(guest post by Abe Knepp)
Whether you rent it or own it, your home is a place you should be proud of. That’s a lot easier when you know your place looks great from the street. If you’re in the mood to beef up your home’s curb appeal, here are five great ideas that can breathe new life into your landscaping.
Upgrade That Mailbox
Looking for a self-contained weekend project that will make a big difference in how your home looks from the curb? Show that mailbox a little TLC! A simple coat of fresh paint can do wonders for most long-suffering mailboxes. Black or white are your classic color choices, but you shouldn’t neglect possibilities like red and green as well.
Hit your local garden center and buy a few attractive plants to place around your mailbox. Opt for colorful choices, but stay away from anything that tends to grow too high. You don’t want to force your mail carrier to wade through a jungle when it’s time to deliver your letters!
Unlock The Power Of Symmetry
One of the best ways to multiply the impact of any landscaping improvements you make is to take symmetry into account. Although they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there are things you can do to stack the deck in your favor. The human eye naturally considers symmetrical arrangements to be orderly and attractive.
Use this to your advantage when you’re arranging potted plants, laying out flower beds, or installing window boxes. Pick a focal point for your home – the front door is an excellent example – and add the same planting touches on either side of it. This will give your home’s exterior an impressive formal air without a lot of work or expense.
Study Your Sunlight
Are you plagued by a patchy, uneven lawn? Take a little time to look closer. The odds are very good that your rough spots are caused by a little too much shade. Most domesticated varieties of grass need at least four hours of direct sunlight every day if they’re going to thrive.
If you’ve got an area that’s shaded for large parts of the day, you have a couple of options. You can consult your local garden center about alternative seed blends that do better in shady conditions and sew a little in your bare spots. Alternatively, clear the grass away from the troubled areas and pick another landscaping option. The shady side of your house might be the perfect spot for that rock garden you’ve been considering!
Opt For Stone Over Concrete
This tip is a little more effort and money-intensive than some of the others. If you have the opportunity, go for natural stone instead of concrete when it’s time to lay out paths and walkways. You have a virtually endless variety of different colors and textures to choose from, and you can go with either tightly-arranged flagstones or a more natural, random arrangement.
Just make sure to apply sealant to your new pavers if you pick out a porous type of stone. This will make your paths last longer without becoming stained. Some types of stone actually look better if they weather naturally, though. Study photos of new and old stones before you make your final choices.
Install A Little Lighting
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that landscaping is just a daytime job! You can do a lot to beautify your property during the after-dark hours, too. Investigate your outdoor lighting options to brighten up your yards and garden so they’re more attractive at night. You can achieve a wide variety of effects with subtle low-voltage lights that are easy to install and can be mounted virtually anywhere.
Your home’s landscaping gives you a great opportunity to express your creativity and your pride in your property. Any one of these projects can help liven the place up, and there are countless other great ideas out there for making more improvements. Pick out the ones that appeal the most to you and make your home distinctive!
Editor’s Note: Abe Knepp creates custom hardwood Amish cabinetry. You can learn more about him and the cabinets he makes at his website at www.ItsAmishMade.com.