Creating Curb Appeal

Even if you’re not going to be selling your house in the near future, it’s wise to start thinking about increasing your home’s curb appeal.  Creating curb appeal, also known as exterior staging, involves much more than simply fixing broken shutters or screening your garbage cans.  Did you know that studies show an investment of just $400 – $500 in landscaping can bring returns of up to four times the initial investment?  A house with a well-maintained landscape draws potential buyer’s right to your door and lets them know ‘this house has been loved and well-cared for’. 

Here are just a few easy steps to boost your curb appeal both today and in the coming months:

♦  Edge all your planting beds and borders and apply a fresh layer of mulch.

♦   Prune back shrubs and trees so they do not obscure your windows.  Rejuvenation pruning this season can pay off with healthy, beautiful shrubs in the coming months.

♦   Remove any overgrown and scraggly trees and shrubs (not only will they date your house, they will send a message that it has not been cared for).

♦   If you’re left with a hole where a shrub used to be, consider adding annuals or perennials for a quick filler and splash of color.  Or better yet, plant a quick growing shrub that will provide several seasons of interest.

♦   If appropriate for your home’s style, add window boxes full of colorful annuals.

♦   Plant a small garden around your mailbox to welcome potential buyers.

♦   Place containers or urns filled with colorful plants near your front door and near the entrance to your front walkway.

♦   If you plant new trees and shrubs, buy ones with multi-season interest.  There are numerous plants that flower in the spring, have berries in the summer and then colorful leaves in the fall.  They will help showcase your home all year long.

Viewing your landscape with an objective yet knowledgeable eye can be difficult.  But be creative and have fun.  What’s the worst that could happen? 

What suggestions do you have for this candidate that is in need of some serious curb appeal help?

Note:  This post is excerpted from an article I wrote in 2009 for a local Stamford real estate newsletter.

Creating Curb Appeal for the Spring

I am very pleased to feature another guest blogger today, Hazel Jennings, of  Cedarstore.com.  Hazel has some simple yet effective ideas on how to create curb appeal for your home. You’ll find more information on cedarstore.com at the end of this post. 

 If you live in any of the cooler climates, you’re probably ecstatic that the weather is turning warmer and the snow has finally melted.  But, as more of your front porch and yard is visible… you may be becoming critical of your curb appeal.  Do passersby walk past your house without a second look?  Do you stroll out of your front door, eyes forward, heading straight to the garden to focus your efforts?  While cultivating a garden creates beautiful spaces, a few simple changes to the front of your house can craft curb appeal that will bring your whole home together.

Make Your Front Door a Focal Point:  Welcome your family and friends into your home with a front door that draws their interest.  The most dramatic way to do this is to paint the entire door a striking color.  Blues, yellows, and greens provide light and happy schemes that will lend your home to a cottage style.  While a red door will make a more dramatic entrance and truly stand out against the rest of your home.  If you’re not ready to paint the door, try adding a wreath or bouquet of flowers to the front door.  You can use real flowers from your garden, or synthetic and silk flowers, ribbons, and accents.  Creating a focal point to the front of your house will deter it from being just a large bland collection of windows, doors, and exterior walls. And, with a front door that stands out so wonderfully, your guests will always be eager to see what’s inside!

Bring Your Garden Right to the Front Porch: Adding potted plants and planters to your front entry way will do wonders for your curb appeal. Especially now that spring is upon us, it seems that everyone everywhere is on the look out for budding tulips and daffodils.  If you have windows that will support them, attach plain square window boxes that will allow your blooms to stand out against the house.  Positioning a few planter boxes or planter tubs in clusters on either side of your front door, on the corner of the porch, or even on each step up onto your home will add color and depth to your front porch.  You don’t even have to put the work into this part if you don’t want to; most garden centers carry all kinds of varieties of potted plants with flowers already flourishing.  Choose colors that compliment each other and the color of your front door for a manicured and refined look; mix and match foliage, flowers, colors, and styles for a more relaxed and country appearance.

Choose Patio Furniture that Fits your Lifestyle: Nothing invites you and your guests to your front porch like a place to sit!  But, it’s important to choose outdoor furniture that fits your lifestyle and will be used.  For example, if your daughter is strongly allergic to bees and the family prefers not to eat or bring food outside… a patio dining set or picnic table is probably not the best choice!  Think about how you want to spend your time on your front porch: if you want some escaped time alone, an outdoor rocking chair or porch glider may be best.  If you’re hoping the entire family, or maybe even the neighborhood, will flock to your newly revitalized space… a deep seating collection, group of Adirondack chairs, or an outdoor furniture group may fit you better.  It’s also important to not let your furniture overwhelm your front porch.  If you’re working with a rather small area, a simple porch swing or garden bench may be plenty.  Remember, more is not always better!  Also consider what kind of maintenance you’re willing to put into your furniture; many kinds of wood furniture need staining or treating to keep them looking fine.  While, synthetic wickers and polywoods are virtually maintenance free!

Creating a welcoming entrance and expert curb appeal is not as difficult or expensive as you may think.  While full-fledged renovations make fantastic fodder for decorating shows, you can revitalize your front entryway using many materials you may already have, and other inexpensive additions.  Give your guests an extraordinary first impression by upping your curb appeal this spring.

About CedarStore.com:

CedarStore.com is a family of five websites specializing in outdoor furniture and garden structures.  Offering a wide variety of top quality and handcrafted patio furnitureCedarStore.comGazeboCreations.comllPicnicTables.comTeakDesigns.com and DesignerBridges.com can boast the absolute authority on outdoor living and design.

As experts in the field, CedarStore.com writes a well-read blog, AllOutdoorPatioFurniture.com, to help outdoor enthusiasts, landscapers, and gardeners design their gardens, lawns, and patios to suit their needs.  Their biggest passion is always making sure everyone can get the most out of their outdoor living spaces as possible!

To learn more: visit CedarStore.com, AllOutdoorPatioFurniture.com, Follow them on twitter with @CedarStore, or, of course, simply call them up at 1.888.293.2339.