How to Add Curb Appeal to Your Austin Home
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore talking about home interiors and could do it for hours on end. I am, after all, an interior designer in Austin by trade. But something we don’t seem to talk about as much is the exterior look of your home. Because this is the first thing you see when you come home each day—and because it’s the first impression of your home for neighbors and visitors—it really sets the mood for what’s to come.
Here are some of the easiest ways to help your home put on its best face for the world to see and love. Best of all, these are really simple improvements that can be done in a weekend. As I like to say, “Drink some coffee, put on some gangster rap, and handle it.”
A Door to the Soul—of Your Home
Designer: Craig Steely
Can we be honest for a sec? Most garage doors are pretty lame. They’re almost always painted white, beige, or tan. They hardly ever have windows. Most of them look the same, no matter the home. And that’s exactly why you should think about making a change to yours.
Are you a sucker for mid-century modern design? Paint your garage door a retro ocean blue or desert orange, and install some aluminum or corrugated metal paneling on the sides. Maybe you’ve got a penchant for rustic cabin style? Try faux wood-grain designs and add barn light fixtures on either side of your garage door.
Or, if your minimalist-modern ways can’t be bothered with unnecessary frills, say sayonara to your cookie-cutter garage door and install something more architecturally sleek—like these glass paneled doors. Not only will it give a new source of design and dimension to your home’s facade, but you’ll also get more daylight inside the garage.
Pretty Fly for a Mailbox
A mailbox is a pretty utilitarian aspect of any home. We think about it in terms of function, not design. But your home should make you happy, and that means every part of it should reflect your personality and your unique aesthetic—yes, even the boring old mailbox.
That might mean a wrought-iron Victorian gothic piece you found at an antique flea market. It could be an intricately carved wooden mail hutch surrounded with blooming Austin cacti. Even if a mailbox makeover isn’t your biggest concern, you can still give yours an easy and inexpensive makeover. Slap on a new coat of paint in a cheery color, add some custom mailbox numbers in your favorite font, and pop on a new and unique mailbox flag—I personally love the cactus and the hummingbird.
Get Down and Dirty
You can always tell who’s gotten down and dirty in their front yard and who hasn’t. A home without thriving plants is like a world without old-school hip-hop: completely soulless. We won’t judge you if you haven’t gotten around to it yet—having a full-time job, rowdy pets, and a chaotic family schedule certainly doesn’t make gardening time easy—as long as you give your front yard the love it deserves.
Spend some time getting your hands dirty in mulch and potting soil, and add some landscaped beds with brightly colored flowers and textured plants to create visual variety. If you don’t have the time or money to start a new garden, no sweat. Window boxes are the easiest way to say “See, I can keep things alive!” without much upkeep. Professional interior designer tip: If your bed is close enough to the window, you can literally maintain that window garden while lounging in bed.
Walk of Fame, Not Shame
There’s something about the look of a front yard with no path that says, “You’re not welcome.”
A walkway, however, is a super easy way to give your yard some visual interest and make it feel more inviting. Breaking up the grass-to-front-door layout defines different areas of your yard, which actually makes it look bigger. Add some depth and texture by installing a walkway path or paver stones to physically and visually link your garden to your home. You can create a straight line or make it more meandering—especially if you’ve got the room.
When in Doubt, Paint It Out
Photo: Hector M. Sanchez c/o Southern Living Magazine
Ask any Austin interior decorator and they’ll agree. There’s a good reason that “paint your front door” is a favorite tip from just about every interior designer blog you’ll come across. It’s like making breakfast tacos each morning—it’s cheap and easy, and the result is amazing.
Drive around in any suburban housing development and you’ll notice a whole lot of taupe, navy, cocoa brown, and colonial red doors. But you live in Austin, for goodness’ sake! You wear your Keep Austin Weird badge loud and proud like the true-blue Austinite you are, and therefore a sensible color palette simply won’t do.
With so much sunshine each year, it always feels right to have a bright and cheery-colored door here in Austin, whether it’s a vibrant flamingo pink, a dreamy sea blue, a zesty chartreuse, or even a soft creamsicle orange. If you ever feel the need to try a new color, it’s easy to simply repaint yourself. After all, a DIY front door paint job only costs about $75 and can be done in less than a day.
Looking for interior designers in Austin, Texas? If you’re ready to tackle the inside of your home’s design, I’m your girl. No stuffy, overly formal design strategies here. As a vegan-eating, animal-rescuing, music-loving Texan, I’m an Austinite through and through. I know how to achieve that balance of casual, funky, yet polished design that reflects our city’s personality. Together, we’ll work on infusing your home with a better sense of you, and taking it to a new level. Contact me today and let’s get started collaborating on your dream home!
J.Fisher Interiors’ studio is located in east Austin. To schedule your consultation appointment, please fill out the contact form or call us at 512.954.0904. We would love to hear from you!