Talk to any realtor, and they’ll tell you just how important curb appeal is in the value of a home. But we don’t need a realtor to tell us that curb appeal is just as important for the homeowners themselves as it is for prospective buyers – coming home to a house that looks inviting and well-tended from the outside is good for our psyches. But this can prove challenging in the cold, dreary, dormant months of fall and winter. Here’s some photographic inspiration for and illustration of ways to maintain fantastic curb appeal year-round.
The first, and perhaps easiest, thing to consider with curb appeal is cleanliness. Is the front porch accessible?
A tasteful bit of seasonal décor on the front door is always inviting, and the fall and winter months provide plenty of holiday opportunity to decorate.
Keeping the front porch stocked with a chair or two seems counterproductive in the colder months, but it actually provides a good place for carolers and/or holiday visitors to sit a minute. And it keeps the porch itself from looming large and barren.
Where plant life begins to fade and/or die off, it’s helpful to have well-looking accessories that can hold their own, visually, with or without plant life. An oversized, round concrete pot, for example, lends a definitive modern appeal.
Another look at an interesting, more au natural, concrete planter. The lower plant life detail is unique and could provide some fun hiding spaces for elves or leprechauns or whatever else comes out to play during the dreary months.
Keeping the walkway free of fallen leaves, snow, and other seasonal debris keeps the place looking kempt and cared for from the get-go.
You might consider trimming out an evergreen tree or shrub into an interesting shape, to make up for the loss of color and/or greenery elsewhere in the front. A spiral effect isn’t all that difficult to sculpt or maintain.
For a covered front porch, some interestingly shaped geometric pieces, such as these triangular side tables, provide a nice graphic contrast to the usual exterior shapes and silhouettes.
If the patio or a side living space is visible from the street, be sure to prepare it for winter by folding up or removing the umbrella, clearing away excess furniture, blowing away the leaves or snow, and keeping the space tidy overall.
It’s been said that good fences make good neighbors. This is probably true year-round.
I wonder if beautiful fences make beautiful neighbors? The privacy glass on the top of this fence provides fantastic style while maintaining light and privacy simultaneously.
Incorporating solid design into permanent fixtures, such as a fence, makes maintaining curb appeal in any season pretty easy.
I love the transition of materials in this fence while the design remains seamless. And the wood stain is going to look warm and welcome any time of year.
When possible, hide ugly outdoor things with more aesthetic things. Ornamental grasses provide nice coverage for unsightly sprinkler pipe controls, often well into the winter months.
Determine which of your landscaped plants holds their shape and colors well; keep these around for a while, even if you’ve put the rest of your yard “to bed” for the winter. Even one or two frothy-topped grasses, for example, helps to keep the yard feeling peacefully tidied.
A short fence on the corner of your lot looks decorative, softening the corner all by itself.
As a bonus, that same fence hides the electrical boxes and/or other utility markers from sight.
Simple landscaping, such as two tall, slim trees along a solid side of the house, can often provide all the visual effect you need. In the winter, when the leaves are gone, these trees’ branches will still stand out against the light grey of the home’s exterior.
Wide curbing around the landscaping is clean-lined and custom.
That same wide concrete curbing is used as ground trim throughout the entire yard’s landscape, including around the garden boxes.
Continuity in design and architectural accents, such as wide concrete curbing throughout, makes for a simple yet sophisticated whole. Curb appeal is enhanced even (especially?) by these small details.
Corner plant life vignettes are sometimes at their most beautiful in the fall, when the changing color of leaves enhances the plants’ differences in form and drape and size.
I wouldn’t be too quick to remove the fallen leaves in these instances; they add to the charm of fall.
When your landscaping intentionally involves variety in foliage, keeping the hedges compact and trimmed will serve to enhance that coloring.
Although the colors of summer have waned, you can keep your evergreen ornamental shrubs tidy and trim. Crop them fairly close for the winter, to minimize damage from heavy snowfall.
Many people have backyards that are fenced in and, therefore, tucked away from view. These spaces don’t necessarily need to worry about affecting curb appeal.
For other people, though, their side and back yards are visible from elsewhere. Although not front-and-center like the front, these spaces still play an important role in curb appeal.
Concrete slabs that mimic the front steps are present in this home’s somewhat visible back yard space. The gaps are softened by spongy green groundcover.
A blend of inside- and outside- aesthetics makes for a striking exterior space and, thus, better curb appeal. This detailed chair appears to be made out of concrete, which is an eye-catching juxtaposition. Coupled with more comfortable padding, one could easily imagine a pleasant time, hanging out here with a blanket and a steaming mug.
The corners and edges of this gorgeous backyard pergola and patio area are tempered with plant life that maintains its beauty well into the fall and winter seasons.
When plant life goes dormant, however, the design still incorporates plenty of natural wood finishes to keep the concrete and angular space from feeling harsh or stiff. This lends itself to excellent curb appeal.
A lovely summer garden is green and luscious and tidy; a lovely winter garden is not green or luscious but is still tidy.
Garden boxes are cleared of annual vegetable and herb plants that are done bearing for the year.
Plants that will bear a harvest next year (such as strawberries) are trimmed neatly and left alone to do their thing.
I sound like a broken record by now, but when a yard is well-tended and tidy, no matter what time of year it is, it will have curb appeal. A home’s exterior – including the yard – really does reflect on the interior.
Even in places where there’s no room (or desire) for yard-type stuff, a few key things help to make the style appear well-edited rather than sparse.
Slim, tinted concrete planters in a long rectangular shape fit perfectly against the side of the house without taking up too much real estate, but they provide visual interest next to a garage door wall.
A raked and mowed lawn going into the winter months not only looks better now, but it will also improve the health of your grass and make it come back to life more efficiently and beautifully in the spring. Form and function, even outside.
And keeping front-door-area glass cleaned always gives the home’s curb appeal a major boost.
The good thing about maintaining curb appeal throughout the fall and winter is that, once you’ve prepared your exterior effectively for the coming colder months, you can pretty much sit back and relax.