Home Inspirations: Start spring decorating with curb appeal

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• March 7, 2015

Spring flowers, trees and a bench in the entry set the tone for the exterior. 

We always talk in this column about decorating our home's interior and how to make our outdoor spaces beautiful (coming soon), but with spring around the corner, I think we should pay a little attention to the sometimes overlooked curb appeal of our homes.

One of my favorite British sitcoms features in every episode, a home that has a broken mail box, a gardenthat falls of the hinges, car with a flat in the driveway, cracked sidewalk leading to the house, light fixtures hanging from wires, chipped stairs leading to the door. And when the homeowner greets guests, you see that the interior perfectly matches the exterior: a disaster.

I laugh at this show every week. And no, in all of my years as a southwest Florida interior decorator, I have never encountered anything quite this dramatic while making my way to a client's front door. Although I did once break the heal on my shoe because of pavers that were too far apart and I did have a client's dog eat my shoes while I was on a ladder hanging artwork.

The fact is this: with a few good tips, we can improve the curb appeal of any home in a short time. If you are selling your home, it will attract a buyer and if not, you will feel much better every time you pull into your driveway. Try these tips for a quick (pretty) fix starting at the curb. It will say "welcome home" to you and your guests!

Decorative items, shutters, lighting and flower pots say "welcome home."

Before you get started, as with any decorating project, clean and declutter. Spring is the perfect time to take care of your landscaping by trimming, weeding and pruning. Pressure wash roof and driveway. Clean out gutters. Now for the fun tips:

•    Upgrade your mail box from the one that you have had since you moved into the house. If this is not possible because of homeowner rules, at least clean it out (cobwebs) and plant some colorful flowers around it.

•    Repair pavers or cracks in the driveway or sidewalk.

•    Freshen up the house numbers. Invest a few dollars little in a customized decorative plaque with your numbers.

•    It's a great time to clean/replace outdoor light fixtures and make sure you have enough light. A dark entry is not inviting nor is it safe.

•    Paint the front door, trim on the house and shutters if you have them. If you read this column regularly, I always suggest painting the door and the trim around it every spring. Give some thought to the style of the home and don't be afraid to go bold! Mine is currently turquoise!

•    Evaluate thepaint. If you are selling your home, a fresh coat of paint is the bestway to update your curb appeal.

•    Update your door bell or knocker. •    Plant spring annuals in your front yard. Around trees and to line your sidewalk or driveway.

•    Style the front entry. I do this for all of my clients. A seasonal wreath on the front door. Container gardens from a nursery, Lowes or Home Depot are my favorites. They are fast and inexpensive. Place them in pairs on either side of your door to add a welcoming touch.

•    Add some accessories! A piece or two of artwork that is weather-resistant such as a birdbath in the yard surrounded by plants and flowers or a metal sculpture at the entry, set the tone for entering your home.

•    Replace your door mat.

•    Welcome home.

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Home Inspirations appears the first Saturday of each month. Visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips and photos visit her blog at spectacularspaces.com/blog