Palette Magazine

Current trends in outdoor décor

Photo: © felixmizioznikov / Thinkstock

It’s an old trope that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. The same is true for your home. Nothing gives the outside of your house a fast and impressive facelift like a fresh coat of paint. And while that’s certainly one way to increase your curb appeal, there are a number of other projects that can help you just as much. Getting your home to the next level doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking. In fact, some of the most popular trends in outdoor décor actually involve small changes.


A Warm Welcome

You don’t have to invest in painting your whole house to see a difference. A fresh coat of paint on your front door can rejuvenate it for less than $100. If your home is a deep terra cotta, vibrant blues offer a rich contrast. On the flip side, a pastel-colored home will perk up with a darker hue, such as brick red. Pella has introduced a new line of colors for 2016, that include Vivacious Red, Lively Blue, Spirited Orange and Sparkling Teal.

You can also add a little bling to the entryway with a new doorknob or an ornamental doorknocker. As for the rest of the porch, an eye-catching set of house numbers, a new mailbox or a stylish light fixture can do wonders. Brushed nickel and stainless steel are always popular finishes, but the big trend right now is copper.


Light Up Your World

Adding outdoor lighting does not just enhance safety and provide a very functional service; it can also add a touch of elegance to your space. Go beyond ordinary lampposts or wall-mounted lighting and opt for some spotlights to highlight architectural elements or landscape features instead. New LED spots draw very little energy and operate on low-voltage wiring, giving your house green cred as well.

And speaking of green, nothing brightens up a home like a neat and tidy yard. Having a well-kept lawn makes your property look bigger and more appealing. Trim overgrowth, pull weeds and line the walkways with flowers, or install flower boxes below windows or on front porch railings. Container gardens on your front steps or porch add color and life to your entrance. Increasingly, homeowners are turning toward xeriscaping — a water-conserving landscape design that incorporates soil, rocks, mulch and drought-tolerant vegetation such as lantana, salvia and succulents like agave and yucca.


Polish Paths and Patios

Pressure cleaning is an easy and inexpensive way to get your driveway, walkways and exterior brick clean. If you have deeper irrigation stains, using a power washer and rust remover is the best course of action. If the concrete still looks a little ragged, contemplate using a polymer-based cement resurfacing product.

Sometimes there’s no getting around an eyesore, but that doesn’t mean anyone has to see it. A lattice fence or shrubs can hide an unsightly air conditioning unit. Painting electrical boxes, piping and wires the same color as the exterior is a great way to camouflage those fixtures on a dime.

Another hot design trend is texture. Faux brick panels on exposed foundation walls or unattractive concrete surfaces add both dimension and texture. A welcoming and inspired exterior makes your home more attractive to others, but more importantly, it provides a cheery welcome every time you come home.