Andy Brack

The first impression of your home — its curb appeal — is a big deal. If you’re trying to sell your home, focusing on curb appeal will attract potential buyers. If you want to be a good neighbor, having a well-kept home and yard will add to a neighborhood’s value and show community pride.

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Whether you’re interested in selling your house or just trying to improve your home’s look, focusing on curb appeal is important to anyone who passes by. Follow these tips straight from specialists to guarantee that your home looks top-notch and inviting.

1. Highlight the architecture of your home

Since every yard is different, focusing on the particular structure and layout of your property is important, said Garrett Mattes, a landscape architect who owns Ink and Moss in Mount Pleasant. Accenting your home’s architecture will ensure that the yard looks coordinated, which adds to its appeal.

“This can be done by framing views from the street, highlighting the front entry, providing foundation planting to soften the transition between the built and natural elements on your lot, and giving planting beds some definition,” Mattes said.

Highlighting the design of your home will always create a balanced and harmonic look, he added.

2. Add container plants to your porch

If you don’t have much yard space, you can use pots or containers filled with bold plants to enhance your home’s curb appeal.

“A combination of containers, hanging baskets and window boxes can showcase your personal style and add fun pops of color and texture,” said Diandre Sunner of Carolina Landscape in James Island. She suggested experimenting with different varieties of plants and color combinations.

Debbie Davis of the Charleston Horticultural Society added potted plants can be a simple way to ensure any home looks inviting and appealing. “Pots of colored plants placed near the front door or at the garage” are an easy way to spruce up a front yard, she said.

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3. Plant annuals or perennials for a budget-friendly option

Bright, eye-catching flowers near a home’s entrance are one of the least expensive and effective ways to improve a home’s curb appeal, said Casey Todd, owner of Passiflora Landscape & Design in Mount Pleasant. “It will attract the eye to that area and distract from other areas that might not be as kept up,” she said. If your yard lacks space, she recommended planting annuals in nice pots for a similar look.

Some suggestions: “Birds of paradise, elephant ears or boxwoods underplanted with bright flowering annuals or perennials are always great options,” said Abide A While employee Eleanor Moynahan.

Although planted flowers offer an appealing low-cost option to make a yard pop, flowers do require some upkeep, experts said, advising people to stay on top of watering — particularly during the Lowcountry’s brutal summer heat.

4. Make plant beds look neater with mulch or pinestraw

One of the best ways to quickly improve curb appeal is to add new mulch or pinestraw to existing plant beds.

“Mulch always helps to make the beds look cleaner and make the plants pop,” Todd said. These additions hide weeds that may have been visible before, which gives a more polished overall look.

“Clean bedlines go a long way,” said Carolina Landscape’s Sunner. Although fresh bedlines may seem like a basic addition, they can truly add a lot of sophistication and appeal to any yard, she said.

5. Maintain your yard

Yards that look clean and tidy will automatically have a better curb appeal than a yard that is unkept and disorderly.

“I think quality maintenance is something that is usually overlooked that can be done with a little sweat equity and can vastly improve the look of your yard,” said Mattes.

Neglecting your yard’s needs will quickly lower the charisma and aesthetic of your home. Advice from the experts: Keep your grass cut. Trim edges and trees. And make sure you have lots of bright, healthy flowers. Follow that outdoor recipe and you’re sure to sustain a lively curb appeal that adds to your home’s value.

6. Know about the plants you’re choosing

The texture, size and quantity of greenery is important to keep in mind when choosing which plants will fill your outdoor space, Passiflora Landscape’s Todd explained. Ask these questions before planting: “How big will the plant grow? Will it eventually overtake the house or a window? Will the plant be too wide and be too close to the house or grow into a walkway? Can the plant take the lighting conditions in the front? Are the plants going to be over crowded at maturity or will you have to cut some out?”

Also consider the specifics of each plant, such as how large a tree will grow or how much sun a particular flower needs.

7. Work on the basics first

Landscaping can be expensive, so focus on filling your space with the essentials before moving on to more decorative details.

“If you’re working on a budget, think about getting the “bones” of the yard first. This would be your trees followed by shrubbery,” said Moynahan from Abide A While. Covering the basics first can significantly improve your home’s curb appeal and give your property more dimension. After giving your yard a foundation, then you can continue on by adding flowers to introduce color into your yard.