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Landscaping – The Appealing Drive Up

The front of a house has its “first” impression just as people do, and it is often referred to as the “drive up appeal” or “curb appeal.”

Does your home have that special something that makes it stand out?
Is it eye-catching?
Does it make your neighbors just a little jealous they live next door to you? 

Then you’ve done your job, and probably don’t need to finish reading this article…

BUT, if you feel you could use just a little something, or maybe a whole over haul, we might have a few pointers for you.

There are many factors to improve the “first” impression appeal of your home; as a matter of fact, there are several books written on this topic alone, especially if you are in the market to sell.  However, let’s focus on just a few items if you don’t want to sell, but rather improve the appearance of your home. Let’s touch on the front entry, landscaping and lighting.

In the ancient art of Feng Shui, the entrance of a home represents the image you want to present to the world and indicates the view we have of ourselves.  According to Stephen Skinner’s book titled, Feng Shui, “The front door of your home is perhaps the most important feng-shui indicator.  It is like the mouth of your dwelling and determines what ch’i is drawn into your home.”

The sidewalk leading to your front door should have a slight curve to it and never be a straight-on shot from the street.  This creates too much energy flow coming into the home.  To break this and to create more appeal to the walk way, we can incorporate two of our above mentioned improvement factors; landscaping and lighting.

Along the path leading to your entry, place solar lamps a few feet apart on both sides to not only outline the sidewalk, but also to light the way to your front door.  Solar lamps come in many styles.  They are energy efficient and light normally at dusk.  Most can last up to 8 to 10 hours.

Lining the sides of the walkway with colorful flowers or small easy-to-care scrubs also gives a nice flow to the front door, but make sure that the scrubs are not too high to avoid blocking the view of the entry.  An archway filled with ivy at the entry of the path is another option to soften the overall design.

At the front door itself, place potted plants or flowers on each side giving a welcoming feel. Make sure the plants/flowers are well groomed from dried leafs and petals.

Front porch lighting is almost always a necessity, but here again; you can be creative with the type of fixtures and whether or not you want just one light or two on opposite sides of the front door.  Using a timer for the front porch light is an option, but consider the benefits of not having to remember to turn it on every night or while you’re away.

Landscaping the front of your house in your “personal taste” will make your “coming home” feel welcoming and relaxing.  But keep in mind the “curb appeal” and your neighborhood in general.

You may want to drive around your neighborhood to get some ideas, see what plants are appealing to you.  You can always go to a nursery, but sometimes seeing plants, trees and flowers in a settled environment will spark your creative juices and may also give you an essence of your surroundings, especially if you are new to the area.

There are so many options when deciding what to plant, what to take away, and what outdoor lighting to use. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to how “you” feel when you drive up to your home and how it appeals to you.