5 Easy Curb Appeal Ideas
It’s almost summertime!
You have waited for months to get out and truly enjoy the outdoors. The cold temperatures coupled with the less-than-desirable precipitation has almost made you and your family feel like prisoners inside your home. There’s nothing better than sitting back and feeling the sun kiss your cheeks.
But if you haven’t updated your home’s facade in awhile, when you’re sitting outside soaking up the solar rays, you might be distracted by its lack of curb appeal.
So, what are some easy ways to make your home feel more inviting and cozy from the outside?
- Repaint the door.
You’ve probably taken a day or two and invested time in painting a room inside your home. You’ve experienced just how painting can transform the entire look of a space. Well, painting the exterior of your door is no different.
You can add so much charm and personality to your entryway with just a few coats. This is an inexpensive update that even the most inexperienced DIY-er can pull off, but as with any project, there are some things to consider before beginning.
First, you want to take your time in choosing the right color for. Be aware and conscious of the more permanent pieces of your home. Take into consideration the colors of your brick, foundation, or shingles. Bring color swatches home with you to compare because the lighting in the paint store can affect how you see the colors there. Secondly, you want to take your time and make sure you remove hardware and cover your glass with paper and painters tape. It may seem like an unnecessary step or too much work, but proper preparation always makes for a more professional and tidy result. Besides, who has an hour to scrap paint off door windows?
- Add shutters.
You may not realize it, but your windows want love! They’re the, well, windows into your home’s heart. You’ve probably spent a lot of time deciding on and investing in window treatments on the inside, but have you spent as much time considering the outside look of them?
Shutters can instantly transform the look of any home. Your place will look more cohesive and inviting. Shutters add an touch of elegance and structure that you may not even realize is missing until they’ve been installed.
Color comes into play again on this project. Experts say to avoid matching your shutters to your foundation or your roof, but to opt for a complimentary color. You can’t go wrong with traditional black (for a lighter colored exterior) or white (for darker homes), although neutral shades of brown work well here also. Vinyl pre-made shutters are a popular option and withstand harsh weather conditions, but there are many simple DIY options out there for you to check out, too.
- Add plants.
Is there anything as beautiful as a garden in full bloom? Flowers, shrubs, hedges, trees – they all make for a more inviting outdoor space. If you have a green thumb, then by all means – skip this advice! You’ve probably been sowing seeds since sundown on Sunday.
If by chance you’re reading this and thinking you can’t pull off a garden, then there’s good news for you, too! There are other options for adding plants that don’t require as much time investment and can even be achieved pretty easily on a small budget.
If you’re a fan of flowers, consider hanging baskets. You can buy these at a local greenhouse, farmers market, or even grocery store and they come already growing, full, and breath-taking. Hanging baskets are also very easy to install (all you need is a bracket or screw-hook), and complement any outdoor décor. Just remember that hanging baskets require more water since the airflow underneath can cause them to dry out quicker. And if you’re a fan of greens, ‘Green Mountain’ boxwood keeps its color all year round and survives pretty effortlessly in a container. Place a container on each side of your newly painted door for a simple, classic style makeover.
- Pressure washing.
Whether its your exterior siding, foundation, porches, or patio, your outsides need cleaned. You can take the traditional approach, a bucket of soapy water and scrub brush and spend a few hours bent over in the hot sun building your biceps OR you can pressure wash them.
Pressure washing is a God-send. It cuts down time and effort to fractions of traditional methods for removing mildew, dirt, and old paint. All it takes is a little bit of skill and a specialized machine. If you don’t own one and don’t want to make that investment, there are many places that you can rent a pressure washer.
A few steps to safeguard yourself will go a long way. Be sure that you wear eye protection! It makes the list for obvious reasons, although it might be easy to overlook. Remember it’s never safe to spray while using a ladder, and if you have a second story home, you should get an extended wand to do the trick. Keep in mind that it’s very unsafe to spray any paint containing lead. If your home was built before 1978, you should get an inspection to check for any lead-based paint.
- Replace or upgrade your lighting.
You may have taken three trips to the hardware store to pick out that perfect chandelier to hang over your dining room table. You moved in and immediately replaced the outdated recessed lighting in the den. You know how important lighting is and how it can change the atmosphere in your home.
Consider the lighting that welcomes you home. Have you noticed the old globe
that doesn’t shine so bright anymore? Have you updated your house numbers and door handles and neglected to put as much thought and effort into picking out the perfect complement to your front porch?
There are a few things to consider when switching up your outdoor lighting. The best way to achieve the best style for your home is for each piece to play off the others. You may fall in love with a lighting fixture but find it doesn’t really tie in well with your existing pieces. Farmhouse styles, for example, look beautiful with lit up with either an industrial style cage light or a several one light barn lanterns. Modern style trends are more typically associated with hard lines and edges or round ones. New LED bulbs will make a world of difference and have a long life span despite being energy efficient.
Another way to light up your curb appeal is with garden lights. These can be as expensive and complicated or as cheap and easy as you want them to be. Solar lights require almost zero installation or maintenance, but a few of them together will make your home so much more inviting and welcoming. They’re available in most department store garden centers, but you can even get super savvy and pick them up at the dollar store.
Many of these ideas are quick and simple and are achievable for even the novice do it yourself-er, BUT there are many times you will want to hire an expert. For example, rewiring your new porch light or pressure washing your second story may be better handled by your friendly neighborhood handyman. Just remember – be sure that whoever you hire is properly insured. If a contractor were to get hurt on your property without insurance, your homeowners insurance may be held liable. It’s always, always, always better to be safe than sorry. Whether it’s with your skill level or your liability!
You deserve a home that you’re happy to see from the street and be proud of when you host the family barbecue. Hopefully these simple tricks will help you make the most out of your summer for many summers to come!