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Do You Judge a Book By It’s Cover?

June 27, 2011

Most people do! So it’s safe to assume that they do the same when looking at your home. Whether your selling or just want your home to appear as put together as you are (or give off that illusion!), having a nicely manicured entrance and yard is key. There are definitely steps to creating a great looking home, but to do so, you need a plan.

Some people can visualize what they want, make a plan in their head, and just go with it. Others, not so much. For those who want ideas or need help putting together a customized solution I have 3 suggestions for keeping costs to a minimum.

1) Google. Google as we all know is an excellent resource for photographs that can give you an idea of what you want. However, make sure you are looking at local landscaping because a good number of solutions may not thrive in your area.

2) Students. Instead of hiring landscapers to custom design your yard, go to the local university with a landscaping program. Landscape students would LOVE to give you their ideas or even compete for the final chosen design JUST to add it to their portfolio when they graduate. They are also getting a good base of knowlegde that is up and coming and can draw up a number of innovative ideas that you can see. This will help their skills and help you envision what the final product is going to look like.

3) If you don’t have a university with landscaping as a major, check out your local plant nursery. If you take pictures in, they can give you ideas of what to do, how to do it, and help provide the tools you are going to need. Not to mention they can show you the plants in the nursery and give you an accurate cost estimate.
So what should you consider in your outdoor renovation plan?

Key areas that are going to make your home pop. The front door is the easiest to add a little bit of color. If you have a unique door, keep it simple. Use a stain, make any engravings stand out by using a darker or lighter color, and keep the look as natural as you can if you have a stunning hunk of wood. If you want bold color, use some paint. It is also wise to make your steps or pathway intriguing by using color or even staining concrete.

Molding – if you have molding that looks grungy, paint it! Go for a high contrast with the surrounding colors. White typically makes a home feel more inviting and crisply decorated. Going over it once every year or so can keep the overall house looking crisp and clean. This goes for shutters, gutters and the like. Its the small details that will keep your curb appeal at its maximum.

Other details to pay attention to are accessories. Potted plants, benches, water features, rock gardens, etc. Anything that is simple, adds to the aesthetic appeal and function of the home’s exterior can be beneficial to curb appeal. For example, adding a swinging bench with pillows to the porch can make it feel much more like a home before a guest or prospective buyer ever enters.

As for landscaping, utilizing bright colors can really bring life to a neutral home. They can be easily changed, and can be planted depending on what you want to bloom during which season. You can have color in ALL seasons by speaking with your local specialists before planting. Adding height is also a great way to create a visual interest. Any and all ideas can come to life with the help of google, professionals, students or the local nursery. I know they love to see the final results of all your hard work!

Just be sure to keep any additions clean, well manicured and taken care of, watered, and functional. Mimimize clutter and have only the necessities/niceties available.This will keep your curb exceptionally appealing!


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