It doesn’t matter how nice the interior is, how well groomed the back garden is, or how perfect the feng shui is in the 2nd guest bathroom; the most you’ll see of just about any house is spotted from the curb.
And that’s what curb appeal is; the first glance. You get only one chance to make a first impression on someone, so if you’re trying to stand out on your block, as in all things, start at the beginning.
To that end, we’ve put together a couple of projects to raise the bar on your home’s curb appeal.
1. STEP UP YOUR MAILBOX
We did say to start at the beginning. A mailbox is the first thing people are going to encounter when they start stepping up towards the place; it’s a miniature gate, in a way. The difference between a stick with a can on it and a decent looking bricked container is the difference between a home and a manor.
2. HIDE THE PIPES
Got unsightly storm drainage pipes? Arrange a few leafy plants around to block off the outflow and, at the same time, get a little free water for your plants!
Alternatively, pipes are a great spot to hang some lattices. Give yourself room to get at the piping if you need to, but creepers around the outside wall always look great.
3. PAINT THE ACCESS POINTS
Paint your doors! Shove a quick coat on your front door for a high-visibility, from-the-curb instant bonus. Paint your window frames, as well, as the eye is naturally drawn to them. Bordering window frames in the same colour as the door makes for a perfectly matched home.
If you have an iPhone, the App Front Door Paint will even let you take a look beforehand.
4. PLANT A TREE
Maybe even put a swing on it! Planting a tree in your yard can funnel vision towards where you want it to, block off areas you’ll rather remain unseen, and provides a pleasant view in itself.
It’s the classic accompaniment to a front yard, straight out of a photo album cover.
5. GET SOME NIGHTLIGHTS
Nobody really thinks about how their house looks at night. Get some lights that’ll illuminate your home in style, so that the front of your house still maintains its sheen in the evening.
A well designed lamp looks good in the daylight and night alike. Place strategically to frame your front porch in light, and you’ll change a dreary night time appearance into the same great look people see during the day.
6. PLANTS AND MORE PLANTS
Got a boring front porch? Put some plants there.
Have to cover up an air conditioning unit? Consider some plants.
Not enough colour in your garden? Plants’ll fix that right up.
Shrubbery, flowering plants, or trees provide cover, contrast, a range of colours, shade, and make your yard feel alive. Put a couple in hanging pots, place some in a flowerbed, or make a novelty rack out of an ironing board. The point is; if you have a problem, there’s a plant for that.
7. AND FINALLY… THE HOLY GRAIL
We’ve saved this for last, because it’s a bit dry, but it’s also the most precious information we could give out. It’s not only a tip in itself, but it’ll improve every other thing you ever attach to your house tenfold too!
Get ready to hit the books, because we’re going to get into some colour theory. When you’re looking to add just about anything to a house, you’re mixing and matching colours. It’s important to have an understanding of what harmonises, contrasts, compliments, and clashes.
Image via Lifehacker
Meet the colour wheel. It’s going to be your best friend when choosing the colours of your house.
Unless you’re doing a whole overhaul of the house, you presumably already have a base colour to work with. That’s great, because it gets rid of the hard part — the starting point. Just remember that when you’re adding any significant new additions to the home, to make sure they fit in with some kind of scheme.
If you’re sitting with a soft, autumn-like, red-orange burnished wood house, and you’re thinking of any DIY projects, then off the top of your head:
- Blue-grey is complementary to,those colours, and will contrast nicely without being an eyesore.
- Anything from yellow to red (remember, this includes a whole suite of brown) works perfectly as they’re analogous, and
- Dark greens and blues will work in tandem (don’t use just one).
Adding a bit more complexity, red-orange is a distinctly warm colour (as is everything from yellow-green to red), so you’ll be better off harmonising with other warm colours if you want to keep your autumny taste.
Colour theory gets really complicated, but there are a ton of resources out to help you. In fact, our partners over at Gemmill Homes have an exhaustive and lengthy resource that even includes a tool that allows you to come up with your own colour schemes. The important thing is to get a quick working understanding of the colour wheel; it’ll prevent people’s eyes burning out at your new colour scheme.
Nothing else on the list is going to work nearly as well without using colour to your advantage. It’s probably the easiest step to improving your curb appeal, and all it takes is choosing a little wisely when you’re doing literally any other improvement.