As ashamed as I am to admit it I’ve neglected the front of my house for several years. And before my husband got cancer he helped by “weeding” the flower beds at the front of the house. I lost most of the plants I’d so lovingly chosen and also almost all the ones my sons had given me for several Mother’s Days. The hill that is beside our driveway near the road had been carefully cleared and flowers and plants had taken up residence. Now it’s overgrown again and I don’t even know if anything I planted has survived. In short, my home has absolutely no curb appeal.
There are ways to increase the curb appeal of any home without breaking the bank. If your home could use a makeover to improve its curb appeal try these ideas.
Prune and weed – No home looks good when shrubs are overgrown and weeds have taken over flower beds. These two things can give the impression you don’t care about your home. If you have a shrub that looks like it’s going to swallow your home cut back the branches that are obscuring windows and walkways. Make sure your flower beds are weeded and fill in large empty spots with some colorful annuals or perennials.
Bring out the dead – If you have shrubs that have died or are dying it’s better to remove them than hope they make a comeback. Dead shrubbery can kill your curb appeal. Also check flower beds, window boxes, and planters. An empty spot in the landscaping is still better than a dead plant.
Hide the faults – If you have an unattractive but immovable item like a well-head or utility box your best bet is to hide it. Avoid using plants that actually draw the eye to the unwanted feature. Roses surrounding a gas line head will only call attention to it. Try plants like fine textured evergreens or ferns. These plants will conceal without standing out. Stand across the street and look at your landscape. If you see something you’d rather hide, choose something that will cover it.
Accentuate the positive – Curb appeal means drawing the eye to the front door and the beauty of the exterior of the home. Be sure to keep plants and shrubs lower than the windowsill. This may mean you have to do some serious pruning. You also may need to remove the lower limbs of trees that are blocking the view from both inside and outside your home. Seasonal flowers add color and appeal and those placed near the front door draws visitors eyes to the front door (the focal point) and make your home seem welcoming. Sweeping curves created by walkways to the front door are a strong visual element. And, if you can, you may want to add a patio area to the front of the home. A fountain is another feature you may consider placing near the front door.
Keep it clean – Remove any clutter that detracts from the first impression of your home. Having too many plants and flowers of different types can create a distraction. Group plants of the same species in odd numbers (3, 5, 7). Choose a small number of plants and flowers then plant them where they give you the most bang for the buck. And remember, you’re drawing attention to the door so arrange plants so the eye moves along the landscape to the most vibrant colors and interesting plants which should be closest to the door.
New is good – Choose both perennials and annuals so that you have bursts of colors from early spring to fall. And don’t forget evergreens. You don’t want to crowd the home with them or block the view but they do improve the look of your home in winter. And don’t neglect the lawn. Fill in any dead spots and keep it neatly mowed.
Your home, no matter how grand or how modest, can be truly fetching with a little work.