While spring cleaning often focuses on an indoor refresh, now is also the perfect time to upgrade your home’s curb appeal. While external upkeep often sounds intimidating, there are actually lots of smaller ways you can improve your home’s outward appearance—and we turned to the experts to find out their top tips.
Below, we're sharing the best—and simplest—ways to give your exterior an upgrade, just in time for spring and summer.
01 of 09
Spring Clean Your Exterior
After a long winter of rough weather and even rougher temps, it’s very likely that your outside needs a deep clean as much as your inside—possibly even more.
“Clean your windows, gutters, and pressure wash your driveways,” Dierdre Gaddy, the director of interior design for Terra Firma Vegas, says. “Inspect your home for wear and tear after the harsh winter. Prioritize restoring what you already have, so that you have a fair evaluation of what you need.”
Once this is sorted, Sarah Fishburne, the director of trend & design at The Home Depot, has a tip for determining what to tackle next.
“Start by standing at the curb and taking a good look at your house," she says. "Then, walk up to the door and through the backyard, making notes of what you’d like to update or change. This allows you to prioritize your list so you don’t get overwhelmed.”
Continue to 2 of 9 below.
02 of 09
Create a Welcoming Entryway
If you’re looking to make cosmetic changes that pack a punch, upgrading your front door and entryway is an absolute must.
“Painting your front door in a bright and welcoming color gives your whole home a facelift,” Bethany Adams of Bethany Adams Interiors says. “Planters on either side filled with tulips or other pretty annuals are another great way to welcome spring into your home.”
If you're looking to upgrade your door for spring, try door décor like wreaths, suggests Fishburne. These aren’t just seasonal decorations—they also come in styles suitable for displaying year-round.
"You can also add a fun or artful doormat that may not be visible from the curb, but can offer a friendly, more personalized way to welcome guests," Fishburne says.Continue to 3 of 9 below.
03 of 09
Treat Your Porch Like an Additional Room
If you have a porch or patio, Fishburne says this should be refreshed in the same way you’d tackle a room inside your house.
"Treat your front porch like a room in your home,” she says. “To follow the trend of outdoor living rooms, pick out a few pillows in shades coordinating with containers and flowers. The weather-resistant fabrics will look fresh all season long."
Depending on the size of your front patio or stoop, add some outdoor furniture to give your front porch instant appeal. Rocking chairs and porch swings are also charming and inviting, if space allows.Continue to 4 of 9 below.
04 of 09
Fix Up the Garage
While your front door is key for giving your house a facelift, your garage and any side entrances deserve attention, too.
"One of the most prominent features of homes can be the garage,” Ashley Macuga of Collected Interiors says. “I love adding a pot with seasonal flowers to each side of the garage, extending a bit of color and freshness to the full facade.”Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Just Add Plants
This tried and true advice we hear for our indoor spaces applies to the great outdoors, too: when in doubt, just add plants.
“The simplest way to improve your curb appeal is by mowing your lawn, trimming the bushes, and adding fresh mulch to your planter beds,” designer, builder, and Overstock.com brand ambassador Luke Caldwell says. “I also like to add an entryway pot with flowers or a plant.”
Gaddy firmly agrees. She thinks that adding potted plants to your entry softens all the hard surfaces of the exterior.
“Having that softness provides a way to bring in colorful, textural, and sculptural layers to your entry," she says. "And of course, it goes unsaid that trimming and manicuring overgrown landscaping is a must."
One word of warning? Don’t overplant. In most instances, less is more, says Gaddy. Shrubs and bushes can become clutter on the eyes unless regularly maintained and manicured. Keep those items to the perimeter for added privacy, and focus on plants with color, texture, and scale to bring the drama.Continue to 6 of 9 below.
06 of 09
Focus on the Details
As it turns out, even though they seem tiny, upgrading your smaller exterior items can still have a big impact.
“Light fixtures, planters, and mailboxes can be refreshed at a low cost for a high-impact result,” Erin Lageman-Louies, brand expert for the home paint brand Glidden, shares. And she specifically recommends spray paint to do the job. “Use a lacquer-based spray paint to deliver full coverage without drips or streaks.”
If you’re concerned about the unpredictable weather spring can bring, you’re not alone—and Lageman-Louies says it’s a valid thing to consider if you’re doing any external paint jobs. “DIYers should consider humidity, cold snaps, rain, and wind while they are working on their curb appeal projects,” she advises.Continue to 7 of 9 below.
07 of 09
While painting your lighting fixtures is one great option, Gaddy points out that improving your lighting is another way to spruce up your outdoor space.
“Lighting, particularly uplighting, provides a way to highlight key features of the landscape,” Gaddy says. “The light play that you get from uplighting a plant provides an impactful way to add drama.”
But it’s not quite as simple as installing a few extra lights. Gaddy tells us there are a few things to keep in mind. Consider your home’s current exterior lighting and lighting color temperature so that they match when choosing what and where to add additional lighting, she advises.
Along with creating a beautiful visual effect, Fishburne notes there are other benefits. “When you install outdoor lighting, you improve safety and security, as well,” she says.Continue to 8 of 9 below.
08 of 09
Upgrade Your Hardscape
You’ve probably already considered the impact of great landscaping on your home's curb appeal, but Gaddy points out that hardscaping is just as important. So, what is hardscaping, exactly? Hardscape improvements can involve adding features like a path of pavers to the front door, retaining walls, or even creating an exterior pad or patio for a courtyard-type experience, Gaddy explains.
“One of the things that we particularly like to incorporate are tiered built-in planter boxes," she says. "They add a layering effect that keeps the eye moving as you progress into the home’s entry when installed alongside the hardscape.”Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Change the Color Palette
Obviously, painting your house’s exterior isn’t exactly a small project, but it’s not as expensive as it sounds—and the payoff can be major. Painting your house a fresh, neutral color goes a long way, according to Caldwell.
“The first thing people notice about a home is the exterior color—especially the condition and cleanliness of the façade and the trim,” McCollum adds. “Think about how you typically refer to homes by their color: ‘the white house on the left.’”
Lageman-Louies agrees. “Having the right exterior color scheme can breathe new life into your home. An updated color has the power to bring architectural features to life or help hide blemishes.”