Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What's curb appeal got to do with it?

As a Realtor and Master Gardener, I am very aware of the effect a homes "curb appeal" can add to the home value. Take a look........ This is now, 2009, with paver stones, new landscape, fountain etc., added to home.
This home is currently on the market for sale, see additional information below.
This is then, 1998, before changes were made, same photographer, different camera....before digital! A picture is worth a thousand words, don't you agree?
At some point, we have all driven by or visited a house that just grabbed our attention the moment we saw it. I’m not talking about the look of the house itself. I’m referring to the overall good feeling or karma you experienced as you took in the view. You can give “curb appeal” credit for that.

Curb Appeal is just what the name implies.... The appeal of a house and landscape as you view it from the street or curb. It has nothing to do with the size or grandeur of the house. Instead, it relates to the sense of balance and harmony of the landscaping with the house. It’s often a personal experience, sometimes difficult to put into words. Many times what gives a house curb appeal are the collective subtleties throughout the landscape. But here are some specifics to help you zero in on making your own landscape more curb appealing.
Scale.... When plants and trees are of an appropriate size to the house, they are “in scale”. They are neither too large nor small. They fit with the overall structure. Trees and shrubs don’t overpower the house, yet at the same time, you don’t have to strain to notice them.

Balance.... I refer to balance in a landscape as visual weight. You don’t have to have a mirror, symmetrical image of the right side plantings with the left, although in a formal landscape this is often the case. For most homes, an informal landscape is more appropriate and inviting from the street. Yet, symmetry can still be achieved in an informal way by placing trees and shrubs or even flowers so that generally what’s on one side mimics the other, through size, form, layers, texture and color.

Curves.....As you face the house, what’s more inviting, a dead straight walkway leading from the house out to the road or sidewalk, or one that has a gentle curve? For most homes, the latter is more inviting. The same goes for bed lines. In a formal landscape, straight lines are the norm rather than the exception. But curb-appealing homes most often are characterized by soft eye pleasing curved walks and beds. They seem to say, stroll on up here, have a seat and stay a while; you’re welcome here. Conversely, (to me anyway), straight lines say, hurry up, get your business done and move on. Now I realize that seems a bit harsh, and it is an over generalization but it makes my point.

Odd Numbers.... When planting beds, especially when using shrubs or trees, think in terms of odd numbered quantities. From a design standpoint, our eye tends to be more comfortable with odd numbers of plants such as 1,3,5…9,etc. In most home landscapes, a more informal, asymmetrical look and feel is appropriate. Odd numbered plantings help to accomplish this. The exception would be a formal landscape design when you are deliberately trying to achieve symmetry in which case, even numbers and mirror images work best.

Color.... One of the easiest ways to help create curb appeal is by choosing plant colors that compliment the house, without being distracting. In fact, in a house with curb appeal, the landscape plants blend together seamlessly with the house color scheme. Don’t place much weight on flower color. That is fleeting. Instead choose plants for their foliage color, and remember to consider their fall display.

Layers....On the theme of casual balance, layers mimic nature and nature is the best case of curb appeal on a grand scale. Layers abound, from ground covers up to the tallest trees, up to seven layers total. Don’t feel like you must include every layer in your curb appealing landscape but its not hard to do and the variety will make such a positive difference.
Variety....Speaking of variety, landscapes that are pleasing to the eye do so by mixing it up. Having said that, you can easily overdo it. Just like with loud colors, too many plant types can be confusing and distracting to the eye. A few groupings of different plants, trees and shrubs, provide enough change without overdoing it.

If you’re ready to add some personality and charm to your front yard start by asking yourself, what’s not working in the current landscape? Then apply the concepts above and you’re on your way to having your own curb appealing landscape.
Unique & unrivaled home in a Park-Like setting, located on a street lined with majestic oaks, just off Lake Monroe. Special features include: Lushly landscaped Koi Pond, a spectacular fountain, a full size Tennis Court & Jr. Olympic size pool. As you enter the GRAND FOYER of this home with it's dramatic circular staircase, you will know this home was meant for gracious living and entertaining. A true keepsake of yesteryear! Additional features of this home include: 2 fireplaces, a 2nd floor balcony (New Orleans style) across the front of the home, 2 staircases, Professional landscaping, huge closets and lots of storage throughout the home, a built in basketball hoop, a breath taking Koi pond visible from the family room.....even a laundry shoot. Not counted in the square footage of home or under Central AC is a potential in-law/guest apartment on the 1st floor with separate entrance. This area looks out to the pool, and an "out building" used as a pump house for pool equipment. During the Cuban missile Crisis this structure was built as a bomb shelter. With a little TLC is can be converted into a pool dressing room or even a Wine Cellar. Additional Florida room (28 ft. X 11 ft.) boasts a view of Lake Monroe from its picture window. A Spanish look tile roof tops off this out of the ordinary property. Located less then one mile from the Sanford, Florida Airport and Seminole Town Center Mall.

For additional information on this 6 bed/5 full bath/2 half bath home contact Maxine.


Meems said...

Really great tips on curb appeal. I enjoyed reading all your suggestions. Sometimes I think I garden so intensely because I'm NOT in my dream home... and creating a garden is so much easier than building a house. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your nice comment.
Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

Permission to Mother said...

Wow... I didn't even think it was the same house! I had to keep looking at bothe photos to beleive it.

ThePendentMan said...

I like the house the old way. that is more me. Give me Shade. But that is not to say the new way isn't just as nice. Either way I'd buy it if I could.! Deb
Want to sell mine. townhouse in coconut creek. ha. Im stuck here for a while. Sad to say people don't want move in condition right now. boo hoo sniff sniff. lol