Six Ways to Improve Curb Appeal

Thursday, May 9, 2013

As I mentioned yesterday, when spring finally arrives I spend a lot of time outside, in and around my neighborhood.  I'm a little obsessed with curb appeal -- what works as well as what doesn't.  There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to sprucing up your front porch, exterior, and yard.  But, there are a few things to keep in mind.

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 almost never looks good.

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.


  1. already know where 1/2 your pics came from, how fun.

    More fun, was seeing the others. all new to me.

    Front door is focal point of the front garden....

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  2. This is a terrific post. I know I'll be referring back to it when I get around to moving our front porch and door. Jo @ Let's Face the Music

  3. Gorgeous inspiration, Rene! Do you think it's too late to ask for that stone path for Mother's Day!

  4. I've been seeing that orange door in my dreams.... :)

  5. Great tips and beautiful pics. I especially like how helpful #3 is.

  6. This reminds me I need to plant my ferns on the front porch!! What kind of good southern woman doesn't have a fern or two?! :) Love all these tips!

  7. This is so perfect. Less is more-- sometimes I just want to do too much and it ends up looking so messy and chaotic. Thank you for this post it came just in time to save me from buying all the wrong stuff.

  8. That first picture has been a favorite of mine....want those planters!


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