By CATHI AYCOCK
Curb appeal, that elusive impression that makes a house seem inviting, interesting and (let’s be honest) helps homes to sell for more money than the same floor plan that is curb appeal lacking doesn’t have to mean a big dollar investment.
Curb appeal goes beyond keeping the grass cut and day-to-day maintenance, though you need those basics to elevate your home. Curb appeal is about adding charm, style, and personality to your house. It goes beyond how many square feet your home has and speaks to visual appeal and first impressions.
Take our Curb Appeal Quiz to see how your house rates.
My home features shutters or other architectural elements that are in the same architectural theme as my home. (French style shutters with a Country French home, barn style garage doors with a farmhouse style home, gingerbread trim on a Victorian style home. Three Points
My home is five, four and a door–five windows on the top floor, four windows on the bottom and a door in the middle. With nary a shutter or architectural detail in site. One Point
My home has windows and doors and architectural details. (But only if you count garbage cans overflowing at the front of the house as an architectural detail.) Zero Points
My home has a mixture of shrubs and trees in an inviting mix that doesn’t obscure the house but enhances it. Three Points
My home has a few shrubs. And a few bare spots where that bad frost back in ’82 did some damage. One Point
My home has some green in the front. By way of dandelions and thistle weed. Zero Points
Flowers and Scale
Flowerpots are filled with beautiful flowers that accent the brick and paint colors of my home. They draw your eye to the door with pots that are scaled to the front porch or facade of the home. Three Points
I have a tiny flower pot with a few flowers on my porch. One Point
The (cracked) flower pots on my porch work as trash cans and cigarette butt holders. Zero Points
The Focal Point
The door to my house is an accessory to a little black dress. It elevates the house and is in keeping with the style of the home. Three Points
The front door of my house opens, closes and has a doorknob. One Point
The door of my home has peeling paint or cracked wood. Zero Points
Score ten points or above?
Congratulations! Your home oozes charm and has everyone in the neighborhood coveting your curb style. If you are looking to sell, your curb appeal will have your home snapped up in days. Or minutes.
Score five to ten points?
Your home isn’t an eyesore. But with a little TLC it could be a curb appeal star!
Score four points and under?
If you are looking to sell you may need to roll up your sleeves to get maximum dollars for your abode. Consider a few upgrades to show the hidden charms your home wants to unleash on the world.
Want to up your curb appeal? We asked some experts for their best tips.
Changing out the front door of your home can give your entire house an instant facelift. The entry door is typically the element that should catch your eye first and draw you into the other elements of the exterior. The curb appeal of your home should turn heads like a beautiful woman at a party. A door with the right architectural elements, unique hardware or beveled windows, can make any house appear it had an architect and designer behind the look. In an instant, a new door can transform your home. As a partner of the best custom-crafted entry door retailers in Nashville, I may be somewhat biased. A new beautiful custom door will turn heads. No other improvement on a home’s exterior can make a greater impression without actually ripping out walls or doing major construction. A great door gives you a lot of bang for your buck.
-Ray Novelly, Classic Doors, Nashville
Add color. Even if you have to spray paint some flower pots and plant brightly colored flowers. If your house has red brick, and you have reddish terra cotta pots on the porch, you don’t get that pop. Spray paint your pots black if you want to go classic, or French blue for a romantic vibe. Then add a strong colored flower, say a pink geranium. The color contrast is an instant update to any house. -Marianne DeMeyers, owner of Tin Cottage, 123 South Margin, Franklin, 615-472-1183
My favorite instand curb appeal tip? Pay attention to scale. A wide front porch shouldn’t have tiny little flower pots. They look spare instead of warm and lush. And a tiny porch doesn’t need giant urns taking up all the visual space.
My favorite trick to add inviting charm to your home is to stagger pots going up the front porch steps. It visually leads the eye to the door and seems welcoming.
Want more decor? Check out the (beautiful) home of Grammy winning blues artist Keb Mo and his wife Robbie Brooks Moore here.