- Meghan Turner-Patel
House Curb Appeal Ideas From Our Pros
Here’s our professional landscaping advice on how to improve and update your home’s curb appeal.
What is curb appeal? The answer is actually quite simple. It’s how attractive and maintained your home is from the exterior, including the home’s façade, the yard and all its trimmings. When evaluating your home’s curb appeal, it’s essential to consider the entire package so everything feels cohesive, cared-for and polished. Here our landscaping pros provide their top curb appeal ideas to get your house in pristine shape.
Why Curb Appeal is Important
Before we get into the details, it’s important to understand why this is worth the effort and the expense. Curb appeal says a lot about you as a homeowner, particularly the level of care you have for your home. As a member of a neighborhood, it also shows you care about the overall look, feel and beauty of your community. Finally, if you’re considering listing your home, curb appeal is key to selling a home. It’s a potential buyer’s first and last impression of your home’s value. A poorly maintained exterior can break a sale.
Home Exterior Ideas
The first rule of thumb when planning your home’s refreshed exterior is that less is more. The goal for such home improvement projects is keeping both the house and yard crisp, clean and clutter-free.
Regardless if you’re doing DIY curb appeal or hiring a professional landscaper, here’s everything to consider.
It’s all in the name. “Curb” appeal starts right there…at the curb. So, your home’s exterior also encompasses the sidewalk and planting strip (the space between the sidewalk and street). Although the sidewalk and planting strip is public property, it has a negative impact on your home’s overall appeal if it’s badly damaged or unsightly. While doing other work to your home’s exterior, it’s a good idea to fix damaged or cracked concrete. The same goes for the planting strip. If you're installing new plants, mulch, pebbles, etc. in your front yard, consider installing them in the planting strip as well. It makes everything in the front of the house look like it was designed to coexist together.
Dirt, grime, moss, cobwebs, etc. cause a home to look dated and lose its luster. To amp up your curb appeal, blast all that away by pressure washing it. A pressure washer can be used on hard, solid surfaces, including the roof, gutters, driveway, sidewalks, steps, stucco, concrete porch, stone and more. Since you won’t regularly use this tool, it’s a good idea to rent a power washer from a local home improvement store, saving you from having to buy it.
Front yard curb appeal can’t be discussed without thoroughly addressing the landscaping. Landscape design should be done in a way that complements your home versus competing with it. Tasteful, attractive greenery can be incorporated into your lawn in these five ways:
For a manicured and well-cared-for look, grow a healthy green lawn (without dead spots) and cut overgrown grass, bushes, trees and plants.
Incorporate new plants that bring one or two accent colors to the yard and flower beds. This creates a contemporary designer look that, again, won’t compete with the home.
If your paths/walkways are unattractive, outdated or damaged, we recommend replacing them or swapping them for stepping-stones or pavers. Square pavers are particularly popular right now.
Consider how your yard looks 24 hours a day. Nighttime shouldn’t be forgotten. Strategically placed landscape lighting — such as along walkways/stairs and to backlight plants/trees — will make your yard as striking at night as it is in daylight.
When picking new plants, we recommend low-maintenance options that won’t overgrow or require lots of water.
Since the home’s exterior is such a large, tall surface area, we always recommend hiring a professional painter. A pro ensures the exterior paint is consistently applied and the ideal paint is used for your home’s surface and the climate. It also protects you from potential injury. That said, you run the show when it comes to selecting paint colors. The ideal formula is picking three to four colors max, with these considerations:
House exterior walls: 1-2 colors (whether it’s a fresh coat of paint or installing new siding)
Accent color: 1 color (for use on the window frames, for example)
Front door: 1 color that harmoniously contrasts with the rest of the house
Simple cosmetic changes can make a huge impact. Even the smallest details like house numbers act as an eye-catching “cherry on top.” Here are the features and accessories that elevate your home’s curb appeal:
The look and feel of the front door are incredibly important. It helps set the tone for what’s inside, joining the exterior and interior design. Make sure it complements the overall color scheme of the house. The trim around the door shouldn’t be overlooked either; it can accentuate the entry and make it more prominent.
New window trim and/or shutters can add interest, contrast and depth to the façade. Whether you add a bulky trim, contrasting window frames or individual shutters, they act as refined accessories on the home’s exterior.
If your patio railing is worn, you can either paint it to save money or replace it for a new, refreshed look.
Replace your dented, peeling or dated garage door, or repair and paint the existing one to work with your new color scheme.
Outdoor light fixtures, such as new sconces on either side of the front door, are an easy and effective way to upgrade the look of your house. If you’re simply replacing old fixtures, you can likely get by doing this job without an electrician. Just be sure to kill the power to that area of the house before starting.
House numbers, door hardware and the mailbox are items that, although small, make the house frontage come together. Select ones that marry with the overall style of the home (i.e. traditional vs. modern vs. Victorian…).
Planters and potted plants on the front porch should be in proportion to the home. To top off the soil, check out rubber mulch, river rock or gravel. They seal in moisture and don’t fade, so you won’t have to replace them next year.
Additional Accessory Options to Consider
Window boxes add more color, greenery and depth to the home
A fire pit and surrounding seating create an area to gather in the front yard
A porch swing makes the front porch more welcoming and offers a spot to relax in the shade
After all this amazing work is complete in the front of the home, don’t forget your backyard as well. Tie everything together by using similar accessories, foliage and features as the front.
Looking for one of Los Angeles’ top landscaping companies to help increase your curb appeal? Contact South Land Remodeling today! We can help with your landscaping projects – everything from design to installation.