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Street appeal – what is it, and why should you care?

From the Resene decorating blog

You hear the phrase street appeal a lot when you’re buying and selling houses. It’s really all about first impressions, and how a home looks to potential buyers when they first lay eyes on it.

A couple of coats of Resene paint can work wonders. What they see might influence their views on how light or dark the property is, whether it could be damp, if it’s going to need a lot of work to renovate or maintain it – and, of course, how much they want to pay for it.

A bold orange front door

Bold front doors have been popular for some time, and the trend keeps growing.

While red is a popular choice you could try something different like this bright orange door in Resene Hyperactive against weatherboards in Resene Merino, and a deck in Resene Woodsman Natural. The plant pot is Resene Kaitoke Green, the bench is Resene All Black, and even the stripes of the zebra doormat are painted in Resene Hyperactive and Resene All Black. Plant and doormat from Mitre 10, light from Lighting Plus. Project by Emma Rawson, image by Bryce Carleton.

A Mediterranean-style courtyard

This Mediterranean-style courtyard adds makes this front porch seem very inviting.

It’s achieved with the illusion of limestone walls using Resene FX Paint Effects Medium with layers of Resene Half Canterbury Clay, Resene Eighth Canterbury Clay and Resene Double Spanish White. The shutters and windowsill are Resene Kangaroo and the faux cobbled patio is painted in Resene Half Canterbury Clay, Resene Eighth Canterbury Clay, Resene Double Spanish White, Resene Blanc and Resene Half Spanish White. The large post in Resene FX Faux Rust Effect. Project by Annick Larkin, image by Bryce Carleton.

But street appeal isn't just about buying and selling. Having a property that looks beautiful and well-maintained from the kerbside will give you a lift every time you come home, it can open up new areas of use for your property, it’s much more welcoming when you have visitors, and it can become a talking point that builds connection with your neighbourhood.

But what makes for great street appeal?

Get the basics right

Mowing the lawns, trimming the hedges, painting the fences, keeping paths and pavers free of moss and mould, keeping the garden weeded and keeping exterior paintwork clean and free of flakes and chips. Those are the basics that make your home look smart and presentable to the world.

It seems like a lot, but an effort to do small jobs regularly should mean you can avoid having to do a huge push to tidy things up for a special event, or if you decide to sell.

You can also consider maintenance when you’re planning the front exterior and garden of your property. Things like proper preparation on painted surfaces can ensure they continue to look great for years after they’ve painted. Resene Lumbersider is ideal for painting home exteriors and protecting the substrate from the elements. If opting for a dark colour choose a Resene CoolColour to reflect the heat and for added protection.

If gardening or lawn mowing is not your thing, look to avoid large areas of grass and opt for larger gardens planted with trees and shrubs rather than flowers and annuals that will need more work.

Top tip:  Inspect your property exterior a couple of times a year – at the start of spring and autumn is a good idea. Make a note of what needs fixing now, what you’ll need to do over the coming months, and any bigger projects you’ll need to plan for. It’ll make your maintenance plan seem a lot more manageable.

An elegant porch

A mix of materials in layers of similar toned colours make this porch look eye-catching, elegant and uncluttered.

Here the wall is in Resene Quarter Friar Greystone and the floor is in Resene Triple Friar Greystone, while the trellis is in Resene Friar Greystone and the wine box shelves are stained in Resene Colorwood Iroko (large) and Resene Colorwood Equilibrium (small). The tops of the table and bench seat and the chair set are Resene Delta, while the legs of all the furniture pieces are Resene Gunsmoke. The tray is Resene Zeus. The pots in the wine boxes are Resene Abbey Road, Resene Mamba, Resene Juniper and Resene Opal and the two planters on the ground are Resene Zeus, and Resene Alabaster with pinstripes in Resene Nero. Lavender, pansies and purple kale from Kings Plant Barn. Project by Megan Harrison-Turner, image by Bryce Carleton.

A Hamptons-style front entranceway and porch

Weatherboards in Resene Half Periglacial Blue with a front door in Resene Blue Night combined with decking in Resene Woodsman Driftwood for a classic yet fresh Hamptons-style front entranceway and porch.

The trim is Resene Alabaster, the bench seat is Resene Coast and the storage box is Resene Poured Milk. The plant pots are Resene Slipstream and Resene Grey Seal. Project by Emily Somerville-Ryan, image by Bryce Carleton.

Stand out from the crowd

Nothing catches the eye quite like splashes of colour in a sea of green lawns and neutral houses.

It could be pots or raised beds filled with flowers, or it could be an on-trend bold coloured front door, mailbox or even brightly coloured table and chairs tucked into an intimate corner of the garden or porch.

Think about how a splash of colour against a monochrome or neutral interior, really adds a dramatic lift to the room. The same is true outside, particularly in winter when you may have less colour in your garden. You may not want to paint your whole house bright orange or turquoise, but a hint of a bench seat or gate in Resene Kamikaze or Resene Hemisphere nestled among the greenery of your garden or against a classic neutral colour scheme on your house may be just the touch of colour you need.

You can also be a bit creative when it comes to wood stained areas of your front yard, whether it’s a deck, porch, fence or gate. Try using different coloured stains in different areas for a sophisticated finish. Try dark Resene Waterborne Woodsman Pitch Black or Resene Waterborne Woodsman Crowshead stain on fences to help them recede into the background while still giving your section, and any bright pots and plants a modern, sophisticated backdrop.

Team that with more natural tones such as Resene Woodsman Natural on decking or porchways, as the wood tones will look smart and elegant against darker fencing, greenery and neutral house colours.

A bold front door will complete the look. Front doors in an eye-catching shade are increasingly common, as they’re a very simple way to elevate the street appeal of your house, while keeping most of it to a classic colour scheme. They can be particularly effective if you don’t have a large front yard. Choose Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss or Resene Enamacryl gloss for front door and tint it with a bold colour. Some colours to try, depending on the exterior colour of your house are:

Top tip:  If you want to go for a bold, surprising house colour – maybe a moody blue like Resene St Kilda or a terracotta tone like Resene Tuscany – keep your overall palette to three or four colours. Make one a deeper version of your main colour to highlight accent features of the building. Use a tonal neutral around trim areas, and keep a bold contrast up your sleeve to play in areas like garden furniture, the front door, the fence or even painted pathways.

A pretty, perky porch

Beyond painting your front door a bold colour, you can add street appeal by simply sprucing up your porch.

If you have space to play with, treat it like an extra room in your house, adding a bench seat or even a small table and chairs, or treat it as an extension of your garden with potted shrubs and flowers.

If you have only a tiny porch, make sure it’s perfectly painted and stained in colours that pull that rest of your exterior colour scheme together, and draw people toward the front door. If you need your front porch to be functional with spaces for dirty boots and umbrellas, consider upcycling a cupboard or a shoe rack, painted or stained in a Resene shade to suit your palette so everything has a place and your porch isn’t cluttered.

It’s also a good idea to make sure there is a clear path to the front door from the street side, and that it’s well-lit at night.

Don’t have a street front or a front yard?

Street appeal is all very well if you have a street front property. But if you’re down a long driveway or in a row of attached townhouses without a front yard, remember it’s really about first impressions.

Focus your decor skills on the front door and porch, add plants and work to keep things tidy and maintained.

Create a sense of arrival at your front door, with a large plant in a painted pot, outdoor fairy lights or even an artwork.

Top tip for sellers:  If you are preparing your house for sale and don’t have endless time and money, focus your attention on the areas potential buyers will notice first, like a broken fence, an overgrown garden, or peeling paintwork. A real estate agent will be able to give you advice on where to focus your attention.

Resene Poured Milk

Resene Slipstream

Resene Grey Seal

Resene Quarter Friar Greystone

Resene Friar Greystone

Resene Triple Friar Greystone

February 05, 2022

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