Curb Appeal

06 Aug 2022

Upcycling some of the old and bringing in some new

Story and photos by Christine Hall

Getting our Whispering Pines home ready to sell this summer made me pause and think. What could we do to enhance the curb appeal of our beautiful home? Do we install new planters? Paint the door? Makeover the mailbox? The answer to each question was a resounding “Yes, of course we do!”

After digging through my library of gardening books that was soon to be in boxes, I landed on a plan. It involved upcycling some of the old and bringing in some new.

There are tried and true schematics to lean on when creating captivating landscapes. Whether it’s a well-structured bed of flowers, a neatly trimmed lawn, or a dash of drama with a bold front door, any homeowner can implement these simple tricks to create their own curb-appealing masterpiece.

Clean-Up. Don’t underestimate the power of a pressure washer. Whether it is a grimy circle left from a flowerpot, remnants of your children’s slime experiment, or dingy gutters looming above, most stain solutions start with a power washer. Of course, a good brush combined with cleaning solvent and elbow grease can also do the trick. Other tidying efforts should include cutting back overgrown limbs, trimming driveway and sidewalk edging, and getting rid of any crab grass or weeds trying to take hold.

Mailbox. The mailbox is the quintessential welcome mat to your home. Your postal delivery workers see it, your potential buyers see it and your neighbors see it – every single day. Pay particular attention to this area to make it complementary to your overall plan. Updated appeal for an old mailbox comes in two words – neat and tidy. The quickest way to make a poor first impression is an overgrown shrub to navigate visually or physically, or thirsty and crispy plants that are dying of drought. Choose area-appropriate specimens for this section of your yard and keep it minimal. Maintaining a small circular bed of annuals is a good choice. This enables swapping to keep things looking fresh. You might also consider installing new stylish house numbers as a finishing touch.

Walkways. The path to success is also found in your walkway. Amending the actual surface of your path can be a herculean task, so work with what you’ve got. A collection of well-placed solar lights can illuminate and accent areas of a concrete or stone path and elegantly guide visitors to your doorstep. Don’t forget to edge and sweep your path for crisp lines – and be sure to responsibly manage any ant or wasp infestations near your entrance.

Front doors. People tend to have the most fun and imagination with their front door. A good color choice brings instant personality to your entrance and sets the stage to greet your guests. Color trends show hues from bright yellows and burnt oranges to Dutch blues and deep greens. The trick is finding what is complementary to your home’s palette and personality. Don’t be afraid to be bold. High contrast or a daring accent color can really increase the wow factor. When in doubt, try a swatch first, or download a mobile app that enables you to test the visual. A season-appropriate wreath or new hardware on your front door are two final steps toward making your home’s entryway more appealing.

Lighting and Accessories. Dress things up and let your home shine. Using updated lighting can elevate your home’s exterior from haunted house to welcoming abode. A new sconce or pendant light can add ambiance and interest. Be sure to keep cobwebs and dust to a minimum by leaf blowing and sweeping. Lastly, strategically placed solar powered up-lights can showcase an accent tree or softly light up the front of your home.

Curating a front landscape that draws the eye and piles on the charm brings your home’s personality to life. So, if you are looking for self-assured curb appeal this fall, a few well-selected displays of color and architectural detail can make a lasting impression.

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