9 simple ways to boost your home's curb appeal
Maximizing curb appeal attracts neighbors, home buyers and lifts homeowners’ spirits.
Maximizing your yard’s attributes and minimizing its problems to create a beautiful street-side view does not have to be difficult, daunting or expensive. No matter your style, plant preferences or budget, here are some ideas to consider.
1. Create impact with simple design principles.
Plant in groupings and shapes. Passersby will definitely notice the impact of a collection of plants that reflects the shape and lines of the house and walkways. Use large shapes and masses that are attractive from a distance, but be sure to not block windows, doors or the house facade. A variety of plants makes the yard look larger by giving the eye more textures, colors and shapes to view.
2. Emphasize the journey from street to front door
The eye should move from the street to the front door in a pleasing way. Think of ways to break up the visual “journey.”
Create a bend in a walkway to offer a softer and gentler look.
Install a curved border edged in easy-care plants such as boxwood and variegated hostas to add a note of grace and elegance.
Place urns on either side of a curve.
Plant a garden around your mailbox.
Entice guests to walk through your garden by splitting your path so more sections of your landscape are accessible to inspection.
Choose a more interesting material (bricks, flagstone, pavers) rather than cement to lend charm and to make the trip to your front door even more memorable.
Finally, include some fragrant varieties to add to your landscape’s sensory appeal.
3. Turn to the color wheel for inspiration
Consider the color of your house when choosing landscape plants. For example, a blue house feels calm and collected accented by a collection of purple, pink, yellow and white flowers. Alternatively, red trim will pop with flowers in orange, bright yellow and red. Try a garden that contains the same colors as your home or create contrast by going to the opposite side of the color wheel.
4. Keep it low-maintenance.
Even if you love gardening and all its associated tasks, an elaborate garden can be considered a negative by a potential new buyer. Keep it clean. Examples: petunias that won’t litter petals everywhere; shrubs that don’t require a lot of tender, loving care.
5. Plan colors for all seasons
A landscape that goes dormant in the winter can look foreboding and uninviting. So, plant a variety of evergreens to keep your yard looking classically beautiful through all seasons, as their foliage offers a wealth of textures and colors. Choose from a wide range of evergreens, including groundcovers, dwarf shrubs and large trees. Be sure to select evergreens that mature to the ultimate size you want so your yard won’t end up an overgrown mess.
6. Leave space to entertain.
Another great way to give your front yard a more welcoming feel is to add a patio. Decorate the patio with a skirt of flowers or a small hedge to help it seem more intimate and enclosed. Add a bench to provide a place for a gathering of shrubs and perennials.
7. Use containers to maximize space.
A container garden provides a riot of color even if your front yard is primarily paved. A handful of large pots filled with bright or fragrant flowers can transform your front landscape into a work of art. Consider installing a simple drip-irrigation system to make containers easier to maintain.
8. Let nature be your guide.
Answer the call of the wild in your yard by simply following nature’s lead. Select plants and other landscape materials native to your region. The birds and butterflies that they attract will enchant you and your guests. Incorporate a birdbath or bird feeder to attract even more birds. Spend time looking out from your windows as you design. That way you will enjoy the view looking out as much as passersby enjoy looking into the garden.
9. Blend nature and art.
Blend natural and artificial elements to give your yard an established, comfortable look. Use hardscape materials, such as boulders near the path, then use groundcovers (pachysandra) and/or flowering shrubs (azalea, rhododendron and pieris) to soften the look of stone. Look for features from your home to guide your design. For instance, use small trees to echo pillars on a porch or use a water feature based on the shape of one of your home’s architectural
Boosting curb appeal does not have to be difficult. Consider these tips to help you think outside of the box. In doing so, you will have the best-looking front yard on the block.
Thank you to Tulsa County Master Gardeners for their expertise in this subject matter. Allen Robinson has been a Master Gardener since 2010.