The “after” – Patti DePriest’s own front door after she made some changes.
By Patti DePriest
It’s been proven that good curb appeal and home staging sell houses more quickly and for more money, but you don’t have to wait to sell your home to reap the benefits of both. Why not make the changes that will add to your pride of ownership and enjoy them yourself? It’s a great feeling to love how your home looks inside and out, and it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to get it to that point.
Since home improvement is one of my favorite hobbies and I like to practice what I preach, I change things up every few years. This spring, I’ve already updated my entry foyer and master bedroom. It was easy to rearrange furniture and “shop” through items I already had. I love that they’ve been repurposed for new life in these spaces. Adding new area rugs, bedding, accessories and plants completed the process.
Throughout the decorating process, I’ve learned to embrace the fact that every space in a home is a room, not just a place to walk through. The front door makeover project that I just completed is a perfect example, so I wanted to share my experience. With design input from my friend and colleague, MaryLee McDonough, I went from having an average covered porch to a beautiful and welcoming outdoor space that’s magazine-worthy in just a few steps.
Whether you’re selling your home or not, painting is the quickest and least expensive way to freshen things up and make a big change in your home. Therefore, the first thing I did was repaint the doors. They were formerly lavender and looked nice, but didn’t really stand out or make a statement. After deciding to go in a more classic direction, I experimented with paint chips and decided on a very dark gray called Wrought Iron that went really well with my home’s used brick exterior.
The front door in 2009, pre-enhancements.
The color change met great resistance from my family. They just couldn’t see what was basically black as a color and thought it was boring. I felt badly at first, but assured myself and them that the color would come through the plants and accessories I was planning to add. And come it did with forsythia wreaths that will be changed out seasonally, brass kick plates and a monogrammed coir doormat, all bought on good sales and through internet comparison shopping.
For me, the pièce de résistance is the finished planter. I started with a large terra cotta planter that really pulls the color out of the brick. Since I have a brownish-black thumb, I needed to get plants that would last year-round, with flowers being the only things that would have to be replaced in the spring. I worked with an expert at a bustling nursery to put together a design with the shapes, colors and scents that I found appealing. Anchoring the center of the arrangement is a gold cone juniper with a vibrant lime green tone. On two sides are fragrant “superblue” lavender plants. Rounding out the front and back are a pattern of “goldi” creeping Jenny and orange begonias. Needless to say, it brings a lot of color to the porch. I now understand why the nursery was so crowded! The whole process tuned me on to the draw of gardening and I hope to get better at it.
It took a little getting used to, but once it was all put together, everyone seemed to like it. Whew! I’m really glad I don’t have to re-paint the doors.
Next up on the project list is the dining room make-over.
I’d love to hear your home improvement ideas and see you project pictures.
Patti DePriest is a Realtor® with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in East Greenwich. For questions or comments, please call 401-243-5041 or e-mail [email protected].