You’ve redone your kitchen and all the bathrooms; you’ve replaced the grungy carpet with gorgeous hardwood; you’ve even painted the walls in trendy tones – but your home still feels outdated. More likely than not, your house remains unappealing because you missed one crucial area: the outdoors.
Whether you are trying to sell your home or you just want to show off your impeccable style when guests visit, you can’t let your yard languish. Your home’s exterior is the first glimpse visitors have of your property, which means you should be taking extra pains to make it appealing. The following updates are relatively easy and inexpensive – but they majorly impact how your home looks and feels.
1. Clean and Clear Landscaping
Ensuring your lawn is lush and healthy should be your first priority. A dead, patchy, or unkempt lawn is a conspicuous eyesore, especially when it is in your front yard. Lawn maintenance isn’t difficult – if you follow a tried-and-true schedule. You can learn more about weekly watering, fall aeration, and spring lawn fertilizer from yard specialists.
Once you have your grass under control, you can focus on other landscaping tasks. Sustainable landscaping should be a major priority; not only do native plants improve the environment and look natural in your yard, they also cut down on yard energy consumption. You should also consider adding an outside entertainment area with comfortable, stylish seating, so guests can enjoy your updated outdoors.
2. Charming Footpaths
If your guests have to walk up your driveway to reach your front door – or worse, if they have to trudge through your lawn — you should give them a hardscaped footpath to trod instead. You should consider using materials that mimic the textures of your yard; in most places, that means real stone or brick. That way, you can use your footpaths to bridge the design of your home and your landscaping.
3. Fresh Paint
On the outside, good paint will last a maximum of seven years. However, on wood surfaces, exterior paint typically starts looking drab around year three. Applying new paint doesn’t seem difficult, but your home is likely much larger, taller, and trickier than you imagine. You should consider hiring painters to help you with the job; not only will your house look better, but you won’t have to risk several weekends in a row.
4. Bright Lights
You know that lighting is important for your indoor spaces, but you probably expect sunlight and streetlights to illuminate your outdoors. However, well-placed exterior lights can mean the difference between a dark and dreary home and a warm, inviting one. Your yard spends at least half of its time in darkness, which means you should invest in dramatic lighting – at least around your walkways and entrance.
5. Fancy Front Door
Speaking of your entrance, a fabulous front door is one of the most valuable updates you can make to your exterior. First, doors are some of the leakiest areas of your home, so finding a sustainable, energy-efficient door could save you hundreds of dollars every year. Second, your front door subtly explains the general theme of your home’s design. Even if your yard is immaculate and your home décor impeccable, a shabby front door gives guests a poor impression of your home. Replacements are relatively inexpensive and make a big impact on your home’s look and feel.
6. Hard-working Windows
Windows are also a major source of energy waste. You can replace your windows with sustainable, double-paned options without changing your home’s style – or you can switch to new, trendy window styles to update your home’s inside and outside look. Big windows have been chic for a while, and installing full glass walls is one way to bring in light and modernize your home’s look. You can also make your windows smart by connecting them to an innovative home automation system.
If you still have some budget to spare, you can add these finishing touches to your exterior to add some stately charm:
- Dentil molding. Named such for its (minor) resemblance to spaced teeth, this classic outdoor decoration instantly adds character to your home.
- Columns. Stone columns are stylish for rustic homes, but any exterior columns will add dignity and flair.
Pediments. Another classic architectural component, a pediment is a triangular topper to a row of columns. It adds formality, which is ideal if your yard design is especially rigid.