Curb Appeal Tips

You can't judge a house by its landscaping, but curb appeal is all about first impressions. Use these tips to look at your yard objectively and make it as visually appealing as possible.

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Photo By: Joshua Mark Thomas

Lead to the Door

Create a clear path to your front door so guests will not be confused about which entrance to use. The winding walkways in front of this house anchor the home into the landscape and give people somewhere to walk besides the driveway. The beautiful planting beds also help point the way to the entrance. Design by John Gidding

Mix It Up

The plants in the front yard don't have to all hug the house or be traditional evergreens. Add variety to your landscape by mixing evergreens and flowering shrubs in a variety of colors and textures. Group plants by height and layer the groupings for visual interest. Design by John Gidding

Create a Focal Point

Every outdoor space needs a focal point that tells the eye what to look at first. This can be almost anything, such as a fountain, bench or patterned hardscape. In this landscape, a tree surrounded by a circular walkway serves as an eye-catching element.

Roll Out the Welcome Mat

Make your home's main entrance more inviting by creating visual interest with planters, urns or a symmetrical element by the door. This home's entrance is highlighted by beautiful lighting and stone pillars topped with small plants. Design by Bob Hursthouse

Tune Up Your Hardscape

Make sure your walkways and driveways are up to par, as poorly kept hardscapes make a bad first impression. This southwestern villa has a beautiful paved driveway, giving visitors an impressive first look at the house. Design by Thom Oppelt

Beautify Your New Yard

Newly constructed houses rarely come with a beautiful landscape. Often the builder-issued landscape is skimpy or nonexistent. Take advantage of the blank slate and design your dream landscape. Design by Virginia Rockwell

Trim Shrubs and Plants

Spruce up your landscape by trimming shrubs, removing dead or diseased plants, and splitting clumps of perennials. Overgrown plants can block light from entering your house and detract from architectural details. This home's well-manicured shrubs set a great first impression and show that the owners take pride in their home.

Add a Hedge or Fence

Sometimes your neighbor's yard is the problem. Try adding a hedge or fence to frame your yard while hiding distractions. A white picket fence draped in colorful flowers is a nice hardscaping element and an ideal barrier against unattractive sights.