Curb Appeal: Steal the Look

HGTV Magazine took a spin through the Buckhead neighborhood in Atlanta, where these charming houses made them put on the brakes.
By: Jennifer Berno DeCleene and Steele Thomas Marcoux

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Photographs by Sarah Dorio

Cape Cod Style

Homeowners Tim and Lindsey say, "We fell in love with the Cape Cod style and the paint colors. We added the retaining wall — the granite matches the house's original basement-level walls."

Decorative Molding

The white wooden pieces under the gable trim above the front door are purely for looks. Try this idea by mounting newel post ball caps, typically used on stair railings.

Lantern-Style Lights

Double up on classic style with a pair of lantern fixtures flanking the door. The symmetry looks great with the duos of urns, pilasters and railings around the entry. (Minka-Lavery Glen Allen outdoor wall from lantern, bellacor.com)

Flower Beds

Retaining walls made of stone, brick or concrete can shore up the layers of a sloping yard and define flower beds. The main bed, bordered by a granite retaining wall, is filled with purple 'Wave' petunias, while fountain grass grows near the house's large front window. Crape myrtles, which bloom all summer long, make a beautiful, low-maintenance tree.

Shutters

Historically used on barns and farmhouses, board and batten shutters have a more laid-back feel than louvered versions. (Board and Batten shutter, from timberlane.com)

Welcoming Appeal

Homeowner Kathlee Kohl says, "I painted the front door blue to brighten up the entrance. And I like the rockers because they make the house feel so welcoming."

Gutters and Downspouts

These weathered copper gutters blend in with the dark trim — a good camouflaging trick when you don't want them to stand out. The planters by the door are square zinc containers filled with round boxwoods and trailing variegated ivy.

Window Boxes

A no-fail window box combo: bright impatiens and foxtail ferns. Put plants in a plastic liner that fits inside the copper box and lifts out for easy care. (Smith & Hawken Eden Park 4' copper window box, from target.com)

Address Plaque

Choose one that picks up a feature, like an arch, found elsewhere on your house. (Oakview address plaque, from frontgate.com)

Front Door

A coat of sky-blue paint plus hardware with an antique brass finish make an arched-top, cottage-style door look even more charming. (MAI Fine Hardwood door A55RT in Andean walnut, from hansencraftcustomwoodwork.com)

Blue Hydrangeas

Cheery blue hydrangeas line the front of the house. They do well in partial shade, sheltered from the wind.

Rocking Chairs

A polyurethane finish protects wooden rockers from the rain, heat and sun. (From Shine Company seaside outdoor porch rocking chair, atgstores.com)

Front Porch Pillows

Pillows with pretty all-weather fabric cases soften the seats of wooden rockers. (From Sunbrella outdoor fabric in sky blue, calicocorners.com)

Eclectic Cottage

Homeowners Jim and Kimberly Steele say, "The neighborhood has such an eclectic feel. No two houses are the same. We love our small front yard with the picket fence — it complements our cottage." Prebuilt fences are a fast way to boost yard charm — buy a wood one and paint it any color. (Pressure-treated French gothic spaced 3 ½' x 8" fence panel from homedepot.com)

Copper Awnings

You can have awnings customized, which makes them easy to add to existing windows or doors. This version matches the bay window roof. (Sweep style awning with batten seams from outdoorcopperdesign.com)

Lush-Looking Yard

The Steeles' yard has four types of shrubs: Lantana grows behind the fence. By the door, a dwarf-variety Japanese maple is planted behind vinca major (the one with the white flowers). English laurel fills the bed against the house.

Barrel Planter

Potted in a half barrel along with sweet potato vine, gardenias, which bloom from midspring into summer, perfume the entry to the home. Wine barrel Country Manor by Dynamic Design, casa.com

Bench

Topped with outdoor cushions in happy hues like lime green and reddish orange, this eucalyptus wood bench can stand up to all kinds of weather. (Eucalyptus backless bench, from improvementscatalog.com; and Sunbrella outdoor fabrics in macaw and melon, from calicocorners.com)

Calm and Simple

"The front porch is great for entertaining. And I'm partial to the all-green landscaping — it's calm and simple," says homeowner Bob Dimm. Dwarf yaupon holly shrubs for shape, drought-tolerant monkey grass for borders and fescue grass for the lawn create a manicured look with minimal upkeep.

Brick Path

A spiffy pattern elevates a brick walkway to a path with panache. A professional installer will know how to lay pavers in lots of patterns, from basket weave to herringbone.

Shutters and French Doors

There's just something about full-length shutters flanking tall French doors that says "welcome home." Match the dimensions of each shutter to the dimensions of each door.

House Numbers

Consider hanging address numbers on a front porch stair riser. These shiny brass versions come with their own mounting hardware and work on any style home. (Standard 4" house numbers in polished brass, from restorationhardware.com)

Wicker Chairs

Comfy all-weather wicker furniture makes any porch the perfect spot for impromptu get-togethers with neighbors. (Nantucket lounge chair, from lloydflanders.com)

Plants in Urns

Spiky Japanese yews, which like shade, are potted in cast-stone urns just under the overhang. (Egg & Dart round garden urn, from accentsinthegarden.com)