The front of your house is something that you see fairly regularly. You might not pay much attention to it, partly because you’re just so used to seeing it. When you pull up from work or head out to run errands, it’s rare you’ll be paying enough attention to really soak in what the exterior of your house looks like.
Which, of course, is fine – especially in the depths of winter, when you’re lucky if you get to see it in daylight at all. However, it does mean that shoots and buds aren’t the only things that begin to grow by the time spring rolls around. Instead, as the sun begins to warm the earth, you find yourself suddenly really noticing the outside of your house. No longer can you ignore it; it’s there and it’s – let’s be charitable – it’s not looking the best it can look.
That feeling is a surefire way to put a dampener on spring. Nothing can damage your “yay it’s spring!” feeling like the sudden realisation you’ve a load of chores in front of you to get everything looking back to normal – whoever invented the concept of “spring cleaning” really should have thought this through.
Perhaps, just for one year, it might be worth thinking about what’ll it be like to have the front of your house come back to life in spring. If you really push it, you might be able to start making plans to be carried out. There are always changes, innovations, ways to spruce up the curb appeal of any home – at least by planning it now, you’re not going to have that horrifying moment of realisation that winter has taken its toll. Being forewarned, after all, is meant to mean you’re prepared.
While you’re at it – why not do something different? Given that it’s rarely a space used for anything other than practicalities, it’s fair to suggest that few of us invest beyond the base minimum for the house to look presentable when it comes to the exterior. That’s a shame, because it’s falling down on the idea of not being able to make a first impression twice. No matter how good your indoors, decor, and design is – does it even matter to a new visitor if the outside has let you down?
Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to give yourself a front yard with a difference while still maintaining your style goals. You also don’t have to go and plant a thousand and one flowers; for one thing, it’s too late for that now (and who’s got time to maintain even more garden spaces?). So, gardening aside, what can you do to give your outside the extra special flavour that you usually reserve for indoors?
+ A VERANDAH
There’s no doubt about it; getting into a car that has been sitting in the hot summer sun may be up there with one of the worst sensations in the world. Not only can a verandah prevent this, but it can also give the outside of your home an extra touch of class. It’s the perfect way of making an unloved car parking space look intentional and well-designed, rather than an addition you came up with later.
There are so many different types of materials used to create verandahs that it’s inevitable you’ll find something that suits your style. If you can’t find an exact match – colour-wise – for the brickwork of your home, then it might be best to contrast it with bold colours or metals rather than trying to blend in. This helps with the ‘deliberate’ vibe, while still giving you plenty of options to choose from.
+ A TREEHOUSE
Now, obviously this is going to require a tree, but that’s not uncommon for most front yards. Many of us use trees for neighbour privacy and providing a little extra shade.
Treehouses are most common for the back garden, but there’s no reason this has to be the case. So long as your kids aren’t going to be playing very close to the road, it’s well worth considering.
Can a treehouse be stylish? Well, that’s a matter for debate. As with most things, it depends entirely on the materials that you use and how good you are at constructing it. If you don’t have much experience with carpentry, then it might be best to plan to outsource this rather than DIY. While it’s fun to contemplate what a treehouse might look like, you obviously have to ensure any structure is as safe as it can be before you let any tiny hands anywhere near it.
+ A ROCKERY
Rockeries have come in, gone out, and come back into style more than most of us could count. Once the fixture of high society in the 70s, then an abyss of common sense in the 90s, they are now making their way back.
The reason for this is pretty simple, aside from their obvious aesthetic appeal: they’re incredibly easy to maintain. They don’t need weeding if you opt for artificial plants; they don’t need anything really – yet they still give the front yard that undeniable “garden” feel.
They’re also surprisingly easy to DIY, especially if you use small to medium size rocks. If you want to be able to lift and carry the materials for yourself, then opt for many smaller rocks and build them up rather than a few big ones stacked on top of one another.
Rockeries work best when they have a central focus point; a pond is a common option, or a water feature if you don’t want the hassle of maintaining a pond. From this central point, you can spread the rocks outwards. Just make sure you stand back frequently and admire your handiwork; not for the sake of vanity, but to ensure everything looks even. You don’t want to have used all your supplies and then realise that you have bare patches.
The three aforementioned options all tend to take a lot of time to plan, which is why it’s worth thinking about going forward with them at this point in the year. You’ve got time to source supplies, plans, and materials before the sudden urge to change something hits – so you might as well use it wisely.
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