Now more than ever we need our homes to be a sanctuary, a place where we can feel safe and find joy. My 4-week series, How to Create a Happy and Healthy Home Inside and Out, will help you do just that! And most importantly, you will learn what steps you can take to improve your home’s health, functionality, and freshness. You’ll find some easy and simple ideas that don’t cost much but could have a big impact.
The second week of my series will focus on making your home more cheerful and welcoming from the outside.
As a homeowner, many of us tend to overlook flaws or get used to our home’s exterior appearance. Perhaps you’re not fully noticing a worn out doormat when standing on the front porch or the peeling paint on the front door when searching for keys.
Everyone is busy with life and it’s easy to have other things on your mind as you go about your day.
My goal with this article is to give you some simple and refreshing ways to make your home shine so every time you come home, you feel that pride of ownership.
As Oprah always says, “Your home should be your sanctuary, the thing that rises up to meet you.”
With just a few hours and hardly any expense, your home’s exterior can rise up to meet YOU.
Bring a Smile to Your Face
If your home doesn’t make you smile when you’re approaching the front door, there are some quick and easy ways to change that!
Here are some projects that don’t have to cost a lot of money but can make your home brighter, more revived, and just plain cheerful. You could hire a professional for some of these projects; or consider making some a do-it-yourself task.
- Paint front door with a bright pop of color. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to brighten your entry. Many homeowners are seeking fun colors that pop rather than many of the standard colors used years ago. Take a walk around your neighborhood to get a feel for door colors and what works well on homes similar to yours. Do a trial run and paint your door with splashes of different colors to see how each looks in the morning and afternoon light. If you have shutters, consider painting them too. Remember that painting the front door and even its trim can be less expensive than painting the entire house — yet it can still create a new fresh look for your home.
- Install stylish hardware to jazz up entrance. If you paint your door, take the next step and update your front with new hardware — door handle, knocker, house numbers, lighting fixtures, and mailbox. Check out design sites for the latest trends or visit a local store for ideas that can fit the style of your home. Make sure all of the finishes — brass, copper, black — coordinate with each other or match well so your final look isn’t jarring to the eyes. Remember that a fresh coat of paint and hardware can be less expensive than purchasing a new front door. And you can top off this updated look by hanging a cheerful door wreath!
- Get a “Come On In!” doormat. A new doormat is a simple and inexpensive way to make your more home inviting. Even though it serves a purpose for those entering your home, a mat doesn’t have to be boring or too utilitarian-looking. You can find fun, colorful styles that could match your outdoor paint color — and you can switch your mat out depending on the season or holiday (just like a door wreath)! Keep in mind that door mats or outdoor rugs can be made of durable materials that better withstand harsh wear and tear. So do your homework and look for ones that will suit your location’s weather conditions and your family’s needs.
- Power wash or pressure wash for a brighter, cleaner look. Dirt, grime, mold, algae, and even insect nests can build up over time on your home’s siding, porches, fences, driveways and other hardscaping. Don’t rely on rain to wash away that grease on the driveway! Just like you need to scrub the inside of your home regularly, you shouldn’t forget about cleaning the outside at least once every one to two years. It’s best to do it between March and November so you avoid colder weather. Power washing uses hot water, and pressure washing using high-pressure equipment with normal water temperature. You can either hire a professional; or you can rent equipment at a local store and spend an afternoon doing it yourself.
- Say hello to greenery and color with container plants. If you’re wary of the hefty price tag for some professional landscaping then consider container plants to spruce up the front of your home. Planters are an easy and less expensive option that can be done in just an afternoon. You’ll make an immediate impact on your curb appeal with containers full of greenery and colorful flowers, bringing a bit of wow to your front porch or stoop. Even decorative containers can provide a pop of color. Plus, mix it up with urns, plant stands, even window boxes. You’ll find YouTube videos on how to create interesting arrangements and on how to care for them. Just watch your budget when purchasing containers and plants since the costs can start to add up.
- Zero in on driveway for an updated look. Are you ready to change up that asphalt driveway? There’s nothing wrong with going with affordable and durable asphalt, especially if your current driveway is cracked and you’re on a budget. But there are lots of other options for driveways, such as concrete, stamped concrete, brick, pavers, and gravel. Each has its pros and cons when it comes to expense, durability, and what would work best for your home’s location and style. Stamped concrete designs can mimic pavers and bring a bit of elegance to your home. Or, a gravel driveway might be the perfect look for a beach home or a home in a hotter climate. Updating your driveway usually requires a professional, but the final product could complete the look of your home and be worth the extra cost.
- Make it a walkway to heaven. There are many interesting and cool ways to make your walkway more inviting. You’ll have a choice of materials and styles to choose from — brick pavers, slate, concrete, flagstone — that can fit your home’s design and your landscape needs. Just like a driveway redo, most homeowners will need to hire a professional contractor to design the perfect walkway. What about a curved one! The costs can vary, but the impact will be immediate once complete since a beautiful walkway is a focal point when approaching your home. You can even add some lighting along the edge, creating some nighttime drama (and safety). Whether your walkway needs some repair or you’re ready for a new look, it’s the perfect project that brings character to your home.
First impressions do count, and not only when you’re selling your home! Make your home more welcoming for you, your guests, and even your neighbors with many of the above ideas.
Let me know if you have any questions on how to up your curb appeal.
Next week my series — How to Create a Happy and Healthy Home Inside and Out — features an article on how to make your home more functional for your family’s needs and how to better use your space by creating zones. Look out for Inspiring Ideas for a More User-Friendly Home.