7 Tips for Stunning Curb Appeal

BY NANCY MATTIA ON OCTOBER 20TH, 2016

Want your house to be the prettiest on the block? Or maybe you’re trying to attract potential homebuyers? Whatever the reason, you can boost your property’s curb appeal without spending a fortune. Check out our seven landscaping and design tips, most of which are DIY:

1. Get the landscaping in shape

Your house will create a great first impression if the landscape is well maintained. “You want it to be clean like you want the inside of your home to be clean,” says Lisa Mierop, owner of Mierop Design, a landscape and exterior design firm based in Montclair, New Jersey. Remove dead tree branches, get rid of weeds, and mow the lawn regularly. “Think of your landscape as a dog or cat – a living organism that must be cared for regularly. It doesn’t just happen.”

2. Tidy up the place

Don’t treat your front lawn like an outdoor storage closet. Put away garden hoses, tools, toys, and any other items that belong somewhere else. Keep recycle bins and trashcans out of sight, too.

3. Paint the front door a bold or bright color

Nothing perks up an entrance like a colorful door. “It’s a fun accent, like earrings or a ring on your finger,” Mierop says. “And you can easily change the door color without having to change the whole house color.” One of her favorite combos: a white house with a red door. Also consider painting the trim and shutters, and use spray paint to make a tarnished doorknob and other hardware look new.

4. Pay attention to the roof

Curb appeal isn’t just about what you can see at eye level or below – it’s also about what’s above, namely the roof. Repair any eyesores like missing or broken shingles, and give it a good cleaning if it’s dirty.

5. Upgrade your house number with new digits

This is an easy fix that will instantly add a shot of style to your exterior. “My rule is keep [the typeface] simple,” Mierop says. “If there’s a way to do something that’s decorative and architecturally correct, fine, but don’t overthink it to the point where the numbers are hard to read.” If you’re selling your home, It’s especially important that the numbers are big enough and illuminated at night. If buyers can’t find the house, you’ll have a hard time making a sale.

6. Add new accessories

A mailbox, solar or low-voltage landscape lighting along the main walkway and driveway, a porch light and welcome mat will add texture and style to your home and give it a visual pick-me-up. And so will containers and planters with pretty flowers on the front steps and porch. “It’s always a good idea to have something decorative or ornamental near the front door,” Mierop says.

7. Make sure flowers show up against the house color

There aren’t any hard-and-fast rules regarding flower colors but in general you want to pick colors that complement the house – nothing that fights the background, Mierop says. “To make the flowers to stand out, I wouldn’t put red flowers against a brick house or light flowers against a light house.” What works better: bold shades with a white or light-colored house, and pastels for a brick house.

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