We know how important it is to make a first impression when we meet someone for the first time.

The same idea applies to the outside of our homes.  Adding some curb appeal is an easy way to make a great first impression when guests arrive before they even walk through the front door.

Speaking of the front door, that’s a great place to start.  Look at your existing front door and decide if it’s in pretty good shape.  If it is, you can paint it a color that will blend in with your trim or shutters.  If you want to help your front door stand out, paint it with an accent color. If you want a new door, there are custom wood doors that can be stained or painted. Some have glass panes across the top that let light in your entryway. Replace the hardware on your door.  Brass or oil-rubbed bronze are popular choices for traditional houses and brushed nickel for contemporary homes.  House numbers, kick plates, door knobs, knockers and locks should all be the same metal to create a uniform appearance. If you like the hardware you have, use a little metal polish to brighten it up.  Hang a natural wreath or swag for a finishing touch.

Some older homes have outdated brick.  Painting the brick is a great way to make the home look fresh and new.  Painting techniques range from whitewashing to just painting right over the brick.  A third choice is to paint the brick with Brick-Anew, a system that gives the look of real brick, not solid colored, painted brick.  If you have a large home with a lot of brick, painting over the brick is the least expensive and easiest way to cover it.  If you have a few hundred square feet, Brick-Anew works wonders.

Lighting adds instant curb appeal.  Matching sconces on either side of the front door direct guests to the entry of your home.  Make sure you choose lighting that matches the metal accessories on your front door.  Light your walkway with either solar lights or electric. Solar lights are easy to install but may not be as bright as electric ones.

Flowers and shrubs make a beautiful statement in your front yard.  Trim older shrubs so they don’t cover up the front door.  The idea is to keep trees and shrubs trimmed  and cut back so your home won’t look dated but fresh cared for. Flowers can be planted in window boxes, containers or in beds.  Decide on a color scheme of two or three colors when planting flowers to create a look that’s easy on the eye.  If you use several containers, arrange them in a staggered or asymmetrical pattern.  If you want a symmetrical look, place matching pots on each side of the front door.

Last but not least is the mailbox.  If you have a wood post, paint or stain it to match your home’s exterior.  Make sure the house numbers are clear and easy to read. The post might need replacing if the wood has rotted or been damaged.  Planting a bed of flowers around the mailbox is a great way to add a pop of color at the end of the driveway.

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