curb appeal (my dilemma).

I mentioned last week that I was starting to dream about fixing up the outside of my house, particularly the curb appeal. I do have several ideas in mind - but right now I'm starting with collecting inspiration photos and pulling down ivy.

So, when I remembered that Amanda's Decorating Dilemmas party was coming up, I figured it was a perfect opportunity to post photos and ask for feedback. Plus, these parties are just fun - I haven't linked up myself before, but I love checking out everyone else's posts (and adding my two cents!).

So, this is the front of my house:

A close up of my front door:

And this is what it looked like when I bought it:

The flag left with the previous homeowners, and a few years ago, my friend-and-landscaper Robbie pulled out the old trees and added some new landscaping. Last summer, most of the gutters were taken down and the broken siding (not visible here) was fixed.

Now I'm ready to come up with a more involved plan. What would you do if this was your house, and you had free reign to change it up?

Since I'm just gathering ideas at this point (even though I do have some of my own), I'm open to any and all suggestions - but there are probably a few things I should mention (especially for anyone reading this who doesn't know me in real life):
  •  I really don't enjoy landscaping and gardening - AT ALL. Even when I'm not dealing with seasonal allergies (and I am - because it would have taken me weeks to pull down all that ivy on my own), I don't enjoy those things. I even pay someone else to mow my grass - and though I'm usually pretty thrifty, I'm perfectly happy to continue paying him to do the work.
  • I'm not afraid of DIY and trying to do things myself - but I am only one person, and I have a full-time job. And a lot of other commitments. I'm already prepared for this to be a multi-step, multi-month effort.
  • I'm cheap - and I'm saving for a trip to Africa this summer.
So - let me hear it! And if you have any inspiration photos, share those, too.

(And if you like giving advice - head on over to the party to find more dilemmas)!


  1. This would be a bit of project, but what if you made a little front porch on the right when looking at the house? You could get cement poured, maybe raise it up just a little bit, put a cool fabric awning over the window on that side? And just grow some bushes on the left side of the house. Just a thought! What a cute house!

  2. I just saw a post where a lady redid the color and style of her shutters. WISH I could remember where. It made a HUGE difference! I really think it would for yours too. Paint the shutters and the door. I'm NO help with plants as I have a brown thumb, kill everything. LOL

  3. An awning over your front door would jazz up that area and shelter your guests from rain. Replacing the railings might be something you could consider for the future.

    Your house is super cute!

  4. I love the idea of painting the shutters and door-or just the door-I think I'd paint the light fixture too. Another easy, quick thing would be to get some pots of flowers to put on your steps-like some red geraniums-something that pops!

  5. I would get rid of that storm door, so that your actual front door is visible, and paint the door a brighter attention getting color. I would concentrate your first phase of planting along the walk way, on either side, to "invite" your guests on up to the front door. I would add flowering bushes, in mass, closer to the house. (azaleas? hydrangeas?) I would plant some summer blooming bulbs throughout your existing landscaping because they are super easy and come back every year. I'd do that again in the fall, so that you will also have color next spring. My favorite bulbs are daffodils (because they come up super early and let you know spring is coming!) iris, tulips, and lilies. Bulbs are very hardy, and will take care of themselves.

  6. I agree- take off the storm door and paint your door a bright color. Your door is lovely, and would really stand out and be so welcoming.

    You could paint the shutters too.

    I am thinking a tree on that corner of the house by the garage might be nice. A tree softens the straight lines of a house so nicely. My town has a tree program twice a year where they split the cost of a tree with you. Maybe your city has a program like that too? Or you can get a tree on sale? It's a lovely house, it won't be hard to make it look super cute!

  7. First, your house is adorable! I like it so much better with the black roof than the previous brown one! For the landscape I think two bigger plants on both ends of the house would look great and add a little diminsion. And a little color goes a long way in redo. I say paint the from door either black or red, and maybe even give the shutters a nice pop of color too!

  8. Your house is so cute! Love it! For long term plan, I would look at ways to expand your porch and get it covered. For short term, I think window boxes with "easy care" botanicals (I don't have a green thumb either!) would make a huge difference under the windows on the front!

    Not sure about deed restrictions in your neighborhood, but seeing a flagstone walkway, instead of concrete. Would be beautiful!

    My link isn't showing up on Amanda's party but would love your thoughts on my kitchen!

  9. Your home is so cute! I think I would paint your door either black or red. Black would be so cute with your shutters. And then I think adding window boxes under your two front window boxes would be so cute. You could do wooden window boxes or have you seen those scrolly metal ones? They are so cute. It would bring some color with the flowers to the front of your home and also take up a little of that space that is under your windows.

    I can't wait to see what you do!


  10. Yes to the window boxes!!! I have the black "wrought iron" kind that you slip the coconut liners into. Very low maintenance. Wave petunias are great in those b/c they overflow the box and you can see a lot of the color. It looks like you might get a lot of sun too, and wave petunias do great in full sun. They are also nearly impossible to kill. You just pluck the dead blooms off and they keep blooming all summer!

    Long term, an awning/small front porch would be nice with some potted plants to add more pops of color.

    Your house is adorable!!! Thanks so much for linking up to my party. I hope you're having fun "mingling." :)

  11. What about painting the door!?!? Can you paint screen doors?

  12. I'd do window boxes! You could buy ready-made ones. And you could plant low-maintenance plants. If the front of your house gets lots of sun, you could do plants like petunias and sweet potato vine--very easy to grow. If you don't get lots of sun, you could try impatiens and coleus and perhaps ivy to cascade over the sides.

    Good luck!

  13. I vote: window boxes and paint front door. I think with a little color, you'll be set!

    Also, it might be nice to add a little solar lighting along the walkway.

  14. First thing I would do is paint the front door. I love the window box idea as well as the awning over the front door. I think that would look GREAT!

    What about lining your sidewalk with some type of plants - like hostas or that monkey grass stuff? I'm terrible with plants. I have a black thumb. I kill everything! If it doesn't say "Hey mom, I'm hungry" it doesn't get fed at my house.

    I really liked that flag too. Maybe you could get another one?

  15. Love the idea of window boxes with low-maintenance plants to add some color. Will the bushes along the front of the house grow taller? Even if they won't, I think so decorative grass would look nice. Adds height and is very easy to take care of.

    I'd also paint the front door black and get a black light fixture to tie things together. If you can live without a storm door, that would look great, but if you'd like to keep it, I think just painting it black as well would work.

    I also think a porch or deck would look really neat, but I realize that's quite a project to undertake.

    Good luck! Can't wait to see what you decide on =)

  16. Okay... I think your house is A-freakin-DORABLE. So cute! Love the style and the brick stairs.

    Here are my few ideas - I love outside spruce ups.
    - I think painting your door and shutters (and maybe even the awning up top if you are keeping it) a fun, bright color. That would really liven it up and would be cheap and pretty simple. And, if you aren't all for bright, black would really look classy. And, I would definitely not remove the storm door. Storm doors are such a necessity. ;)
    - I would eventually replace the railing and add an awning. (I'm still trying to convince hubby that we need an awning. I hate standing out in the rain.)
    - I would paint or stain the concrete front stoop, too. I stained our stoop a few years ago and it made such a difference. It's not a permanent solution with the winters we have in Illinois, but it really is a easy, quick transformation and you can always touch it up later. If you paint the stoop, I'd probably paint the brick stairs to match, but I have issues with matching.
    - Please add flower boxes. Simple to maintain and so much charm. You can also decorate them for fall and Christmas.

    The truth is, your house has so much charm right off the block. Everything you add will just put it over the edge. Good luck!

  17. Cute house! Even though you don't like gardening, I would add colorful low mantainance flowers to the front of the house, and maybe along the walkway. Also, a couple of trees to break up the lawn area would be really nice. I love trees! :-)


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