Landscaping for better curb appeal

How do you feel about your house when you approach it? Does it welcome you graciously with color and flowing walkways to the front door? Does your home just feel ordinary with nothing but the same stuff all the neighbors have? Or does it make you want to quick run in and close the door?  All of these impressions are, good or bad, a type of curb appeal.

before

This needs Curb Appeal!

Making Landscaping Pop With Color and Texture

Your yard might not have a big arrow that says change this to have more curb appeal, so the overall picture might be hard to define what is not working for you. But if you break it down into smaller pieces it is easier to deal with.  For instance the project I worked on for HGTV’s Curb Appeal had many things going on with it, but the color has a huge impact.  By taking the dull colors and updating them it really makes the house pop.  This can be one of the cheapest makeovers you can do for you home,  or you can add a few other steps and do an overhaul on the architecture too, but we can focus more on that later.  Really the way you combine these colors is what really can set a feeling in the style that the home exudes. By combining the color with the style of architecture makes it feel more ‘together’ and well designed. For this house I chose a mossy shade of green that worked with a craftsman like style.  The cream trim then really helps compliments the green and keeps it on the softer tone.  Compared it to a white that would also have gone with the green but stood out more in this setting, therefore making it less appealing

Jazzing Up Your Home’s Front Entry

Another important factor is to consider the entry, the journey to the front door.  If your front entry is not something that feels welcoming, but more like a chore to go near it is time for curb appeal.  The front entry is a combination of the walkway, door area and immediate  plantings so we will have to break this down more and just focus on the walkway for now.  Looking at the walk it should greet your guests at a natural open point that makes sense for the house and the yard.  Where this point is will depend on how your driveway functions and the size, shape and grade of your yard.  Again referring to the HGTV’s Curb Appeal project I took the old walk, steps only in this case, and replaced the “tight to the door u-turn style” steps with a sweeping curved set of steps that meets the person just about where they would get out of the car.  Talk about inviting, there is no need to shimmy up the drive along the car when getting out!

front entry

The Combination of color and textures create alot of curb appeal!

Choosing the Right Landscape Materials

The material of the walk also plays an important role.   Is it something that can be seen from a distance – like down the drive or from the curb?  If so you really want to pay close attention to what you are putting there.  Sure plain concrete can look okay, but there are so many more options: decorative concrete, pavers,  or even natural stone- and so many variations of each! In this case we choose a colored concrete with stone veneering to accent the rise in the steps.  This kept the natural stone look going across the house while the concrete added ease of care, but the color made it blend better.  And when you look at it feels like everything was made to be a part of it.  That is curb appeal!

More to Come…

Look for an upcoming segment of this blog for more great ideas about curb appeal!

Check out the episode to see more on this project: http://www.hgtv.com/videos/split-level-goes-craftsman/42571.html

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