Pull up to your own home and be wowed and welcomed every time with a few simple tweaks to its curb appeal. Whether new, historic or in need of a renovation, your home can and deserves to be beautiful inside and out and stand out for all the right reasons. A clean and tidy exterior not only makes you feel like you're coming home to your sanctuary, but it also draws your guests inside your world and deters unwelcome ones from treating your home like a dumping ground or free for all too. Gather the family, roll up your sleeves and don your gloves for some weekend DIY on the home front!
"If all of your remodelling is on the inside but the outside of the house is challenging, you'll never have a chance to even show the inside." - HGTV
The Basics for Creating Instant Curb Appeal
CLEAN THE GUTTERS - Not just a basic premise of keeping a tidy overall look to your homes frontage, but overflowing gutters are also a fire and pest hazard that you just don't need. Get up there (carefully) and clean them out, then install a sturdy gutter guard all around so you don't have to clean them as intensely or as often and keep birds and marsupials from making a home in them!
FACTOR IN A FETCHING FENCE - If your property has a front fence of any description, do make sure it's in good working condition and is as attractive as can be. Pressure clean, paint, repair, tear down and start over, add height, add a new gate that says hello and hell no in equal measure (right?!) and even examine if the lines and positioning of any fences are working for the optimal use and attractiveness of your front garden.
UPDATE YOUR LETTERBOX - A scrappy letterbox is not just a scary place to reach into but it can also be damaging important mail and screaming carelessness for your curb appeal. The idea of a letterbox is quaint and homely, but that doesn't mean you can't build or buy a replacement to be secure, large enough for modern mail, and in line with your homes outward style.
CLEAN THE DRIVEWAY & FACADE - Bring concrete or pavers back to life with a pressure cleaner and adjust the pressure or use warm soapy water to do the outside surfaces of your home as well. Dirt, dust, pollution and playtime accidents can add years to your homes appearance, so a wash down every 12 months or so makes a bigger difference than you might first think.
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW? - Plant new flowers and trees, weed, feed or install faux grass to amp up the landscaping element of your abode. It's OK to remove trees that are causing damage to foundations, pathways, drains or other plants. Replace them with something more suitable to your climate, soil, home design and neighbourhood streetscape. Make lush moments or sleek statements along your fence-line, as a green fence-line, up your pathway or driveway, or to disguise those ugly utilities. You don't have to plant what everyone else has chosen, but spend some time searching for what speaks to your style as well as your green thumb abilities!
MAKING WOW MOMENTS
MAKE AN ENTRANCE - Stand on your stoop and look around. Are you inspired, welcomed, bored, concerned? How do you think visitors to your home feel standing there? Create a real entryway event with a meandering pathway to the door, new door or handle, doorbell, extra windows beside the door, potted plants, seasonal decor, a fresh doormat, adequate lighting, covered roof, and solid substance underfoot with enough space to enter and exit comfortably. Work with what you've got in creative and on theme ways, or save for a larger scale project for this all important part of your home.
ADD CHARACTER - Take a walk and get a 180 degree view of your house and ask yourself whether it hints at what and who lives inside? Does it represent you and your family and the values and style you possess or is it distinctly lacking in character? New builds can have as much wow factor, charm or sophistication as an older home and it can be added quite easily to great effect. Search Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration for your ideal look and create it with textured materials or paint, cladding, an extension, decorative crowns ow windows, beams, braces, gables, moldings, trims or even a porch or verandah addition. Add water features, foliage or sculptures for theatrics, shutters for practicality as much as prettiness, and always stand back and take stock of your progress - because knowing when to stop is as important as knowing when to start!
FIND THE BEAUTY IN (OR AROUND) EVERYTHING!
DISGUISE THE GARAGE - I see so many people turn plain and simply effective garage doors into a feature at the front of their homes, so that now all one sees is a whacking big door with the rest of the house as an afterthought. Not cute IMO. Same goes for carports, best to keep them sleek and blending into the main body of the house. Aim for your front door and entrance to make the loudest statement. That said, if your garage door is daggy or damaged, repair, paint or replace with the subtlest option you can source. And if you are renovating, buying or building, consider disguising the garage by putting it underground, slighting to the rear of the property or turning it around to the side to the door is not facing the front.
HIDE THE BINS & ANY ELECTRICAL BOXES OR METERS - Just like a garage shouldn't be the feature point of your front yard, neither should ugly bins or unsightly meter boxes. Even if you didn't install it and it's property of your local council, you still have some control over concealing or camouflaging these things so as to not be an eyesore on your property. Check your local government website for more specifics, but aim for some kind of slatted divider, sculpted scrub or planting to keep them from interrupting your curb appeal.
SMART & SAFE EXTERIOR ENHANCEMENTS
LOOK AT THE HOUSE WITH THE LIGHTS ON AT NIGHT - Does it look dull, dark and actually not that securely lit? Are your homes best features highlighted or lost in the shadows? Can someone find their way up your driveway and to the front door easily? Consider hiring a professional to install good looking exterior lights on the exterior facade and directional garden and gate lighting to add drama, height and yes, that all important air of security to your home.
LIGHT UP YOUR HOUSE NUMBER - You know how annoying it is trying to locate a house in the dark that has no number, let alone a house number hidden by overgrowth. Paint or purchase a nice big number, position prominently on your fence or letterbox housing, and light that thing up! You can even get screw in and stick on solar powered down-facing sconce lights that provide big impact for little money. Do it!
CHECK YOUR WINDOW TREATMENTS FROM THE OUTSIDE - Ensure your window treatments look as suitable and finished from the outside as they do inside and remember to turn on the lights inside to test the privacy effectiveness of your drapes and shutters too. Not all windows need finishes of course, but an outside check will tell you what needs to be addressed. Consider exterior shutters for long-term vacay vacancy security and frosted film on front doors that are open to the street without a fence or gate.