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Some homes just stand out, drawing the attention of passers-by and making people stop to take a second look. These homes are said to have “curb appeal.” A distinctive doorway, an attractively landscaped entry, a colorful garden viewed through a set of brightly painted French doors, an inviting walkway with a handmade bench—curb appeal is whatever gives a home a unique sense of style. Having curb appeal helps to sell a home; not having curb appeal can result in a slow sale or no sale.
What are the common problems that can give a home curb appeal? Most homes need to look larger. Providing continuity from the curb through to the back yard expands the visual space of a small to medium size house. Providing harmony and bringing the outside in makes for a more pleasant experience overall. One of the least expensive solutions is to add background color with seasonal ground covers and plantings. Other quick, easy solutions include:
Painting the front door with an inviting accent color
Changing or upgrading the front porch light fixture(s)
Placing an appropriately styled bench, seat or other three-dimensional piece on the porch, verandah or in the front yard or garden
Keeping all walkways and entrances swept and hosed off
Providing potted plants on the front porch in keeping with the exterior style (don’t mix cactus or succulents in Mexican clay pots with a Cape Cod or French Chateau look)
Adding a clean, stylish new entrance mat
Upgrading the front door hardware, including the door handle, knocker, hinges and/or kick plate
This sets the stage and creates a pleasant feeling of anticipation by the time the front door is reached.
Indoors, the strategy should be to make rooms look lighter, brighter and more spacious, while judiciously editing and accessorizing to make each room more pleasing to the eye and senses. This can be done by:
Cleaning out closets and clutter
Painting walls and trim
Replacing carpeting to overcome pet stains/smells
Staging an empty house with rented furniture and potted plants
Adding inviting sensory aromas with potpourri or a stovetop diffuser
Remember: The lighter, brighter and more harmonious the interior of a house can look the better.
It’s also important that the feeling of the front yard and interior of the house should flow outside into the backyard and patio areas. Patio furniture and containers can be harmonized with the colors and styles used in other areas of the home. These outdoor rooms should be as aesthetically pleasing as the entrance and interior spaces, allowing the prospective buyer to leave the property with a good feeling about the entire house.
If a buyer can’t picture themselves or their belongings in a house they won’t buy it. Designers can help with:
Matching exterior details to interior details to will give a home “flow”
Helping the buyer visualize himself/herself in the new home Re-working and re-designing using the sellers own furniture and accessories to create a more appealing look
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