You only get one shot at a first impression, so you probably want your house to make a good one. (And with the holidays fast approaching, you’ll probably have more people over than you usually do.) It’s why having a welcoming home that delights friends and family as soon as they round your bend is important. Curb appeal sets the tone for their visit. A warm, inviting home exterior says “Come on in!” An unadorned home exterior says the opposite.
But don’t worry If you’re lacking in the curb appeal department, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make your house look great. These five tips for adding curb appeal on a budget will make your home feel brand-new no matter how long you’ve lived in it. They’ll also set a cozy tone for your guests and make gatherings more joyful… and isn’t that the point of the holidays, after all?
1. Go Green
Ok, this one seems obvious, but I’m always shocked by how many people have next to no plants, trees, or flowers in their yard. Adding greenery to the front of your home adds texture, dimension, and a natural element to an otherwise man-made structure, and it makes your home more colorful, unique, and inviting overall. Better still, surrounding yourself with plants improves your mental health. According to a Boston University study, expanding green space in residential areas helped to improve cognitive function in middle-aged women; greenery also decreases depression, which is a risk factor for dementia.
For a quick boost of fun flora, add window boxes or place potted plants on your front steps. If you’re feeling even more ambitious, plant flowers — like pansies, which are easy to grow and hard to kill — or a shrub, which are best planted in the fall, according to Home Depot.
2. Upgrade Your Mailbox
Talk about decor that delivers. You most likely open and close it every day, so you probably don’t even notice your mailbox anymore — but sprucing up small details like this can make a big difference to your home’s exterior. Replace your plain mailbox with a more decorative option or a box that better matches the style of your home. If you’re feeling crafty, you can fix up the one you already have with a fresh coat of paint, some plants around its base, and your family’s name written on the front or side. You can even line the inside of your mailbox with a fun, patterned paper to give it an all-over refresh. (Bonus: This will delight your mailman every time he peers inside). If you want more mailbox makeover ideas, check out One Crazy House for inspiration.
3. Level Up Your Lighting
What’s the point of making your house look great if nobody can see it once the sun goes down? Outdoor lighting adds drama, dimension, and safety (due to increased visibility). Try lining your pathways and front steps with solar landscape lighting; solar lighting uses panels to absorb light from the sun rather than requiring an electricity connection, which saves on utility costs and makes your home more eco-friendly. Not needing electricity also makes installation more convenient, and it allows you to light your landscape even in areas where electrical wiring doesn’t reach. For additional lighting, flank your front door with large, flameless, electric candles (Buy from Amazon, set of two for $29.99) that add visual warmth and romance without worrying about a fire hazard.
4. Add More Door Decor
The front door is the final frontier between your home’s inside and its outside, so you want it to leave a lasting impression. But you don’t need to replace your entire door in order to upgrade it. As Emile L’Eplattenier suggests in The Close, simply adding a new door-knocker or handle is a quick and easy way to beautify your door. Try this classy lion’s head, which is historically believed to act as a guardian over the home; the animal symbolizes “strength, pride, protection, and power,” according to Willow and Stone. Alternatively, show your guests how much you love your pup with a dog head door-knocker (though his or her bark when a visitor knocks may be louder than the door-knocker itself). If a door-knocker isn’t your style, consider buying or making a wreath that reflects the season or your personality. Create an especially autumnal band to hang on your front door using leaves, branches, or pinecones; for examples, check out these fall DIY wreaths via The Pioneer Woman.
5. Roll Up Your Sleeves
Nothing in life is truly free, but you don’t have to pull out your wallet for this last tip. Good, old-fashioned work can turn your house into the neighborhood gem. To make the front of your home look more put-together, shine your doorknobs (this may require different cleaning products, depending on what they’re made of), wash your windows (pay attention to the weather; if it’s sunny and bright outside, your cleaner will dry up faster on the glass, which can make your windows look streaky), trim unruly bushes, and declutter your yard by picking up sticks or raking stray leaves. It’s amazing what a few chores can do for your house’s appearance.
Finished perfecting the outside of your house? Check out our ideas for making the inside of your home just as beautiful.
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