1. Keep it simple. It is important for your exterior to tell a bit about the person/people who live inside, but leave a little to the imagine. What to put on the front porch? A container or two planted with evergreens is a timeless choice. I also like cast iron plant, ferns, rosemary, sky pencil holly -- I could go on and on. Seasonal flowers work well here too. Just use caution when choosing colors. Red geraniums might clash with your pink door -- unless you plan to hang a "BE MINE" poster on your front porch too ;). A simple color palette is usually a good idea and by all means limit statuary and tchotchkes please. Less really is more.
2. Paint your front door. A fresh color on your front door is one of the easiest and most economical ways to freshen your home's appearance. It is always a good idea to keep all exterior colors in mind when choosing a front door color. This includes the roof, shutters, exterior walls and trim as well as flowering plants. And whatever you do, if you have a storm door, please paint it the same color as the front door. A white storm door over a red front door
3. Make sure your lighting is to scale. I repeat. Make sure your lighting is to scale. It can do wonders for your home! This guide shows us how to find the right scale for a pair of lights flanking the front door as well as what to do when you have a single light.
P.S. Please use real, incandescent lights in your outdoor lights - not the aquarium type. Fish tank lights do nothing for curb appeal. Seriously.
4. Create beds for shady lawns where grass will not grow. If you have large trees in your yard, then you know how challenging it can be to get grass to grow around the roots that sometimes extend several yards from the base of the tree. Instead of fighting it, incorporate beds filled with shrubs and ground covers that thrive in the shade. I especially love flowing beds with sweeping paths of grass or walkways in between.
5. Add a vine. Vines are a great way to soften an entrance, but an even better way to tone down a prominent garage. Your best bet is to check with your local garden shop to see which vine is best for your yard/zone.
6. Other obvious ways to add curb appeal include house numbers, door hardware, and door mats. See my post from yesterday for more inspiration.