By Barbara Pronin
Curb appeal, a phrase often used by real estate professionals, describes the pleasing first impression viewers have at their first glimpse of a home. It could mean, ‘neat and clean.’ It could mean, ‘welcoming’ or ‘stately.’ It could be all of these and more.
In essence, a home with great curb appeal says ‘a caring homeowner lives here’ – and what homeowner wouldn’t want to be identified as such?
The best part, say the home design experts at Better Homes & Gardens.com, is that jazzing up your home’s curb appeal doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Here are just a few of the ideas they suggest for upping any home’s appeal:
Dress up the front door – Give it a burst of color; say a coat of red or marine blue paint to contrast a grey or white exterior. Polish up the door’s hardware, especially around the knob.
Create an instant garden – Container gardens can add a warm and welcoming feel when attractively grouped on or around the porch or front steps. Affordable, ready-made containers of plants and flowers available at most home centers can make this an easy, pleasing upgrade.
Do a mailbox makeover – Your curbside mailbox should complement your home. Dress it up by painting the box and/or the post to match your home’s exterior – and surround it at the base with a neat patch of plants or flowers.
Install a window box – Take a page from the French or British with a colorful window box or two to set off your home’s front windows. Choose boxes made from iron or copper for a traditional look, or painted wood for a cottage feel. Mix and match the flowers and/or plants to suit your color scheme and lighting conditions.
Add an artsy element – Give your front yard a little spunk and eye appeal by installing a fountain or birdbath, an interesting sculpture, and/or some attractive wind chimes. The sounds and movement can be as pleasing to the ear as to the eye.