Someone asked me recently, what is curb appeal? Deb continued and guessed correctly, that curb appeal is the attractiveness of a home's exterior. It's a new phrase that became popular during the housing boom in the U.S., and a measure of how appealing a house is to prospective home buyers.
We've written about curb appeal in the past and realized it might be helpful to take a look at several houses and what makes them attractive. Knowing I'd be writing this article, it was interesting when I spotted a row of houses in Hampton, NH that all had great curb appeal. These houses (photos below) were clustered together so seems like homeowners are more likely to spend time maintaining their home's exterior, when their neighbors are doing the same.
Basic Curb Appeal with Trees and Shrubs
This is a neighborhood of older homes and that typically means more mature landscaping. The trees are large and there are several different types for visual appeal. The pachysandra (my favorite low maintenance ground cover) around the tree provides good coverage and the lawn was mowed. The foundation plantings were trimmed and the only thing a prospective home buyer might prefer is more shrubs along the foundation but that's a nice way to a new homeowner to personalize their new home.
A neighboring house is a little more inviting with the color provided by the flowers surrounding the same “big tree” in the front yard. There's also more variation in the height of the shrubs around the foundation which adds interest although this isn't something that a seller can change overnight.
Curb Appeal Involves Decorating Your House
The next house has the same trees, shrubs and color. They've also increased the curb appeal with a flag and seasonal wreath on the front door which is popular in many neighborhoods, e.g. once one homeowner hangs a wreath, then lots of their neighbors get wreaths … but before you start buying them, decide where you're going to store them.
Another popular house decoration is the star shown below, adding a touch of whimsy to the house and in this case it draws the eye to the beautiful stone siding.
… or some homeowners get more creative with what they use to add curb appeal, like the boat below which goes with the neighborhood at the beach.
Curb Appeal: Looking at The Big Picture
Decorating your home's interior is easier because of the visual separation you have going from one room to another. With your home's exterior, it can get overwhelming when you want to add a feature to your front door but don't know how it will affect toe overall curb appeal of your home. The house below does a nice job of creating a landscape combining house features (porch with lace trim) by keeping everything basic white and using trees and shrubs to add color and texture.
This house uses the same white trim throughout the house and picket fence, adding color to their curb appeal with flowers everywhere.
… and sometimes homeowners love collecting things and displaying them for everyone to enjoy.
What's your favorite tip for curb appeal?