Summertime Means Curb Appeal!

Do you love your home?  Do you pull up in the driveway and sigh at how beautiful it is?  If not, pay attention!  I'll make it simple and quick.

Curb appeal is one of the most important aspects of your home.  It tells the world so many things about you: I'm tidy, I care about my home, I pay attention to details, I understand plantings, I understand color and scale, etc.  So what are you telling your neighbors about yourself?  I compiled a list of 5 important things you can do to improve curb appeal.  Trust me...I could go on for days about this topic!  These 5 tips apply to any style home, in any neighborhood, on any street.

1. Paint color.  I have noticed, because I pay attention to this kind of thing, that people just don't paint their houses!  As I am in the middle of painting my own home, I will totally agree with the argument that it is way too much work.  It takes days, if not weeks, to paint your own home (especially if it rains every day for 2 weeks, like it just did in Michigan).  But it is well worth it!  Let's start back at the beginning: paint color.  How do you choose?  I like to see the inside of someone's home before I start choosing an exterior color.  If the home is mostly browns, tans and black, I choose a color that will coordinate.  Next I look at the neighbors' homes.  If there are 3 white houses around me, I choose something other than white.  Lastly, I look at any permanent features of the home that won't be changed: brick color, chimney color, ROOF, sidewalk, fence, posts, etc.  The color must look good with those things are you will not have a beautiful home in the end.  Pinterest has tons of color combinations for exteriors, as well as the Sherwin Williams website.  

What can you paint?  Just about everything!  Wood siding, aluminum siding, vinyl siding (check out VinylSafe Paints by Sherwin Williams), gutters, flashing, brick, chimneys, etc.  Having said all that, here is a disclaimer: vinyl siding can buckle if you use the wrong paint, a brick mason will tell you to never paint brick, and wood siding will probably require scraping and priming. Don't forget to paint the trim!  A contrasting trim will make features like dormers and windows pop.
Whether you are planning to spruce up to sell your home, or spruce up to enjoy your home, painting it will do the trick!  Not a painter?  Hire one!  They will have it done in a flash and you will be able to sit back and enjoy it as you drive up the driveway.
2. Lighting.  Most people have very inadequate lighting around their home.  The biggest mistake I see is that lights are too small and very dated.  If you haven't strolled down the lighting aisle of a home improvement store lately, you should!  Lighting is not expensive anymore.  On top of that, the variety is incredible!  Switch out your porch lights, garage lights and posts lights.  If they aren't dated and you still love them, remove them and freshen them up with spray paint.  If you need to replace your lights, check out photos on Pinterest first.  Look for homes similar to yours and see what lights are being used.  Remember to stay true to the style of your home.  A craftsman home should feature craftsman fixtures, for example.  Don't forget about landscape lights either!  Line your sidewalk, spotlight a tree or light up a dark corner.  Your home will be beautiful and safe with new lighting!
3.  Front door.  This could be an easy fix or an expensive fix, depending on your situation.  If your door is the right style for your home, then paint it!  If your door is ugly, boring, dated, the wrong style or you just hate it, get a new one! 
You could spend thousands on a new door, but you don't have to.  Check out places like, or Habitat Restores, before you shop for a new one.  Not sure what color to paint it?  Once again, check out Pinterest until you find a color that suits your style and home.  Just remember to make your entry inviting and obvious to visitors.  If the front door is tucked away or somewhat hidden, choose a color that will brighten it up and make it more noticeable.

4. Landscape.  This is where it gets fun!  If you don't like to garden or you don't have the plant knowledge you need to pull it off, look for help!  Garden centers are full of knowledgeable people who can answer questions about certain plants and how they grow...for free.  Still not sure?  Hire someone to do it for you.  There are plenty of landscape companies that can pull together a great look for your individual home.  Whether you do it yourself or hire it out, remember a few important things: bloom times, plant height and width, and sun requirements.  If you want a constant blooming garden, that takes research to know what to plant and where.  A quick search on the internet (I typed in "sun garden plan") will produce a garden plan that a professional put together with all their expertise.  Just follow it!

5.  Sidewalk.  I know why most people's sidewalks are boring, cracked or just plain ugly (mine is all of those things).  It is because a sidewalk isn't necessarily cheap, isn't easy to do yourself and most
people think that no one notices it anyway.  Well, the first two are correct, but the last one is absolutely not true!  Your sidewalk can make or break the overall look of your home.  Luckily, there are endless options for a sidewalk.  If you can't tackle this alone, hire it out.  Once again, decide what you want by searching through photos online, and then pull the trigger and get it done!

Like I said earlier, I could go on and on and on about curb appeal.  It is one of my favorite parts about decorating a home.  The exterior of your home reveals a lot about you, so make sure it is telling people the right thing!  These tips will help you sell a home or love your home.  If you can't do them all at once, take it slow.  Some progress is better than none!  Still room in the budget????  Get a new garage door!

This is from you!


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