As the saying goes, ‘You never get a second chance at a first impression’, so it is all the more important to make it a good one. According to Princeton university psychologists, it takes a tenth of a second to form a first impression. In such little time, someone can decide what social class you fit into, your interests, and whether or not they identify with you. It may seem harsh, but in a split second someone has already made up their mind about your home and as we know, it can sometimes take a lifetime to change an opinion. So, whether you are craving a fresh look to brighten up your driveway or you are trying to catch the eye of shrewd buyers, boosting your curb appeal is a crucial step to making a good first impression.
What is Curb Appeal?
According to Mirriam Webster, the term ‘Curb Appeal’ has been in use since 1975 to describe the ‘visual attractiveness of a house as seen from the street’. This neat and catchy phrase has sparked a boom in the home improvement industry with people conscious of the importance of neat and tidy living space. It is all too easy to focus entirely on the interior design of your home but paying attention to the details on the outside such as light fittings, signage and a color scheme can go a long way to elevating the look and feel of your property. There are so many ways that you can improve the curbside appeal of your home and not all of them require a complete home makeover. Let us show you how!
Finding Your House Curb Appeal Style
It is easy to get carried away with home improvement ideas when faced with pages of dreamy inspiration in magazines and online. However, one small exercise that will help you to define your creative curb appeal DIY style is to make a mood board or scrapbook of your favorite images. As you are browsing through the piles of photos, take note of the ones that make you stop for one second longer. These are the images that spark an emotional reaction inside of you and should be included in your inspiration. Soon after collecting a bunch of images, you will see that a pattern emerges and your home decor style shall be revealed to you. Once you have established the aesthetic for your home, both inside and out, you can begin planning the logistics of the project.
Curb Appeal on a Budget
While your house has to feel like your home, for great curb appeal you have to get into the mindset of a house buyer. What things will they be looking out for? Once you have deciphered the value-adding upgrades that will cause someone to stop and gaze it is important to make a budget to be able to prioritize the tasks. Whether you are deciding to sell or not, simple changes such as adding plants to the porch, changing the style of lighting, or upgrading a house number are cost-effective ways to achieve a fresh new look. For larger alterations such as landscaping or repaving a footpath, these projects require more time and funds so should be broken down into stages.
Curb Appeal Landscaping - One Big Change For a Whole New Look
It may seem like an overwhelming task but landscaping the front yard is something that can magically transform your property. Since most people use their driveway to park their car, sometimes there is little space for any kind of decorative feature, especially if the vehicle overshadows the building. However, a few quick and relatively easy front yard fixes include:
Creating a pathway that leads the visitor from the street to your door
Adding symmetry to the landscape to make it pleasing on the eye
Cutting back overgrown or dead foliage to create a sense of order and delight
Leveling the ground so that there is an even footing for visitors
Adding in a garden wall or gate
Investing in a luxury doormat
Think about the space that you have to play with, is it useful for anything or is it simply decorative? Are you looking to achieve ranch house curb appeal or do you live in a residential neighborhood? Also, take time to assess the accessibility of your home as this is something that can add value when you come to sell. Mothers with buggies and bags full of groceries may not appreciate lots of steps to climb whereas elderly visitors may not enjoy walking on an uneven cobbled path, however nice it may look.
Small Front Porch Ideas - House Number Signs
If you only have a small front porch to use as your curb appeal canvas, there are still plenty of things that you can work on to boost the look and feel of your home. One of the most important decorative elements for the porch decor is ensuring that your signage is up to scratch. A poorly signposted house not only makes it harder for visitors to reach you, but it also could result in missed mail and even worse, no help from emergency services when called.
At RAMSIGN, we celebrate good house signage and offer many helpful guides for creating the perfect design. When designing a house sign, be sure to include all the necessary information such as the house number, house name, and name of the street. It is fundamental to also consider the size of the sign and the distance from the viewer. Wooden signs offer a rustic aesthetic while metal signs offer a more modern feel. Enamel is highly durable and will last a lifetime if cared for correctly making it a popular choice amongst design-conscious homeowners. Perhaps even include a second sign on your mailbox?
Front Door Wreaths and Plants
Adding a pop of color and life to your small front porch can provide a welcoming environment as well as make your curb appeal soar. Wreaths for doors are not strictly reserved for the holiday season. A quick search on Instagram can reveal that they can be used for just about any time of the year. Make an impact with your wreath by experimenting with dried flowers, velvet ribbons, and even foraged finds from your garden. The bigger and bolder the better. A well-crafted wreath can also provide the perfect frame for your house sign, drawing the attention further towards your chosen design. Change the foliage throughout the year to adapt to the seasons with spring pastel colors for Easter, summer blooms during the sunshine months and a Christmas themed wreath for the holidays. Experiment with lighting, ribbons, and attachable decorations and add an eye-catching finish to your elegant front door wreaths.
Farmhouse Porch Ideas to Boost Curb Appeal
Curb appeal applies to all properties whether they are in the city, countryside or are destined for commercial use. Farmhouses are no exception, despite their rural setting. To boost the curb appeal of your farmhouse, add light to your surroundings by painting the exterior in a fresh white, rustic olive green, or classic duck egg blue. Once a fresh lick of paint has brightened up the appearance the space can be decorated to your liking with rustic, shabby chic decor.
Discover our favorite farmhouse porch ideas:
- Add a swing seat to your veranda to create a sociable space
- Show off your talent for growing with a potting station bursting with fresh herbs ready to pick.
- Include lanterns and other small light sources
- Add shutters to the windows for a French farmhouse vibe
- Finish off the look with a ‘Welcome’ sign to make guests feel at home.
Modern Front Door Designs for a Fresh New Look
We can’t talk about curb appeal and not mention the front door! It is one of the most crucial factors in setting the tone of your property and one of the first things that visitors see when arriving at your property. A beautiful entrance door tells the world that you care about your home and that you pay attention to the details. Not only do they have to be stylish they also have to be secure to avoid any unwanted visitors letting themselves in. There are so many styles to choose from such as wooden front doors, paneled front doors, and glazed front doors. They range from traditional to ultra-modern offering all kinds of options for windows and hardware. Entrance door decoration such as a personalized house number sign will add the perfect finishing touch for a stylish, curb appeal boost.
Curb Appeal for Modern Properties
There is a striking difference between modern and old properties however, both styles need to maintain a high level of curb appeal. Modern homes hold their beauty in their uniform structure, geometric lines, and simplistic forms. They are designed to suit the lives of the busy modern homeowner and require little maintenance to keep them looking nice. Because of this, it is relatively easy for a modern home to be high on the list for curb appeal, however small changes such as updating the color scheme, adding new shrubs to the hedgerows, and incorporating more natural materials will certainly give your home the boost you crave.
Curb Appeal for Traditional Properties
Traditional properties on the other hand require more upkeep to maintain their curb appeal status. From painstakingly painting woodwork to tending to the neat and tidy front yard, making sure that a period property looks nice from the street is nearly a full-time job. Be sure not to overlook key things like roof repairs as these are projects that prospective buyers don’t want to get involved in. Keeping things in good repair will make your house more appealing as well as save you money in the long run.