Is your front yard giving off unintentional, unwelcoming vibes? From the sidewalk, does your property communicate that it’s cared for or neglected? Does your curbside view overlook a plain old house – or a well-loved home?
First impressions matter. Your home is no exception. Whether you’re preparing to list your home for sale in the spring or just looking for an easy exterior home makeover, having welcoming curb appeal is vital to the vibes you’re communicating. Be a good neighbor, an appealing host, and a savvy homeseller with the following suggestions.
Boost Your Curb Appeal by Taking Things Away
Curb appeal is a topic we cover because of how important it is. (For more, read: 9 Easy Curb Appeal Upgrades for Your Home). You might think boosting your home’s curb appeal requires you to add a lot of things – fresh siding, newly paved drive, a brand new porch railing. But more often, curb appeal is improved by taking things away.
With fresh eyes, we challenge you to revisit your home’s appearance as a stranger. Take a walk around your block and come back from a visitor’s angle. Does your home give you that “love at first sight” feeling? If not, it’s likely there are things you need to TAKE AWAY which can take your home’s first impression from drab to fab, unwelcoming to welcoming, and unattractive to appealing.
1. Take Away the Locked Front Gate
Security is important, but is a locked gate on a 4ft-tall chain-link fence adding anything, really? Anyone motivated to trespass on your property could easily climb over or get through the fence. All the locked gate communicates is that visitors are unwanted and that you feel unsafe in your home. Update the locks on your doors and windows and then remove the gate lock. If security is truly a concern, install motion lights and cameras instead.
2. Take Away Political Signage and Flags
What may seem like a friendly reminder may be serving to make others feel unwelcome and making your home unappealing. Political signage and flags are polarizing and have no place on a home that’s on the market for sale. Also, if you have an American flag hanging, make sure it’s in good and proper condition and that it’s well-lit if it’s left out at night. It’s all a matter of opinion and taste, but that’s why it’s good to be as neutral as possible with your home’s appearance for ultimate curb appeal.
3. Take Away Holiday Décor
To appeal to the largest group of visitors or potential home buyers, remove any holiday decorations from the yard. If you’re using holiday lights to keep the property lit at night year-round, switch to neutral white lights or solar-powered, staked lights which don’t belong to any particular day or season.
4. Take Away Yard Trinkets
Gnomes, frogs, and flamingos can be very cute representations of your personality and character, but they represent very specific taste. Taste varies widely and so may be unintentionally unappealing to visitors. Store the fox in the top hat with the gargoyle and the singing doormat if you’re looking to enhance curb appeal.
5. Take Away Excess Planters and Dead Plants
We’re big proponents of colorful plants and thoughtful landscaping, but only with a purpose. Too many flowerpots can start to seem like a cluttered mess, and in great number they create confusion. Brightly colored flowers flanking a walkway or porch stairs helps draw your eye to the front door – that’s welcoming. Dead plants and empty planters give the impression the house isn’t cared for – that’s unwelcoming.
6. Take Away Bold Paint Color, Decorative Mailboxes, and other Loud Choices
You may love the brightly painted front door and cow-patterned mailbox you got as a birthday gift because they are great representations of YOU. But when you look around the neighborhood, how many cow-themed mailboxes and electric blue doors are there? Probably not many. Wildly painted doors and porches, oddly shaped mailboxes, excessive windchimes and pinwheels – all personal design choices need to be somewhat muted. Make sure your personal touch isn’t the heaviest hand on the block.
7. Take Away (or Spruce Up) Untended Gravel or Dirt Paths
Whether the path leads to your front door from the sidewalk, from the drive to the side door, or around to the backyard, any untended gravel or dirt path can create a feeling of detachment, deterioration, or disrepair. A walkway is a visual frame for your home. Paving the path may not be an option, so buy a few large paving stones to place within the gravel or dirt, approximately 1-2 ft apart. The pavers act as a clearly marked passageway over the dirt and debris, making your path seem thoughtful and well-tended.
Curb Appeal Boosted!
By taking away unnecessary locks, political signage, holiday decorations, yard trinkets, excess plants, loud design, and untended paths, you give your home an instant makeover, boost curb appeal, and welcome visitors with ease.
Related Post: Add Curb Appeal on a Budget