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I’ve spent a lot of time this summer wandering the streets of Toronto (with the pooch) looking for inspiration on easy-ish and budget-friendly ways to upgrade a home exterior. Minor details that don’t involve a second mortgage and a rebuild of the facade or the entire exterior. There were more hits than misses – okay, there were some definite misses in exterior house decor – but lots of hits.
Here are 5 easy tips for updating the exterior of your home – perfect projects for weekend warriors.
Nothing says hello like a bold front door. Be brave! Make a splash with the entrance to your home.
[Image via Decoist]
Ensure that the door coordinates and accents the style and colour of your exterior. You can find lots of inspiration in your neighbourhood, on Pinterest or through your favourite design blogs. And remember, it’s just paint, it’s not permanent. So when last year’s colour is next year’s yawn, you can easily change it – and it’s not even a full weekend project!
Splurge: Invest in a stunning handle set for your front door. I’m a big fan of keyless entry – you don’t have to keep track of keys for the dog walker, the house cleaner or your neighbours. And most of all, you don’t have to panic when you realize that you’ve left without the keys, again!
House numbers and a mailbox can add instant wow factor to the exterior of your home.
[Image via Apartment Therapy]
Mismatched, dated and worn house numbers and mailboxes are so ho-hum. You can find modern house numbers and a clean-lined mailbox from Home Depot for less than $75.00 total. Or, you can spend a little more (not a lot) for something that makes a bigger statement. I am a huge fan of classic Richard Neutra house numbers – if you don’t know them, google them, they’re clean, timeless and elegant.
Fox Marin Pro Tip: If you’ve decided to go bold with your front door, be careful about being too matchy-matchy or introducing too many colours (remember the FM mantra – less is more). Sometimes house numbers in black or brushed nickel can add more of a wow factor than brightly coloured numbers.
Black always anchors a space – interior and exterior!
[Image via Pinterest]
There is no getting away from black. It is a staple colour in interior and exterior design. You can paint your trim black, your front door black, or your whole house black. Or you can get black house numbers and a black mailbox or invest in a black door handle set. You can even get some beautiful black planters. Just make sure that somewhere on your home exterior, you’ve got at least one black element.
Splurge: Replace your existing windows with energy-efficient black windows. I LOVE LOVE LOVE black steel windows. Most budgets do not. You can find the look without totally breaking the bank with aluminum clad windows.
Lighting is as important in exteriors as it is in interiors.
[Image via Lonny]
Why does it seem like exterior lighting is an afterthought in so many homes? It shouldn’t be. Exterior lighting is as important as interior lighting! There are so many options – pendants, pot lights, and sconces, to name a few. Consider combining a few to ensure that the path to your door is inspired and illuminated. A nighttime stroll in your favourite neighbourhood will shed some light on the possibilities (pun intended – sorry!).
Fox Marin Pro Tip: Don’t overlook lighting in your front garden. A carefully placed uplight adds drama to foliage and an extra welcome when you or your guests arrive after dark.
A front yard without a little green just doesn’t say “welcome”.
[Image via Pinterest]
I’m a water it and forget it kind of girl – ok, full disclosure, I’m a mostly forget to water it kind of girl. I like to admire the hard work of avid gardeners but I’ll stick with low maintenance gardening. Just because it’s low maintenance doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful in all seasons and doesn’t mean that there is any less curb appeal – you can stop and smell the roses in someone else’s yard.
Fox Marin Pro Tip: Check out our post – Top 6 Landscaping Trends to Watch – for tips on landscaping 101. AND, don’t be afraid to invest in a landscape designer to help you navigate the world of plants and landscape design – and get it right the first time!
Remember, the front of your house really sets the mood for the interior of your house. These simple tips for exterior updates can help create a great first impression. If you’re not sure how to give your exterior the same wow factor as your interior the FM Design team can help you.
This article is written by Kathy Mighton, Project Manager and Lead Designer here at Fox Marin Associates. She is FM Design’s creator of well-crafted spaces that inspire and impress! A true design enthusiast, there are not enough walls or surfaces in Kathy’s life to display all the art that she loves.