Curb appeal is the sense of grand perspective that comes into view when one approaches a home from the front curb. It is essential to both architectural aesthetic and real estate value because it is the first impression one gains of the personality of the homeowner. Such a portrait of personal lifestyle, rising up from the Houston landscape, is indeed worth a thousand words.
Curb appeal ties directly into the value of the home because of the personal appeal it adds to the façade of the house. For those seeking to upgrade the appearance of the property prior to listing the home on the market, curb appeal is an investment in future returns that is sure to pay off on some level even in the toughest of markets.
The purpose of curb appeal is to create and direct the emotion of the Houston landscape toward a focal point of personal lifestyle. This focus in turn distinguishes the home as a preeminent structure set apart from others of its kind on the block, and it adds an attraction factor to the innate worth of the dwelling.
In many of these projects, architectural elements that many people only conceive of as back yard structures can actually be used to beautify a front yard. Such elements includefountains and small patios. More complex structures can also be added such as architectural walls, porch steps, and pedestals with columns. The latter are very important anytime it is necessary to create a sense of grand entryway.
Hardscape designs like these play a very important role in the creation of curb appeal. The most effective structures that blend outdoor architecture with natural portions of the Houston landscape. This generates a sense that the home is closer to Nature, and that outdoor living is as much a part of the residence as activities occurring indoors.
The key in designing such hardscapes is to use unique forms and colors to generate a sense of interest, invitation, and warmth. For example, there was front yard we renovated for a Tanglewood home that originally looked quite ordinary compared to other homes on either side of it.
The main problem was a circle driveway that was nothing more than a concrete slab surrounded by San Augustine grass. The hot summer sun would scorch the grass, causing patches of it to die and make the yard appear even more unsightly.
This yard was completely transformed when we removed the concrete driveway and built a running bond brick walkway in its place. The San Augustine grass was then replaced with dwarf monkey grass, and the walkway was framed by a generous planting of boxwoods. This new spectrum of greens and reds drew the eye in from all surrounding points of the Houston landscape and focused it squarely on the front of the house.
Garden design plays an equally important role in the creation of curb appeal. A lack of garden design can make a yard appear disordered at worst, chaotic at best. However, when garden design is done professionally and meticulously with respect to home architecture, it not only upgrades the appearance of the house, but it also tends to draw the eye away from any negative aspects of the nearby Houston landscape.
Flowers are also vital to upgrading the aesthetic of a front yard. They accentuate the home with an added dimension of outdoor décor, and they add color and a sense of emerging vitality to the Houston landscape. On a larger scale, trees add dimension and control the perspective of houses. In many neighborhoods they screen the home from surrounding residences.