I like our house, I think it’s cute, but honestly, it’s a bit basic. It has vinyl siding in a really light gray, a small porch that is white and dark gray, and only one window on the lower level in the front. In other words, the curb appeal is a bit lacking on the ground level.
The only reason why this house looks beautiful from the outside as the weather has gotten warmer is because the previous owner was a seriously passionate gardener and, from what we’ve heard, spent a lot of time making the outside naturally beautiful. More on this in a later post.
I wanted to boost the curb appeal of this house on a very limited budget, just to make it look cute for now until we figure out what this house really needs and when we have the budget to do update it. For example, I think I want to add two large potted evergreens to the front of the house so that, even in winter, there’s something to look at. I got this idea this past winter when I would walk home from the train station and see how magical everyone’s properties looked with their evergreens and other trees covered in snow. Our house doesn’t have a tree in the front and no plants that are pretty or even alive in the wintertime, so our house looked pretty empty and plain from the outside our first few months living there. Another idea is to paint our front door a bright color, to make it really pop against the light gray and white and make our house stand out on the block. These two ideas, if we move forward with them, will be later this year, I think.
For now, though, here’s what we did:
- I found a really beautiful birdcage at a street fair on Smith Street in Brooklyn last summer. I don’t have birds and didn’t really have a use for it, but it’s hard to turn down an inexpensive bird cage designed like a mansion with a turret and everything! My idea was to turn it into a hanging planter, but laziness set in and it ended up just being decorative sitting on our dresser in the Brooklyn apartment for months and months. And then it was decorative sitting around our new house for months and months. But then the weather turned nice and I finally found a place for it. I have turned it into a planter, sitting on the side of our front steps. On the other side of our front steps is a different planter, so now there are flowers flanking the step railings.
- To save money on patio furniture, we took our old living room chairs and are using them as porch furniture. They’re dark brown, so to help bring in color, we bought a patio bistro table from Target that has a turquoise table top.
- The porch already had a hook for a hanging planter, so I bought a really beautiful Maranta Green hanging plant for that. Unfortunately, it’s still been too cold for it, so that plant has toggled between hanging there and waiting out the cold in our mud room, where it still gets plenty of light and the warmth it needs.
- And, finally, I’ve saved the best for last. The piece de resistance of our porch/budgeted curb appeal, is our new doormat. I found it on Etsy months before buying it and was just waiting until the right time (i.e. when the porch was no longer covered in snow). It makes me smile every time I see. It’s a sketch of Lionel Ritchie’s face with the song lyrics, “Hello? Is it me you’re looking for?” You know, basic philosophy.