Simple Ways to Add Charm to your Home
One of the first things you will hear from a realtor is the importance of "curb appeal" when selling or buying a home! If your have sold a home, you already know that this is extremely important! What your home looks like on the exterior can really impact what impressions people may have of the rest of your house. All of us want our homes to be inviting and appealing to our friends and family or even potential buyers if we are selling. As someone who has experience in the real estate industry, I can give you some tips on the best things that improve the look and how to make improvements that make the most impact but don't necessarily cost a great deal of money to improve.
This last weekend, I made some of those changes to my own home and I will show you what I did and why I think it needed them. Part of those changes where also personal style and taste, but no matter your style, the principals of impact are still the same. Now as I show you these pictures, know that this is still a work in progress. I still have work to do in the flower beds and refreshing mulch but with a few $ in paint and some imagination, I turned this pretty bland exterior into something of a french cottage by just playing up the shutters with a new paint color! Take a look at the before color of the shutters.
I'm not really opposed to brown shutters in general, in fact, I think most of my neighborhood has brown shutters. There are a few cream and gray mixed in and so it all looks appealing as a whole. About 75% of the homes in my neighborhood are large 3000+ sq ft and two story. My home however, was one of the first to be built and is 1 story with a bonus room over the garage, so we can say 1 1/2 stories with 2500 sq ft. What it lacks in size is made up in character. The exterior is interesting in that the front door is recessed back from the garage and front of the house creating kind of a cottage feel being tucked back with a long walk that goes past flower beds. I love the stone on the house (honestly, really could use some more) but it also gives it that cottage feel. I wanted to enhance this look with a french cottage color and decided on a dusty blue. I painted the shutters with a base coat that was a pretty bright blue, then gray-washed it giving it the softer aged color. Here is a look at the new cottage blue shutters:
I really love how it turned out! It makes it feel like a little cottage in France (well....I can pretend, anyway) By changing the color it complements the brick and stone facings and instead of blending in, gives it a subtle pop of color.
The next change was freshening up the front door with a new wreath and matching welcome mat. I already had the topiary plant. I still need to sand down the door and restain it. It faces the east and gets full afternoon sun so it wrecks havoc on the door. That is on my to do list. One little disclaimer before you look at the pic of the door: I did notice after I blew up the picture of the front door, that the foot ledge had green pollen on it! OMG! Embarrassing! I swept and cleaned up the porch but didn't notice that until later, as everything seems to be covered in the green pollen layer these days! (sigh)
I planted some new plants in the front gardens; adding more color of purple, white and yellows which also lends to a more cottage feel. I still want to add a few more plants, new mulch and finish the door, but just by changing the color on the shutters, adding the wreath and mat, and of course sweeping the space; it made everything look more inviting and homey.
So best tips for adding "charm and curb appeal"?
1. Add some color either on shutters or a bench up front, if you don't have shutters.
2. A wreath or swag on the door also adds color and welcome to a home.
3. Make sure your porch is swept and clean. (cobwebs & dirt is not welcoming to guest or potential home buyers and is suprisingly often the most neglected part of the home)
4. Add a welcome mat. (It is not only functional but asthetically appealing and welcoming)
5. A potted plant or flowers adds interest and looks pretty. (landscaping is sometimes a big expense but freshening mulch and adding a few flowers or potted flowers to a porch can have a big impact if you are wanting more curb appeal).
6. Keep grass clipped and edged to give it a well-manicured look. (This tells potential buyers that you take care of the inside as well)
I hope you find these tips helpful! I often find myself driving by homes and wanting to fix or change this or that to make it look prettier! Yes, I know, I have a problem! LOL! But in all seriousness, the homes that did these simple things before they sold a house, were quicker to sell and typically made more money on the sale.
I will keep you posted on the final look of my new and improved "cottagey" house and gardens in the upcoming weeks. I am also working diligently on the bedroom remodel for our master which I will be revealing soon! Tomorrow I will be welcoming a guest blogger, who just so happens to be my daughter, Emily. She is job shadowing me for a school project (the last of her 8th grade assignments), and will be writing her own post about one of her hobbies! I won't spoil it by telling you about it though!
Until next time......be your charming self!