How to Create an Eye-Catching Invitation to Your Home
Did you ever see a house or home plan image that truly intrigued you at first sight – the one that invited a second or third look because of its inexplicable charm and warmth? It may have been the attractive front courtyard, the cobblestone pathway, the porch, or the front door that left such a strong visual imprint.
Stop and take in the delightful features of this charming 2-bedroom, 2-bath Craftsman-style Bungalow home plan. The flowers and plants, covered front porch, and barn-style garage door are part of its curb appeal. (Plan #144-1009).
What that home plan expressed to a complete stranger was its tremendous curb appeal, an overall feature desired by every homeowner. Today, the challenge is how to improve a home’s curb appeal to make it more interesting and fascinating.
Whether you intend to build a “forever” home from house plans or buy and “flip” an existing house, here are eight helpful tips on how to increase its curb appeal.
1. Do the obvious before you embark on specific upgrades
Give your house a “spring cleaning.” How about a thorough washing of the exterior, including the roof and windows to get rid of the dirt and dust? Then turn your attention to the lawn and/or garden: pull the weeds; trim the grass; plant new shrubs and flowers; check that the sprinklers are working.
Sometimes, all you need are a good “scrub” and a coat of paint to do the trick.
Left: A clean roof and windows are part of a home’s curb appeal. You can buy or rent tools to do power washing. Right: As the spring and summer months come, a manicured lawn is a delightful sight for all. Along with the lawn upkeep, check that the sprinklers are working.
2. Create an interesting pathway.
Make the walk to your front door pleasant and invigorating. Instead of just a plain gravel or concrete path, how about cobblestones, or a graded walkway framed by flowers and shrubs?
Left: A rather simple graded pathway to a 1-story, 2-bedroom Country home plan is made more interesting by the flower pots at the base of the steps and the shrubbery that frames it (Plan #138-1003). Right: There are a lot of attractive features to this 2-story, 4-bedroom Georgian Colonial-style house plan. But you’ll most likely stop because of the flowers and colorful trimmed shrubs flanking its pathway (Plan #146-1263).
3. Add a “homey” touch to the front door.
Today, most front doors already make a fashion statement with their unusual shapes and sizes, decorative glass panes, and trim. But even if your door is classically simple, you can add to its charm by hanging a seasonal wreath or adding potted plants and flowers positioned at the corners.
Take your pick - seasonal wreaths for the front door. Left: Yellow spring flowers in a brick orange pot provide a perfect contrast to the dark green door. Center: A traditional fall wreath and hanging plants adorn the brown door. Right: A bright mix of spring-summer flowers and a tiny birdhouse cheer up the white front door.
A pair of potted plants framing the colorful front door of this 1-story, 3-bedroom, 2-bath Craftsman-style house plan is another element that enhances its curb appeal (Plan #142-1082).
This 1-story, 3-bedroom Craftsman-style Cottage home plan packs a lot of curb appeal on that welcoming porch. There are a wreath on the door, potted flowers, a welcome mat, hanging pots framing the front window, a colorful bench for outdoor seating, and a landscaped mailbox (Plan #142-1067).
4. Add a splash of color.
The most popular way of adding color to a home is painting the door or front window; or the sides of the garage. Some homeowners usually choose something bright – red, orange, yellow, vibrant blue – to have a splash of color against a white, gray, cream, or neutral exterior. You can also use materials like natural wood, which has a variety of colors that can highlight that front entryway.
Left: A red front door with a decorative glass pane brightens the porch of this 1-story, 3-bedroom Country-style home plan (Plan #141-1243). Right: The front room and sides of the garage of this 1-story, 3-bedroom Craftsman-style Ranch house plan are painted blue to contrast with the cream tones of the exterior (Plan #142-1064).
The hues of natural wood provide the pop of color to this striking 2-story, 3-bedroom Bungalow-style home plan. The columns supporting the porch and the railing complement the warm brown shades of the window trim and the door (Plan #149-1009).
5. Add window boxes.
For some house plan styles – like Cottages, Country homes, Farmhouses, Colonials, and small homes – window boxes with colorful flowers, plants, and even herbs make sense. They add a welcoming feel and warmth to the home plan – not to mention its curb appeal.
Left: Window boxes with red and yellow flowers dress up the windows of this home. Right: Everything you ever wanted in a Farmhouse-style home plan, including a colorful window box outside the second floor window, is here. This 2-story, 4-bedroom house plan features a well-manicured front lawn, trimmed hedges, potted flowers that frame the entryway, and attractive columns that support the porch (Plan #189-1011).
6. Make optimal use of lighting fixtures.
Your home should be attractive both during the day and at night. Choose lighting fixtures that are functional and eye-catching to enhance the home’s exterior facade. Think of adding solar path lights to guide guests to your front door; up-lighting positioned in the landscaping creates dramatic effect; low lights leading to the garage door are also a great idea.
Perfect night lighting: This 2-story, 5-bedroom European Country-style home plan is easy to get to at night with its well-lit entry way. There are lamps perched atop the stone columns of the pathway and hanging lights on the covered porch. Another light sconce is positioned on the right facade as well as solar lights along the path and within the shrubbery on the landscaped lawn (Plan #161-1030).
7. Build a fence around the house.
A nice and simple fence can show off your house plan from a distance – and make it stand out in the neighborhood. Or what about a picket fence? The popular and very-much-in-demand classic white fence is decorative, charming, and practical (keeps little kids and/or pets safe inside your property) – and it enhances curb appeal tremendously.
A short fence adds to the country charm of this 2-story, 4-bedroom Farmhouse-style home plan. At one end are stone columns that support a light sconce to illuminate the entryway at night (Plan #134-1344).
A picket fence, anyone? The classic and popular white picket fence of this 3-bedroom Ranch-style house plan presents a welcoming and beautiful sight to any onlooker. The delightful blooms on the curb are a lovely touch (Plan #141-1255).
8. Plant a garden in the front yard.
Finally, don’t neglect the front yard. There’s nothing like flowers and plants to brighten and cheer up any space – no matter how small. Try to squeeze in a front garden to make your home’s exterior more pleasant and inviting.
Left: An unassuming home gets a second look because of the lovely patch of flowers and plants in the small garden just outside the front path. Right: If you have a tree in your front yard, “dress it up” by surrounding it with flowers and rocks.
Left: Keep it simple but inviting: Shrubs mixed with a few flowers line the side and front of the covered porch of this 2-story, 3-bedroom Cottage-style home plan (Plan #142-1096). Right: A twist to “dressing up” a tree on your front yard is the small garden built around a tall lamp post on the pathway of this 1-story, 3-bedroom Acadian-style house plan. There’s another small patch of flowers and plants just in front of the door (Plan #142-1015).
As you get ready to work on sprucing up your home’s curb appeal, remember it’s an expression of your personality as well as an invitation to your home. Keep it interesting and welcoming!
Footnote: The lead image in this article is from a 5-gable, 2-story, 4-bedroom Craftsman-style house plan with an eye-catching red front door. For more information, click here (Plan #146-2797).