She also wanted the outdoor theme (Italian countryside) to be reflected indoors. So the entry of her home includes two framed pictures of an Italian villa, a book on Tuscan architecture atop a dark wood entry table and copper accents.
To gauge your home's curb appeal, start by looking at it while standing across the street. What do you notice? What is your eye drawn to? For those who can no longer "see" what their house really looks like, they might enlist someone who can, whether it's a professional or a trusted friend.
Next, take stock of the different parts and area of the exterior.
- Are the shrubs and lawn overgrown? If so, trim back the shrubs and mow the lawn. Get rid of plants that look as if they're on their last leg (this would be a good time to remove plants damaged during January's cold snap).
Get rid of any unsightly weeds. Those about to put their home on the market might consider hiring a gardener or landscaper to maintain the yard if they don't have the time to keep it consistently tidy.
- Add color. Evergreen landscapes are fine, but adding a little color can go a long way. Add some colorful annuals to the beds.
- Dress up a worn front door with a fresh coat of paint and/or new hardware, such as a decorative handle, kickplate or knocker.
- Is your welcome mat more worn than welcoming? If so, replace it.
- If space allows, add containers with plants of varying height (something tall with something that cascades over the sides).
- Get a new address plate or find fancier numbers to use for your address.
- If space allows, add a small bench or other seating on the porch or inside the doorway so guests have a place to sit.
- Jazz up a plain door with a wreath. An already ornate door can be left alone if its design is striking.
- Give the exterior a good cleaning with a pressure washer.
- Wash the windows.
- Declutter. If you have too many accessories, pots, flags or other doodads in front of the house, pare it down.
"Less is more," Mendonsa said.