New England weather is so fascinating.  Last week our temps were hovering around 10 degrees, we had a snowstorm and now the last few days have been in the 50’s!  All the snow has melted so I took the opportunity to put away the outdoor Christmas decor.  I couldn’t help but notice just how many home imperfections stand out this time of year!  Maybe it’s because there is no greenery or color to distract the eye?  Or maybe with all the brown drab colors out there, it makes any paint color really stand out?

Whether you begin to plan some spring changes to your home or you are getting it ready for the real estate market, it’s a good idea to spruce up your exterior.  I said this last week, but I love this time of year for planning.  Since not much can actually be done at this time, now is the time for the leg work.  Get those paint quotes!  Get any outdoor construction quotes.  Plan your landscape or entry ideas and price them out if possible.

To help with some exterior inspiration, here are my top 5 tips for creating standout curb appeal!

By Minneapolis General Contractors Sicora Design/Build via The Creativity Exchange

#1.  Paint:  I can’t stress enough how much impact a simple thing such as paint can make.  Exterior painting is a bit more challenging than indoor so it’s best to consult your local paint store or consider hiring a painter.  The existing paint needs to be really clean and any spots that are peeling need to be scraped, sanded and primed.  Also, the air temperature and weather play a role as well.  Even sprucing up trim alone can make a huge difference!  Don’t forget to paint the front door and garage door while you are at it.  This is the most important thing you can do for your home’s curb appeal!

by Anne Thornton Interiors

#2.  Entryway:  The front door is SO important.  This should have a fresh coat of paint.  If it’s in really bad shape look into replacing it with something really charming.  Check your front steps and be sure they are safe.  Assess if they could use a sprucing.  Sometimes all it takes is a fresh coat of sealant or concrete to make them look new again.  You can also get fancier and “cap” concrete with stone.  Another simple, inexpensive addition is a welcome mat to warm up all the hard edges out there.  Here is one that I love from Target.  It’s large and costs only $22 right now!  Flanking the steps or front door with planters is also a great idea and makes the entryway so inviting.

Project from Pioneer Construction

#3.  Landscaping:  This is another favorite of mine as far as big impact.  Swapping out overgrown shrubs for more appropriate-sized plantings is always a win.  Or simply planting shrubs where there were none creates impact.  Take into consideration how much sun is available, the different seasons, colors and blooms as well as height and size.  Local nurseries are wonderful at helping out with this.  Some charge a small fee for a design plan and usually waive the fee if you buy the plants from them.

Photo by Paper White Homes

#4.  Lighting:   This can be a pricey fix or totally budget-friendly.  It really depends on your style.  However, I will say there are so many sites out there that have great lighting – it’s worth it to do some leg-work here.  You can find similar lighting on sites like Wayfair and Joss & Main for a fraction of what lighting stores charge.  However, one caveat is sometimes these lights may not hold up quite as long.  Depending on the climate and location, it can be best to spend more to purchase better materials that will hold up to extreme temperature, salt water, snow/ice etc or prepare to replace inexpensive lighting every few years.

by Etsy Shop WoodDesigners

#5.  Exterior accessories:  Take the time to spruce up or replace things like flags, mailboxes, house numbers and even basketball hoops/nets.  Some of these items may just need a bit of spray paint.  Items such as house numbers can be replaced inexpensively.  You can even consider a pretty handmade plaque like this from Etsy.  It’s a simple way to add some charm to the exterior.

There you have it!  If you are planning on listing your home for sale this spring, these tips are a MUST to get buyers in the front door!  Otherwise, take this opportunity to plan out some changes you may want to make when the weather breaks.

Have a great weekend!

xo Sarah