That thing that makes you stop and stare at a home in the middle of your neighborhood while on a stroll? It’s curb appeal. And when a house has it, there’s no fighting the allure. It might be a front door with color that pops, a porch with smile-worthy seating, or landscaping that’s so flawless you’re tempted to take notes for your own lawn overhaul.
Perfecting curb appeal means your home radiates a good first impression — whether for potential buyers, guests or simply neighbors passing by.
Some curb appeal upgrades may cost very little. Others could require a considerable financial outlay. But either way, expect to receive an eventual return on your investment: Houses with strong curb appeal tend to sell for an average of 7 percent more than comparable homes that lack a curbside wow factor, according to a 2020 study in The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics.
Want your humble abode to be a neighborhood knockout? Here’s how.
Add a wreath and a welcome mat
Accentuate your front door makeover by adding a cheery wreath and a new welcome mat. It’s a one-two punch that can instantly take your house from cold to cordial. For bonus points, rotate your wreath and mat with the changing seasons so your entryway feels fresh year-round. And when it comes to choosing a wreath, don’t always default to a traditional shape.
“If your front door has two long windows, or sidelights, on the sides, rather than using a traditional round wreath, you can create two elongated wreaths that fit perfectly in those spaces,” suggests Mattie Sheppard, a strategic interior design adviser at Real Estate Bees and president and CEO of Perfectly Pictured Decluttering & Staging Experts in Jacksonville, Florida.
Use planters for a pop of color
Add two matching pots or planters, placed at either side of your door or porch walk-up, filled with in-season annuals such as geraniums, petunias, impatiens and chrysanthemums. This burst of color will help frame and showcase your front door. If you’re looking for inspiration, aim for “thrillers, fillers and spillers” when researching. Start your planters with a tall focal plant — perhaps an ornamental grass — and then fill out around it, using smaller annuals and vines, suggests Leslie Feathers, a designer with Belmont Nursery in Fresno, California.
More AARP Smart Guides
Renew your membership today and save 25% on your next year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal. Get instant access to discounts, programs, services, and the information you need to benefit every area of your life.