Posted in: Ideas
Published: 10 May 2019
When the weather turns and we don’t feel like doing much outside, homes can start to look a little blah from the roadside. Boosting your home’s curb appeal can be as easy as making a few updates or a lick of paint here and there and can be done in just a day or weekend if you prioritise projects that will really make a difference. Chances are, your home already has some great elements and it simply needs a few finishing touches to really look its best. Put just a little time and effort into it and you’ll be amazed by the results. Then you can pat yourself on the back and get ready to hibernate!
Here’s an open-and-shut case for easy home improvement! Don’t be afraid to go bold and bright, but do take care to select a colour that accentuates and enhances (rather than clashes with) the rest of your home’s exterior.
• When choosing a colour, tape a few of your favourite swatches to the door so that you can stand back and view them in situ.
• Study the light at various times of day to select the one that best complements or contrasts with your home’s exterior.
• Opt for exterior acrylic paint with anti-mildew properties.
• As with all paint jobs, preparation is key to a great result. Remove hardware (or at least mask it very well!) then clean, sand and prime the door before applying your chosen colour.
• Paint the door from the top down, using a wide brush for corners and a small roller for flat panels.
• Replacing old hardware can have a dramatic effect on an outdated and tired front door.
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A colourful front door has the power to turn an ordinary home into the prettiest house on the block.
Because it's constantly exposed to the elements, a letterbox really takes a beating. How about giving it a makeover?
• To rejuvenate a Metal mailbox, gently clean it with a wire brush, then wipe the letterbox down before priming with a metal etch and then painting. Spray paint can make short work of this, remember to mask off any areas that you don’t want paint on, such as any attached letterbox numbers, the post and the surrounding area.
• Wooden mailboxes can be sanded down and painted to give them a new lease of life. It’s easy to do in a day, maybe get the kids to help!
• Consider replacing a cruddy letterbox with a new one to complement your home and express your personality.
• A funky letterbox can be a great, low-risk way to inject a sense of playfulness to your home’s exterior, without going to great expense. Clean up and sand your old wooden letterbox before giving it a coat of paint in an interesting shade - perhaps to match your front door colour after its makeover!
Give your entrance a little more oomph with the addition of street numbers, seating and pot plants.
• Even if you’re not super handy, attaching numbers is an easy job that can be done in under an hour.
• Choose a font that aligns with the architecture of your home but that is also distinctive enough to really grab the eye.
• If you like metal numbers, search for ones in a tone to match the hardware on your front door.
• Outdoor furniture can be cleaned off and painted up and it will reward you with transforming your entrance into a welcome spot to linger and watch the world go by, greet the neighbours or wait for your Uber.
• Cover an old bench seat with homemade cushions, or grab some from the op shop, to give it an instant lift.
• Potted plants can make a fabulous change to an entry way. Seasonal flowers are always gorgeous, ferns do well in shaded spots and succulents are excellent, low maintenance options in places where the rain can’t water them.
• Container plants around an entranceway look great when they are arranged symmetrically. Rather than having many different pots, two matching pots with a healthy plant in each will look striking at each side of the front door.
• Hanging baskets look gorgeous with some potted colour, changed with the seasons. Be aware that they do require a lot of watering, so an extended watering bottle will be a must to keep them hydrated.
Tip: Symmetrical placement of porch decorations, such as planters, furnishings, etc. is more pleasing to the eye than a random, scattered appearance.
Illumination enhances your outdoor spaces and makes your home look welcoming, and it's also important for safety. A well-lit path is easier to navigate when you arrive home in the cold and dark with arms full of bags or children. Solar lights make easy work of this job. They not only require minimal installation but they are always on at the times they are needed!
• Be sure to purchase good quality lighting so that it lasts. There are lots of cheap options, but these may need replacing in less than 12 months.
• For each light, choose a spot that will illuminate your path, driveway or parking area but will not be at risk of being driven over or mown down!
• Place the lights securely, digging down into the soil for a good anchor.
• Consider placement that gives the solar panel plenty of exposure to the sun.
Washing years of dirt and grime off your facade, porch, guttering, and driveway might be a hard days’ work, but it will look like you have done a lot more than that!
• Clean gutters both inside and out, clearing out any debris and really scrubbing the outsides until they look good as new (or as close to new as you can get them looking). You’ll be in awe at what a little elbow grease can do.
• After cleaning, it’s the perfect time to add a gutter guard to prevent leaves and muck from gathering and blocking downpipes.
• For the house: Sweep away dirt and cobwebs, working from the top down. Then use a garden hose with a long-handled soft-bristle brush to wash the walls. If you have a wooden house, it’s best not to use the high pressure of a water blaster to clean your paint work.
• A high-pressure sprayer makes light work of washing dirty or mildewed bricks or masonry.
• Paths, steps and parking areas can benefit from being power washed, to get rid of any slippery mildew that tends to gather over the wet months.
• If you don’t own a water blaster, you can rent one for the day, or ask around the neighbours and you may be able to borrow one.