A home’s fundamental purpose is to provide shelter, security and privacy for its inhabitants. But there’s nothing “private” about the message a home’s exterior gives to passersby. From façade to landscaping, the home’s exterior appearance informs friends and neighbours of our taste, style and orderliness. Give your home something to brag about by increasing its curb appeal with these simple suggestions.
Replace a dull or uninteresting front door with a more stylish version. The addition of sidelights (windows at the side of door) or a transom (window above the door) permits light to filter into the entranceway. If you love your front door make sure to paint or stain it frequently; every four to six years, depending on wear and quality of the paint job. Flaking, chipped or tired paint destroys a façade’s neat appearance. Make sure to mount architecturally appropriate hardware to the front door. Specialty hardware stores can suggest suitable options for doorknockers, latch sets and mailboxes.
Enhance the presence of small windows with the addition of shutters or window boxes. To ensure pleasing proportions, select shutters wide enough to shut fully over windows. A window box looks best when it’s slightly wider than the windowsill it rests beneath. Make sure to consider plants that will bloom with little or no care.
ACCESSORIES AND LIGHTING
Emphasize a façade’s symmetry by flanking the front door with wrought or cast-iron garden urns filled with seasonal flowers or greenery. It might be an affordable choice to hire a landscaping company to modify the urns seasonally. Select a front-door mat that’s as large as possible to give the most gracious impression. For safety, create a flexible lighting plan to illuminate pathways leading to the front door. Consider the merits of decorative lighting such as uplights to draw attention to ornamental bushes or trees.
Finally, make it easy for guests (and heaven forbid, emergency crews) to find your home. Install a large address plaque in a prominent, well-lit location near the front door.
KIMBERLEY’S ADVICE FOR Front Door Colour
GREEN • Complement the ruddy appearance of a brick façade with deep, rich green. Darkest green is ideal for more formal exteriors such as Georgian, Federal or Neo-Classical styles. Mid-tone greens suit more casual homes, ranch-style bungalows and clapboard cottages.
BLUE • Mid-tone blues are well suited to pink-hued brick or stone. With its grey undertones, Wedgewood works beautifully paired with a charcoal roof.
RED • As with interiors, red makes a striking impression. A bold red front door suits Colonial architecture with its clapboard siding and simple woodwork. It’s also an excellent choice for front doors situated to the side of the home as its weight helps to restore balance to the façade. Dark plum (red with blue influences) is an elegant choice beside fine-looking stonework.
BLACK • Strike a formal pose with deep black for classically influenced exteriors (those featuring Greek or Roman elements such as columns and entablature). Black is the single, most formal colour choice available for front doors.
BROWN • Enrich a handsome Tudor façade in sombre tones of brown or dark tan. While dark brown has the architectural weight of black, it works better with less formal façades such as cottage and country styles.