Enhancing your curb appeal
When someone comes to your home, or even just drives or walks by, they get a first impression of your house. This first impression is based on the curb appeal your house has (or doesn’t have). So, how do you enhance the curb appeal of your home to set the stage that your home is a beautiful, happy place?
Color your entry
Most houses have a neutral exterior color palette. What better way to bring in some life into your home than by painting your front door in a bold color like red or yellow? A bright door will automatically look more inviting.
Check out these examples of welcoming front door colors!
Add some life
Breathe life into the front of your home but adding some colorful vegetation. Be mindful of what will work with how much sun or shade the front of your house gets. Add some charm and beauty with hydrangeas, azaleas or rhododendrons which offer colorful blooms.
Provide a focal point
Regardless of your lawn or front yard style, every outdoor space needs a focal point to draw the eye. What works for your style? A showy dogwood or willow tree? An ornate iron fence? A charming bench or swing? A fountain or other water feature? Decide what you like and what will work with your existing home style and function. As a focal point, this feature should be bold enough to set the stage for your entire front property.
If you have a garage or multiple entry doors, guests can be confused about which is the main entrance to your house. Make it obvious for guests (and anyone else who’s looking) to understand where people should go to enter your home. I always think it’s odd to see a gorgeous front door that has steps going down into a perfectly, lush lawn. As pretty as it is, no one is going feel comfortable walking all over that lawn to get to the front door. Even if it’s not a door to be used daily, consider having a paver pathway connect from this front door to your driveway or the street/sidewalk. Even a less structured path of stepping stones will look more inviting.
Hide the eyesores
Even well-cared for homes may have elements that are on their property, or part of neighboring properties, that not pleasing to look at - electrical transformers; utility meters, lines or poles, neighboring houses fences or decks in disrepair. Try to hide these unpleasant distractions with large bushes, hedges, fences, trees or even stone walls. These can disguise eyesores while beautifying your property even more. Just be sure to check with local ordinances on how high fences can be and how close fences and other elements can be to neighboring properties.
Hardscapes are the solid, built surfaces in an outdoor space like patios, pathways, fire pits, pool surrounds, decorative walls, even outdoor kitchens and living rooms. A hardscape can add immediate value by improving the aesthetic and/or function of your home and also by increasing the actual property value of your home.
A few things to consider when incorporating a hardscape into your property:
Take your landscape into account. You might want to hire a professional to help you with this step. While it seems simple to decide whether you want a patio here or a pathway there, factors like how much turf you’d like to keep (or add), what focal points you might like, where the sun rises and sets, traffic patterns and day-to-day functionality for your family should be considered.
Preserve greenery. Grass, plants, flowers and other vegetation provide a nice contrast to the stark, solid surface of a hardscape. Consider a stone wall with tall flowers or trees behind it, or a patio that abuts a grassy area. An area of turf provides a pleasant playing area for children and pets and also can be a cool relief on hot days.
Understand water and drainage patterns. Nothing can be more damaging to a hardscape than drainage problems. Especially in Massachusetts and other areas in the northeast where snow and ice can leave an impact, you must plan how drainage will be affected when you add your hardscape to your property. Even if you don't think there are any water drainage issues, it’s prudent to level out any surfaces where you might put a hardscape or have the grade as a decline away from your house.
Choose materials that work for you. Your home has a style that you’ll want to extend in your hardscape. You also have your own sense of style that you’ll want to incorporate. Consider these styles when looking at stones, bricks, pavers and other materials. Don’t feel limited to one color or one texture. Having a variety of two to three colors and textures tends to provide most homeowners with an overall look and feel they enjoy. The size of your property and the hardscape your considering should influence how many different materials you choose as well.
Hire help. Even if you typically do your own landscaping and gardening, it’s a good idea to call in the experts for a hardscape project. Professional landscape designers can offer suggestions for a hardscape design that works with your current property landscape, provide advice on appropriate materials, and help identify any issues that could cause trouble. They typically have the complete knowledge of the many steps involved in hardscape installation. When you're hiring a pro, ask for references and to see examples of their hardscape work.
Check out our photos to see some of the hardscape design and installation Gardenin’ Angels has done throughout the South Shore!
Rodrigo Dos Anjos