Most of the time, when someone talks about curb appeal, it’s when the house is on the market. Yes, curb appeal is important when you are selling your home but it’s not just about selling your home.
The idea behind Curb Appeal is to make you home welcoming by creating a great first impression. The outside of the home is the first thing that any visitor will see – whether they are looking at the home as a potential buyer or simply a friend coming for a visit. It’s all about welcoming someone home – whether that is you, your family and friends, Airbnb guests or potential buyer.
Curb Appeal is a great term to throw around but how do you apply it? These 6 simple and cost-efficient ways will get you started.
1. Maintenance and Grooming
First and foremost – maintenance and grooming. An overgrown landscape screams stay away. If you want to welcome people to your home, they have to be able to find it and get to the front door.
Make sure your lawn is maintained – cut and weeded as needed. Cut back any overgrown bushes and trees. Clean up the gardens by making sure they are weeded, clean edges are cut along the flower beds and any perennials aren’t overgrown.
Tip: Stand back at the road and take a look at what passerby’s see. Ask yourself, “is my house number easily found? Can you see the front door?” You should be able to see approximately 75-80% of your home when you stand down the driveway or road (minimum).
When it comes to exterior lighting, there are 3 areas that should always be lit:
- Your house number so guest (or delivery drivers) can find your house at night
- Your walkway leading to the front door so guest can find their way to the door and don’t trip
- Your front door so you can see your lock when you come home at night
You can also add lights throughout your garden or on your porch. If you use your porch often at night, adding some soft lighting is a great mood setter – creating a cozy and relaxing environment.
Tip: Use solar powered lights whenever possible. They will save you on your hydro bill, you don’t have to turn them on/off and they give you A LOT more flexibility on where you can place them.
3. Visible House Number
Keeping with the theme of being able to find your home, make sure your house number is visible not only during the day but also at night.
There was a time when homeowners were spelling out their house numbers in cursive. DON’T. Not only does it take up a lot of space but it is also a lot harder for people to read while driving and trying to find a house. Stick to numerical characters.
Tip: Put your house number in a visible and logical location. This is one time that it isn’t a bad idea to keep it consistent with your neighbors. When you are looking for a house number and every house has it in a different spot, it can be stressful for the person driving.
4. Cozy Porch
What you do on your front porch to make a cozy and welcoming space will depending on the size. At the very minimum, no matter what the size, you should have a large planter. Not only do they add décor to your doorstep but they can also easily be altered for the changing seasons.
If you have the space, add some seating to your porch. This could be as simple as a couple of Muskoka chairs or bistro set or a porch swing or lounge set. It’s all about creating a home-y feeling. A place to relax and unwind. By adding outdoor furniture, it creates a space where you or your guest can sit and have morning coffee, watch the neighborhood or enjoy a cocktail on a warm summer night.
Tip: Keep it simple. Don’t go overboard with accessories and nick-knacks. Too much clutter will take away from the curb appeal.
5. Statement front Door
Think of your front door as a landmark or beacon. This door is how people find the entrance to your home. If your guest can’t find your front door, you aren’t exactly welcoming them.
Choose a door color that can be seen from the driveway or road. It should be a contrasting color from the exterior finish of your home but something that compliments it.
For example, a soft pink front door against a dark grey exterior. The soft pink will pop against the dark of the grey. It is also a color that is not typical so you will stand out from the homes around you.
Tip: Choose a color that you have used on the interior of your home as well. Repeating the color from the outside of the home to the inside adds consistently to your overall design and gives your home a coherent feel. Consistency, subconsciously, makes you feel relaxed and comfortable. It makes you feel at home.
6. Gardens and Planters
Gardens are a great way to add color and interest to your home’s exterior. Choose flowers that mimic your interior color theme and complement your homes exterior.
For example, keeping with the home example we used above, using pastel colored flowers in the garden will complement the dark grey exterior of the home. Light purples, yellows and pinks will pop against the dark backdrop of the home.
Tip: To save cost year-over-year, plant perennials around the yard. These will return every spring, saving you time and money. Then fill around them with annuals for added color. A lot of perennials bloom in the spring and then you are left with leafy greens. You will still need some annuals for color.
Pick-up some mixed hanging baskets instead of buying them separately. You can separate the flowers in the baskets and spread them throughout. Hanging baskets often have 3-5 different flowers in them and cost less than if you were to buy them individually.
The exterior of your home is the homes first impression to visitors and passersby. How the exterior of the home is up-kept gives others an idea of what the interior is like. If you are selling your home this is critical. Some potential buyers won’t even look at the interior if the exterior is that bad.
But you don’t have to be selling your home to care about the curb appeal. Your home should be your haven; your place to relax and de-stress. By adding some of these elements to the exterior of your home, you should feel that Welcome Home feeling as you pull into your driveway…as the stress instantly fades away.
If you need some ideas or guidance for your home, send us an email at [email protected]
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