Give your Home Curb Appeal
Designing the outside of the home adds to the curb-side appeal, creates ambience, and increases the value of the home.
Take inventory of materials you already own and consider how you could use them to give your home more curb appeal. A good-looking front yard with curb appeal isn't just a wise investment in your home, it's a gift to your neighbourhood.
If improving your home’s curb appeal tops your list of projects to do around the home then creating curb appeal doesn’t have to be extensive or expensive as you might imagine. A few simple improvements like paint, landscaping, and lighting can spruce up your house with a look that says 'pride of ownership'.
A good place to start is by taking a long, hard look at the outside of your home. To gauge your homes curb appeal cross the street and view it with a critical eye. Look for the positive elements that can be highlighted and negative areas to be concealed. Take a black and white photo of your home. A colour photo can often affect our perception of problem areas.
The right landscaping around a property will make all the difference in the world. Architectural landscaping is an immediate way to add colour, beauty and personality. Identify your homes style: Mediterranean, colonial, contemporary and incorporate the theme into your landscape.
Trees add value to a property. Think about how a tree planted now will increase the value of your property in 10 years time. Ask your local nursery what plants and shrubs grow well in your area.
Adding potted plants around a home's doorway or porch, placing shrubs alongside the driveway and keeping the grass neatly cut helps showcase a well kept home.
If your front yard is mostly cement and paved areas add potted plants and flowers out front. Make use of window boxes filled with colourful flowers and foliage plants to give a good impression of the exterior of your home.
Complete the landscaping by installing a water feature. They are aesthetically pleasing, emit soothing sounds and are easy to maintain.
One of the easiest ways to add appeal and completely change the look of your property at night is the installation of outdoor lighting. Light makes after-dark magic happen in the garden. Auxiliary lighting is a basic requirement for appreciating the aesthetics of a garden in the evening.
Outdoor lighting should never be harsh or contrived. Be aware of the eye-line levels within the garden. Visualize how light from below, to the side, and high up, as well as direct or indirect light, can be exploited for maximum comfort, surprise and delight.
Down-lighting is used for putting a spotlight feature on certain designated areas. The most common use is to provide an added security feature to your home. Sensor lights are motion activated and turn on when triggered by something or someone moving past.
Use lighting to accent and draw attention to specific focal points such things as ponds, gardens, flowers, plants, and other accentuated pieces. Angle low lights to point up at trees and bushes and point down along a pathway for safety.
Low key lighting of the side garden of a house can be highly effective and should form part of the whole garden scene.
Keep it simple. It is better to have more lights at lower wattages than one, very bright one. Replacing dated exterior porch lights (or add lights if you don't have some already) is a quick and easy way to give the house a new look. Consider using solar lights that charge during the day to illuminate walkways and gardens at night.
Driveways, Paths and Garages
Resurfacing an old cement or tarred driveway or replacing it with a woven stone patterned one can do wonders for a home.
Consider adding a stone walkway or path going to the house instead of grass or maybe a wide cement path.
Replace old, worn-out garage doors with something smarter like a carriage-house style door can have a large impact on the look of a home with a front facing garage. There are many designs available on the market along with decorative accessories to complement the architectural style of your home.
Colour and Details make the difference
The exterior body of a home is the face it presents to the world, defines the mood and character of the home and reflects the image desired by its owners. Inspect the existing condition of the paint or siding on your home. Does it need washing or a repaint? When painting a house good prep work is essential. Sand off worn and chipping areas and prime before painting. This will make an exterior paint job last a lot longer and give a better finish.
Colour when used effectively can completely transform the exterior of your home. Using colours of the same hue can add dimension to a house and give it the "wow" factor you are looking for. After all curb appeal is the ultimate first impression when someone sees your home that makes them want to stop and take a second look.
Exterior accent details are the finishing touches on a home of distinction. Make a statement and set your home apart from all the others on the block. A new door makes a smart visual statement to all that enter your home. If your door is only in need of a new coat of paint, choose a colour that complements the house and neighbourhood. Next, dress up the door by installing hardware, like handles, kick plates and knockers. After the door is updated, don't forget to look down. A doormat is a warm way to welcome the guests.
Consider adding details such as fixed shutters, decorative dentil mouldings and elements like weathervanes, iron scrollwork, or a designer chimney pot to your home. They really set the home apart and provide an affordable, yet beautiful complement to your home's design and give it individuality.
Whether you’re planning to sell your home and need a way to set it apart from all the others on the market or just want to improve its curb appeal for your family’s own enjoyment their is no better time than now to start planning your improvements.