Are you wondering what you can do to spruce up your exterior curb appeal so it looks pulled together with charm to spare? The following suggestions are relatively easy yet they’re often overlooked.
- Edit and Simplify
Many times when clients present me with the color dilemmas that have been keeping them up at night, they have inadvertently overcomplicated things. It’s not hard to do. We all collect inspiration pictures on Pinterest, follow bloggers along on their renovation projects, and flip through designer portfolios on Houzz.
The problem? There is such a thing as having too many good ideas. So, that’s the first thing I help you sort out; we edit and simplify what’s already going on with your exterior as well as edit down ideas to up its curb appeal.
When you hire me to help with your exterior, you get more than just my color expertise. I’ll also help with major design decisions by bringing focus to what’s important for the style of your home. “Less is more” is a common mantra for good reason and “edit and simplify” is right there with it too. Some of the decisions that have the biggest impact on exterior curb appeal involve simple elements.
- Window Treatments
Sure, they’re on the inside of the house but have you ever considered how much they also affect how your house looks from the outside? They have a big impact.
One strategy often overlooked to improve exterior curb appeal is to use the same style of window treatments in all the front windows. Like Silhouettes from Hunter Douglas or if you’re in a dusty, desert climate, plantation shutters in every room would be a better choice.
It’s amazing what that uniformity will do to synthesize the look of a house like this one – this is my house when we lived in Ohio.
Mismatched window treatments were one of my Mom’s biggest pet peeves and especially if they were different colors. Funny how things like that from your childhood stay with you. When we were building this house, I told my husband, Al, that we needed room in the new-build budget for window treatments. Because I knew my Mom was absolutely right about how window treatments affect an exterior’s appearance. If you can’t do the same treatments in all the windows like I did, at the very least make sure the backing of all your window treatments is the same color of white because it really does improve the exterior curb appeal.
- Exterior Lighting Fixtures
Right now, at this very minute, most of you have exterior lighting fixtures installed on the outside of your house that are too small.
Ever heard the idiom, “the devil is in the detail”? Scale and proportion on an exterior are crucial to curb appeal. What I’ve learned over the years is to get the most out of the exterior color design plan I create for you, you’ll want to pay attention to the details like getting the right sized coach lights. I found this infographic from shadesoflight.com about how to figure out what size light fixtures to buy.
- House Numbers and Mailbox
Choosing the right font for your house numbers and the right mailbox style are two more of those little details that have a huge impact on exterior curb appeal but are easily overlooked in the pandemonium of an exterior paint project. With my graphic designer past, I have a penchant for typography and a wickedly skilled eye for choosing the right font that’s most appropriate for each architectural style of house. Modern House Numbers dot com is a terrific resource for styles you won’t typically find in a big box store.
Good news is these are inexpensive details but you’ll want to think about your house numbers and mailbox before the painters start so they can remove the old numbers and mailbox and get them out of the way to make prep and paint easier.
- The front door
If you don’t have a custom home with a custom front entry, then you probably have a front door similar to my house in Ohio. Windows or no windows in the front door depend on what else going on as far as fenestration on your exterior. Fenestration is a term that rolls up all the openings in the envelope of an exterior into one word. So, it includes doors and windows.
If the front of your house is peppered with windows, then a solid door with no windows is probably the better choice. With a solid door, you can add half or full-length sidelights if you’re concerned about letting some light into your foyer. If the number of windows is fewer and they are placed symmetrically across the exterior, you can choose an entry door with more detail.
- Power washing, Tuckpointing, and Repointing
Stone or brick on your exterior means you need to inspect the mortar joints. If they are cracked or crumbling away, you should call a masonry expert to come out and make necessary repairs. Not only will your exterior look better, it’s also basic maintenance that will ensure against water damage and extend the life of the masonry walls.
Once you know your exterior is structurally sound, have it power washed. Again, such a simple thing to do but you’ll be amazed at how much it can help to freshen and brighten up the exterior curb appeal.
It’s a classic color strategy to paint the downspouts the same color as the body of the house they’re set against so they disappear. Yes, you can paint gutters and downspouts. When properly prepped, the paint will last for years. About the time they need a fresh coat of paint, other exterior elements will need to be repainted too.
Lately, I’ve noticed a resurgence in the practice of painting downspouts a bold, contrasting color to the body. It’s a fabulous look on the right architectural style. Don’t sweat it if you don’t know if this look is right for your house, that’s what I’m here for. Determining what color your gutters and downspouts should be is part of my exterior color services.
- Professional Window and Screen Cleaning
I know I said seven so consider this one a bonus. Have your windows and screens professionally cleaned. If you have one or two screens that need to be replaced, you should have them all replaced because you want them all to match – in material and color. Newer screen material isn’t going to match the faded color of your old screens. Local hardware stores like ACE will often offer this service. The job requires a few special tools, but it’s not difficult.
I can’t even begin to tell you what a difference this makes on the outside AND from the inside. Washing the windows inside and out is certainly something you could DIY, but if you can afford the couple hundred dollars for a professional cleaning it’s worth it. You’re not up and down on a ladder and the pro’s can get the job done in a few hours — and no streaks!
Finally, I can help if a new exterior color scheme is on your list of things to do to spruce up your house this season. Just send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can schedule a time to chat so I can learn more about your project.