By Chris Hillman
Close your eyes and imagine walking up to your dream home. There’s color, cleanliness, and creativity. Making your home’s first impression match the vision of your dream home might be easier than you think. Whether you’re selling your house or are ready to put its best foot forward, check out these tips for increasing your home’s curb appeal.
Start at the bottom
Your home’s driveway may seem like a strictly utilitarian feature, but it could be the very first thing visitors and potential buyers notice. You can spruce up your driveway in a weekend with crack sealer and blacktop refinishing topcoat. Talk to the pros at your local home improvement store for tips. It’s a messy job, but with care and preparation, it doesn’t need to be difficult. You will be astonished at how much elegance a refinished driveway can add to your curb appeal.
Splash in some color
The last word you ever want to hear in a description of your home is “drab.” Adding vibrant color to your home doesn’t have to require all new exterior paint. You can make the same impact for less time and money with accents and creative landscaping. A boldly painted front door draws the eye, and can be a distinguishing feature to bedraggled home shoppers who are having difficulty comparing one house to the next. Another unique way to add color without digging up your whole yard is to surround your front walk and porch with potted flowers. You’ll get all the benefits of floral landscaping without the hard work and grass-stained knees.
Light me up
One slightly more involved, but undeniably impressive curb appeal project, is done through outdoor lighting. When it comes to adding dynamic visual drama to your home, nothing surpasses outdoor and landscape lighting. Thankfully for your wallet, a little outdoor lighting goes a long way. A gently lit front walk and a single spotlighted tree can add cinematic appeal to an otherwise dark exterior. Solar lamps are a cost effective and an energy-friendly alternative to traditional landscape lighting.
Check the mail
Like a driveway, your mailbox is easy to overlook as a purely functional element of your home’s exterior. On the contrary, a mailbox is like a blank canvas just waiting for a chance to express itself. Get rid of that cheap aluminum box bolted to a 4x4 and choose to make a more artful statement. The possibilities for a mailbox upgrade are endless, but keep it understated. For instance, an arched brick or stacked stone mailbox adds craftsmanship to your curb appeal.
Patronize the arts
To some, the phrase “yard art” conjures lawn gnomes, plastic flamingoes, or worse. That’s why I prefer the term “exterior sculpture”. When your home has curb appeal, yet you feel it is missing a certain panache, consider a sculpture with high visual impact. Sculptures can help ease the transition from exterior to interior, and have the ability to frame the view of your home in a unique way. More importantly, sculpture is a chance for you to make a statement that no brick walkway or boxwood hedge can. Visit galleries, art shows, or craft fairs to narrow your taste, then find a local artist whose work speaks to you. Abstract sculpture tends to work well outdoors, but hey—the sky (well, in this case, the ground) is the limit.