easy so that once you decluttered your front yard, you can cultivate an uncluttered frame of mind as you make your planting choices. This will also present a neat, well-manicured appearance.
How Can Landscaping Enhance Architecture?
Your choices in landscaping plants for your front yard should be strategic. Your purpose is to draw the eye toward your home’s good points and away from any flaws or lesser features. Think back to your “seeing with fresh eyes” exercise.
What stood out about your home when you looked at it as if seeing it for the first time? If your home’s stand-out qualities look quite positive, you should strive to draw the eye to them by using interesting specimen plants which also stand out in terms of color, texture or some other positive feature.
If you get overwhelmed immediately by something negative about your home, naturally, you must take steps to correct the problem. Additionally, you should distract or baffle the viewers’ eye. You can do this by adding a simple planting (e.g. a plain hedge) in such a way that it disguises the offending feature of your home. You can also add an eye-catching specimen plant in a nearby location to draw attention away from your home’s less than perfect features.
The street side of your property should be easy-care. Good choices in plants for your front yard include drought tolerant perennials. If your area is especially subject to drought, xeriscaping using entirely drought resistant plants may work as the perfect plan for you.
What About Front Yard Decorations?
In your front yard, remember to stick with clean, simple lines and practical objects. Even planned and purposeful clutter detracts from your home’s curb appeal. Examples of practical, attractive, decorative lawn items that may actually improve curb appeal include:
Smart Walkway Ideas For Pumping Up Curb Appeal
When looking to dynamically improve the look and appeal of your home, it all starts from the moment you walk up to it and get to the front porch.
A boring walkway can bring the value of your home down, while an exciting and beautiful walkway can increase its value and impress visitors. There are many low budget ways to increase curb appeal.
I like the image above using large pieces of Goshen stone. The stone was set a 3″ gap where herbs could be grown. The stone goes matches the home period which was built in the 1700’s, which playing an important role in for curb appeal.
Decorative Stepping Stones
These can help disguise unsightly patches of lawn and provide safe, secure footing in damp or slippery areas.
A Simple Birdbath
If your garden holds good tree cover and birds visit a lot, a tasteful birdbath looks very attractive and practical. Welcoming birds to your yard helps keep garden pests, mosquitoes, and other unwanted fauna under control. Of course, birds appear beautiful and sing prettily and make your yard more attractive by their mere presence.
Planters and Containers
Well chosen or constructed containers and planters can add variety, color, and structure to your front yard. A collection of containers featuring seasonal plants makes a nice addition to your front porch. Lining your path with seasonal container plants makes another very welcoming and attractive step you can take.
The area around your mailbox can dress utilitarian or you can make it attractive by planting a few hardy, flowering plants at its base. Creating a small rock garden with drought resistant plants around your mailbox makes a trouble-free way to draw positive attention to your address.
Colorful items such as flags may look both attractive or dreadful. Choose with care when adding this type of ornament to your home.
Generally speaking, decorating with flags and seasonal ornaments may seem very attractive if done in moderation using traditional motifs. Don’t overdo, and be sure to avoid any controversial themes that may draw negative attention.
Shady Yard Pack Curb Appeal With Colorful Plants
Shade can be a welcome relief on a hot Summer’s day, but it also makes it difficult for many plants to grow under the cover.
Thankfully, there are plenty of plants that can grow optimally in shady conditions, and with a wide variety of colors to choose from like white, pink, lavender, and red, you’re sure to brighten up your shade garden in no time.
Good Ideas & Practical Steps Add Up To Great Curb Appeal
When you set out to improve the home curb appeal for the purpose of selling or simply enjoying your home more, be practical and methodical. Make a solid plan and put simple fixes that you can do yourself, right now at the top of the list.
Do those tasks and establish a firm schedule to take care of more complex tasks yourself or delegate them to a professional.
Landscape the exposed areas of your yard with the public view in mind. Decorate your personal areas with your own comfort and enjoyment in mind. Whatever you do, don’t simply allow clutter and disarray to descend upon your yard.
This can happen very quickly because things accumulate, grow out of control and fall into disrepair on such a regular, ongoing basis that your situation can get out of control before you notice it.
To maintain an attractive house and yard, it requires a great deal of vigilance along with regular performance of daily chores. Follow the tips presented here to improve and maintain the curb appeal of your home and yard.
We’ve looked at things you CAN DO to improve the curb appeal of your home. Below are some mistakes to avoid!
7 Landscaping Mistakes Many Homeowners Make… Guaranteed To Wreck Curb Appeal – #3 Is A Must
Great landscaping makes for a great first impression on potential home buyers.
Sure, you know it is not expensive to plant a border of colorful begonias to dress things up when you plan to sell.
However, planting a young tree or the wrong tree in the wrong location can become a big problem when it matures and it is time to sell.
Related Reading: Palm Tree Lighting Ideas
The right trees and landscape is an investment in the value of your home, the wrong trees and garden design can cost you 1000’s at closing.
The #1 way to not throw a wrench in your curb appeal is to plant and landscape with a plan, the cost is minimal if you are serious about smart landscaping.
- Too Much Togetherness
- Zoning Out
- Planting Without a Plan
- More of the Same
- Refusing to Bury Your Dead
- Weeds Gone Wild
- Contain Those Critters
HouseLogic a website provided by the National Association of Realtors® shares more details.