Both the yard and the house should beckon residents and guests to “come on in”. Here are some simple ideas to help you create an inviting home. Other ideas can be found on HGTV (Home & Garden Television) shows such as “Curb Appeal”.
1. Paint. Decide on a paint scheme — a main color for the house and a complimentary color for the windows, porch railing, rain gutters, and other trim. Choose a classic color scheme that will remain in style for many years. Remove peeling paint and repaint all exterior surfaces. For added punch, paint the front door a bright, contrasting color.
2. Windows. Make windows sparkle by cleaning windows and screens. If the windows are older, update them with new vinyl-trimmed windows. Clear away shrubs and plants blocking the windows. Add a homey touch by installing shutters or flower boxes.
3. Landscaping. Tidy up the yard by pruning trees and removing leaves, and cutting down overgrown shrubs. Fertilize the lawn and remove weeds. Then edge the lawn and plant flowers.
4. Lighting. Illuminate the site with walkway lights. Solar lights work great if you don’t want to run electric cords under ground.
5. Furniture. Make your porch a place to relax with outdoor furniture. A gliding bench and a small bistro table with chairs are nice additions. Make sure furniture is clean and weather-proofed.
6. Diversify. Add a water feature, such as a fountain or a pond. Create interest by adding a pathway and perhaps a small garden area. Make your yard maintenance-free (and conserve water) using mulch and rocks, rather than lawn. Create retaining walls with cement blocks, turning slopes into useable space.
7. Driveway. For an easy change, try concrete stamping flagstone over your existing cement.
8. Roof. If your roof is old or peeling, you should re-roof right away. Choices include comp shingles in many colors, Spanish tiles, and fire-proof metal roofs.
9. Details. Say “welcome to our home” with little touches: Add a new mail box, new house numbers, and a new welcome mat. For color and variety, add some flowers in big pots on the stairway.
Enjoy your new look. Your guests may not even recognize your home the next time they visit!