Creating Curb Appeal: Before-and-Afters

Designer John Gidding and his team have worked their magic, taking these homes from drab to fab in some of Curb Appeal's most inspiring transformations.
By: Caitlin Rogers

Boring Beige

It's easy to pass by this San Francisco home without so much as a second glance. The boring beige color and undefined features leave it seriously lacking in character.

Beautiful Blue

Lattice details help to frame and accentuate the main window, bringing this house back to life. An elevated flower bed and cobalt-blue tile also provide pops of color to catch your eye.

The Ugly Duckling ...

This San Francisco home has been dubbed the "ugly duckling" of its neighborhood, and not without good reason. Unkempt landscaping brings down the value of the property, and the driveway and lawn are in desperate need of some attention.

... Becomes a Swan

With a refreshing, soft-blue paint color and new shutters, this home is practically unrecognizable. High-end details, such as the sections of brickwork and white molding, complete the transformation from ugly duckling to elegant and stately manor.

Old General Store

It's hard to find anything appealing about this former general store in Oakland, Calif. Between its muted color, awkward entrance and overgrown trees that block the view, this home could definitely benefit from some curb appeal.

Functional Family Home

For this makeover, it was important to incorporate the rich history of the space while also making sure it stayed comfortable and homey. A charming bench and white picket fence help make the home inviting while a purple frosted-glass door adds an eccentric touch and preserves the general store character.

Blank Canvas

This San Francisco fixer-upper has zero style, with virtually nonexistent landscaping and an overall rundown appearance. The good news is that the home is essentially a blank canvas and has endless potential to become a creative work of art.

Work of Art

By removing the chicken-wire railings and using boulders to frame the new landscaping, the home has taken on a much more neat and put-together look. Warm color tones are grouped in blocks to form an interesting geometric arrangement, and a new seating area makes the porch a fun gathering point.

Haunted House?

This San Francisco home looks more like a haunted house than the lively home of a large family. Its Victorian style has plenty of potential, but a dull white color and lack of any accentuating features make the home feel ancient and rundown.

Charming Victorian

It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do! A new, bright aqua color and abundance of flowers give this home a cheery and much-needed facelift.

Clash of Styles

This Oakland, Calif., home certainly gets your attention, but not in a good way. Large awnings date the home, and the half-timber framing of its Tudor design clashes with the Spanish tiles, giving off a very hodgepodge effect.

Simply Modern

In perhaps one of Curb Appeal's most dramatic transformations, this modern home oozes style and trendiness. Vibrant colors contrast well with a stark white background, and a single tree was planted in a square of sod to keep the design simple and contemporary. However, the most unique aspect of the home is definitely the pop-out facade complete with sliding shutter.

The Black Sheep

This Spanish hacienda, built in the 1920s, has become the black sheep of its Atlanta neighborhood. Nearly all of the landscaping has died off, and what little is left has been neglected for quite some time, giving many people the impression that the home had been abandoned.

Spanish Hacienda

The key to this renovation was reviving the home's Spanish-Colonial style while also giving it some modern updates. With its earth-toned stucco, tilework and lush courtyard, the home still manages to maintain a Spanish flair, while an expanded front porch and steps leading to the street increase accessibility.


This Atlanta fixer-upper suffers from a small yard and an overpowering oak tree which takes up most of the lot. The tiny upstairs window is also dwarfed by the large gable, but the symmetry and high pitch of the Victorian style provide plenty of opportunities for this home to shine.

Fairy-Tale Cottage

Designed in a folk Victorian style, this home now boasts filigree details and bracket work, which give it an ornamental and decorative look while also appearing handcrafted. A white picket fence and simple pathway help to frame the landscaping, while an expanded upper window solves the gable problem. The colored front door and circular porch details also add a quaint touch and serve as a focal point.

Too Much Clutter

There's no question that this San Francisco home is in need of some TLC. The overgrown and cluttered yard needs to be tidied up, and the bland paint color is doing nothing to enhance the space.

Pull Up a Seat!

After trimming back several trees and adding a driveway turnaround, this home has taken on a fresh and inviting look. The new arbor makes the entrance more welcoming, and the addition of a seating area provides the perfect place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

Car-Crash Catastrophe

Ever since a car crashed into the front yard, this Atlanta home has been the eyesore of the neighborhood. A dirty picket fence and landscaping overgrown with weeds drastically drag down the potential of this home.

Traditional and Elegant

A fresh coat of paint, some flower boxes and the addition of a portico help give this home a traditional elegance. Also, by filling in the driveway and creating a terraced landscape, the house gains an added dimension, and the removal of the fence opens up the yard and makes it more welcoming.

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