Increasing curb appeal does not always mean adding elements and sometimes necessitates removing them. Take pictures of your house and view them in color then black and white. Doing this helps to see things differently and spot problem areas. An element of home staging is creating curb appeal that makes a home stand out from the rest of the competition.
Tackle all of the cleaning projects first, then repairs, and lastly, accessories. In this way you won’t end up working over problem areas and merely cover them up but will actually restore your home to the way it was meant to be.
Let’s start at the street and walk in with our guests to see what they see. One of the first things that will catch the eye is a mailbox. If yours is shabby, fix it up. This can be done by simply getting a new one or by painting the old one, adding new house numbers, topping the post with a metal post cap or surrounding it with flowers.
If you’re going for quaint, nothing does the trick better than a white picket fence. There are different styles that each have their own unique feel. Taller style fencing can be used to give more privacy in a neighborhood where one is very close to one’s neighbors. Wrought iron gates add majesty and grandeur to larger homes.
As you walk up the path, how do you feel? Do you want to continue on or run away? Slate pavers, pebbles, tiles and bricks all make beautiful walkways in a range of prices. Lining your walkway with potted plants or flowers adds life and color. Rake and mow the lawn and clean up any overgrown weeds, etc. Trim dead tree limbs and any branches that could be hazardous to the roof.
Gardens and landscaping can contribute greatly to curb appeal. Use plants that require the amount of sunlight and moisture that your yard naturally provides. Mulch and stones can add beautiful texture to your garden. Overflowing flower boxes, placed under windowsills, give a nice cottage feel. Be sure to water! Nothing says “GO AWAY!” better than a bunch of dead plants. If you have a balcony, this is another perfect place to utilize flowers. Have them spilling over the edge for an old Tuscan vibe. Who doesn’t want to live in Italy?
As you near the house, do you see dirt and grime? Clean your windows and use a pressure washer on decks, patios and siding. Empty the gutters so the new residents don’t move in to do manual labor. This is just good karma!
Don’t be afraid of color. Rich, warm tones invite people in. There is also the belief that painting a house yellow helps it sell but this philosophy has limited application. If your house is white, you might want to use accent colors, but first, consult a professional. You can go very right or very wrong here.
Do you have a porch? Hanging wooden shades on either side sets it off as its own room and gives more privacy. Seating contributes to the ambiance and function of this outdoor space. Light your porch, or any front door area, with soft, yellow-white lighting. This romanticizes the home instantly. Lanterns are one of the best ways to do this and they come in all styles from quaint to modern.
One of the most important things you can do to increase curb appeal is to make your front door welcoming. Repaint or re-stain it and maybe replace the old hardware with newer, unique pieces. If there is enough money in the bank, you may even consider adding some glasswork to your door.
When viewing a house, most people will try to see into the back yard, so include this area in your preparations. Weed and mow the lawn and fix any broken fencing, etc. For a real bang, add some outdoor seating such as a garden bench. This is a beautiful and simple tool in outdoor staging.
In the Evening
For evening curb appeal, turn on that golden light by your front door. String low voltage lights along the driveway, walkway, etc. to lead the eye toward to house. Light your house numbers and make sure they’re clean and on straight. Ensure that any indoor lighting, visible from outside, is contributing to your home’s appeal. Decorative street lamps are a throwback to older times and can be a valuable addition.