Who just finished back to school shopping? *Raises hand* Why should the kids have all the fun of a fresh look and new supplies? Fall's a perfect time for one of life's little "do overs" — packed lecture halls excluded.
The easiest place to start fresh is at the front door. This is your curb appeal crib sheet. Once you've checked these items off the list, you'll be ready for the holidays before the last leaf falls.
Step One: Select a Style
Your house probably already have a style. Maybe it's midcentury modern or craftsman. Maybe you don't, though. If your house looks just like your neighbors', and it was built within the last 20 years, you can create an entirely new look with a few simple touches by amping up the curb appeal.
This crib sheet will help you create curb appeal for your Desert Modern house, or turn your run-of-the-mill ranch into a Desert Modern style, at least from the front.
Step Two: Make a List
Here's what you're going to want upgrade to improve curb appeal:
- Front Door or Entryway
- Plants & Containers
Pro tip: Select a style and stick to it!
Step Three: Go Shopping!
I'd be lying if I didn't say this is my favorite part. But there's a reason that Step One is about selecting your style because otherwise you'll want to grab everything that looks good and that will end up looking like a mess.
Grab your list and let's go.
Front Door Focus
Picture from Meg Quinn
Pro tip: Pick a palette that includes no more than 5 colors.
Start with a fresh coat of paint. Most exterior paint will cost you approximately $30 a gallon, and you can't beat that for a cheap fix that looks luxe & fresh. Pick a bold color that makes your house stick out, but make sure to match it to the rest of the colors on your house
Painting done, move on to the front door details. House numbers are functional, but they can also be stylish. We love this set whether on the house or closer to the street. And you can't go wrong with a little desert kitsch in the form of a Steer Skull door knocker.
Never miss the chance to roll out a warm welcome for your visitors. All-weather rugs and doormats provide functional front door flair and come in every color and style.
Check It: Mail Box Upgrade
What's a new paint job if the mailbox next to the door is ratty? Two of our picks offer extra security, while one is clean & elegant, guaranteed not to clash with other decor details.
Light it Up
There are three types of landscape lighting: functional lighting, task lighting, and ambient lighting. When buying new exterior light fixtures, consider both the style of your home and the function of the lights.
Entryway lights need to illuminate and provide safety. Task lighting is more utilitarian, and can either blend in and be unobtrusive or stand out with style. Look for fixtures that have the same mounting system as your current lights to save time & money. Check salvage shops; you might be able to find vintage lighting to match the age and look of your home. Make sure they're up to current code. You might need to re-wire.
Ambient lighting is the icing on the cake, and adds a warm glow to your outdoor living room. (Ignore the ocean in the background of these lanterns and garden torches. We think they're perfect for our Desert Modern look.)
Containers & Specimen Plants
Frame the front door with a trio of pots at different heights and plants that contrast in shape and form.
A small grouping of plants in classic terra cotta pots is a great way to add color to your entrance, while maintaining flexibility of easy seasonal change-outs.
If pots are too cluttery for you, consider planting a tree. It's one of the easiest ways to add curb appeal and value to your home. Always make sure that the mature size of the tree matches the space allotted for it. Create symmetry by planting a tree on either side of your walkway or driveway to frame the entrance. Look for interesting shapes when you're at the nursery picking out specimen plants.
Once you've hit the high points, take a look around and see if anything else is out of place. Do you have a hose hookup that could use an upgrade or needs to be hidden by a plant or pot? How about an entry walk that requires scrubbing, pressure washing, or a new finish? (Microdermabrasion — it's not just for your face!) Now that you've painted the front door, what about the garage door?
Once you're finished sprucing up, you might as well enjoy it, so pour your favorite cocktail, bring a comfy chair out to the front porch, and spy on your neighbors' reactions. Odds are they'll go next.