Sort it: Seven ways to revitalise the outside of your home
With a little effort, the exterior of your house can be welcoming and inviting
For visitors, passers-by and even potential buyers, your home’s exterior is what creates the first impression.
This time of year we bring our focus from inside to the outdoors, but the back garden tends to get all of the attention meaning the front garden is often overlooked. For visitors, passers-by and even potential buyers, your home’s exterior is what creates the first impression, so it’s worth spending a little bit of time making sure it is welcoming and inviting. Here are seven easy updates to guarantee that your home will turn heads this summer.
If your door is in poor condition you might want to consider replacing it. Not only will this help to dramatically improve your home’s appearance but it will also help with making your home more secure and warmer for the colder months ahead. You should budget in the region of €1,800 for a new composite door, but prices will vary depending on what you choose. If your budget doesn’t stretch to a new front door, consider updating your current door with a fresh coat of paint. Have fun with this and move away from traditional shades like black, red and green. Instead, opt for something brighter and fresher. Rich sandy shades work well or try something fun and vibrant for real impact.
Replacing door knockers, numbers and letterboxes is a great way to spruce up your front door. New ironmongery is also a fantastic way to get your style across. Whether you prefer vintage brass, contemporary chrome or traditional black wrought iron, there is a multitude of styles to choose from and something to fit everyone’s budget. Antique shops and salvage yards are great places to source unusual fittings for those on a tight budget. If you love your existing brassware, but it is looking a little tired you can have it refinished. This is relatively inexpensive and will bring old door knobs and knockers back to life.
There’s nothing more uninviting than arriving home to a dark house. Aside from the practical advantages, lighting the front of your home is a fantastic way to create interest and make your home feel welcoming. Add recessed lighting beneath the eaves or fit LED lights into a path. This will not only be a lovely feature but is also a great security measure. Consider bringing lighting into your flower beds, or choose something of interest like a tree or feature on the front of your house and light it well.
Planting is a fantastic way to make any garden look more appealing. It will instantly soften hard landscaping and make the space feel more inviting. Tidy up your flower beds and introduce some flowers. Consider replacing some of your lawn with planting or, if you’re short of space, pots work well. Pots either side of your front door are a lovely way to make your entrance more appealing. Try going oversized here with very large pots and neatly trimmed buxus for maximum impact. If your front door opens directly on to the street, try a window box. You can change the blooms each season to make sure you have a burst of colour all year round.
When choosing a colour for the exterior of your home, it’s wise to stay away from yellows and peach tones. These don’t work well with the kind of light that we get in Ireland. Instead, go for something that has an earthy hue or hint of green to it. Portland by Dulux is an excellent choice for those looking for an off-white. Don’t be afraid of the darker shades; these can work well for specific styles of house. A detached home will be able to get away with more than a semi-detached or terraced house where it is best to stick to a similar palette to the rest of the houses on your street.
Like changing your front door, this will not only immediately change the appearance of your home, it will also dramatically improve your home’s energy efficiency. Your taste and the style of your home will have a big part to play in the style that you select. The front of the house is somewhere to be a little more reserved when it comes to the colour that you choose. I would recommend steering clear from anything trendy and instead, opt for a timeless shade.
For off-white, I’d recommend RAL 9010. It’s a lovely soft white that works with almost any material, be it brick, render or pebbledash. If you’re keen on greys and the darker shades, I would go with an off-black rather than a dark grey. Another lovely shade is Agate grey which has a slightly green hue and works well with more traditional style windows.
Most straightforward of all is to do some housekeeping. Clear out weeds and give paving and paths an excellent clean. Stone can discolour over time so use a power hose to get stone surfaces looking as good as new. Wash the windows and make sure your doorstep is free from cracks, retile if necessary and most straightforward of all invest in a welcoming new doormat.