Do you ever drive by that beautiful house in your neighborhood and wonder, how you can get your home to look like that? What is it that they do so well that I’m doing differently? It’s called “curb appeal," which is what others see when they first look at the outside of your home. It’s almost like a first impression, and it is incredibly important–especially when it's time to sell. But it also shows others that you care about your property, and that you want to make it more beautiful.
Here are five simple and affordable ways to increase your home’s curb appeal and beautify it’s exterior.
1. Add Color
In order to brighten up your yard and add interest to your garden, choose plants that will have showy and long-lasting blooms. Plant in swaths, or groupings of plants for a greater effect. If you are wondering what to plant, a good starting point is the Perennial Plant Association’s list of “Plants of the Year,” in which perennials are rated based on their ability to survive in a wide range of climates, require low-maintenance, hold interest through multiple seasons, and resist pests and diseases.
2. Plant A Tree
Planting a tree is one of easiest ways to add beauty to your landscape and home. A single mature tree can increase the value of your property significantly, while providing a wide range of other benefits including shade, food for wildlife, colorful blooms or interesting foliage, and carbon dioxide absorption. When planting near a house or power lines, be sure to take into consideration the mature height of the tree.
Paint is an affordable and easy way to spruce up the exterior of your home, even if it is as simple as putting a new coat on the front door, trim, or shutters. Consider painting your front door an interesting or fun color that draws attention to your entryway. Sherwin Williams has a great visualizer tool that is useful to see what a new color will look like in a given space.
4. Add Outdoor Lighting
Adding or updating existing lighting will undoubtedly improve the look and feel of your landscape. The first locations to consider when placing lights are: pathways and entryways, driveways, steps, patios and decks, under large trees, and in water features. There is nothing like gentle, soft up-lighting on a thriving tree, or down-lighting on a beautifully laid brick pathway. This will make your outdoor spaces not only more inviting, but safer, too. Be sure to use LED lighting to extend the life of your system, and set timers in order to reduce energy costs.
5. Keep up with Regular Maintenance
A well-designed garden is also a well-maintained garden; pruning, weeding, defining borders, or adding a little bit of mulch, all go a long way toward maintaining your garden. Start by reducing clutter and overgrown shrubs around the house, and then move into the greater space in the yard, eliminating what you don’t need or anything that is an eye sore. The eye tends to go straight to unsightly or unruly plants, so take care of those first. Weed unkempt areas, and then spread two to three inches of mulch afterwards in order to keep future weeds down.
About the Author
Scott McDermott is a landscape designer, ISA certified arborist, and NOFA accredited in organic land care. He is the owner of McDermott Landscapes, where he designs residential gardens throughout the New England area.More Content by Scott McDermott