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Curb Appeal Across the Country

HGTV Magazine took a spin through neighborhoods all around the U.S. and found eye-catching houses worth a closer look.

By: Jaimie Dalessio Clayton
Plymouth, Michigan

Peter Baker

Plymouth, Michigan

Built in: 1834. Bought in: 2007. Size: 2,400 sq. ft. “We love it now, but this house was in a sorry state when we bought it," say homeowners Patty and Mark Malcolm.  "We restored it with new siding and windows, then repainted and also updated the landscaping.” Mark trims the dappled Japanese willow to the right of the door a few times a year so it maintains its tidy round shape.
Light Fixtures

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Light Fixtures

The entry features antique sconces the Malcolms found on eBay. This version has the same old-fashioned appeal. Antique exterior sconce, from $235, materialsunlimited.com
Mailbox

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Mailbox

Delicate detailing and a slightly weathered finish give a new mailbox an aged look that fits the 1834 house. Scroll design cast-aluminum vertical mailbox in Swedish silver, $154, houseofantiquehardware.com
Urns and Landscaping

Peter Baker

Urns and Landscaping

A pair of cast-iron urns, each bursting with purple petunias, mark the front steps. Coral bells planted alongside bright orange marigolds in front of the fence complement the front door.
Front Door

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Front Door

Inspired by their home’s nickname—Pumpkin Hill House—the Malcolms painted the door coppery orange. Four small square windows at the top add to its character. Smooth-Pro fiberglass exterior door, from $319, jeld-wen.com for buying info; paint: Caribbean Coral by Sherwin-Williams
House Numbers

Marko Metzinger/Studio D

House Numbers

These copper digits have a flourish that helps them stand out against the ivory trim. Mission Metalworks Revival scroll house numbers in tumbled copper, $25 each, shop4classics.com
Date Plaque

Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Date Plaque

The sign to the left of the Malcolms’ front door designates the home as a neighborhood landmark. Historic sign in raised bronze patina, from $103, atlassignsandplaques.com
Doormat

Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Doormat

Coir has a natural look that plays off the brick path and stone steps. Blue leafy vines monogram doormat, $45, cocomatsnmore.com
Fence

Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Fence

Patty spotted a Colonial-style fence with pickets in alternating heights on a historic home tour in Ypsilanti, MI, and custom-ordered a similar one. Custom alternating 3 1/2' x 6' cellular PVC picket fence section with a post and a cap, $742, walpolewoodworkers.com for buying info
Paint Colors

Paint Colors

House: Rock Bottom by Sherwin-Williams, Trim: Westhighland White by Sherwin-Williams; Front door: Caribbean Coral by Sherwin-Williams
Jacksonville, Florida

Agnes Lopez

Jacksonville, Florida

Built in: 1923. Bought in: 1996. Size: 2,300 sq. ft. “We’ve spent countless hours lounging on our porch over the years," say homeowners Terry and Walter Woodlief. "Its wide columns and French doors that open to a sunroom were a major selling point.”  Pink wax begonias and yellow marigolds bloom in the long planter that spans the first-floor window.
Potted Plants and Flowers Beds

Agnes Lopez

Potted Plants and Flowers Beds

Ponytail palms, a variety of succulent, grow in terra-cotta pots that flank the front steps. Thanks to the warm Florida climate, they can stay outside all year. Sun-loving crotons and yellowish-orange marigolds on both sides of the front steps require little care—just occasional watering.
Mail Slot

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Mail Slot

Shiny brass calls attention to the house’s rich brown door. Brass Accents mail slot in PVD lifetime brass, $65, atgstores.com
Front Door

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Front Door

A wrought iron door in front of a solid front door is an easy way to add character. Palazzo storm door in black, $749, larsondoors.com for buying info
Doormat

Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Doormat

This floral design picks up the colors of the yellow flowers and green lawn. Jasmine coir doormat, $38, overstock.com
Plant Stand

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Plant Stand

The curves and swirls of the iron plant stand on the porch mimic the ornate detailing on the windows and French doors. Oval 35"H x 14"-diameter plant stand, $120, pier1.com
Paint Colors

Paint Colors

House: Belle Grove Buff by Valspar; Trim: Chef White by Valspar; Window trim and front door: Oxblood by Behr
Chairs

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Chairs

Metal chairs—made cozy with outdoor cushions—keep with the wrought iron look. Carmel classic aluminum lounge chair in linen Sunbrella canvas, $495, rh.com
Louisville, Kentucky

Matthew Allen

Louisville, Kentucky

Built in: 1925. Bought in: 1949. Size: 1,920 sq. ft. “This home has been in my family since I was a toddler," says homeowner Rosalind Heinz. "It’s known for the ginkgo tree in the yard, which I tried to pay homage to with the exterior colors.” Every fall, the leaves on the ginkgo tree turn yellow and drop to the ground.
Light Fixture

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Light Fixture

Rosalind’s parents installed a box-shaped lantern in the ’70s. This one has a similar shape and a pagoda top. Vaxcel Lighting Bembridge 14"-tall 3-light outdoor lantern mini pendant, $134.50, build.com
House Numbers

Courtesy of the manufacturer

House Numbers

It was Rosalind’s dad’s idea to spell out the house numbers above the transom instead of using digits—a fun touch! Solid brass 4"-tall house numbers in antique pewter, from $11.50 each, houseofantiquehardware.com
Front Door

Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Front Door

Sidelights and a transom frame the hefty wood door, which is original to the house. 4132 Doug fir exterior door, $488, roguevalleydoor.com; Paint: Medici by Glidden
Door Knocker

Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Door Knocker

These cast iron ginkgo leaves mimic the ones strewn across the yard. Ginkgo leaf 6 1/2"-tall door knocker, $175, oakhilliron.com
Paint Colors

Paint Colors

House: Secret Garden by Glidden, Trim: Belgium Lace by Glidden; Front door and shutters: Medici by Glidden
Door Handle

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Door Handle

Pairing brass with yellow can be tricky, but this antiqued finish works. Kwikset Chelsea handleset in antique brass, $99.50, build.com
Doormat

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Doormat

Its rubber surface prevents slipping, and leaves are a fitting motif. Palm leaf rubber entry mat, $99, frontgate.com
Portico and Landscaping

Matthew Allen

Portico and Landscaping

Original to the house, the arched portico beautifully frames the front door. The front yard’s all-green shrubs include yew, juniper, and euonymus.
Post Light

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Post Light

A flared shape makes this classic black option interesting. Townhouse Collection outdoor post light in black, $80, kichler.com for buying info
The Homeowners

Ray Kachatorian

The Homeowners

Stephanie and Jamie Neilson bought this 1927 Pasadena, CA home in 2006. “I love the colors of our home’s exterior. The soft blue looks pretty against the black shutters and front door.”
Ficus Tress and Columns

Ray Kachatorian

Ficus Tress and Columns

Four ficus trees evenly spaced across the front of the house thrive in partial sunlight, and frame the first-floor awnings. A portico with four round, fluted columns makes this stucco Dutch Colonial even more elegant.
Door Knocker and Mail Slot

doorknocker: Marko Metzinger/Studio D, mail slot: courtesy of the manufacturer

Door Knocker and Mail Slot

Brass fixtures—like a lion head knocker and a mail slot—shine against the backdrop of a black door. Lion Head 7 1/4" x 4" brass door knocker, $78, brassgallery.com; Brass Accents solid brass 13" x 3 5/8" A07-M0010-605 magazine mail slot in polished brass finish, $45.50, build.com
Flower Bed

Ray Kachatorian

Flower Bed

The flower bed blooms with gerbera daisies, sweet alyssum, tulips, and pansies. In Pasadena’s warm climate, they blossom from late February through November.
Pendant

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Pendant

A single pendant hangs in the center of the portico, emphasizing the home’s symmetry. Woodbridge Lighting 61017-BKP outdoor pendant, $65, lightingdirect.com
Awnings

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Awnings

Black awnings with white trim and open sides echo the house’s shutters and shade the west-facing front windows from late afternoon sun. Awntech 5'4 1/2"-wide x 2'-projection open slope window/door awning in black, $227, lowes.com
Paint Colors

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Paint Colors

Stucco: Celtic Gray by Behr. Shutters: Black Suede by Behr
Bench

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Bench

The Neilsons brought in a simple wood bench to help balance out the more formal look. International Caravan Highland Acacia wood garden bench, $137, wayfair.com
Homeowners

Kim Cornelison

Homeowners

Emily and Jon Hjelm bought their Minneapolis, MN home (built in 1923) in 2009. Since then “we haven’t changed the exterior at all,” they say. “Its charming design is what drew us to it in the first place.” The unpainted cedar shake siding and roof, which are original to the house, have a historic look that fits the neighborhood.
Shutters

Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Shutters

Sailboat cutouts are a playful way to add personality to an exterior. They’re this house’s signature. Board & Batten designer shutters with sailboat cutout, $390, hooksandlattice.com; paint: Naples Blue by Benjamin Moore
Potted Plant

Kim Cornelison

Potted Plant

Orange marigolds in a terra-cotta pot (to the left of the bench) are a punchy contrast to the blue and wood. Norcal Pottery 22"-tall terra-cotta rimmed pot, $50, homedepot.com
Cedar Fence

Kim Cornelison

Cedar Fence

A cedar fence with a curved top—purchased through a local contractor—provides privacy but still lets the neighbors peek over to say hello.
Paint Colors

Paint Colors

Shutters: Naples Blue by Benjamin Moore. Trim: Sky Cloud by Pratt & Lambert
Pillow and Bench

pillow: Alison Gootee/Studio D; bench: courtesy of the manufacturer

Pillow and Bench

Add an outdoor pillow to soften a sturdy metal seat. Mainstays slat garden bench in black, $69, walmart.com for stores; Knife-Edged 20" x 20" outdoor Sunbrella pillow in teal, $50 for a set of 2, overstock.com
From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine
Front Door

©Philip Ficks

Front Door

The front door is on the side of an extension that juts out from the center of the house. Inside is a space that the Hjelms use as a mini mudroom. From there, a second door leads into the house itself.
Boxwood Hedge + Flower Beds

Kim Cornelison

Boxwood Hedge + Flower Beds

Dense evergreen boxwood shrubs border the brick-paved front patio. The Hjelms loved the existing front yard landscaping—lots of greenery offset by pops of color. They kept all the flowers the previous homeowners had planted along the curb, including hostas and orange daylilies.
Homeowners

©Nathan Kirkman

Homeowners

Joan and Paul Filbin’s home in Oak Park, IL was built in 1896 and bought in 1977. “We first fell in love with our Victorian’s bay windows,” they say. “But over time, the porch has become our favorite part of the house.”
Urn

©Nathan Kirkman

Urn

A pair of urns at the bottom of the porch steps make a pretty home for red-tinged spike plants. Small acanthus urn planter in stone, $79, ballarddesigns.com
Yews

©Nathan Kirkman

Yews

Tall yew hedges curve around the front of the house, framing the porch.
From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine
House Numbers

Marko Metzinger/Studio D

House Numbers

It’s near-impossible to miss this address. Wood numbers painted deep red match the house’s trim. 6?1/2"-tall pine house numbers, $2 each, menards.com; Yaint: Cherries Jubilee by Glidden
Paint Colors

Paint Colors

Siding: Wickham Gray by Benjamin Moore. Red trim: Cherries Jubilee by Glidden. White trim: White on White by Glidden
From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine
Screen Door

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Screen Door

A screen door with intricate details adds a big dose of charm. Lattice Designs door, $506, vintagewoodworks.com
Chair and Cushion

Courtesy of the manufacturers

Chair and Cushion

The Filbins set up plenty of porch seating. Synthetic rattan woven over a metal frame has the look of wicker with all-weather convenience. Pillow Perfect outdoor seat cushions in red, $34 for a set of 2, overstock.com; Casbah chair in white, $120, pier1.com
Flowers

©Nathan Kirkman

Flowers

Window boxes attached to the porch railings are filled with spike plants, red serrated coleus, and variegated ivy. Purple Wave petunias fill the hanging pots.
Awnings

Alison Gootee/Studio D

Awnings

For extra sun blockage, the Filbins added seaside-inspired striped awnings to the west-facing bay windows on the first floor. NuImage Awning 3700 series fabric awning, $235, nuimagepro.com
Homeowners

David A. Land

Homeowners

Hooper and Read Patterson bought this 1997-built home in Wilmington, NC in 2013. They say, “We love how welcoming our house feels when you pull into the driveway. It’s tucked away like a cottage.”
Front Door

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Front Door

The Pattersons’ front door has an extra-large glass pane, which lets in a lot of light. Traditional Sash 144 exterior door, from $350, simpsondoor.com
Columns

David A. Land

Columns

Squared, tapered columns are a classic Craftsman design move. These are set on brick bases for a rustic look.
Adirondack Chair

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Adirondack Chair

Lime green chairs put a fresh spin on the porch and pair well with the coral bench. Shine Company Westport cedar; Adirondack chair in lime green, $137, atgstores.com
Porch Light

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Porch Light

Sconces feel more casual than a hanging pendant, especially on a porch with such high ceilings. Bel Air Elmont outdoor wall light in black, $26.50, hayneedle.com
Flower Beds

David A. Land

Flower Beds

Talk about variety: This front yard is packed with blooms in tons of shapes and colors, including purplish blue petunias, yellow cockscomb, lavender ageratum, variegated pittosporum, black-eyed Susan, red cockscomb, and pink petunias.
Paint Colors

Paint Colors

Siding: Winter Day by Behr. Trim: Simply White by Benjamin Moore. Side door: Coral Gables by Benjamin Moore. Porch ceiling: Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore.
Bench and Pillow

pillow: Alison Gootee/Studio D; bench: courtesy of the manufactuer

Bench and Pillow

A bench painted coral and a cheery blue pillow let visitors know a fun family lives inside! Jiti Designs Mosaic 12" x 20" polyester pillow in blue, $61, outdoorpillowsonly.com; Achla Lutyens wood garden bench in eucalyptus, $239.50, wayfair.com; Paint: Coral Gables by Benjamin Moore
From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine
Homeowner

Beth Perkins

Homeowner

Sylvia E. Gonzales bought her 1930 home in Houston, TX in 1988. “My Craftsman bungalow reminds me of my childhood home,” she says. “I tried to keep the style true when I redid the porch and landscaping.”
Lantern

Courtesy of the manufactuer

Lantern

A trio of pendants (one is hidden behind a column) helps light up a deep porch. Hinkley Freeport 14"-tall bronze outdoor hanging light, $225, lampsplus.com
Stained Glass

Beth Perkins

Stained Glass

To pretty up the front of the house, Sylvia added a stained glass window when she renovated.
Ceiling Fan

Courtesy of the manufactuer

Ceiling Fan

Against a pale blue porch ceiling, dark fans look dramatic. They’re a must for keeping away bugs, too. Fanimation 52"-diameter Builder 5 Blade indoor/outdoor ceiling fan, $129, wayfair.com
Patterned Paver

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Patterned Paver

They may look like terra-cotta, but these walkway tiles are actually made of incredibly durable recycled rubber. Envirotile 18" x 18" Bella Rocca paver in terra-cotta, $7, homedepot.com
Paint Colors

Paint Colors

Siding and brick: Rookwood Red by Sherwin-Williams. Trim: Crisp Linen by Sherwin-Williams. Front door and roof brackets: Rookwood Dark Brown by Sherwin-Williams. Porch ceiling: Tropical Surf by Glidden.
Landscaping

Beth Perkins

Landscaping

These blooms look lush when paired together: fire bush, lily of the Nile, African iris, and gardenia.
Rocking Chair

Courtesy of the manufactuer

Rocking Chair

Simple white wood rocking chairs make a porch feel homey.
From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine
Gravel

Beth Perkins

Gravel

Gravel—in shades of brown so it doesn’t clash with the pavers—covers the driveway.
Mailbox

Alison Gootee/Studio D

Mailbox

A bronze-finish mailbox matches the warm tones of the siding and painted brick. The scalloped edges give it a vintage feel. Hummingbird wall-mount mailbox in hand-rubbed bronze, $100, mailboxworks.com
The Homeowners

©Moya McAllister

The Homeowners

Melanie and Christopher St. Pierre have lived in their 1920’s Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ home since 2009. “It was the little quirks—like the offset windows on the front door and the brick detail under the chimney—that made us fall in love with it,” they say.
Porch Light

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Porch Light

The St. Pierres repainted their house and replaced the porch light with a black one to match the color of the shutters. Murray Feiss OL5701 traditional two-light outdoor wall lantern with clear seeded glass shades, $186, build.com
Paint Colors

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Paint Colors

Stucco and Siding: Days of Sun by Pratt & Lambert. Shutters: Black Noir by Pratt & Lambert; Front door: Velvet Red by Pratt & Lambert
Doormat

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Doormat

A new doormat is an easy way to bring color to a stoop without flowers. This red and yellow number pairs perfectly with the exterior paint colors. Salsa 18" x 30" doormat, $34, tag2u.com
Landscaping

©Moya McAllister

Landscaping

The yard is kept simple with easy-care ornamental grasses, azalea bushes, and assorted shrubs. The holly bush and weeping tree behind the front shrubs add height to the design.
Door Handle and Strap Hinges

Courtesy of the manufacturers

Door Handle and Strap Hinges

For a historic cottage feel on a newer front door, install strap hinges and a matching handle. Fusion Hardware Scalloped two-piece handleset in brass finish, $348, myknobs.com; Weathered bronze dummy strap with heart design in forged bronze, $29.50, houseofantiquehardware.com
Walkway

©Moya McAllister

Walkway

A curved path from the curb to the front door says, “Welcome to our home.” This walkway is made of bluestone pavers.
Front Door

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Front Door

The original arched front door contrasts with the house’s peaked rooflines. Get the same storybook style with this round-top charmer. Classic-Craft Rustic Collection unfinished CCR100R front door, $1,190.50, thermatru.com for stores; paint: Velvet Red by Pratt & Lambert
Boxwood Shrubs

©Moya McAllister

Boxwood Shrubs

Two sturdy, evergreen boxwood shrubs shaped into cones grow on either side of the steps.
Exposed Brick

©Moya McAllister

Exposed Brick

A brick chimney stands out against the yellow stucco. A fun touch: extra bricks that look like they’re cascading down the front.
The Homeowner

Kim Cornelison

The Homeowner

Mary Shanesy bought her Minneapolis, MN home in 2010. “The first time I saw the house, the front yard was overgrown with yew shrubs,” she says od the 1900 home. “I spent an entire summer redoing it with low-maintenance grasses and stones.””
Shutters

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Shutters

White shutters pop against the gray cedar shakes (on the top half of the house) and the siding (on the bottom half). The moon cutouts on the shutters are fun and unique to the neighborhood. Classic Collection 14" x 36" composite wood shutters with moon cutouts, $550 for a set of 2, atlanticpremiumshutters.com for stores
Double Doors, Square Planters + Porch Lights

Kim Cornelison

Double Doors, Square Planters + Porch Lights

The outer wood door is painted the same blue as the front door. Together, they give the entry a layered look. Sturdy planters on the front stoop hold sweet potato vine and purple fountain grass. Antique-looking porch lights mounted on either side of the front door hint at the home’s age.
Porch Lights

Porch Lights

Antique-looking porch lights mounted on either side of the front door hint at the home’s age. Sea Gull Lighting Classico 8510-12 single-light outdoor wall lantern with tail in black finish, $99, build.com
Landscaping

Kim Cornelison

Landscaping

For a mix of heights and textures, Shanesy planted tall ‘Karl Foerster’ feather reed grass, red bee balm, and fast-growing blue dune grass around the stones. Large granite rocks give Shanesy’s yard rugged texture that contrasts with the smooth steps. The stones’ red veining adds a welcome hit of color in winter.
Paint Colors

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Paint Colors

Siding: Antique Silver by Olympic. Trim: Delicate White by Olympic. Front doors: Blue Cloud by Olympic
The Homeowners

©Buff Strickland

The Homeowners

Ann and Tim Blanz bought their 1940 home in 2003. “The covered porch and round vent above the door sold us on this charmer,” they say of the Austin, Texas house. “The painter called our color choices ‘garish,’ but we don’t have a minute of regret!”
House Numbers

Courtesy of the manufacturer

House Numbers

Modern house numbers on the overhang are a sleek, unexpected touch on this quaint 1940s cottage. Architectural Mailboxes Laguna 4"-tall house numbers in satin nickel, $10 each, mailboxworks.com
Paint Colors

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Paint Colors

Siding: Prairie Sky by Valspar. Shutters: Dark Kettle Black by Valspar. Front door: Chickadee by Valspar
Wicker Chairs

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Wicker Chairs

A pair of lime green wicker chairs flanking the front door picks up color from the cacti in the yard, and makes the porch feel inviting. Casbah chair in green, $120, pier1.com
Front Door

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Front Door

There’s not another house on the block with a colorful front door. The Blanzes were more than happy to go all in on theirs. Custom 383 exterior wood door, $2,867, jeld-wen.com for stores; paint: Chickadee by Valspar
Bullet Planter

©Buff Strickland

Bullet Planter

A midcentury-style planter with a stand brings a flash of bright orange to the porch. A low-maintenance jade plant likes a lot of sun and just a little water. Medium Retro bullet planter in tangerine, $155, hiphaven.com
Xeriscaping and Gravel

©Buff Strickland

Xeriscaping and Gravel

The Blanzes chose to xeriscape their yard, meaning they planted drought-resistant plants that get most of their nourishment from rainwater and don’t need much additional upkeep. The yard includes (clockwise from top left) a sago palm, blue agave, red yucca, and ball cacti. Instead of grass, crushed limestone provides ground cover.