26 Affordable Ways to Up Your Curb Appeal

Manicured lawn in front yard of tan and white house

The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

Curb appeal is a blanket term that describes making your house look good from the street. You can update and enhance your home's curb appeal with improvements big and small, from the front yard landscaping to the house number, fencing, front porch decor and lighting and the choice of exterior paint colors for the facade, trim, and front door. Here are some homes in various styles from different regions around the country that will help inspire you to up your own home's curb appeal.

  • 01 of 26

    House Numbers

    front yard with house number prominently displayed

    Brophy Interiors

    Make sure that your house numbers are legible, easy to find, attractive, and in a font that complements your home's architectural style.

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  • 02 of 26

    Add a Picket Fence

    curb appeal

    Maite Granda

    A white picket fence is shorthand in the collective imagination for the American dream. This Florida home from interior designer Maite Granda includes a decorative picket fence at street level that flanks the long and wide driveway leading to the home, and a pair of white rocking chairs on the porch completes the picture.

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  • 03 of 26

    Change the Mailbox

    black midcentury modern house mid matte black modern mailbox

    MidModMidwest/Instagram and Designed by Waterstone Studio

    Your mailbox should be easy to see for the mail carrier, but from a design perspective, it should also complement the style of your home. Whether that means going for an all-black look as seen above or opting for a contrasting color or material is up to you.

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  • 04 of 26

    Light It Up

    curb appeal

    Kern & Co.

    Warm sconce lighting from the pillars flanking the driveway entrance and spread throughout the front and recessed courtyard entrance of this Spanish-style home from Kern & Co. creates a welcoming glow that adds curb appeal when the sun goes down. The decorative glass and iron sconces complement the Spanish-style home and add a decorative element when not lit that complements the landscaping.

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  • 05 of 26

    Rethink the Front Pathway

    front yard with tile walkway and flower garden lining the house

    Lady Landscape

    Your front walkway should be well maintained, easy to spot, and welcoming for visitors. Giving your front entry a simple makeover with new landscaping or paving stones can make all the different.

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  • 06 of 26

    Add a Striped Awning

    curb appeal

    Mary Patton Design

    A gray-and-white striped awning and a wall full of ivy adds instant timeless curb appeal that makes this home from Mary Patton Design feel quietly elegant, welcoming, and warm.

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  • 07 of 26

    Refresh the Door

    front yard with stone path and arched entryway leading to dark wooden set of double doors,

    Mary Patton Design

    Think about repainting your front door in a bright contrasting color or replacing it if it's in poor shape or doesn't match the style of the home's architecture.

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  • 08 of 26

    Add Contrast

    curb appeal

    Design by Handsome Salt / Photo by Jenny Siegwart

    Interior designer Sara Simon of Handsome Salt used modern high contrast finishes that add curb appeal to this Southern California home, from the black paint on the facade to the wood awnings over the trio of French doors that match the pale wood of the steps and deck.

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  • 09 of 26

    Update Architectural Details

    front entryway with columns and tile walkway

    Calimia Home

    Small improvements like repairing or replacing light fixtures, railings, awnings, porticoes, overhangs, or porch flooring will have a big impact on your home's curb appeal.

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  • 10 of 26

    Consider Small Details

    curb appeal

    White Sands

    White Sands took care to embellish the curb appeal of this 1929 Southern California Spanish bungalow situated close to the street with tiered landscaping that extends to the sidewalk. Small details like a spelled out cursive number plate over the garage door that complements a numerical number plate by the door make the exterior feel polished and intentional.

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  • 11 of 26

    Consider the Exterior Color

    house with white brick and blue exterior, wooden garage door

    Brophy Interiors

    Painting the exterior of your home in a new color (or two) can make it look like a brand new house.

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  • 12 of 26

    Preserve Original Character

    curb appeal

    Erin Williamson Design

    Erin Williamson Design preserved the historic character of this California home that emphasizes its shingled facade, white porch columns, herringbone patterned brick walkway, and simple, well manicured landscaping to create a timeless dose of curb appeal that will never go out of style.

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  • 13 of 26

    Replace the Garage Door

    house with front yard and wooden front door, white columns. Wooden garage door.

    Lemon Leaf Home Interiors/Instagram

    Replacing a tired garage door that is visible from the street is a simple way to elevate your home's curb appeal.

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  • 14 of 26

    Use Integrated Lighting

    curb appeal

    White Sands

    White Sands added integrated lighting that is both practical and decorative on the flight of steps leading up to the entrance of this three-story Southern California home that softens the imposing facade after dark.

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  • 15 of 26

    Renew Your Landscaping

    house with beautiful front garden

    Getty Images / Perry Mastrovito

    Maintaining your landscaping is key to ensuring that your home has curb appeal. Trim your hedges, water your lawn, sweep the leaves off your front porch, and if your home is in need of some trees, plants, and flowers, enlist the services of a landscape designer or landscaping company to help you come up with a plan that works with your climate and the architecture of your home.

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  • 16 of 26

    Think Year-Round

    front yard with tree

    Brophy Interiors

    Opting for plants like shrubs or even trees that look good year-round will keep your yard from looking drab and bare once autumn and winter arrive.

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  • 17 of 26

    Try Xeriscaping

    curb appeal

    Michelle Boudreau Design

    This Palm Springs home from Michelle Boudreau Design has desert-friendly xeriscaping that complements the midcentury modern architecture and fills in the front yard with an edited selection of sculptural plants that don't require regular watering like a green lawn.

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  • 18 of 26

    Paint Your Porch

    front porch painted white

    Kirsten Diane

    When in doubt, a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for the exterior of your home. You might need to give your porch a little extra attention with a mini refresh to combat wear and tear in the high-traffic area.

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  • 19 of 26

    Think About Scale

    front yard with rustic home, cement walkway, balanced landscaping

    Lady Landscape

    Take into account the size of your house and your front yard when designing hardscaping and landscaping to enhance your home's curb appeal. Larger homes may require wider sidewalks or larger plants to balance things out. Smaller homes may need to opt for smaller plant life and narrow pathways to keep things within scale and cohesive.

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  • 20 of 26

    Add Unique Features

    front yard with wooden custom built pergola holding a hanging swing

    The Home Consultant

    Your home may already have distinct features that you want to update and repair, but you can add your own spin with a pergola, decorative lighting, or a hanging chair to add some boho style flair to your curb appeal.

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  • 21 of 26

    Maintain Your Landscaping

    front yard with small shrubbery along pathway

    Su Casa Design/Photographer: Barrie Underhill of Upper Left Photography

    While plants are often a common way to spruce up your front yard, their placement and maintenance are important. Consider how much work you are willing to put into taking care of your landscaping—or hiring someone else to do it—before making decisions. Nothing wrecks your home's curb appeal faster than a wilted lawn or unkempt garden.

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  • 22 of 26

    Mind the Fence

    white house with white brick border and white wooden gate at the entrance

    Mindy Gayer / Photo by Vanessa Lentine

    If your home has a gate in front, be sure to take care of the landscaping on the street side so that your curb appeal extends to the sidewalk, making your home look integrated into its surroundings and respectful of the neighbors.

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  • 23 of 26

    Add Classic Details

    curb appeal

    Kate Marker Interiors / Stoffer Photography

    Kate Marker Interiors added curb appeal to this home with classic details like a pair of vintage-style door knockers on the double doors flanked with double potted topiaries. Contrasting pale wood shutters and columns over the covered front porch adds a fresh, natural touch.

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  • 24 of 26

    Tile the Steps

    curb appeal

    Design by Studio Surface / Photo by Jenny Siegwart

    Interior designer Michelle Salz-Smith of Studio Surface upped the curb appeal of this Spanish-style home with a small entry gate that matches the warm wood stain of the front door, and tiled the steps up to the entrance with geometric black-and-white tile that adds a surprise modern touch when visitors approach the door.

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  • 25 of 26

    Cleanliness and Potential Repairs

    house being painted

    Getty Images / Grant Faint

    Maintenance and cleanliness are part of the big picture. Take note of whether your home appears clean, fresh, and well-kept. Also look at working elements like gutters, siding, and shutters. Are they in good shape or is it time to repair or replace them?

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  • 26 of 26

    Plant Seasonal Flowers

    curb appeal

    Finding Lovely

    A generous planting of colorful tulips at the foot of a mature tree in the front yard produces a cheerful and welcoming effect that ups the spring curb appeal of this New England home from Finding Lovely.