Sex appeal – you either have it or you don’t, or so the saying goes. But, what about curb appeal? For your home. (Not you, cuz’ that’s a whole different kind of post!) If your home needs some oomph, try some of these ideas.
Curb appeal is super important if you’re trying to sell your home. Buyers will often drive by a home before they decide to schedule a viewing with a real estate agent. If it doesn’t look good from the outside, it’s probably not going to be much better on the inside. So, no curb appeal = no viewing. And, your house sits on the market.
Curb appeal is important even if you’re not trying to sell your home. Who wants to live in the dumpiest house on the block? Or in a cookie-cutter house that looks just like every other house in the entire neighborhood? We’re all about individualism, so make your home stand out from the crowd. Give it some love and rack up the curb appeal points.
5 Ways to Add Curb Appeal
1. Add Accessories
Adding plants, furniture and decorations to your home’s entry is the easiest way to add curb appeal. Pick furniture and planters that are in simple shapes and neutral colors which complement your house color.
In the picture above, notice how the planter is a simple black box (it plays well off the dark grey siding) and the chair behind the post is white. Both are neutral and have simple shapes. They add interest without screaming for attention. Too many “screamers” and your house just looks cluttered. Keep it simple.
You can add color and bright seasonal touches – wreaths, flowers, pillows and decorations – to layer the interest and up the curb appeal.
2. Add Landscaping
Landscaping is a bit bigger of a project, but is certainly something most people can do. Use landscaping to highlight the entry – it should be the focal point. And, there should always be a very clear path to the front door.
In this picture, even though the house is asymmetrical, the landscaping around the porch is symmetrical because that part of the house is symmetrical. In order to balance the entire house, they planted the tree on the left and the little red tree behind it. But, your eye still focuses on the front door and the path is clear. The landscaping really complements the house and gives it more curb appeal.
Most suburban homes have a fenced in yard. A lovely garden gate on the side of the house, is an easy way to turn something utilitarian (or even unattractive) into a feature that makes your whole house look better.
3. Add Color
Adding color to your house is another easy way to add curb appeal. Especially if you live on a street filled with houses covered in beige vinyl siding. Blech. Not much curb appeal, is there? This cute little house catches your eye because of that bold blue and white color scheme.
I love the way color blocking was used on the house below. While it may not appeal to everyone’s taste, it is visually appealing. Curb appeal comes in all kinds of “flavors”. It’s such an interesting looking home – I want to see inside!
My house is mostly brick, but if I had siding and was looking to increase curb appeal, I would use James Hardie products. Their siding looks like traditional wood siding, but is a fiber cement manufactured product. You get the look of wood, without all the problems. It’s non-combustible, won’t melt in a fire (vinyl siding will!), is rot and termite resistant, resists shrinking, swelling and cracking, and has a 30 year warranty. Most importantly, the color is applied in multiple coats and baked in, so it won’t fade, chip, peel or crack. If you’ve ever had to scrape wood siding before painting it, you know how important that is.
Now that we’ve talked a little bit about the technical stuff, let’s create some curb appeal using color. Go to Hardie’s Home Color Tool. Enter your zip code and you’ll get a color palette that reflects your geographical location. Next, choose a main body color and your home’s style. You can then play around with color schemes for wall color and trim. They take the guesswork out of using color to increase your home’s curb appeal.
4. Add Interesting Siding Designs
Curb appeal is all about adding visual interest, and using siding in different styles definitely does the job. James Hardie siding comes in three main styles – horizontal lap siding, shingles, and vertical siding. Each style of siding comes in several different textures. Both the lap and vertical siding are available in a wood texture or smooth faced. They even have a stucco-look vertical siding.
Combining these different styles can really change the look of your home. For example, this house used all three to create a Craftsman style: lap siding on the first floor, shingles on the second floor bump outs, and vertical siding on the gables. The color scheme is perfect for its setting.
This cute little house used two styles of siding – horizontal lap and vertical. And look at the neighbor who combined vertical siding with stucco. These two certainly don’t belong on the street of boring beige houses. They remind me of an older neighborhood with lots of individuality. Clearly, using different styles of siding can really add curb appeal.
5. Add a Porch
Adding a porch is definitely not an “easy” way to add curb appeal, but it probably makes the biggest impact. In fact, almost every house in this post has a porch. I think it’s safe to say that porches = curb appeal.
A new porch doesn’t have to be big, or fancy, or complicated. It just needs to complement the style of your home, have nice details (columns, railings, etc.), and look like it’s part of the house and not just tacked on as an afterthought.
In the picture below, the porch has been really simplified – there aren’t a lot of unnecessary elements. But, it looks very nice because of details like the paired columns and the trim work above the windows. Simple and classic.
If you’re looking to add more curb appeal to your home, visit James Hardie for inspiration and design ideas. Or, if you’ve already decided to add new siding, get samples at https://jameshardie.com/Forms/Request-a-Sample
What does your house need for better curb appeal? I’d love to hear from you!
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All images are courtesy of James Hardie