Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

11 Ways to Add Curb Appeal for Under $100

Search

11 Ways to Add Curb Appeal for Under $100

March 6, 2018

Too many people ignore curb appeal until it’s time to move. Then they spruce up the place for the next residents. How does this make sense? Every time you come home, the sight of your front door should give you the sort of euphoric endorphin rush that long-distance runners feel when they stop.

Adding curb appeal doesn’t have to be expensive. Take it one step at a time: Here are 11 ways to add instant curb appeal for $100 or less.

New House Numbers

When architect Mark Reilly gave an Edwardian home in San Francisco a full remodel, the facade also got a facelift. Photograph by Bruce Damonte via Mark Reilly Architecture.
Above: When architect Mark Reilly gave an Edwardian home in San Francisco a full remodel, the facade also got a facelift. Photograph by Bruce Damonte via Mark Reilly Architecture.

House numbers are one of the first things to catch the eye—first-time visitors are looking for them to confirm they’re at the right address—and should set a tone for what to expect indoors as well as out. The spare, slim lines of Hillman Group 5-In Satin House Numbers (above) hint at the modern interior that lies beyond the traditional facade; $5.98 per number at Lowe’s.

Uniform Color

Photograph by Meredith Swinehart.
Above: Photograph by Meredith Swinehart.

Architect Mark Reilly also updated the facade by changing the entry stairs and porch from brick to Brazilian black slate and by painting the building’s trim and body the same color. The paint is gray by Benjamin Moore. For more of our favorite gray exterior paints, see Shades of Gray: Architects’ 10 Top Paint Picks.

Well-Kept Gutters

A rain spout protrudes from a copper-trimmed roof. Photograph by Brian W. Ferry for Remodelista; styling by Alexa Hotz. For more see The Wood House: A Midcentury Work in Progress in Westchester.
Above: A rain spout protrudes from a copper-trimmed roof. Photograph by Brian W. Ferry for Remodelista; styling by Alexa Hotz. For more see The Wood House: A Midcentury Work in Progress in Westchester.

Nothing says “Boo Radley lives here” like clogged gutters full of soggy leaves and the odd bit of twigs. Don’t be shy about attempting this housecleaning chore yourself. Make it pleasant by using the the World’s Loveliest Gutter Shovel, your oldest pair of waterproof garden gloves, and a bucket to fill with water to flush out the downspout.

For more tips on installing and caring for gutters, see Hardscaping 101: Rain Gutters.

Coat Hooks

On my covered front porch, I corral hats, coats, shopping bags, and dog leashes with a black Portis Hat Rack from Ikea; $19.99. Photograph by Matthew Williams.
Above: On my covered front porch, I corral hats, coats, shopping bags, and dog leashes with a black Portis Hat Rack from Ikea; $19.99. Photograph by Matthew Williams.
If you have a mudroom or covered entryway, you can turn it a welcoming extension of your home with hooks for coats, jackets, and dog leashes. Hanging fabric instantly softens the look of a space (think: curtains).

A New Porch Light

A Vintage French Farmhouse Flushmount fixture rated for use in a sheltered porch. It comes in five finishes, including weathered zinc and matte black and three sizes, at prices ranging from $239 from Restoration Hardware.
Above: A Vintage French Farmhouse Flushmount fixture rated for use in a sheltered porch. It comes in five finishes, including weathered zinc and matte black and three sizes, at prices ranging from $239 from Restoration Hardware.
It’s hard to go wrong with a black matte ceiling light, a versatile style that complements both modern and traditional facades. We recently rounded up our favorites, including several under $100, in 10 Easy Pieces: Black Porch Ceiling Lights. Check out more of our favorites in 10 Easy Pieces: Classic Ceiling Porch Lights.

A New Doormat

 Getting a new doormat is the exterior equivalent of getting new carpet. But far, far less expensive. You need an upgrade if yours is stained, scuffed, worn down, or faded. If you’re looking for a new doormat, see 10 Easy Pieces: Durable Doormats.
Above: Getting a new doormat is the exterior equivalent of getting new carpet. But far, far less expensive. You need an upgrade if yours is stained, scuffed, worn down, or faded. If you’re looking for a new doormat, see 10 Easy Pieces: Durable Doormats.

A Sailor’s Oblong Rope Doormat is $66 from Trout and Mathilda via Etsy.

Matching Planters

Architect Barbara Chambers flanks an entryway at her house in Mill Valley, California with two identical terracotta planters and boxwood topiaries. For more of her garden, see Architect Visit: Barbara Chambers at Home in Mill Valley.
Above: Architect Barbara Chambers flanks an entryway at her house in Mill Valley, California with two identical terracotta planters and boxwood topiaries. For more of her garden, see Architect Visit: Barbara Chambers at Home in Mill Valley.

Flank your entryway with matching potted plants (as above) to create symmetry.

A Colorful Door

Photograph by Eve Ashcraft.
Above: Photograph by Eve Ashcraft.

Think of your front door as jewelry for your house. It can be a little flashier than the rest of the outfit the facade is wearing. A strong color that complements wall and trim paint colors can be pleasing. (To get the look of the bright blue door above, paint color consultant Eve Ashcraft recommends Benjamin Moore’s Starry Night Blue paint in Advance Satin Finish.)

For more color ideas, see 5 Favorites: British Front Doors with Style.

A New Mailbox

For more, see LA Confidential: A Private Courtyard Goes Luxe on a Budget. Photograph via Naomi Sanders Landscape Design.
Above: For more, see LA Confidential: A Private Courtyard Goes Luxe on a Budget. Photograph via Naomi Sanders Landscape Design.

If your mailbox is rusty or dented, consider replacing it with a long-lasting aluminum or steel model. See our favorites in 10 Easy Pieces: Slim Mailboxes and 10 Easy Pieces: Indestructible Mailboxes.

A Well-Behaved Hedge

Architect Barbara Chambers keeps a rosemary hedge pruned to a height that frames her windows instead of covering them. For more, see Architect Visit: Barbara Chambers at Home in Mill Valley. Photograph by Nicole Franzen for Gardenista.
Above: Architect Barbara Chambers keeps a rosemary hedge pruned to a height that frames her windows instead of covering them. For more, see Architect Visit: Barbara Chambers at Home in Mill Valley. Photograph by Nicole Franzen for Gardenista.

Overgrown bushes that block your front windows are not a good look. Ever. Period. Shrubs should frame your windows but never hide them (unless you’re on the run from the law).

Do you live in a climate where rosemary is a perennial? You too can have an herb hedge. For more on growing and caring for rosemary, see our recent Field Guide: Rosemary. For other climates, see our Shrubs Design Guide for more ideas.

Fence Post Caps

A simple but elegant decorative element: Architect Barbara Chambers capped fence posts in copper. A similar four-by-four-inch Ornamental Copper High Point Treated Post Cap is $9.97 from Lowe’s. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista.
Above: A simple but elegant decorative element: Architect Barbara Chambers capped fence posts in copper. A similar four-by-four-inch Ornamental Copper High Point Treated Post Cap is $9.97 from Lowe’s. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista.

Sparkling Windows

 Photograph by Liesa Johannssen for Gardenista.
Photograph by Liesa Johannssen for Gardenista.

Washing the windows will improve the view from within as well as from the curb. Are you wondering if you can wait until spring? If your windows have cobwebs, a visible layer of dust, or dirt on the sills, you can’t. Get out there and get the job done on the next sunny autumn day. Use our all-natural cleaner with The Secret Ingredient to Make Windows Shine Bright Like a Diamond.

Window Boxes

Zinc window boxes outside the Paris home of architect Nicolas Soulier and ceramicist Cécile Daladier. For more, see A Ceramist and an Architect in Paris.
Above: Zinc window boxes outside the Paris home of architect Nicolas Soulier and ceramicist Cécile Daladier. For more, see A Ceramist and an Architect in Paris.

A window box is the fastest way to add color to your facade. Update the plantings year round and you can change the look every season. Wondering where to start? For more about choosing, installing, and maintaining a window box, see Hardscaping 101: Window Boxes.

If you are inspired to spruce things up a bit, see our archives for more Curb Appeal posts and check out our curated design guides to Exteriors & Facades, Exterior Hardware, and Pavers. And on Remodelista, see Outdoors: House Numbers from A Short Walk in Cornwall.

Product summary  

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

From our network