15 High-Impact Curb Appeal Makeovers That Prove There’s Power in the Details

updated Nov 11, 2020
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Before: Front porch with large stone columns and green doors

Whether you’re welcoming guests or getting ready to list your house, your home’s exterior is the first impression. The first glimpse seen from the street can immediately make your home feel warm and welcoming—or it can feel dark, dreary, or standoffish.

Fortunately, bringing the welcoming vibes to your digs doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to renovate your whole house. In fact, there are plenty of changes that you can make that rely on small changes, or limit any construction to just the front door. Skeptical? From simple styling and paint jobs to architectural add-ons, here are 15 brilliant redos that will inspire you to look at your home’s exterior in a new light.

1. A brighter entrance, thanks to paint

Kate of House Mix proves how much just a few coats of paint can make a dramatic difference. Between her door, walls, and floor makeover, her front porch goes from builder grade blah to welcoming and refreshing.

2. Natural wood elements

Add visual interest to your exterior by breaking up large expanses of wall with subtle texture. Diane of In My Own Style keeps your eye moving with her DIY horizontal wood slats to bring that extra detail and highlight the great lines of her home.

3. Farmhouse-style front porch redo

Have you ever had a renovation project snowball? Amanda had planned on only adding a small entrance space to the side of the house. Which meant the siding needed to replaced. Which meant, which meant, which meant… it was the perfect time to tackle all the curb appeal projects in one go! All the small additions really added up and transformed her dated 1990s bungalow into a modern farmhouse dream.

4. A custom walkway makeover using pavers

Catherine and Bryan of Beginning in the Middle had a walkway started out as basic poured concrete—fine, but not exciting. Using just simple pavers from Lowe’s, they created a custom diamond pattern complete with edging details and a new retaining wall. Now, the entrance to their house feels high-end and custom.

5. Dated brick gets a bright makeover

Instead of paint for her steps, Lauren of Bless’er House started her project with limewash to tone down the reddish tones of the brick. Afterward, she selected a beautiful stencil pattern to give the illusion of new tiles.

6. Concrete steps get a farmhouse treatment

Here’s another example of a small project with big payoff. Lisa of Farmhouse on Boone re-clad her concrete steps with wide wood and swapped the old iron railing for matching railing all around her porch. The result feels fresher and more inviting.

7. A painted brick transformation

The multiple red tones on this porch not only clashed with each other, but also with the house’s soft-toned green exterior. Instead of replacing the brick, Karianne, who blogs at Thistlewood Farms, used gray porch paint (Sherwin-Williams’ Cityscape) for a full-coverage transformation.

8. A redo that focuses on the details

Jenni of I Spy DIY is a master DIY designer who is no stranger to big projects, but she also knows when a “room” might just need styling. Here, she put the emphasis on small details—like a wreath, a sitting area, and a second handrail—to help make her front porch extra welcoming.

9. A more defined entryway

Laurel of Sopo Cottage gave her front entryway more of a presence by swapping out the small door for a more substantial and striking exterior door and framing it with a porch roof, handrail, and wider siding. One of the easiest ways to boost curb appeal is clearly delineating where the front entrance is—it’ll make your home feel like it’s welcoming people in.

10. A painted brick update with French cottage style

A lot of people hold brick sacred, but sometimes you need to know when to update it. Carolyn of My Chic Obsession embraced limewash for her brick home, and offset the new look with a fresh door and matching shutters to bring her French cottage vision to life.

11. A dark and dramatic transformation

It’s hard to believe that in this incredible home reno project by CC and Mike, the exterior elements largely remained the same. CC and Mike show that you can work with what you have. Start with a dramatic and moody paint choice, contrast with natural wood shutters, and thicken your porch posts.

12. A fresh look for a vintage porch

Lauren of Frances Lauren Interiors saw the potential in her vintage porch. She highlighted the architectural charm by refinishing the old wood door—which helps bring its details to the fore—and swapping out the small light fixture for one that makes more of a statement. Finally, Lauren added a new mailbox and grand planters that she and her husband DIYed.

13. Wider rooflines for maximum impact

Traci of Beneath My Heart shows how extending a roofline can make a huge difference in the look of your home’s exterior. Her project opened up the entryway and makes it feel bright and airy. To keep that feeling across the entire front of the house, she played with contrast between the white siding and new light-toned porch pavers by adding black windows frames and accents.

14. Skinny porch posts get a lot more oomph

Say. No. To. Skinny. Porch Posts. Thin posts give the impression that the entryway was an afterthought propped up on whatever was left at the hardware store. Chelsea and Logan of Making Manzanita show the impact of beefing up skinny porch posts, which gives the entryway a higher-end feel.

15. A cheery Cape Cod-style refresh

Only a few (high-impact) changes later, this doesn’t feel like the same house at all. Brooke of Nesting with Grace knew that with just five weekend projects that include new railings, fresh paint, and more, she could turn her plain home into a can’t-miss charmer.