Thursday, May 5, 2011

Achieving Curb Appeal

The entry to one's home is important because it makes a statement about the person who lives there and can leave a lasting impression. I like to utilize hardscape, plants, color, texture, water features, gates, and arbors to create welcoming entry statements that compliment a home's architecture. Here are some tips on achieving "curb appeal."

1. Consistency: Keep the design theme consistent. Sometimes homeowners and/or contractors install too many types of things that work against each other. It is preferable to use one type of hardscape or stone that flatters the color of the home as well as the architecture. Whether the design theme is modern or traditional, try to stick with that style and be consistent throughout the landscape. Often times "less is more" and a simple landscape can be most flattering.

2. Visually you want to try and lead people's attention to the front door. You can downplay surrounding areas in order to give the most impact to areas leading to the entry. The impact can be achieved through color of the plant material or front door as well as with a beautiful walkway that draws you in. It is nice when the entry is visible from the street when possible and not overgrown with shrubs and trees.

3. You can often block undesirable elements of a site, such as an unkept neighboring property or a view of a busy street, with strategically placed trees and shrubs.

4. Accessories can be very important elements to a landscape. You can have address numbers, a mailbox, and outdoor furniture that are also consistent with the design theme of the architecture and landscape. Even if you don't plan on sitting in your front yard, a bench properly placed can be very welcoming. Remember, less is more and clutter can be distracting.

5. Don't forget to think about how your landscape and entry will look after the sun has set. A small scale accent tree near an entry that is lit properly can really add to the curb appeal in the evening hours. It is also welcoming in the evening as well as safe to have an entry walk and address numbers well lit. Often outdoor lighting is underutilized and, when it is done properly, it can accent key elements of the landscape as well as the home itself.

To view more photos of Entry Statements designed by Dave Pedersen, please visit our online photo journal at :