Five fixes for fast curb appeal

It’s safe to say all of us want to have “that house,” the one everyone in town would recognize anywhere, but you don’t have to have a historic home with innate charm to make your place demand a double take.

Instead of the obvious changes like adding window boxes (which you should), buying new house numbers (which can be fun), or painting that front door (choose a muddy shade), here are five quick fixes for fast curb appeal—and some don’t cost a dime.

1. Get new porch lights.

via—Wanna know why you always noticed the porch lights on Fixer Upper? Because they were big. More on that later….

So many houses get builder-grade porch lights that are never upgraded; treat your place to something special. As far as size goes, the Country Living July-August 2018 issue recommends lanterns 20 inches tall for a standard 80-inch front door. If your door is not that size, measure your door height, plus casing, and divide by four to determine the height your fixtures should be.

2. Choose custom shutters.


Many houses look better with shutters, but instead of the same ol’ slatted plastic ones, consider shutters the right size for your window, meaning they could actually “shut” should you want them to and they’d cover all the glass. If you choose functional shutters, buy shutter dogs for a dash of character on your façade. And if your shutters have cutouts, paint the surface of the house peeking through the cutout to make the shape stand out better.

3. Get a flagpole installed.


Okay, not even a flagpole—just a flag bracket screwed into the house or porch pole will do. An American flag is always classy. You don’t have to leave it up every day, but it’s fun to bring it out for Memorial Day, Flag Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and September 11. We have two brackets, one on either side of our front gate, and it always looks festive when the flags are out.

4. Clean your dumb windows.


You will be shocked how much better your place looks without hard-water spots on the glass. I’m a new convert to this chore—try it and you’ll see. Make sure to polish panes early in the morning, after sunset, or on a cloudy day so the cleaner won’t streak from drying too quickly in the sunshine.

5. Clear off the step.

via—Simple is better, don’t you think?

With highly visible spaces like the front step, sometimes we pile on the “stuff” because we just don’t know what to put there. Instead, learn the beauty of restraint. For example, symmetry always works, so buy a couple large urns or massive pots and put them on either side of your front door. Plant matching flowers in each one during summer or with manicured boxwoods for a year-round display, and call it a day (or year, if you’re going with evergreens).

And maybe the most important consideration for boosting your curb appeal is scale. Almost without exception, you should go bigger rather than smaller. Sometimes we’re afraid something will look comically large, or we don’t want to pay the extra 20 bucks for the next size up, but that’s usually what you need. Go bigger than your gut tells you, and see how it works. If it looks crazy, return it.

P.S. See the house in the first photo? I’ve got a BIG project underway, and that gorgeous stone home is an important part of it. More details coming soon!

3 thoughts

  1. Great tips, Bec! I need to work on my curb appeal because it always makes me happy to see my house looking cute as I pull in and it is lacking right now. Excited to see what project you’re working on!


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