3 easy ways to add curb appeal and value


When landscaping is done right, it can take the most vanilla home and instantly transform it to the most beautiful on the block. It’s like a new coat of neutral paint--never underestimate the power of landscaping and paint! With the nice weather finally here, let’s talk about quick and easy ways to add curb appeal (read value!)--whether you’re selling or not! Who doesn’t want their home to look its best?!

Think year round
It is easy to get distracted by all of the gorgeous flowers (which are usually annuals), but remember to use a mix of annuals and perennials, plus a good amount of evergreens. All three ingredients are important for different reasons: annuals are usually the most colorful flowers that are in the stores right now. These are important to add your points of interest in these earlier spring months.

Perennials are important because these will continue to grow in size and fill in your garden through the years--and also buyers love to hear about a garden full of perennials! And of course because you don’t have to constantly replace them, perennials are a good cost savings as well. Evergreens are important because we live in Chicago! Ha, but really, evergreens are really the only plants that can withstand our cold winters and still look green year round. My favorite evergreens are boxwoods and arborvitaes. We use boxwoods along the front of our house because they still allow a good amount of light to filter through the basement windows they cover.

Don’t forget your parkway!
Does everyone know what a parkway is? It’s the space between the curb and the sidewalk that as a homeowner you don’t actually own, but have the pleasure of maintaining! This is a great space to clean up because so many parkways around the city left kind of forgotten--which I always think is so weird since this is the first thing people see when approaching your home. We recently reimagined our parkway space, and I love how it turned out. The main thing to remember here is dogs. To avoid dogs constantly turning our grass brown, we opted for planters along the perimeter of varying, asymmetrical sizes. The perfect spark of interest that is totally dog-friendly. We also added a bench so that Justin and I have a comfortable place to watch the girls ride bikes and play with chalk.

Texture is your friend
You know when you approach a house and it looks totally inviting, but you can’t put your finger on exactly how and why? The answer is usually texture. A mix of different materials and colors will add depth and a well-rounded look. In the front of our house we have wood, metal, concrete, rocks, and brass--it sounds like way too much, but you have to trust me that it works! A fence is a great opportunity to introduce a new material or two.

Because I know everyone will want to know, my two landscaping recommendations are Kemora and JW Landscapes.