Curb Appeal Upgrades

From mini to major makeovers, the experts at HGTV Magazine share 16 changes that seriously boost curbside charm. The neighbors will be green with envy!

By: Jennifer Berno DeCleene and Rachael Weiner

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer for HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer for HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer for HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer for HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer for HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer for HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer for HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer for HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer for HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer for HGTV Magazine

Photo By: James Provost

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer for HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer for HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer for HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer for HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer for HGTV Magazine

Show Off a Cute Bench

Whether on the front porch or in the grass, a weatherproof bench makes your front yard feel like a lovely park. Teak bench with cushion, $440, kohls.com

Add a Fence With a Gate

A lot of people fence off their property, but why not go the extra mile and add a swing-open gate in front of the house? It gives the yard that "secret garden" charm. Another landscaping idea: Use ground cover. Instead of brown mulch, put a pretty blanket of blooms around your trees. Fast-spreading ground covers, like Creeping Jenny, Sweet Woodruff and Vinca Minor, flower in spring and summer. Kroy by Ply Gem gate, $200, kroybp.com for stores

Toss Some Outdoor Pillows Around

Perk up your porch seats with living room-worthy pillows. From top: All-weather Poppies 16" x 16" pillow, $29, grandinroad.com; Delray Azure 16" x 16" outdoor pillow, $29, ballarddesigns.com; Calliope Honey 17" x 17" pillow, $20, pier1.com; pillow fabric: Sunbrella outdoor melon, $37 per yard, calicocorners.com; Outdoor Classic 22" x 22" throw pillow, $30, plowandhearth.com

Put Out a Cute Doormat

Make your guests smile with a cheery front door welcome. Oversized Suzani doormat, $17, worldmarket.com

Change Up Your Mailbox

A classic postbox looks fresh in white. Architectural Mailboxes 10" x 11 1/4" metal mailbox, $131, lowes.com

Plant a Window Box

Here's a best-bet combo that looks lush and tropical in any climate: sun-loving lantana, available in a variety of bright colors, and trailing sweet potato vine in punchy green. With all that attention on your windows, be sure they are spotless. Spraying them with a hose can add mineral buildup, so to get windows looking like new, hire a pro once a year. They usually charge by the hour (starting around $100). Window box, from $90, menards.com

Hang a Porch Pendant

Instead of a typical wall-mounted lantern, why not suspend a pretty pendant from the overhang above the front door? It's an unexpected indoor look for an outdoor area, and you can see it from the street. Hinkley Lighting 2 Light Nantucket outdoor pendant in aged brass, $209, atgstores.com

Rethink Your Garage Door

It doesn't have to be an eyesore: Trade in a standard garage door for one with paned windows and pretty detailing. ReliaBilt 8' x 7' Carriage House Series insulated garage door with windows, $1,290, lowes.com

Get a Door Knocker

Skip traditional shapes. A sweet bird knocker is easy door decor. Birds door knocker, $12, ironaccents.com

Hang a Decorative Flag

Put a personal stamp on your house with a modern-day version of your family crest, and brighten up the side or front porch with hanging planters. Petunias in a basket with a coconut liner, which drains well, is a classic porch pick-me-up. Monogram garden flag, $40, plowandhearth.com

Add Awnings

They're not just for storefronts. Just like shutters, awnings shade the house's interior and they sure are cute, too! Order fabric awnings from a local dealer whose price includes installation. Most come in three design options: Standard, good on any window on the front of the house; Dome, for over the front door if you don't have an overhang; and Spearhead (shown), used as a showstopper on one big window.

Get a Garden Stool

Put it out as either a colorful extra seat or a zingy plant stand. As for the street-view: A house looks naked without landscaping. Try hedges (like arborvitae) around your foundation. They add lush greenery, but, unlike trees, you won't have to wait decades for them to mature. Urban Trends red ceramic open work stool, $168, overstock.com

Put Up a Porch Swing

Who doesn't love idling away the afternoon on a porch swing? This sleek blue version isn't your grandma's swing. It hangs from nylon cords, and it's made with recycled plastic from milk jugs. Loll Go porch swing, $850, dwr.com

Untangle Your Hose

Rid kinked-up hoses from the yard. Another eye-sore? Well-worn patches of grass. Cover these areas with flat stones to make a charming walkway that looks inviting. Slate, limestone or granite are all good-looking options. Liberty hose reel, $250, sears.com; Dramm 50' garden hose, $70, westelm.com

Brighten Your Walkway

Stop tripping on your way to the front door. Install eco-friendly landscape lights, which recharge in the sun. No wiring required. Sprinkle cosmos seeds (about $2 a packet at garden centers) along the same line for a pop of color without all the hard labor of gardening. In a few weeks, you'll have a pretty path, no digging required. Copper stainless steel 2 LED solar landscape lights, $85 for a set of 12, overstock.com

Double Up on Planters

Flank your front door with matching pots. Chippendale planters with round boxwoods are a classic choice for any porch and any house style. Chippendale 14" square white planters, $57 each, target.com