A beautiful exterior can transform any property into a welcoming family home.
“A home will stop me in my tracks if it demonstrates a beautiful balance of materials, proportions and a complementary garden,” says Sally Satriani from Beautiful Home Renovations.
If selling, a well-presented exterior can prove a powerful marketing tool. “It entices buyers into your home,” says landscaper Graham Fudge of Peter Fudge Gardens. “It subconsciously tells the prospective buyer that this ‘we care’ attitude also extends inside.”
Here are six simple ways to transform your exterior for the better.
1. Clean A professional house clean is an ideal way to kick-start your makeover. “Mould, mildew, spider webs and traffic grime build up quickly,” says Melanie Stevenson from Porter’s Paints, “and if you need to repaint, a clean surface to paint adds longevity.” Use a high-pressure hose on sandstone to get rid of grime, and reseal your paving after cleaning for long-lasting results. “Clean windows and paving make a huge difference,” says Satriani. “Be sure to give walls and eaves a hose down before moving onto the windows.”
2. Paint Paint not only makes a home look beautiful, it also protects it. “When paint cracks and peels, it won’t be long before the timber begins to rot,” says Stevenson. “Paint is the first defence, and less expensive than replacing rotting wood.” When choosing colours, look for timeless shades and keep your neighbours in mind. “The streetscape is important to everyone,” says Stevenson. “A home that stands out usually does so for the wrong reasons, and a ‘look at me’ colour scheme can devalue your home.” Classic white and grey in all its guises remain popular choices. “Colour trends for exteriors cycle very slowly, so most combinations are considered for longevity,” she says.
3. Front door A revamped entry makes for a smart update. “A lick of paint is an inexpensive fix,” says stylist Justine Brown of Chocolate Brown. “Consider dark blues, charcoal or matt black, and invest in bold new hardware to complement it.” Kara Staunton from KDS Designs agrees. “It may not look dramatic from the street, but it’s those smaller details that are the most satisfying.”
4. House numbers Updating the numbers on your home is an easy way to add wow factor. Add contemporary numbers to an old home, coloured lettering on a monochromatic colour scheme, or a traditional font that matches the style of the home. “Opt for bold and graphic,” says Brown. “If you are placing them on a light facade, go for a matte silver or black for strong effect.” Staunton agrees. “Choose a font that is simple – scrolls and glyphs can be difficult to decipher.” Consider where to display, be it your front door, gate or letterbox. “Check there’s a good range of vision from the street,” says Staunton. “If attached to the house, adjust font size accordingly and contrast the numbers on the wall behind.”
5. Lighting Effective exterior lighting should be more than just practical; it should showcase key features of the house and garden. “The front door should also be well-lit,” says Staunton. “Wall sconces look especially effective flanked on each side of a door.”
Lead guests up the garden path using inexpensive, energy-efficient solar lights. For a festive feel, add fairy or festoon lighting in the trees and above your entertainment area. “They add drama,” says Staunton, “just ensure they are white and don’t blink!”
6. Landscaping “Keep your garden smart, casual and green, rather than stitched-up and perfect,” says Fudge. “Don’t be afraid to repeat plant – it keeps it simple and unifies the garden.”
Consider all areas, and how they can best be utilised. “Green walls, fire pits and enjoying nature are key messages at the moment,” says Fudge. “Add a bench seat in the garden and abundant pots and garden beds to provide accent and a personal touch.”