Ever walk up to someone’s front door and just feel good about how it looks and feels? What you’re experiencing is the symmetry of quality design and smart landscaping. A home that has great curb appeal has nice proportions, pleasing colors, and – in the architect’s terms – good massing.
There are a lot of homes in the Houston area that need the front elevation to be completely reworked to make it appealing. But we also have a lot of homes with good bones, homes that have great curb appeal already. Unfortunately, we tend to get in the way of that.
Consider the home pictured here. It’s a cute little bungalow that someone wrapped in a privacy fence, doused with an outdated color, and disguised its charm. Our renovation elevation redo, part of a larger project, was very simple. We knocked out the fence to showcase the front elevation, reworked the landscaping to give visitors an inviting approach to the house, included some simple plants on the porch to make it look well-tended and loved, and gave the house a bright and cheerful painting. Now? Well, now it’s the most welcoming house on the block.
While we specialize in those kinds of abilities – turning pumpkins into carriages – your home may just need a few little touches to increase its curb appeal tremendously. At least to carry you over until you get the project you really want. Consider this mantra of improvement: Paint, Plants, and Light.
Paint: If you have pealing and chipping paint, it’s time to break out the scrapers, brushes and rollers. There’s nothing that makes your home look less inviting than a front elevation that is not maintained. While you’re painting, give it a newer, friendlier color. Be careful about your selection though. Some neighborhood covenants prohibit some colors. And, of course, don’t do anything too garish. You want to be inviting, not stick out like a sore thumb.
Plants: Whether is a freshened landscape with a new brick or stone walkway or just a good trimming on your foundation plantings, the yard in front of your home needs to be a gateway not a barrier. Too many of us let our foundation plantings get overgrown. I often see bushes covering windows and obscuring large sections of the front elevations. Landscaping should complement the architecture, not hide it.
Light: Part of cutting back the plantings is to allow the light to come into the front of the house and illuminate the quality architecture you have. In addition to natural light, you can install landscaping lights that give the front of the house a fabulously inviting feel in the evenings. It’s not an expensive project and pays off with huge dividends. Even during the day, architecturally interesting light fixtures in the yard can enhance a quality landscape design.