Create High-End Curb Appeal for Less

Boost your home's curb appeal without draining your wallet. These simple, budget-friendly fixes—like adding a wreath, painting the front door, or tending to the landscape—will make your home look like a million bucks.

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    Lovely Landscaping

    It's possible to welcome guests with a well-manicured landscape while sticking to a budget. Start by picking plants that last for a long time without much upkeep, like peonies, hostas, and irises. Begin with a few varieties, then grow your collection by dividing perennials and exchanging with friends and neighbors.

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    Refresh a Planter

    Pay attention to your planters. Add character and interest to your home by planting flowers in salvaged or repurposed containers, like barrels, birdbaths, and wheelbarrows. Look for inspiration in items you already own and at flea markets. 

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    Have a Seat

    Seating can add major curb appeal without much cash. Look for something simple and eye-catching, like a pair of chairs found on Craigslist or a repurposed wooden bench. Add color with cushions and bright pillows—just be sure to use durable, weather-resistant fabrics.   

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    Take a Number

    House numbers are functional, but they can also add personality to your home. Choose numbers in a fun style, then arrange on a plaque, planter, mailbox post—or anywhere else you’d like to add character. Just make sure the numbers are visible from the street—even at night—so guests can easily find your address.

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    Lantern Light

    Flea market finds—like these majestic lanterns—add rustic beauty at little cost. Keep your eyes open at thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales for statement pieces that can flank a front porch.

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    Add a Wreath

    Wreaths aren't just for the holidays. Dress up your front door year-round with wreaths in a variety of fun textures and designs. Snag decor at a discount by planning ahead and buying items well in advance. Fall wreaths, for example, go on sale in November and December, so buy at a reduced price, then store until September rolls around.

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    Custom Welcome

    Add a creative touch to your front porch with this easy DIY welcome mat. Use colors and patterns that complement your home's exterior as well as your personal style. 

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    Simple Symmetry

    Symmetry is pleasing to the eye, but it can be difficult to obtain in home design—especially if your home wasn't built with balance in mind. Capture the effect without a remodel by creating a symmetrical front porch or walkway. Matching potted plants flanking a set of stairs or identical rocking chairs on each side of your front door will do the trick.

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    Change of Season

    Seasonal decor changes your home's look every few months without much work. Plus, you can decorate without breaking the bank. Just opt for simple, fresh accents. Try picking up pumpkins, squash, and gourds for fall, and go for evergreen boughs and red ribbons in winter. Bright, seasonal blooms do the trick in spring and summer. 

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    Hang a Flag

    If it works with your home's color scheme, add an American flag. It's an affordable way to add a dash of color and a pop of patriotism. Mount the flag on a pillar or above your door.

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    Swing Away

    There's something magical about a porch swing. It's simple, sweet, and oh, so charming. Although seemingly pricey, porch swings can be surprisingly affordable if bought in the off-season. Plus, they can be DIY-ed with an old mattress and some lumber

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    All Dressed Up

    Planters easily dress up a fence or banister. Pick a neutral basket, then fill with long-lasting goodies like pinecones, fruits, and evergreens. The look is reminiscent of a window box but with easier access. 

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    Say It in Style

    Craft a homemade sign that looks like it was bought in a boutique. You only need seven easy-to-find materials! Hang the welcome sign on your front door or porch.  

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    Keep It Bright

    Make a statement with a colorful front door. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders on any surface, and a bright hue ensures that your home will stand out in a sea of neutral colors. Simple materials you likely already have on hand—paint, primer, and brushes—keep costs low.

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    Build Character

    High-end curb appeal lets your home stand out—in a good way. The key is to play to your home's strengths and architecture. If you're on a budget, pick one feature to home in on—like shrubbery, lighting, or the front door—and make it the focal point of your exterior. 

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    Go for Green

    Not a flower fan? If trees and greens are more your style, keep an eye on local forestry groups that might offer free or reduced-price trees and shrubs. It's a simple way to score major shade.  

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    Pave the Way

    A pathway leading to your front door is an inviting gesture to guests. Create a DIY garden path with flagstones or other pavers. Look for stone that matches your home's architecture and style.  

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    Light It Up

    Warm lights and lanterns give off a homey vibe without much effort. You likely already have some sort of porch lighting, but consider adding a spotlight on a favorite tree or lanterns along a walkway. 

  • Next Slideshow Before and After: Home Exteriors

    Before and After: Home Exteriors

    Maximize curb appeal with an exterior makeover. See how these 24 facades went from ordinary to unforgettable.
    Begin Slideshow »
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