Curb Appeal

Keep the Outside of Your Home Beautiful With These Suggestions

By Annamarya Scaccia

home extA gorgeous home starts with a beautiful exterior. A well-manicured lawn, beautiful paint and artistic touches all contribute to curb appeal. With these easy suggestions, you can keep the outside of your home looking beautiful year-round.

Simple steps like creating a lovely brick or stone walkway, updating your paint job, changing the shutters, trimming your blooming garden and manicuring your hedges can make a big difference. It’s important to remember that exterior designing is just as significant as interior designing. But you don’t have to tackle giant projects to make a noticeable impact.

Exterior home improvements could be as small as cleaning out your gutters, updating your roof or adding a flower box to your deck railing or outside your window ledge. Whether it’s a terra cotta or dazzling iron work planter, you can find flower boxes with brackets at most home improvement stores or online retailers. Plant flowers that are vibrant in color, like red carnations, orange tiger lilies, pink or purple hibiscus, and yellow roses, and accent the window pot with blades of grass and English Ivy.

Another way to keep the outside of your home beautiful is by modernizing the paint color. This is a great place to use some creativity. Try to match the common color used for the inside of your house. Are your dining, living and family rooms bursting with bold purple? Then find a slightly deeper shape, like plum, to cover the outside of your house. Accent it by installing different colored window shutters in a muted white or grey. Keep in mind that your door should always be the same shade as your shutters or trims. Spend some time thinking about color combinations that really add character and interest to your home. If purple isn’t your thing, have some fun with other color palettes. Do you like orange, green, blue or yellow? Find different color combinations that truly represent who you are. You should also consider adding these unique colors in more subtle accents like on window trimming, for example. Don’t be afraid to be a little edgy.

You can also have lots of fun with more traditional color choices. Want to paint your house white? Then paint your door and shutters in a primary or secondary color, like red, blue, yellow, orange, green or purple, to make the white stand out. If you like light grey as the main exterior paint color, then accent the windows with a black and white trim, paint the railing in bright titanium white, and cover the door entirely in black. This color combination will not only give the outside of your home a classic look, it will also come off as worldly and sophisticated.

An easy way to keep your home’s exterior stunning is by thoroughly maintaining your garden. Whether it’s a walk-through plot or one that lines the front of your house, a garden is simple way to enhance your home’s exterior. If you choose to plant a walk-through garden, and don’t have a driveway, think about planting seeds of various exotic and special flowers on both sides of your fence’s entrance and lead them to the bottom of your front porch steps. Line the path in the middle of both gardens with concrete stepping stones in different shapes and sizes — this will give your walkway a rustic and coastal feel. Make sure, however, that you leave at least three feet of space in the middle of one or each side of the walk-through garden. This will allow you entrance into your lawn area (if you have one) so you can cut the grass and keep it even.

If you choose to line the front of your house with a garden, then plant special or exotic flowers facing the street for you and your neighbors to enjoy. You may want to consider leaving room for a vegetable garden in the backyard.

Last but not least, no home’s exterior is complete without a relaxing and picturesque backyard. The backyard also leaves a lasting impression on your guests, so take some time to decorate it with a comfortable but fashionable table and chair set for outdoor gatherings. Plant a few lush bushes and trees and add a few light fixtures, like garden lights or tiki torches. Creating a beautiful backyard will extend your home and make this warm weather even more enjoyable.

You work hard to keep the inside of your home neat and beautiful, so why not extend your efforts to the outside? By following these fun and simple suggestions, you’ll have an enviable outdoor space that you and your family can enjoy for years to come.

Photo: Ginaellen/Stock Free Images & Dreamstime

Published on Prince George’s Suite – Friday, June 1, 2012

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