before and afters budget decor decorating paint

Increasing Our Curb Appeal

I realized recently that although I have invited you in and have shown you around our¬†home (minus the media room, basement, and laundry room) I have neglected to take you outdoors. It’s probably because when I started this blog 4 months ago it was in late January and looked like this all of the time!

outside the house

 

So now that winter is gone and all cold memories have been repressed ūüôā¬†let’s take a tour around the outside of my home.¬†¬†We will see¬†some Before & Afters as well as¬†see what’s been blooming in the flower beds (and what’s not been blooming)!

 

SO

welcome outside tour

 

Here is a picture of our home before we moved in.¬† It was in late Winter so it looked pretty barren when we first pulled up for¬†our long awaited showing¬†(if you don’t know¬†about¬†our long¬†awaited showing, click¬†Here).

Our home is what I would call a colonial styled home.¬† I¬†was attracted to it’s neutral color and black shutters and¬†door.¬† I even¬†appreciated the¬†faux Romeo and Juliet balcony.¬†¬†This¬†specific¬†balcony¬†is perhaps¬†not the exact design I would have chosen but it is a unique feature to our home that makes it a little less cookie cutter.

 

exterior of house before

Here is the After/Progress

exterior of house after

 

Over the past couple of years we have worked hard to increase our home’s curb appeal.¬† In the first week of owning the home we had all of the trim on the front of the house¬†painted¬†(we¬†hired out the¬†top half of the house and I did the lower half¬†myself to save money) as well as¬†the¬†garage door¬†painted in a brighter white to give more contrast to the neutral siding.¬† Although it is hard to tell in the pictures, it made a HUGE difference.

The next month we had two dead trees cut down in our front yard.   One in the very front middle of our yard and the other one was on the left side of our drive way.  Once the trees were gone and stumps shredded it was time to grow grass where the tree had been in the very in the front.  On the side of the drive way I planted a Dappled Willow bush in place of the removed tree.

 

dappled willow bush

I bought it for $10 at Walmart.¬† I love¬†it’s pink¬†salmon tones and it’s¬†hardiness.¬† If you are interested in learning more about this bush you can Here.

Another change I made rather quickly was adding a bench to the front of the house.  It was a bench we already had.  I had gotten in off of Craigslist for $15.  It is sturdy and only needed a brighter white coat of paint.

 

curb appeal

 

I decided the bench would be more welcoming with stepping stones leading to it.  These stones were originally excess stones sitting around the mailbox  when we first moved here.   They are much more useful and aesthetic here (plus the kids love walking/hopping from stone to stone like frogs on lily pads).

 

exterior charm

 

Another goal I had to rev up our homes curb appeal was to add more color.   I chose to do this by adding 5 rose bushes to the front of our home last Summer.  They are called Knockout Roses and they are suppose to bloom continually throughout the Spring and Summer.  Sadly 3 out of the 5 bushes did not come back this year (I believe due to the extremely cold  winter).

I am hoping they will come back next spring.  In the meantime I have planted some Begonias and Impatiens in their stead.  They kind of clash with the colors of the rose bushes that came back but oh well,  they are temporary and do the job at exuding a pop of color.

 

impatiens

paper tree

 

There are still more things to do.  Like transplanting these fun flowers to the back yard and maybe getting (or DIY-ing) some cool planters  for the front porch.

gerber daisy

 

Oh yes, and if I could remember to get some deer repellant spray for the Day Lilies by the mailbox.¬† This is the second year in a row they’ve been mysteriously eaten off right before they open up and show their beautiful bloom (I still don’t know what color they are because I’ve never gotten to see them bloom)!

dear eaten lilies

 

In Summary, 4 ways you can increase your home’s curb appeal is 1. Paint exterior areas that need refreshing.¬†¬† 2.¬† Get rid of any dead or unsightly trees, shrubs, and of course weeds.¬†¬† 3.¬† Add a distinguishing feature that give the home a lived in cozy feel like a bench, water fountain, large planters or such. 4.¬† Add color to your home via flowers¬† or flowering bushes.¬† 5.¬† I forgot to mention this one but mulch.¬† When we got here it didn’t look like the flower beds had been mulched for ages.¬† Mulching make a big difference in the exterior beauty and feel of the home.

What have you been up to lately in your yards??¬†¬†What’s blooming right now?¬†¬†I’ll¬†be back very soon to show you improvements we’ve made on¬†the backside of our home!

 

exterior of house after

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