• Add Curb Appeal For Love at First Sight

    Published 10/22/2010

    Curb appeal is that pleasing blend of everything that’s going on outside your home. In all seasons. From all angles. In sunshine and in shade. Passersby admire it and real estate professionals tout it as a ‘must’ if you want to sell your house for top dollar. But why wait until you’re ready to sell to beautify your home’s exterior? By establishing and maintaining curb appeal now, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor every day for years to come!

    Mastering Color Placement
    Color placement and harmony can be just as important as color selection when it comes to curb appeal. The structural style of your home – colonial, Victorian, cape cod, modern, ranch – plays a big role in how and where you use color to increase your curb appeal. When you consider the exterior of the house itself, “painted lady” Victorians can easily support four or more artfully chosen colors, while a sleek, modern design may “sing” with a sophisticated, two-tone treatment of a single color. Look around you, visit color expert Shannon Kaye’s forum at www.certapro.com, search Google images for your style of house, consult with a CertaPro painting professional … and you’ll find what works best for you.

    One “big picture” element common to many house styles is the attached garage. This important component of curb appeal is frequently overlooked by homeowners, but it’s an easily enhanced part of that all-important first impression. Painting the garage doors the same color as a section of the house, especially if you have a front-facing garage, can make the house look bigger. To provide visual unity to the façade of your home, paint the trim around the garage doors to match either the garage doors themselves or the house trim.

    While the goal with a garage might be to blend it with the house, there are other architectural elements that you can emphasize for greater curb appeal. The window mullions and frames of a modern, streamlined house can be painted with an accent color to add visual interest without adding shutters. Dormers can be enhanced with paint that’s a slightly different color from the rest of the house. A little thoughtful creativity can go a long way in making a house distinctive, handsome, and appealing.

    Speaking with an accent
    There are countless easy yet effective ways to accentuate the positive aspects of your home’s exterior. Railings highlighted in an accent color not only catch the eye but serve as a beautiful backdrop for seasonal planters containing flowers of a similar color. A well-placed trellis supporting a seasonal flowering vine can soften the home’s façade while adding a lovely dash of color. And remember that wreaths are not just for the holidays. Wreaths made with natural materials such as dried flowers and pods, adorned with a colorful bow, can add an extra note of welcome to the front door all year ‘round.

    Plant to enhance
    If you begin with the idea that landscaping is an art and your property is a canvas, you’re on your way to realizing the potential of artful plantings. In addition to the functional value of landscaping – providing shade and preventing soil erosion – well planned and well maintained plantings can camouflage problem areas and emphasize areas of interest with grace and beauty. With texture, color, and dimension, good landscaping design can be personalized to the colors and style of your home and become an integral part of your home’s curb appeal.

    It has been said that curb appeal is the housing equivalent of love at first sight, and it’s a sensation you and your family can feel every time you spend time outside or catch that first glimpse as you’re returning home. So create it for yourself and those you love – and the best time to do it is now!

    The Positive Power of Color
    “Color is a wonderful tool anyone can use to increase curb appeal,” says Susan Wadden, an interior designer with Sherwin-Williams®. “And you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get great results.”

    For example, you can paint a weathered garden bench a cheerful hue and surround it with colorful annuals throughout summer and fall. Vibrant color painted on an arbor or trellis in spring will serve as a beautiful contrast to the flowering vines that will flourish in summer. Color can even shine through during the long, dark nights of winter. Position spotlights to illuminate a colorful front door and adjacent evergreen plantings to provide a warm welcome to holiday guests.

    “At every season of the year, nature provides clues for adding color to your environment,” says Wadden. “Look for inspiration in your surroundings and enhance from there.”


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