Curb appeal is something most people think of during spring and summer, when the gardens are coming out of hibernation and everyone is looking forward to color and life. But we don’t want your home to look great for only half a year! That’s why we’ve got six ideas for creating curb appeal now, next season, and every one throughout the year.
These ideas will add a “wow factor” that will make you love coming home each day, and even make the neighbors stop and notice.
1. Add A Water Feature
Ponds are a wonderful way to add color, texture, sound and motion to your space. And ponds aren’t just for back yards! They can add tremendous curb appeal when placed in front, and you don’t need a lot of space to do it.
Ponds come in all shapes and sizes, from simple “pondless” waterfalls that give you many of the benefits of a pond in a small space, to larger ecosystem ponds full of plants, fish, and other wildlife.
Beyond ponds and waterfalls, you can add just about any water feature for an eye-catching and sensory experience. Bubblers, water columns and fountains are great ways to not only include a one-of-a-kind focal point, but they’re great for attracting birds, butterflies and wildlife for added appeal.
As for four season beauty, you might be surprised by just how stunning a water feature can look even during the coldest winter months. You may not want your pond to freeze over, but a frozen waterfall or bubbler is a work of art!
2. Get Rid Of Your Lawn
If you spend hours toiling away to keep your lawn lush and green – mowing, fertilizing, watering… and crying into your iced coffee when summer drought restrictions turn it to hay – it’s time to think differently!
There’s no landscaping rule that says you need to maintain a big lawn, or any lawn at all. In fact, you can have far more stunning curb appeal without one. So what can a lawn-less yard look like?
Imagine beds of wildflowers, gardens of natural stone, porches and seating areas, tall, swaying ornamental grasses, containers full of your favorite blooms, fabulous artwork, and yes, water features.
All of these things can be designed to create a truly harmonious landscape that changes color and texture with each season, and won’t once require a lawn mower.
3. Get Your Driveway Involved
As long as you’re losing your preconceived notions of what a “front yard” should be, how about doing the same with your driveway? Say goodbye to asphalt and utilitarian black surfaces. Think about gorgeous paving stones instead.
There are stone pavers, brick pavers, concrete pavers – each with different color and style options. Plus with all that variety, you can design some pretty impressive driveways. Stones can be laid in different patterns for different effects, from herringbone, to running bond for a cobblestone effect, to interlocking I-patterns for a more traditional “random” look. You can even design within a design, for example, by adding a circular pattern for added interest.
Different colors can be used together to enhance designs, like including darker stones to delineate edges. Depending on the type, style and pattern you choose, paving stones can add everything from modern simplicity to old world appeal. And through elegant design, instead of a ho-hum driveway, you’ll have a gorgeous hardscape.
4. Take Advantage Of Natural Elements
One surefire way to add unique and traffic-stopping curb appeal is to take advantage of what others in the neighborhood are probably in a hurry to eliminate.
Think of that big old tree that died last winter. Are you dreading the mess and cost involved in digging out the stump? Then don’t do it! Use what Mother Nature has given you and incorporate it into the design of your landscape. It can literally become its own element, or you can use it as part of another element, like a platform for a container garden, or if it’s tall enough, as a pedestal for a natural table.
If there are any larger, interesting branches you can even use those as a design piece, or cut down smaller branches and twigs to tie up with a great ribbon and place into a stunning container on your porch.
The same goes for that big boulder you’re planning to dig out. Rather than removing it, think of it as a built-in work of art. Incorporate it into your flower beds or rock garden for a natural focal point.
You can even take advantage of poor soil by using container gardens instead of struggling to grow something that isn’t suited to the spot. Or consider adding natural stone to create a hardscape. You can even add both! Container gardens atop a natural hardscape will be much lower maintenance and look great, too. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
5. Go Up
If you really want to do something different, add a structure like a trellis, gazebo or arbor to your yard. You may think of these as traditionally “back yard” additions, which is exactly why they’ll make such an impact when placed up front.
Instead of growing rose bushes, how about growing roses up the frame of a natural wood gazebo? Instead of the typical front yard walkway, why not line yours with trellises wound with sweet pea? For homes with pathways that lead straight to a front door, add a romantic archway adorned with wisteria.
The wonderful thing about naturally constructed structures like these is that whether the vines are blooming or not, they still add visual interest and beauty to your landscape.
6. Use Lighting
Who says curb appeal has to vanish when the sun does? There’s no reason your front yard can’t be conversation-worthy by the light of the moon – or even on the darkest night of the year.
Tiny string lights added to your gazebo or archway can make an already-stunning feature truly magical at night. Underwater lighting adds special appeal to ponds and waterfalls. Spotlights can highlight everything from those lovely bubblers to a favorite piece of outdoor art. Walkway lighting can invite and welcome visitors.
There are myriad effects that you can achieve with lighting, from the romantic to the dramatic. And there are just as many techniques to accomplish it – uplighting, down lighting, house washing, moon lighting, lighting under eaves, lighting under benches and porches, and even the use of special, decorative fixtures like lanterns and globes.
Good lighting design will highlight and enhance landscape elements, incorporating both light and shadow so that you can enjoy its changing effects year-round.
What’s more, lighting allows you to actually use and enjoy your outdoor space during the evening hours rather than simply closing up shop and waiting for daylight.
We hope we’ve inspired you to think about curb appeal in a completely different way, beyond the green lawn and the pretty front door. If you’d like to explore how we can add the “wow” into your landscape, contact us for a consultation. We’ll listen to your vision and share our recommendations for a truly spectacular outdoor space.