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Tag Archives: Curb Appeal

Landscape Curb Appeal

Dynamic front facades can allow simpler landscape designs; however, note the vibrancy of a color scheme that makes the vegetation stand out from the neutral stone.
Dynamic front facades can allow simpler landscape designs; however, note the vibrancy of a color scheme that makes the vegetation stand out from the neutral stone.

Curb Appeal is everything! The essence of suburban homes skyrocketed in popularity since their establishment in the 1950’s. What was once known as a weekend home has now turned into a permanent residence for many Americans. One element that has not changed since the development of these neighborhoods is the importance of curb appeal. Passersby are often given a strong first impression of the home owners just from a quick glance from a street view. With this in mind, every home owner should be mindful of their home’s appearance, and with a few small adjustments, a homeowner can make their curb appeal stand out from the rest.

Every home and its landscape are different; however, there are a few key elements that remain constant: front door, windows, garage and/or garage door(s), and plantings. Focusing on these aspects and finding ways to accentuate their best features is a great way to start improving a landscape.

Typically, the front door is the main focus in a frontal façade design. Knowing this, it is crucial to continue and promote focus on the door. Playing around with walkway design is a great way to dress up the front façade. Experiment with walkway design patterns using a linear and curvilinear directional, and try to stick with a walkway that is around 4 feet wide. This will give visitors more room to walk and it permits two people two people to stand shoulder to shoulder on the path.

Windows play a significant role in design choices as well. Rather than hiding a façade of a house with tall, dense vegetation, opt for vegetation that will feature the window. Short standing shrubs are typically a safe choice. Experiment with plant height and color to permit variety and interest to a formerly simple design.

The vegetation provides many options for the owners; however, stick to perennials, shrubs, and small trees that fit within the season and look for colors that mesh well together. Try incorporating species of hydrangea and rhododendron into a landscape. They are well-sized shrubs that have the ability to produce vibrant flowers. Flowering cherry trees are also beautiful when in bloom. When planting perennials, consider species such as Astilbes and daylilies.

Improving curb appeal can improve the overall neighborhood’s appearance and it creates more appeal for a potential homebuyer. Adding planted containers along the sides of the front door and window boxes on the windows and cleaning off walkways and garage doors can dress up a plain looking home. One lesser known element that can make or break your curb appeal is the appearance of the mailbox. Dress up the space with perennials and other small standing vegetation. Taking the opportunity to dress up your curb appeal will not only impress the neighbors, but it will also give you a yard that will make you proud to call your own.

Landscaping As A Value Builder For Your Business

Curb Appeal for businesses, landscaping for businesses, Lehigh Valley, PA, Allentown, PA, Bethlehem, PA
A little nature goes a long way for increasing value.

3 Sweep Across the Front of BuildingThis is a post of the article I wrote for the January 21, 2013 edition of Lehigh Valley Business.

Curb appeal!  On HGTV when residential home remodeling is the focus, curb appeal is one of the first things presented as a sure-fire, instant value builder.  The curb appeal of your business should be considered equally–if not more–important.  Your exterior face-to-the-public is the first marketing tool you have to connect and confirm your potential client.  If the general public or future customers pass by your place of business, do they notice your business at all?  Does it catch their eye or engage them in any way?  Worse, do they make a mental note that your place is not very attractive?  Does your business have a strip foundation planting around the building with an assorted and disconnected bunch of shrubs sheared because they are threatening to grow over the windows?

Landscapes can and should be so much more.  There are certainly some good examples of quality landscapes around the greater Lehigh and Berks counties.  The vast majority of commercial landscapes are, sadly, just tired and old.  When traveling to larger metropolitan areas, you will notice more businesses have invested in their landscapes to add that curb appeal.  Your business could stand out in the crowd, be attractive to customers and gain more respect in the community with an updated look to the landscape design and installation around your building.

Create dimension to the landscape by bringing the plant material away from the building:  place key island beds filled with color, texture and scale.  Planting the right plant at the right place is important so that a few years from now, costly maintenance crews won’t have to be shearing shrubs that were the wrong choice in the first place.  Adding color to the property in the form of flowering shrubs, herbaceous perennials or seasonal annuals makes an enormous difference in creating marketable visual impact as well as being just good planting design.  Include both needled and broadleaf evergreen as important components of winter interest.  Use a variety of textures and forms of leaves on the plants as well as the variety of shapes of shrubs to create a balanced design that catches attention when passing by.  Feature ornamental trees that give height to the property as well as another season of colorful bloom during the year.

If your business is large enough to have a place for employees to spend their breaks and lunch outdoors, studies show that there is improved performance by adding the healthful benefit of being in a relaxing outdoor environment for a period of time.  In addition to the evidence of reduced employee aggression, they are able to renew their sense of well-being and increase productivity.  In medical studies, it has been shown that staff turnover decreases and staff satisfaction increases when a renewing place is created for employees to go outdoors to be refreshed.  This helps the bottom line of your business.  There are even clinical indicators of faster healing of patients in hospitals and health care facilities who look out onto green spaces instead of not having a window in their rooms.

The bottom line–investing in an attractive environment for your employees and potential customers will show that you are a leader in your profession and ultimately will pay off in a return on that investment.

Holiday and Winter Containers

Container gardening, winter pots, decorating for Christmas, Christmas containers, outdoor containers, entry containers for winter, Allentown, PA, Bethlehem, PA
Bare pots are unattractive. Fill them with greens, or dried things by the side of the road either sprayed with paint for used natural. They last all winter!

Why leave your outdoor containers that held your annuals this past summer empty?  Fill them with all kinds of greens from your landscape.  If you have any holly, great!  If you have hydrangeas, seed heads of Autumn Joy Sedum, use them for interest.  They can be spray painted for color as well as ornamental grass

Suggestions for Updating Your Curb Appeal

 

Lehigh Valley, PA., Allentown, PA, Bethlehem, PA, curb appeal, front of house landscaping.
Curb appeal with the finished garden

You can see the difference new plants and path can make in the curb appeal of a home. 

* Create an entry path that’s wide enough for two people to walk side by side to get to the door.  Four feet is a good target dimension.

*Choose evergreen plants for your foundation because our winters are long.  Green should be used as a permanent color to support the foundation.

*Confirm the mature size of the trees.  Make sure they don’t overwhelm the house in later years.  This is especially true in planting evergreen trees in the front of your house.

*Plant deciduous trees on the south side to help cool the house in the summer and reduce air conditioning costs.

*Plant evergreen trees on the northwest of the house to block cold winter winds and reduce heating costs. 

*Create beds away from the house’s foundation to frame the house.  This creates dimension and develops views into the house that are much more appealing than an empty lawn.

*Use the architecture of your house to guide your choices for shapes of beds, plants, and any features you may add.

*Use any grade changes for their advantage and not to your landscape’s detriment.

*Consider the addition of low voltage lighting to beautify a landscape at night when most people are home to enjoy it.  Accent major trees or specimen plantings.  Night lighting also provides great security as well!

*Design the space (the shape of the paving and beds) using all of the elements and principles of good design.

Curb Appeal, Front of House Landscaping, Old sheared yews removal, New front of house look, Landscaping, Entry Garden, Entry gardens, Allentown, Pa, Bethlehem, PA, Emmaus, PA , Macungie, PA
The before illustrates a standard foundation planting from the 1950’s.

If you have sheared yews or anything that needs to be sheared so that it doesn’t grow over the windows, it’s time to redo and update your curb appeal.