8 Moves Landscapers Use to Boost Curb Appeal When They’re Short on Time

published Aug 31, 2019
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Think the only ways to boost your curb appeal are time-intensive tasks like painting your front door or redoing your front yard? Think again. According to Blythe Yost, co-founder and head designer of Tilly, an online landscape design company based in New York; and Sam Souhrada, maintenance division manager of FormLA Landscaping in Tujunga, California, there’s a pretty long list of pretty quick tasks (from five to 20 minutes—max) that can make a huge difference in how your home’s exterior looks. Here, eight of our favorite mini moves:

Tidy up

Decluttering can do wonders for making a home’s interior look better, and the same goes for your yard. “We tend to keep a lot of things at-the-ready for our convenience,” Souhrada says. “That can look unsightly and put a damper on your curb appeal.”

He recommends taking at least five minutes to put away tools, hoses, and toys.

“Taking a few minutes to store [these] will go a long way to improve appeal,” he says.

Clear hard surfaces of debris

While you may think to reach for the leaf blower or broom only when the leaves start to fall, Yost says regularly clearing any debris off of patios, walkways, and decks will quickly freshen your space any time of year. She mentions that though leaf-blowers have gotten a bad rep over the years, she says many battery-operated ones are now much more eco-friendly than their older gasoline-fueled counterparts.

Wipe down surfaces

While you’re in the clearing mood, Souhrada recommends taking a few minutes to wipe down everything in sight for an instant boost: Furniture, outdoor kitchen equipment, railings, window wills, baseboard, and undersides of the gutters.

“You’d be surprised by how many people notice the difference,” he says.

Hang a wreath

Yes, painting your door a fun color can up your curb appeal—but it’s because it adds a touch of personality to the place and freshens up the exterior at the same time. But there’s a less-intensive way to get the same result, says Yost: Add a wreath. While you might want the traditional evergreen or flowers, she says there are also more modern options, like this gathered twig-interpretation.

Add some color (or more green!)

Just like wreaths, plants on your porch can add a spot of color. Souhrada says to use potted plants to create a container garden—the mix of greenery and hues will help draw the eye to your home’s architectural features and away from eyesores.

Yost says to pick plants that are appropriate for the light condition (sun or shade) and recommends storing them in big containers as they’ll maintain moisture better (meaning less watering!)

Lay down some mulch

Have any spaces in your yard without any greenery? (Yes, grass counts!) Souhrada says to take five minutes and cover these unplanted spaces with about three inches of organic wood mulch. Not only will your yard look cleaner and under control, it might even save you time in the future as mulch naturally prevents weeds from growing.

Edge your beds

“We often get so focused on mowing the lawn and pulling the weeds that we forget to care for the edge between,” Yost says. And it’s as simple as picking up a spade shovel. She says to cut an edge into your flower bed at least a couple times a year to keep your garden clean and defined.

Stage cozy spaces

Staging isn’t just an indoor activity: Souhrada says moving a couple of things around and adding some inviting seating can help create a welcoming mood to your backyard, too.

“Adding pillows to basic outdoor furnishings can make a world of difference,” he says. “If spaces are large and undefined, consider adding temporary outdoor seating and dining areas.”

Really, really hate landscaping? Here, eight more easy landscaping hacks, courtesy of someone who feels the same way.

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