First impressions matter and set the stage for everything that follows. Enhancing the front of your home is not only personally gratifying, but also increases the appeal of your home to others.
Great curb appeal should cause you to stop in your tracks or even do a double take. This is especially important in a cooling real estate market, where many buyers do indeed judge a book by its cover. If the exterior of the home is looking unkempt, they’ll wonder what’s hiding inside. Seeing a home’s potential through peeling paint and the shadow of overgrown trees isn’t easy.
More importantly, since your home is one of your largest assets, you should be able to get the most out of it—whether it’s the enjoyment of sipping coffee on your stoop or the satisfaction of watching your garden thrive through the seasons.
There are dozens of small, inexpensive home improvements that can boost your home’s curb appeal. Incorporating a few upgrades to the front of your house will give it character and a polished look that you can take immense pride in.
Begin the process by looking at it through the eyes of a first-time visitor: is it easy to find, is it clean & tidy, is it welcoming? Does it have a cohesive look, or is it lacking personality? Then using our checklist of ideas below, do some research going through other neighbourhoods. Take photos of favourite homes to keep as a source of inspiration.
1 / A Pop of Colour
A fresh coat of paint on the front door is an easy place to start. Don’t be shy—paint it in a bold or contrasting complementary colour that works with the rest of your exterior scheme.
The most popular front door colours at the moment are blues, greens, greys, and blacks. Check out our review of trending paint colours for inspiration. However, red or yellow are always classic picks. Don’t forget the paint finish: semi-gloss for durability and gloss for more glamour.
2 / Lead the Way
Draw the eye from the street to your home by using a well-constructed, defined walkway. We love how the above curb appeal example offers two distinct and symmetrical paths. Notice how the stairs are the same colour of the path, which successfully bring the eye to the front door.
3 / Light it Up
Exterior lighting is a key player in providing the ultimate curb appeal to your home. Use a mix of accent, task and ambient lighting to create a beautiful setting.
It doesn’t need to be complicated! In the above home, task lighting is on the stairs and illuminating the address. Ambient lights are in the soffits and at the front door. A single landscape light on the tree is a nice simple accent.
4 / Tame the Garden
A wild English cottage-style garden can be romantic, but the look of an orderly and cared-for garden is universally appealing. First step is to weed and tidy up your front yard. Next step is to add perennial plants in bare spots, whether it be in garden beds or pots by the door. Annual plants are a nice-to-have addition.
If you’re starting from scratch or want to add visual interest and shape to your garden, reach out to a professional or master gardener for help. A low-maintenance landscaping idea utilizes climate-friendly clumps of grasses, shrubs, and trees.
5 / Invite Them to Take a Seat
Treat your front porch as an extension of your home. Create an area for seating wherever you have the space. This makes your home look more welcoming so visitors (or passersby) will envision themselves sitting outside, taking in the views.
6 / Up Your Porch Game
Give your stoop a good scrub and sweep, then gather the necessary ingredients: add texture with a doormat (or two), interest with different heights or shapes of planters, and polish with new hardware.
If the lighting is lacking, replace wall sconces and/or the light overhead. Other details could include new house numbers, freestanding lanterns, or a seasonal wreath or the door. If shoes and sports equipment tend to accumulate at your front door, brainstorm a solution to capture all the clutter.
7 / Add Depth
Shutters and accent trim are a surefire way to add character to your home along with curb appeal, especially if the facade is flat. Imagine what this house would look like without the detail around the window and door. . . what a difference!
8 / A Grander Entry
If you have a dated door that gives off the wrong vibes, consider an entry upgrade in a style that suits the home. This includes the hardware (handle and knocker) and door material. We’re in love with this handsome arched wood door above—its shape and round window perfectly echoes the arch of the portico.
9 / A Flashier Fence
A fenced front yard – whether it’s functional or decorative – deserves equal attention and incorporates another interesting layer to your home’s curb appeal. A fresh coat of paint or stain, a bolder gate, a stately pergola, and lush landscaping outside the fence are a few upgrades to consider.
10 / Be Artful
Last but not least, finishing touches! While we hang and display beautiful art inside our homes, why not do the same outside? Artistic and whimsical elements will differentiate your home from the rest on the street and provide conversation starters for visitors. If you’re a collector or have a passion for a certain style, whether it be Mexican terracotta or birdhouses, showcase a grouping at the front of your home.
Contact us to assist you with residential exterior projects to boost your home’s curb appeal.