They say you only get one chance to make a good first impression. Did you know that prospective buyers make up their minds about making an offer on a home within the first 15 seconds? You may not be trying to sell your home, but why not make the most of your home’s first impression by focusing on your curb appeal. The following are four areas to focus on to make the biggest impact. It’s easier to tackle them one at a time. For other inspiring ideas for the front porch, visit the Idea Board from Porch.com Editor-In-Chief, Anne Reagan.
1. Add Color
Our eyes are drawn to color. The lush green grass and plants in our front yards look amazing next to colorful furniture, window shutters, and containers. Pick a palette that works well with other colors outside your home and don’t be afraid to go bold. A colorful front door is an instant focal point. Painting a fresh, new color on an old door is not only easy to do in a day, it instantly draws the eye from the street to the house. Throw in a colorful doormat while you are at it – it’ll make your front entry feel like it’s being attended to. Containers, planters and window boxes are another quick done-in-a-day project that will add splashes of coordinating colors exactly where you want them.
Adding colorful outdoor furniture is an easy way to add color to your home’s entrance. Choose pieces that are meant to be kept outside and experiment with colorful, outdoor-safe cushions for a cheery, welcoming setting.
2. Create Symmetry
Our brains are naturally attracted to symmetry and it’s an easy arrangement to complete. Placing the same type of containers on either side of the walkway or front door will help frame your home and give it balance. Try adding the same type of light fixture on either side of the door. Of course your home doesn’t have to be exactly symmetrical. Planting similarly-sized trees and shrubs on both sides of the home, for example, will add dimension, soften the edges of your home, and create a symmetrical appearance.
When buying accessories for the front porch or yard, buy duplicates of the largest items (like tall containers) but experiment with selecting uneven amount of smaller items (like decorative objects). This will create both a symmetrical, and unique, appearance at the same time.
3. Update Hardware
Want to give your home an instant facelift? Simply replace the “jewelry” of the home like the doorknob, outdoor lights, kick plate or mailbox. Stick with the style of your home but consider updating the material, color and the size. Instead of brass, look for oil-rubbed bronze. Or trade in stainless steel for antiqued pewter. House numbers are another easy update to complete in a day and can allow for more personality to show through. Even mailboxes can inadvertently make your home look old and tired. New models, with self-locking mechanisms, will add to your curb appeal and your safety.
If your budget doesn’t allow for a complete hardware makeover, try removing the old item and spray painting it. Carefully tape over any glass or locking mechanisms.
4. Repair Damage
Is your driveway cracked? Are your stairs in poor shape? Not only is a damaged driveway unsightly, it’s dangerous. Cracks can be patched to prevent weeds from growing amid the cement and help make your pathway seamless. Cleaning up your hardscape by patching holes or power washing away the moss, will make your front entry beautiful and safe. Trim away weeds and overgrown plants so that the edges of your yard are clean and tidy. With the right safety equipment, your drab driveway can turn into a fab play area.
Add extra safety and refinement by installing lights along your driveway and pathway. Uneven areas will be easier to spot and the lights will create a “runway” entrance to your home.