15 Before-and-After Curb Appeal Makeovers

See how HGTV's all-star designers, architects, landscapers and contractors turn neighborhood eyesores into real showstoppers.

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images © 2012, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images © 2012, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Gary Payne/Getty Images © 2013, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Gary Payne/Getty Images ©2013, DIY Network./Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Before: Plain Jane

With overgrown landscaping and a disappear-into-the-background white paint color, this California bungalow was generally considered one of the least attractive homes on the block. Narrow, winding stairs and an overgrown trumpet vine and small tree that block the front door add to the home's uncared-for look.

After: Colorful Cottage

To make the home pop, designer John Gidding chooses sunny yellow for the siding and cheery turquoise for the front door. The winding stairs are straightened and widened to draw more attention to the front entry which is shaded by an arbor, planted with fragrant honeysuckle. The homeowners aren't big fans of mowing the grass so John eliminated the lawn in favor of a wide stone path flanked by low-maintenance plants.

Before: Faded Belle

The homeowners are two of the French Quarter's most colorful characters but their home's vanilla facade is definitely lacking. A tumble of weeds fill the beds that line the porch and the concrete set-back, or small area that separates the home from the sidewalk, is broken and unlevel.

After: Big Style in the Big Easy

Jason Cameron comes to this belle's rescue with kicky paint colors, a bluestone patio to replace the crumbling concrete and a cast-stone fountain. The weedy beds are given a tropical makeover with dwarf pygmy date palms and striped stromanthe that tie in with the home's new color palette.

Before: Hiding in Plain Sight

Evergreens are great for year-round color in your landscape but unless you plan to consistently keep them trimmed, they can grow too large to work as foundation plants.

After: Can't-Miss Yellow

Cousins Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri remove the overgrown evergreens, replacing them with oakleaf hydrangeas, hostas and bronze-leafed heuchera. Bright chartreuse false cypress really liven up the landscape and pair beautifully with the home's sunny yellow front door.

Before: Dark and Forboding

Recessed doorways are great because your entry is protected from the weather — but they tend to be dark. Painting the door black doesn't help to brighten things up.

After: Warm Welcome

A few coats of fuchsia paint take this formerly ho-hum front door from drab to fab. The cheery pink theme is carried to pots flanking the doorway filled with bouganinvillea and candytuft. The terracotta tile steps and board-and-batten siding also receive a makeover with fresh coats of warm, neutral paint.

Before: Haunted House?

The owners of this century-old San Francisco home are parents to five kids, including two sets of twins, so yardwork and home maintenance has taken a back seat to raising their family. This home is also, not surprisingly, a hub of activity each Halloween when the owners put the Victorian's forboding looks to good use as the neighborhood haunted house.

After: High-Style Victorian

John learned that the home had been white since its construction (120+ years ago!) so in keeping with true Victorian style, he chose no less than seven paint colors to really make this painted lady the neighborhood showstopper. To complement the historic architecture, the Curb Appeal team replaced the front lawn with a parterre — a formal garden made up of symmetrical hedges and planting beds connected by paths.

Before: '60s Modernist

The current owners were drawn to the home's Modern aesthetic and streamlined details but the ho-hum landscaping is definitely lacking. Three generations of one family live here and want to be able to use the hilly, uneven front yard as more of a gathering and entertaining space.

After: A Nod to Mid-Century Mod

Designer John Gidding decided to save the existing mature trees, building a massive deck to surround them. The uneven front yard is elimated by a concrete retaining wall that brings the deck up to front door height. Concrete planters at street level are filled with boulders, agave and desert grasses while rosemary tumbles over the wall from the deck.

Before: Overgrown Adobe

The black sheep of the street, this small Spanish Colonial Revival-style home built in the 1920s, is a rarity in suburban Atlanta. It has the potential to be a real gem in the neighborhood but with a barren yard, overgrown arbor and faded stucco, it only stands out for its rundown appearance.

After: Spanish-Style Standout

The the Curb Appeal team start the makeover at the curb with this one, creating wide tile-accented steps that lead from the street to the new front porch that spans the entire length of the home's facade. The front yard is replaced by a circular stone courtyard surrounded by hardy ferns, petunias and banana plants.

Before: '70s Mish-Mash

NYC techies, tired of cramped quarters, decided to relocate to Texas where everything is bigger. Browsing homes online, they discovered this split level whose newly remodeled interior had everything they were looking for and they quickly decided to buy it — without ever seeing the home in person. Once they moved, they discovered that the home's exterior was desperately in need of a remodel too.

After: Neutral + Natural

Contractor Jason Cameron and the Desperate Landscapes crew come to their rescue with a fresh neutral color palette that better blends the home's siding with the stacked stone facade. Boulders and layers of drought-tolerant, native plants, like the blooming Texas redbud, ensure this fully landscaped front yard will be easy for the homeowners to maintain.

Before: Blank Slate

The homeowners bought this home two years ago but with three young boys — two with special needs — all of their energy and finances go toward the kids, leaving nothing for fixing up the front yard.

After: Craftsman Cutie

The homeowners want to be able to relax in the front yard while keeping an eye on their young boys and chatting with neighbors. Designer John Gidding delivered by expanding their too-small front porch and adding new steps that lead down to a wide walkway flanked by a long curving bench. A low gated wall separates the front yard from the sidewalk and really makes the front yard feel more like an outdoor room.

Before: Tattered Belle

The young couple inherited this massive home from an elderly relative. Years of deferred maintenance — peeling paint and an overgrown juniper bush — have made this home the neighborhood eyesore.

After: Grand Dame

To return this elegant home to its refined roots, the Curb Appeal team beefs up the moldings surrounding the entryway and windows. Look-at-me colors and a two-tone palette make the home feel even larger. An usable low area to the left of the entry is transformed into a sunken deck surrounded by planters filled with cheery annuals that tie in with the home's magenta front door and tall cypress trees for height.

Before: Overgrown Bachelor Pad

Fifteen years as home base to a bachelor with no time or interest in lawn maintenance has resulted in a front yard so overgrown that a family of deer once moved in and took up residence. Now married, the young California couple who own this home are ready to clean up their act but don't know where to begin.

After: Manicured Zen Garden

Mixed in with the weeds were a lot of boulders and rocks so designer John Gidding decided to work them into the design. Ornamental grasses, pieris Japonica, loropetalum and other low-maintenace plants fit with the garden's Zen feel while being easy to care for so the homeowners can maintain the garden's good looks.

Before: Forgotten Front Yard

Located in a desirable Atlanta suburb, this Cape Cod-style home should be one of the highlights on the street but instead the overgrown, weedy yard, broken fence and peeling paint make it an eyesore.

After: Open and Inviting

The the Curb Appeal team start by demoing the metal fence to open the property up to the street where a stone path leads to the home that has been freshly painted in cool blue with a pop of cheery yellow on the front door. The homeowners weren't big fans of mowing the grass so John eliminated it in favor of mulch and ornamental grasses.

Before: Reno Gone Wrong

Selected out of hundreds of submissions as America's most desperate landscape, this home outside San Diego is an embarassment not only for the homeowners but for the whole neighborhood. The yard is unlevel, full of weeds and littered with the remains of home improvement projects gone bad.

After: California Cool

Contractor Jason Cameron and the Desperate Landscapes crew start by removing the construction debris, then the improvements begin with a new travertine patio shaded by a streamlined wood slat pergola. The existing boulders are moved to the lot's corner where they're joined by tons more rock for a sculptural accent. The landscaping goes from lacking to lush with mature indigenous trees and shrubs and the siding and garage door receive a fresh coat of paint.

Before: Failing Fixer-Upper

The first-time homebuyers fell in love with this century-old home's potential but, bogged down by interior projects, they don't have time to tackle the front yard or porch where siding-clad supports create a dark, claustrophobic feel and aren't original to the home's Craftsman style.

After: Charming Craftsman

John replaces the siding-clad columns for Craftsman-style tapered timber columns that are more in keeping with the home's original character. The couple only used the front yard as a path from the driveway so John swapped out the small lawn for a new, wide walkway surrounded by heuchera, pentas, succulents and low-maintenance grasses.

Before: Bland and Boring

With a tiny front yard and style-less facade, this clapboard house in Atlanta, Georgia doesn't have much going for it.

After: Folk Victorian

With such a small lot, landscaping takes a back seat to improving the home's architecture. John and team pull out all the stops by adding layers of gingerbread-style trim that's reminiscent of true Victorian architecture. So the home's main color doesn't detract from the trim details, the team paints it a warm neutral tan saving the cool purples and blues for the trim. To complete the fairytale look, a picket fence lines the front and a brick path leads to the turquoise front door.

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