Increasing the curb appeal of your home doesn't need to be a paint project that lasts all summer long--you don't need to paint your entire home in order to bump up it's appearance. Oh, that always helps--and really, nothing will accomplish a complete renewal of your home than a new paint job--but it's not always necessary. Here are 8 sure-fire ways--easy ways--to increase the visual "pop" of your home:
- FRONT DOORS: Your front doors can offer you a great opportunity to say something unique and interesting about your home. Many folks fall back on a safe standard--a maroon or a forest green--but don't let that be the case with your home. Branch out a little. Be a little daring. Go with a bright green, a bold red, a warm yellow. It's a small area in the grand scheme of things--after all, a front door is basically 21 square feet. So, it's a drop in the bucket when you think about the entire exterior of your home. But this little drop can have some impact if you pick the right color!f
- GARAGE DOORS: Another surface that gives you a great opportunity when it comes to exterior decorating are your garage doors. Take a look at yours and see if there's a way to infuse some color into that surface. And really, don't feel you have to paint the whole thing one big, bright, bold color. You could paint it a slightly darker color than the rest of your trim and then use either a lighter or darker color yet to accent the different raised panels in the door. There are any number of creative things you could try--our point here is to just open your mind to the possibilities. Don't look at that door as just a big hunk of metal that hides the opening of your garage! Look at it as a canvas--a place to throw some color and increase the visual appeal of your home.
- SHUTTERS: Most of our homes have shutters. And most of us have painted those shutters the same color as we've painted our front doors. And really, that's not necessarily bad. But, don't always assume that there are no other options. Look at your shutters and try to imagine what a color darker or lighter than your door color would do. What would another color altogether add? Shutters don't take up a lot of space and so a bright, bold color that WORKS with your other colors can infuse some significant life into a boring exterior.
- LIGHT POSTS and RAILINGS: This is one of my favorite ideas--mainly because its just something I've never really given much thought to before. See, most of us spend time thinking about the colors we'll put on our doors or our siding that we never really give much thought to extraneous things like railings and light posts. Oh, we figure we'll just accent them in white or maybe black depending on the rest of the color scheme, but rarely do we ever give them much consideration on their own. So break out of that mindset. Give some thought to your railings and your lightposts. What colors could you put on those surfaces that would really infuse your home with interest?
- LAWN FURNITURE: The fifth item we're going to talk about is something that's not permanently affixed to your home: lawn furniture. Many of us have Adirondack chairs or other items like this that take up a place of prominence on our yards. They are usually more practical than decorative--they're the places we hang out and relax over the summer months. But just because they're practical doesn't mean that they can't be decorative as well. Rather than rely on the standard white, why not branch out into some bold colors, some bright colors . . . some fun colors? Because these aren't permanent items, you can move them, put them away for the winter, etc. So, don't be afraid to go bold with your colors.
- FLOWER BOXES: Not every house has flower boxes attached beneath the windows anymore. But for those of you who have these, don't forget that they can be used not just to carry a bunch of color in the form of flowers! They can also be painted with interesting colors to add a little excitement to the big blank exterior of your home. Because these are small, you can paint them easily and, if you put some time and thought into the color selection AND the flowers you plant in them . . . you could have an amazing summer result! So don't overlook them.
- WINDOW TRIM: This one's an obvious choice, but again, so often, we overlook it on our own homes. So many times, we assume that trim needs to be either dark brown or white. But that's not the case. Oh, you want to be a little careful with your color choices because painting window trim isn't the most exciting or pleasant project out there . . . but don't be afraid to stretch your boundaries a little. Sometimes a slightly darker or lighter version of your siding or your front door accents can really "class-up" an exterior. So don't just settle on the standards--think bigger!
- OUT BUILDINGS: One last area that we're going to cover in this article is your outbuildings. You know, those little sheds we've all got crammed full of lawnmowers and kids toys. Most of us paint them very conservatively. We turn them into little tiny duplicates of our homes--same colors, same look. Or, we branch out a little and coat them with a nice, safe white. Or, maybe a wood-colored stain. Well, I'm not saying it's the right answer for everybody, but for some of us, a bold color on a building like this can create a huge splash of visual interest for the exterior of your home. And by "bold", I don't mean it has to be red or bright green. It could be a deep, navy blue. It could be a charcoal building with lime-green highlights. It could be anything. Think about it!
Well, you get the idea. The point is this: think big! Be bold with your color choices and be creative with the surfaces you decide to paint. Small surfaces on and around your home can be painted quickly and easily for very little money. But these same surfaces, when coated with the perfect color, will slow traffic and walkers as they pass your house. They'll take a look. And they'll go home and they'll start looking for ways to add interest to their exteriors!