Homes - Exteriors

Pretty up your porch

7 outdoor design tips to give your home porch appeal.

Does your home have the "It Factor" it needs to sell in this buyer's market? Experts say potential buyers make a split-second decision the moment they pull up next to your house. If your home exudes curb appeal, you’re already more than halfway to "Sold." But if it doesn't, you’ve got an uphill battle convincing potential buyers to buy.

Your porch plays a huge role in setting the scene. Even if you're not planning to sell this year, a porch makeover will enhance enjoyment of your own home. Want to put a smile on your face (or potential buyers' faces)? Here are seven high-impact, low-cost must-do's.

1 Hide your recycling
Blue boxes and piles of cardboard are the last thing the come-hither porch needs. Move recycling to the side of your house, or your garage, shed, mudroom, basement or some other place where it’s out of sight (and possibly, smell).

2 Plant it up
Live plants freshen up any porch. Flank your steps with a pair of urns, stagger pots on steps, or set balcony planters off porch railings.

Save money by potting your own long-lasting geraniums, pansies, ivy, begonias and other long-lasting container-friendly plants purchased in flats.

Or save time by buying planter-ready potted arrangements and dropping them into ornamental planters.

Buy plants suited to your porch's lighting conditions.

3 Update your hardware
Banish mismatched porch hardware and the messy message it projects. Buy a mailbox or slot, doorbell or knocker, kick plate and lock set from the same collection. Your house numbers should also be in a matching finish.


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