01: Impressions — published on March 6, 2009

Little changes can create big appeal

Some suggestions for giving a home some instant curb appeal:

Front door. Consider your front door the focal point and give it fresh paint in a color that is harmonious with your home’s fa├žade and shutters. Keep debris and clutter off the front porch. House numbers, kick plates and door knobs should be clean and in good condition. The front door mat should be new and a welcoming sight.

Lawn and beds. Ninety percent of Hampton Roads front yards consist of mulch beds and turf grass areas. Green grass and brown mulch with well-defined bed lines are always more appealing. Keep 3 inches of mulch to deter weeds, thus creating a neatly maintained look. To emphasize a crisp look, place a 4-inch “v” trench between turf and mulched areas; use large arching curves to define your beds.

High impact color. Masses of colorful annuals at the base of your porch help to pull the eye to the front door. This also can be achieved with colorful container gardens on the porch.

Shrubs. Never allow shrubs to grow in front of windows; overgrown shrubs age a home and reduce its perceived size.

Walkways. Wide, sweeping, level walkways set an inviting stage for guests arriving at your home. A 4-foot to 6-foot width is usually recommended for front walks. Walks should be finished in a complimentary color and pattern to your home’s architecture.


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