the way your house looks from the front is rather important, especially if you’re the type of person who likes to not only keep up with the Joneses but give them a good run for their money too. But all too often, family and work distract us from keeping up appearances and our homes lose their curb appeal. So what can be done about it?
First thing's first: take a look at your home front the front and ask yourself whether you’re happy with the way things are. No doubt, you’ve probably got a dirty driveway, some overgrown bushes and paintwork around your front door that looks as if it’s seen better days.
Next, ask yourself what you’d like to change. Eric King, a landscaping expert from Atlanta speaking on hgtv.com, says that homeowners need to be ruthless when landscaping and obey three very simple principles: simplify, conceal and reveal. Doing one or a combination of these three things is usually enough to end all your landscaping heartaches.
King says that the most common problem he sees in front yards is that people are trying to overcomplicate things. They’ve got clutter all over the place in their yard and in their beds, ruining the appealing look that they’re trying to create. King reminds homeowners that the house itself should always be the main event, not the landscaping. Growing lots of plants of different shapes and sizes only creates a distraction, he says. His advice is to cut everything back as much as possible and let it all grow in a single mass. The best approach is to have a number of smaller plants, like Japanese Maple, and have them clustered together, providing clear lines of sight to the house itself.
The next complementary approach is what King calls the “reveal” stage. Revealing is all about uncovering the beauty that’s already present in your landscape, lurking beneath the surface. First thing’s first: make sure that your front driveway is actually clean. You might think that you can see the real color of your paving slabs and stones, but the chances are that they’re covered in a thick layer of ingrained dirt. Sites like PressureWashZone.com have information on the type of high-pressure washer you should use to clean your driveway. Gas pressure washers are usually appropriate for larger, heavy-duty jobs.
Another tip is to make sure that your home can actually be seen from the road. Make sure that your plants are kept lower than the window sill and that your trees don’t occlude views of where you live. Sometimes, you’ll have to call out a tree surgeon to remove low-hanging branches.
Finally, King recommends that homeowners use the principle of concealment to add the finishing touches to their landscaping. This means hiding all thing things that are necessary, but you don’t really want people to see. Mailboxes, for instance, are usually ugly. But their appearance can be dramatically improved either with shrubs or by buying designer mailboxes with pleasing appearances. Other eyesores, like chain-link fences, can also be hidden behind a row of carefully arranged bushes.
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