5 Simple Ways to Master Curb Appeal Beyond Your Front Door, According to Designers

published Sep 9, 2021
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When it comes to your home, first impressions are critical. These days though, the definition of curb appeal isn’t as literal. According to interior designer Beth Diana Smith, “the essence of curb appeal is how attractive your home is to someone driving, walking past on the street, or upon entry into the home.” Designer Marie Flanigan of Marie Flanigan Interiors adds that curb appeal is all about, “creating an intangible sense of delight for anyone who visits your home.”

No matter how you interpret curb appeal, one thing is true: if you want to be a courteous neighbor, you should probably care about it, no matter the season. The good news is whether you live in a townhome, apartment, condominium, or other shared building, it doesn’t take much to achieve curb appeal without an actual curb. “It’s just a matter of incorporating a few thoughtful yet intentional details that help add layers of warmth and a welcoming vibe — whether that’s a series of potted plants, a stunning door knocker, or a killer mailbox,” says designer Jacquelyn Clark of Lark & Linen. Read on for five more fresh design ideas to master curb appeal no matter where you call home.  

Credit: Liz Calka

Add color

“Color can make or break curb appeal,” Smith says. Check your rental agreement if you don’t own and consider giving your front door (both its exterior and interior, so you can enjoy it, too!) a fresh coat of paint for a temporary touch that makes an immediate impact. If you’re not a big color person, you can still go bold with a neutral like black or navy.

Focus on your entryway

After all, it is the official introduction to your home! “It’s the recipe and not any one specific ingredient that makes a great entry,” Smith says. “The wall finish, lighting, flooring, art, and decor are all very important elements. Peel-and-stick wallpaper should be any renter’s best friend. In an entryway, stylish wallpaper can even serve as a form of wall art.” To that end, add funky or fun wallpaper inside your doorway, and every time you swing open your door, and passing neighbors will surely smile when they catch a glimpse.

Make seasonal embellishments

“Choose items that can be embellished seasonally without making new large purchases,” Flanigan says. “A simple wreath of greenery or small faux plants can be dressed up with ribbon and adornment based on the time of year.”

Smith says she likes to swap out her doormats annually and coordinate them with ceramic planters for optimal cohesion. She suggests stores like HomeGoods for a variety of budget-friendly options in both categories. 

Credit: Revival Rugs

Work with what you don’t have

“If your front door is in the interior of a building, consider swapping a traditional welcome mat for a small vintage rug!” Flanigan says. “Since it’s indoors, you won’t have to worry about it standing up to the elements.” Let’s be honest — vintage rugs are usually a good idea.  

Buy: Emilija Vintage Turkish Rug, $136.00 from Revival Rugs

Capitalize on patio space

If you’re lucky enough to have a patio (or some kind of outdoor space), use it! “No matter the size, having a dedicated patio space is a luxury, and you should decorate it accordingly,” Flanigan says. “Add to your curb appeal by creating a miniature outdoor oasis. Potted plants, a small tree, and lanterns can all make a lasting impact.”

Clark agrees that greenery adds instant life to any outdoor patio space. To get the most bang for your buck, Smith suggests selecting versatile decor items like a colorful bar cart or interesting tableware. “Many of these pieces can be repurposed indoors during the fall and winter months,” she says.