Beautiful Home Exteriors – Your home should have character, and a lot of this has to do with first impressions. Take these fun tips and make your home shine.
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Beautiful Home Exteriors
Photo: Robbie Caponeto; Genre: Buffy Hargett Miller; Container Installation: Tom Erickson/The Moved Garden; Location: Cottage in Ocean Isle Beach, NC
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Improving the exterior of your home does not require major renovations. So why wait to change something broken, chipped or rotten? You don’t need a “For Sale” sign in your yard to consider investing in projects to increase your home’s curb appeal.
Adding fresh accents to your home, like buying new cushions for some deck chairs or even a couple of hanging plants, can give you a significant bang for your buck. Plus, you’ll get a little thrill every time you hit the road. Let the curb appeal begin with a few update offers.
It is not a significant financial investment and is relatively easy to paint. If you want a more conservative approach, choose a historic color typical of the area or neighborhood, such as an almost black Charleston green or a soft coastal blue. Going bold is also fun. Ann Deigh, founder and principal of Deigh Rick Landscape Architects in Nashville, says her choice is yellow, which “has a gold or mustard tone, almost like an ocher.” It can work in a brick or white house,” she says. “It really brings everything together.” What’s her second favorite color? “A shade of raspberry in a white house,” she adds.
Consider planting supplies that change with the seasons. If you have steps leading up to the front door, add a couple of topiaries or groups of pots. You can plant topiary trees or other evergreens as year-round fillers and then add annual flowers. “Keep it simple with contrasting shades. If you have a red brick house, you don’t need pink flowers next to it. Purple and blue stand out against a white house, but so is green!” Daig says. Bottom line: Don’t go overboard and choose plants in one or two colors (such as white and green) that contrast with your home’s exterior.
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Even if you don’t technically have a classic cottage, you can still create a warm and friendly atmosphere. “I love picket fences,” Dagg says. “I know it sounds cliché, but it makes the place so inviting, like arms around the house to welcome you.” A wooden wall with a simple diagonal line is ideal for a bungalow or craftsman style home. Or invest in a wrought iron fence for a grander Georgian-style architecture. “Keep it low—no more than 32 inches. You don’t want your house to feel like a prison,” she says.
Robbie Caponeto; Genre: Buffy Hargett Miller; Container Installation: Tom Erickson/The Moved Garden; Location: Cottage in Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Pressure washing is quick, cheap and satisfying. Like shining your shoes, it’s a simple task with a big payoff. “And it’s a lot cheaper than a full paint job,” says Chauncey Clark, vice president and realtor at The Peninsula in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. You can rent a pressure washer from your local home improvement store.
Diag says one of the biggest mistakes a home can make is having too many plants. Her advice? “Let the architecture shine. Let the foundation show; it gives the house presence. Too many layers of landscaping can muddy the look,” he says. When in doubt, stick with a tree trunk. “They are my favorite plants – group them in the corners to provide structure but not block the foundation,” adds Dee. Then fill in with grass or a low ground cover (no more than 6 inches high) that goes all the way to the base.
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They are like puppies – high maintenance but cute. Daigue says window boxes need to be watered frequently, sometimes daily, so make sure you have easy access to them. They should be at least 12 inches deep (to give the plants enough room to root) and have adequate drainage. Diag likes to use boxwood and cup, pansies in the winter and other annuals in the summer.
Like a picket fence, a slightly curved walkway adds excitement to make a home feel unique. If restoration is not possible, choose materials of a certain age, such as recycled paving stones or well-worn stone. “You’re adding a little mystery to make people want to walk in the front door,” Dagg says. “Plain concrete can also be mixed with materials such as limestone chips and some pea gravel to give the road an aged look.”
Not all climbing vines are created equal. At their best, they give any home a storybook feel. At worst – dried out and brown or overgrown – it makes it look like an insulting palace. So choose wisely. “It’s a lot of work to train roses,” says Dee, who suggests climbing hydrangeas as an alternative. “It’s a wonderful vine that clings to itself with woolly sticks and is beautiful even after the leaves have been lost,” he adds. Another option is the Jackson vine, which is evergreen and grows in Alabama and Georgia. Daigh also recommends star jasmine. “It has a pleasant smell and beautiful flowers, but it only grows in the south,” he said.
Bed glass is the new porch swing. This style is neither common nor easy to find, but what says “good neighbors and people live here” more than a wide, comfortable, cushioned chair hanging on the front porch? Old iron gliders and wooden rockers do the same.
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Make sure you have an attractive inbox. Clark says it should match the style of your neighbors for a more cohesive look. If your home is on the market, skip the college flag in favor of a smaller American or state flag, advises Clark. “Potential buyers can be from rival alma maters, and that’s no joke in the South!” he says.
If your home’s windows are in need of replacement, potential buyers may wonder what else has been neglected in the home. Windows connect homeowners with their surroundings, neighbors, and passers-by. Adequate natural light is important, so a window frame or unwashed glass can be a pain for buyers looking for an attractive appeal. Aside from the actual window, shutters also allow your home’s personality to shine through. Adding a pop of color or coordinating curtains with the visual beauty of a home’s history can have a dramatic impact.
Take a simpler approach by leaving out extra decorations and letting decorative colors, curtains or trees add to the appeal of your home. Let the color speak for the style of the house. Add patriotic red to the window blinds of a rustic home or add a splash of blue around a beach cottage. You can also play with contrast to highlight the features of your favorite home or add bright accents to highlight a unique architectural element.
Structural foundations may not be your favorite home renovation idea, but maintaining these elements can create a more attractive home without drastic changes in features. Roof maintenance can make a big difference when it comes to a home’s curb appeal. Loose glass or sunken stains indicate a damaged environment and may deter prospective buyers. Another way to change the visual appeal of a home is to extend the front porch. There’s nothing more inviting than a front deck, and great welcoming features like swings, rocking chairs, and beautiful plants help the situation.
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Holiday or seasonal decorating is a foolproof way to increase the curb appeal of your home. Complement your home’s decor with accent lighting, or showcase a beautifully painted front door with accent trim that complements its bright color. Use seasonal plants to add life to the decor and be sure to change with the seasons.
Inside, the house is painted to the nines and full of expressive art. The colorful and playful theme extends to the exterior as well. Like the interior, the front yard tells the story of box trees lining the path and flowers inspired by the homeowner’s childhood garden.
14 Things That Make Your Exterior Look Old 30 Ideas To Avoid Curbs From Designers. The right landscaping adds instant curb appeal to this new Birmingham before and after yard renovation.
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