Category archive - Curb Appeal/ Landscape Ideas

10 Inexpensive Ways to Increase Your Curb Appeal

10 Inexpensive Ways to Increase Your Curb Appeal

So what’s the big deal about Curb Appeal? It is the first impression people have of a property and the influence it has on buyers is 76% whether they look at a house or not. Guess it is a big deal…

When you see a property that has impressive curb appeal you tend to look and possibly stare because your eyes have fallen upon something impressive. If you are a DIY type of person here are some inexpensive ways to increase your curb appeal without breaking the budget:

1. Lawn Maintenance: A lush green lawn is impressive. By maintaining the grass with regular mowing, fertilizing and keeping weeds down to a minimal can create a big impression. By doing this work yourself it can be doable and impressionable.

lawn
2. Edge trimming: The details matter. By edging your beds and laying mulch down when visitors come to your front door the impression will be of a well maintained property.

3. Annuals for lots of coloradding annuals amongst perennials can create a big impression drawing the eye to the property. Some hard working annuals to get a bang from your buck are zinnias, petunias, mums, coleus, dahlia and marigolds to name a few.

annuals

4. Trimmed Trees and Shrubs: Neatening up the foundation bushes so there is a clear view of the windows and removing limbs that block the view of your home help create a feeling of a well maintained property.

5. Meticulous Siding: If you have natural wood siding, maintain the paint by giving your house a fresh coat of paint every five to ten years. If you have vinyl siding or aluminum siding power wash it so that it is clean. Insure the trim has no peeling paint around doors and windows.

6. Light Fixtures: Well proportioned and stylish light fixtures enhance the houses appearance, likewise outdated or too small light fixtures distract from the appeal of the house. Make sure the style of the light complements the architecture of the house.

7. Roof: Maintain your roof, ensure all shingles are attached. If you have stains contact a professional to help you remove them if your roof is young and in good shape.

8. Gutters: keep them clean and in good repair. If they are clogged with debris they can cause water damage to your roof. Simple yearly cleaning can go a long way in maintaining a good roof.copper drains

9. Sidewalks: Ensure they are even and wide. If algae or mold has formed due to shaded areas, power wash and clean to give the stone a fresh new look.

10. Doors: Amazingly enough a new front door can give you return on your investments, and a new garage door can give you return. So for a relatively small investment you can update the look of your home with your doors.

other articles

Curb Appeal | Key Components

Stepping Up Curb Appeal | 10 Ideas

Curb Appeal | How to Impress


Curb Appeal | Key Componets

Curb Appeal | Key Componets

A first impression begins outside. Have you ever driven by a home and say “I would love to live there.” What is it that makes you fall in love?

It is probably the entire package that you are looking at. The house, landscaping, location etc. all of these factors are part of the curb appeal. Whether you are considering selling or dwelling, curb appeal makes an impression.

So what are key components to make a great impression.

House

Make sure the siding is in good shape, if needed power wash and paint. Any crooked or damaged shutters repair. A roof needs to be cared for also, if you notice you have dark streaks on your roof most likely this can be removed by a professional. It will improve the appearance but also help maintain the life of the roof.

A great color on the front door can really draw attention and become a highlight of a house.

Amazingly enough, the money invested in a new garage door can reap a great return on the investment about 83%, so if this is something that you have been toying with to repair, do so know and enjoy the upgrade while you are still living in the house.why curb appeal

 

Lighting

The lights that are next to the door ways should be proportioned to the outside of a house, and they can add a lot of style. Choose light fixtures that complement the style of the home, but also provide enough illumination to allow visitors to see the entrance ways to your house.

Pathway lights are nice to add lighting too, as well as adding up lights to highlight landscaping, and the house.

Plantings

Have trees and bushes trimmed to enhance and frame the house. If there are tree limbs hanging over the roof, remove them. If the bushes are covering windows cut them back to allow the light to shine into the home.

Grass that is in good shape is pleasing to the eye. Lawns that are spotty or not as lush looking can impact the look of a home. Maintain your lawn with regular fertilizing, seeding and watering to keep it looking it’s best.

Add color to all the green with perennials and annuals throughout the beds and individual pots near entrance ways. Adding brown mulch on beds helps fill in the areas that are bare, making beds look neat and clean, plus it helps cuts down on watering.house with curb appeal

Decking, Patio’s, Driveways

These hard scapes make an impression too.  Driveways – maintain whether they are black top, fill any cracks and seal, a stone drive maintain by filling in any ruts that may occur due to weather and erosion. Decking should be cleaned and stained to maintain its appearance. Patio’s maintain by keeping weeds at bay, and repairing if stones that are loose or broken.

Maintaining the curb appeal of a home can take some effort but it is well worth the time and investment because it is the first impression people have when driving or walking by. Make the first impression a lasting impression by paying attention to the entire look of the property.


Adding Color to Your Outdoor Spaces

Adding Color to Your Outdoor Spaces

Adding color to your outdoor spaces is easier than you think, if you know what resources are available to you. Living outdoors is similar to indoors, adding color just enhances the space.

I know the first thing that many people will think of are plants, but you can go beyond that to give your outdoor space personal touch and color you desire. Being a home stager in Orange County NY, I always advise my clients to pay attention to their outdoor spaces because these really are an extension of great living space. Color can add to an outdoor space, similar to indoors. Consider some of these elements to create an atmosphere that is the talk of your friends.

Ways To Add Color

Flowers- these can add beauty and color, annuals are great for all summer bloom, and perennials can add interest and back drop to a great garden. Why not repeat some of your selections in pots to balance your yard? Speaking of which…

Color Pots – are a great way to bring color and interest to the outdoors. Bright color pots to coordinate with your exterior house color can be awesome accessories.

Lighting – Why not add some paper lanterns in bright colors. They add interest and can be easily changed according to the mood you would like to create. color lanterns hang from trees, colorful pillows, a green side table Throw Pillows – the great thing with these it that they bring the space together, the multiple prints and colors can set a mood for the outdoor space. They are relatively inexpensive and you can change them according to your mood.

Outdoor Rugs – these can pull together seating areas and really create a warm feeling in an open outdoor space. The great thing with these are that they are low maintenance and can create a focal point in a vast area.blue rug, colorful pillows on porch swings outdoors

Paint- spray that is- you have a few pieces of metal furniture or wood furniture that is not in that great of shape, think spray paint and in color! Think bases of tables, or chairs maybe a side table, all of these can add that little pop of color in just the right amount.

When thinking of your outdoor spaces, many can be treated similar to indoor spaces by using similar elements to update and make them feel cozy and areas that you just want to sit back and enjoy the summer.

Other Good Reads:

Summer time Outdoor Room Decor

Plants that Help Us Enjoy the Outdoors


Choosing a Front Door Color

Choosing a Front Door Color

Your front door is what welcomes visitors into your home. Make it stand out with some color. Here is a blog from Houzz that is full with information.
Additional reading:

Yard Prep

Yard Prep

Spring is right around the corner, time to get out and enjoy the warmer days and start thinking about the yard.

I know a beautiful green lawn is a plus for any home. Spring is a good time to evaluate and test your soil so you know what your lawn will need to be green and lush during the growing season. Once you have determined what you need to add to the soil will direct you as to what fertilizers you will need. I also know that adding compost to not only your grass but also your flower beds will make all plants quite happy.

compost

 As things start to grow it’s time to do the dreaded pulling of weeds. The sooner you pull weeds the easier it is to prevent them through the season. After a good soaking rain is the best time to pull because the soil is softer and the weeds pop right out. If they do not pop out use a spade to dig around to loosen the dirt around the root so it comes out. Just pulling the tops off of weeds does not prevent them later on. Pulling out the root is the best way to eradicate them.

Speaking of tools hopefully you took care of your tools before you stored them in the fall. This is also the time of year when I organize my “gardening area” in the garage taking inventory of what I might need, and what I need to replace.  Just knowing where everything is, and being able to find it makes gardening a little easier.

garden tools

 

A well maintained yard leaves a big impression on those that drive by. Remember getting your yard ready in early spring helps it for the entire season. If your property is on the market this is the first impression that buyers take in, so make it beautiful!


Stepping Up Curb Appeal | 10 Ideas

Stepping Up Curb Appeal | 10 Ideas

Getting the interior of your home in great shape is important when you are selling, but so is the outside. The curb appeal of your home can attract a buyer just driving by.

Here are some ideas to step up the beautification of your property. Of course you should have already taken care to make sure your roof, gutters and siding are in great shape. These ideas are suggestions to consider gaining a strong attraction to your property. front of house

10 Items to consider stepping up your curb appeal:

  1. Anything in disrepair needs to be fixed. Take a good look around the outside of your home to make sure everything is in good shape, no rotten wood, peeling paint, dirty siding.  Repair anything that needs attention, dirty siding can be power washed to spruce it up.
  2. Your front door is where you welcome friends, family and potential buyers. Replacing your front door is one of those improvements that you can recoup the majority of the cost (approximately 70%); therefore it is a worthwhile investment to consider improving your curb appeal.
  3. Do you have some great architectural details? If so play them up with color and/or plants. If not consider adding an arbor over your door and a climbing vine to add charm. Color can be an attraction. If your front door is in great shape maybe a new color might be just the thing you need. Paint it a color that coordinates with your roofing and siding. Add pots of colorful flowers to increase the curb appeal. brigh yellow door
  4. Lighting can enhance a home. Consider lights that coordinate with the style of your home, and make sure the size of the lights are in proportion to the outside. You do not want the lights to appear dwarfed.
  5. Walkways leading to your entrance should be welcoming. Consider pavers, slate, or a material that complements the style of the home.  Patios and decks depending on the material they are made of should be excellent shape. These areas are very popular and can increase the desirability of your property over another.
  6. Add a new mailbox or mail slot along with new numbers to your property. The little details stand out and are things to be considered when increasing the curb appeal of your home.
  7. Windows should sparkle and shine. Make sure they are crystal clean and all screens are repaired. When selling if you can remove the screens it gives the buyers a clear view to the outside.
  8. Foundation landscaping should be trimmed below and away from windows. These should complement the house and not overwhelm the house. Consider adding color with flowers to draw attention.
  9. Lawn care can increase the curb appeal of a property. Maintain your lawn with regular mowing, fertilize and water if needed. A thick, rich green lawn is an eye catcher.  Keep debris cleaned up, and outdoor tools and toys neatly stowed.
  10. Trees, adding trees to your landscape not only makes the house appear warmer, they also can help with cooling and heating costs if they are placed appropriately. They can add interest and detail to a yard also.DSC_0082

Considering some of these items or all can increase the desirability of a property when selling. Attention to the  details will increase the curb appeal and desirability of a property.


Colors in Landscapes

Colors in Landscapes

How do you make the colors work within your landscape? Colors pop in landscaping drawing the eye toward the beautiful plantings. The question is how do you use color to make an impact? It really isn’t any different than creating a color palette for a room.

You first have to look at the architectural colors that the landscaping will be surrounding. Depending on those colors you can choose a color scheme that intrigues your senses.  First become familiar with a color wheel and then it will be easy to choose which direction you are thinking of going in.colorwheel

complementary color scheme is colors that are opposite one another on the color wheel. So let’s say you have a yellow house, purples and blue would be very pretty mixed in with some yellows. Due to these colors being opposite one another they stand out, making a bold statement.

Another color scheme that I have seen beautifully done is an analogous color scheme where you take one color on the color wheel and use the colors on either side. These create a serene look by using one of the colors as the more dominate colors and the other two to complement it. Think of marigolds, they come in an analogous ray of colors and work very well with each other.

Doing all one color in various shades from light to dark is known as a monochromatic scheme. I happen to walk by this house and fell in love with what they did in their window boxes using the color of the house and the plantings to create a beautiful display. The varying shades are green look balanced and are appealing to the eye.DSC_0070a

Since plants are not all the exact same color these three main color scheme will gain various results which is the beauty of nature. Having the basic knowledge and goal in mind when planning your landscape will get you started in creating an outstanding landscaping plan. I enjoy observing how colors work with one another in my landscape each year. I make note, move things, add things and each year my beds become more and more stunning as time goes on.

I would love to see some of your successful combinations that you have created.

 


Planting Annuals for Lots of Color and Curb Appeal

Planting Annuals for Lots of Color and Curb Appeal

Planting annuals in clusters through your beds can produce an explosive statement of color that can improve your curb appeal. The advantage of annuals is that their life cycle is a single season so they work hard for you in your landscape throughout the growing season.annuals - Copy

Annuals are great for filling in bare spots throughout beds giving continuous color. They are also fantastic to use in pots for a pop of color next to a door, or hanging from a porch.  Some annuals re-seed themselves so you can see them pop up again the following year, which is always a present surprise.

When choosing annuals, select colors that complement your house color, and work with existing plantings. There are many varieties within each species from a single large flower to small clusters, multiple colors and sometime leaf colors. By mixing or combining different annuals you can achieve a variety within your landscape.

How do you have success with annuals? They are fairly easy to grow if you make sure you soil is in good condition, drains well and you give them some good compost. Cornell University or any cooperative gardening extension are a wealth of information to help a gardener either beginner or expert with growing advice.

So what are some annuals to consider for easy growing? These are some annual plant suggestions that produce color from the last chance of frost in the spring thru the summer season into a hard frost in fall.

Petunias

They come in many verities and colors. They prefer sun and well drained soil. Planting in masses can make a fantastic impact in the landscape. Petunias come in upright varieties and cascading, so they can be used in many applications.petunia

Marigolds

Every year when visiting garden centers I am amazed at the varieties of seeds, they have single flowers, clusters, tall and compact, the colors range from yellow, oranges, reds and greens.   Marigolds are hardy and easy to grow, great for cutting and last a long time in a vase. Great to bring indoors when a house is on the market!marigold

Snapdragons

Easy to grow like marigolds and petunias, they come in a kaleidoscope of colors, and can be grown as short or taller to augment your existing gardensnapdragons

Columbine

These are easy to grow in any soil and varying light, they are also self seeding from year to year so you are never without flowers.columbine

Some other easy annuals that you might want to consider are pansies, hardy geraniums, and sweet pea. When shopping your local garden centers many of these are easy to start from seed, but if you need “quick” color small plants might be the way to go. Share with me your favorite annuals.

 


Curb Appeal | How to Impress

Curb Appeal | How to Impress

Ok you decided you are putting your property on the market and over the winter you have been preparing your house. Now that spring is here how about the outside, does your curb appeal impress? What can you do to spruce up the look of your house?

path

1.      Take a look at the shrubs and bushes around your property, are they cut back so you can actually see the house? Are they trimmed enough so the light can come in through the windows? Are they looking lush or are their bare spots throughout the bush, dead or broken off limbs? If so trim them back so they look lush, and healthy, make sure they frame the house and not overwhelm your house.
 
2. The lawn; do you have a well established lawn that comes up green and beautiful during the growing season? If not have the soil tested to see what you might need to amend the soil to help the grass come in rich, and full and green. Through the growing season make sure you maintain the lawn by keeping it mowed, patch any bare spots, fertilize and water when needed.

3. Beds that complement the foundation shrubs and bushes. I know many times I see people have taken the first two steps and forget this one. The beds around your home help bring character and charm to your property. By adding colorful annuals you can bring real life to the outside of your home. Annuals give you big color through the growing season in the summer months. Check with you local nursery which plants thrive in your area.

colorful landscaping in beds and along walkwakes

4. Walk ways and driveways are gateways into your home. Make sure they are in good repair. Replace lose stone on the driveway if it has been washed away due to snowplowing or rain. Repair your walkways so no one trips or stumbles. Although to some this may seem like an unnecessary expense it is not. When a buyer sees these things in disrepair they may wonder what other problems lurk within the house.

5. Lighting is one of the easiest I think to update a home. Many times we move into our homes and hate the builder fixtures but never do anything about them. This little investment can make a difference. If you have good proportioned sized lights outside, notice I said proportioned sized lights- many times lights are too small for the area they are to light, make sure they do the job they are suppose to. Also they should be clean and free of cob webs, glass is not broken, light bulbs working.

Be aware that you have less than 10 seconds to make an impression on a buyer. Make sure they don’t turn away but want to go further and explore the house of their dreams!

Other links:

Welcoming Entrance

Quick Inexpensive Curb Appeal Ideas

 


Outdoor Fire Pits- Add Spark and Warmth

Outdoor Fire Pits- Add Spark and Warmth

Ignite your evenings outdoors and add spark and warmth by adding a fire pit to your landscape and outdoor spaces. With the weather becoming a little cooler fire pits are becoming a popular yard feature to enjoy the outdoors. There are many options of styles that can be considered. Above ground, below ground, table pits, fire bowls, Chiminea, or even a  fire place all add ambiance and warmth for a relaxing evening outdoors.

When considering your options keep in mind the style of your home and also your landscape and space. If you have a large back yard a fire pit that is in ground might be a nice option to consider. They can be built either for burning wood or can be hooked up to propane. Another option is a built in fire place.woodburning fire pit

 

I like the table top fire pit because it is easy, and by adding a cover to the fire pit it gives you multiple options and functions. These add the ambiance of spark and warmth without having to do a lot of construction to obtain the ambiance of  fire and warmth.table top

 

If you have limited space consider smaller fire bowl that can use denatured alcohol or bioethanol  to create a gathering place. Chiminea fire pits are also a popular choice, these burn wood and contain the fire in one place.fire bowl

 

All of these are beautiful options, but remember safety:

When using a fire pit never leave it unattended.

Make sure that all dead vegetation is removed ten to twenty feet around the pit.

Make sure the hoses on propane and gas fire pits are connected properly and are in good condition.

Any surface below the fire pit such as a table top, or chimina is fire proof. Good options are slate, brick stone.

Their is nothing better on a summer evening gathering around a fire. Kids will love this also to cook up a batch of great s’mores! Ah, enjoy the summer and send me some of your pic’s of fire pits!