Have you ever driven past a home with just the right pops of color in the just the right places, clean lines and what seems like perfect edging? If your eyes were drawn to that home among many other so-so maintained homes along the same block, what you were experiencing is the positive effects of curb appeal.
The smallest changes can make a huge impact when it comes to the exterior look of your home, even when nestled among rows of homes in a housing cooperative like Cedarwood. Drive down Dogwood or Cedar Street and take a look at the wide variety of ways people choose to enhance the front of their homes.
The wonderful thing is that it doesn't take a huge financial commitment or a significant amount of time to make these changes that can make a big difference. Some may require management approval, such as a front door replacement, but because our management is also invested in the overall improvement of our housing cooperative, they're usually quite accommodating.
Easy Ways to Enhance Curbside Appeal
1. Plant Flowers or Foliage. This simple, cheap solution can add tons of face value to your home and just so happens to be my personal favorite option. Not only do you get to boost the look of your home but you also get to play in the dirt and come-on, when has that ever been a bad thing! Think outside the box...plant a flower box, a front garden, an herb garden, potted plants lining the entryway, etc...
2. Camouflage Your Air Conditioner. This isn't typically a front of the home kind of enhancement but hey, back door guests are the best...or so they say. By camouflaging your air conditioner with a small white fence, a few tall potted plants or some yard ornaments, you can easily improve the backdoor entry experience as well. ( image courtesy of http://www.listotic.com )
3. Have New Windows Installed. While this one is actually a costly one, the co-op has a great repayment plan for new window installs. This change can make a huge difference in the overall look and feel of your home both front and back with just a moderate increase to your monthly maintenance fees. It also makes a nice bright impression on the interior of your home as well. I can't tell you how many people have chosen to get their windows replaced and called the office after it was complete to express their appreciation. The co-op is currently accepting names for the window replacement program. Call for details.
4. Freshen Up Old Mulch. This simple, inexpensive trick will really bring about some fresh color to your front space. Try adding a bag or two or ten to your existing flower bed or create a new flower bed and add the ground cover. Choose the red gorilla hair variety for a bold statement or uncolored for that natural look.
5. Create Intriguing Pathways. This great example of an intriguing pathway is from one of our very own members here at Cedarwood. This member-owner created tons of curb appeal by alternating color and contrast throughout the front yard. As you can see, varying the height, color and texture of plants can make a bold and beautiful statement.
6. Use Geometric Patterns to Create Interest. This member created a fun, whimsical front yard by removing the sod and adding stone squares in a checkerboard design. While this look can require a bit more maintenance, it can also get your home noticed which is especially important if you are trying to attract buyers (note the flags...used for an open house, not as a yard decoration.. :) )
7. Add Furniture for Function and Flair. Many local garden centers have a nice variety of compact outdoor furniture intended for patios and porches. This member found the perfect set that really contrasts against the brick for an amazing pop of color. Combined with some well-positioned foliage and you've got yourself a show stopper!
So there you have it, some ideas to get you started but please don't stop there! We've been around a long time and seen a lot of different front yard designs at our housing cooperative, but no two yards are ever the same. When those creative juices get to flowing, anything is possible. If you have done something to enhance your coop's curb appeal, please send us your pictures!