According to Houzz Australia, houses with terrific exteriors can “sell faster, lift mood and convey a warm welcome”. What’s not to love about that?
Curb appeal or street appeal has become a bit of a buzzword – and with good reason. A bit of TLC to your home exteriors can make a magnificent difference. Even if you’re not planning on selling your home, a few external home improvements can truly be mood enhancing, not to mention providing you with a warm welcome every time you return home.
When it comes to garden areas, think big. Clever landscaping can work miracles. So don’t just prune back your existing shrubs and add a couple of pots. Take in the whole picture and imagine how good it could look with some big changes. Don’t have any ideas? Take a walk through your favourite suburbs and take note of what others have done. Alternatively, hire a landscaping or exterior renovation company that can come up with some ideas for you. It could be money well spent to have some professionals build in some solid planters, add some layers and plant appropriate plants that are right for your home and positioning.
Some places just look enviably magical at night – and it’s all due to clever lighting. This is another area where expert help is advisable. There are endless tips and tricks when it comes to outdoor lighting – and good lighting can highlight so many different areas. You could have an old tree lit up with an LED spike light, beautiful bronze bollards for outdoor paths, funky rechargeable outdoor lamps, lights for the ponds and swimming pools – the choice is endless. Then, for outdoor dining, consider subtle wall lights rather than stark overhead lighting. The difference can be, well, illuminating…
Fencing & walls
Check with your council to see what’s allowed with fencing and walls. Even a low fence can do wonders to not only deter passers-by from entering your property but create the illusion of more space. Fences also help make the property look more manicured and ‘cared for’.
The right wall or fences form your space, so if you’re putting up with a dodgy wooden picket fence, check out the options. There is plenty to choose from, such as stone cladding, brick, limestone, timber, bamboo, eco-mesh or gabions filled with rocks or other materials.
How’s your driveway?
Transforming your old, cracked driveway can give the front of your home an immediate facelift. A driveway does say a lot about what’s to come when entering your home and gives an idea about your personality. Materials include block paving, concrete, decorative brick, recycled bricks, asphalt, decomposed granite, cobblestone, flagstone, or any combination of masonry with grass or other suitable ground level creepers. Remember to think about drainage and water flow, and check with your council first.
Sometimes, small things can make a big difference. Changing a front door can do wonders for first impressions. Low on budget? Why not just paint your existing door a bold new colour? If it’s time to do a little more transformation, think about replacing your door with a fresher model that’s still in keeping with the design of your home, but with a little more personality. Tip: glass panels on front doors are a wonderful way of adding light to a dark entrance.
Yes, you can buy outdoor furniture from Bunnings, but is it really adding to your curb appeal? Outdoor furniture is more noticeable than people think, so it’s worth putting some effort into these pieces. Take your time and choose carefully. Measure up your outdoor space and take photographs of the area before you go outdoor furniture shopping. Think carefully about sizing, proportions, and colour. Ideally, take the furniture home and position it in the desired space before you think about throwing away the receipt.
A small punch of hot red can totally push the wow factor. The beauty here is you only need a small amount, so you don’t have to do a lot to get a great effect. Think about painting your door red, adding a red bench, planter or even just a chic letterbox. Give it a try!
Don’t forget the side laneway
Too often, people let the side laneway go by the wayside. Rather than a point of interest, it’s become a place for weeds, rusty bikes and that wheelbarrow you meant to take to the dump last summer.
True, there may be ugly bits at the side of the house, such as hot water systems or piping, but these can be camouflaged with attractive fencing or panels. Roll your sleeves up and get rid of the weeds and old shrubs and think about replacing them with some solid concrete pavers to make an attractive path to the rear of your home. And don’t forget the difference that paint can make, along with a touch of clever lighting.
Render or timber cladding facelifts
Home makeovers can get terribly exciting when you change the colour or materials on the exterior of your home. Sometimes, painting the entire exterior in a dramatically dark shade is enough to make an eye-popping transformation. Or, if the existing materials are far too drab, go further with timber cladding, either horizontal or vertical, rendering, or with heritage listed homes, tuck pointing.
Facelifts like these will not only impress your neighbours, but make coming home a deeply rewarding experience.
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