There’s always this one house (or perhaps two or three) that sets you off when you’re out and about on an afternoon stroll. This house somehow makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand whenever you pass by it. It may be a haunted house, with the tortured souls of their former inhabitants lingering around, not wanting to be separated from their lovely abode. Or, more simply, this house could just have the ghastliest curb appeal you’ve ever seen.
So what do you exactly mean by “curb appeal”?
Curb appeal refers your home’s appearance on the outside. Good curb appeal means people living here are angels. No curb appeal means you’re not likely to have visitors.
In line with a very British culture, appearance of your house is as important as the time you take your afternoon tea. This is why you should never forget these minute yet very vital details, lest you want to end up unwittingly keeping people away.
Detail #1: Windows
They say eyes are windows to the soul and so windows are the windows to the soul of the house (it’s more romantic in thought, mind you). Therefore, clean windows mean a clean house, while dirty windows mean a very unkempt and dirty house.
If you’re a fan of movies filled with haunted houses, then you’d know windows are one of the key elements in determining whether it’s really haunted or not. Even common sense would tell you creepy windows absolutely equal a creepy house.
First of all, clean your windows. Add some soul to them. Add bars and glass (if you don’t have those yet) then clean them again (you can never go wrong) until they shine.
Don’t be afraid to add things to design your windows. Curtains, you may say, but those are too ordinary! Stained glass, too church-like (unless you really want it that way). Be more unique than that. Try flower boxes for added aesthetics, or stylish window awnings for form and function, or maybe even roller shutters for those paranoid enough for security.
You can add basically anything (Okay, not exactly anything) just don’t make them bare or else you’ll be committing one huge design sin.
Detail #2: The Front of Your House
Remember when you told yourself you could carry out your own home improvements? That you could design the front part of your house and that you would do it so impeccably that it will knock the socks off your neighbours? Well, you might have been right on knocking the socks off people with surprise.
If you’re not good at designing (or anything DIY for that matter), don’t even try.
Sure, you may not exactly be pinning your old plush toys on your walls, but you may as well end up committing a similar mistake by taking things into your own hands willy-nilly. There’s nothing wrong with doing it yourself but think things through before doing such a feat. Lack of consultation from design professionals can result in ghastly design that may leave you having no guests for a considerably long period of time.
The best way to greet your visitors (assuming they’re actually welcomed) should be with a warm appearance, as if you’re home is a lush inn where they could only stay for a while when, secretly, they’re wishing they can stay there forever.
Traditional verandas over your front door with added stylized lamps can make a picturesque scene and would make them think they’re in a mini version of a Downton Abbey-like ancestral home. A stunning and unique mailbox with an added twist can also be a plus, just to make them jealous as hell.
Detail #3: Symmetry
The world needs balance—a balance of black and white, of good and bad, of yin and yang, of corrupt officials and good officials, of stupid people and smart people, of good music and of horrible random keys passed off as music.
Your house needs balance too in order to blend in with how the world goes. A good balance in your house’s design creates a perfect symmetry that makes it relaxing and appealing to look at.
Balance, in design at least, means the right mix of this and that. Not having the exact opposite of things. It doesn’t mean that you have white walls for your living room you should paint the walls of the next room black.
If you have a stunning lamppost near your gates, add another similar on the other side. The gate itself, placed neatly in the middle should be illuminated and enchanting enough to “entice” visitors in your home.
Now that’s a good example of adding symmetry and balance (in design). This creates an aura of simple yet elegant grandeur and “evens out” the design of your house. The good thing about symmetry is that it’s not only pleasing to the eyes but it’s also the simplest to arrange.
As long as you’re not one of those people at the other end of the intelligence spectrum, everything will be fine.
Detail #4: The Right Accents
And no, not accents like Cockney, Scottish or Welsh. Little additions like railings, fences or tiles and whatnot are like the accessories of the home. They’re simple enough but it can either make or break the entire look.
Yes, it’s your house and you think that you can do anything and everything you want with it. You may be its owner but having the power over such a structure can possibly make you go bonkers, just like what Henry VIII did with his 6 wives.
When it’s too much, it simply is too much. Every little detail that needs to be added to your exterior should have a purpose and not just as if it was plastered on the walls randomly. And there is a difference between artistic vandalism and trashy vandalism.
Do it little by little with a purpose, and perhaps do a little poem in your head to remind yourself the purpose of everything you may want to add:
Tiles on the doorstep or around flower pots,
For added highlights on your garden’s lovely spots!
Adorable wooden fences are so quaint,
It will make people think your house is a saint.
A walkway of stone steps against the grass,
So as to show you’re not such an arse!
Disclaimer: Our designing skills are better than our poetry writing skills, we promise you.
It’s best to be reminded that additions like these don’t just make our houses feel as if they’re worthy of being used as a backdrop for the likes of Pride and Prejudice or even Downton Abbey, it also increases their value in the market. Now you can boast to your friends that you just added another 0 at the end of the amount before just by adding a fence round your property.
Detail #5: The Garage
Besides being one of the best places to look for young, fresh and possibly quite inexperienced bands in the music industry, garages are one of the first things you can see on someone’s property. So it’s definitely one of those things you need to consider when developing your curb appeal.
As mentioned earlier, you’re not a Henry VIII (or Queen Elizabeth) of the “I-can-do-anything-I-want-to-my-house-with-my-own-bare-hands” era. Having to do it yourself isn’t a show of masculinity or to prove you can do what men can do, it will just mean that you’ll end up failing it all.
First of all, swallow your pride. You’re human. You can’t do everything and that’s alright. Second (and this one for your home and not for you), think outside the box, but with functionality in mind. There are a dozen different ways to “glam up” your garage without sacrificing the reason why you have one in the first place. Consider renovating your garage and change it into a Vertico garage door that opens sideways instead of the regular up and down. A simple upgrade on your garage doors can do wonders not only on your home’s appearance but also its value.
Detail #6: The Garden is Everything
We’re British. Gardens are one of the things we should and could fight to the death for. It’s that vital in our lives.
Being war crazy can make you bonkers crazy for gardening that you tend to overdo it. And by overdo, meaning, you end up planting every garden plant species known to man, monkey, insect, and aliens. And that could be dangerous. For one thing, it will cover up your own house and you’ll have your makeshift forest around you.
A garden is a haven where we can relax. While gardening is a warzone, the output of it should be a creative representation of the struggles you have experienced.
A good garden has a variety of plants, flowers, and even creative ways of gardening, like container gardening, for example. A berm for added height won’t hurt and can add shape to a property. Well trimmed bushes and trees are good too as it means the gardener is fighting a good fight taking care of it.
These details may seem insignificant at first, but when you think about it, they add up to a large portion of your home. And why not consider them? If they can make your home more comfortable and more appealing, then they certainly are worth the time, effort, and money for.
Why not be on top of all your neighbours with a stunningly refined curb appeal?