Many of us walk past a less-than-lovely front fence, verandah, even front door on a daily basis without a second thought for the way these elements contribute to the overall impression of your home. It’s time to take stock and think about how to make the front of your house have a real presence from the street.
We talked to licensed builder and home renovator Rachael Turner from Front Porch Properties for some ideas and advice on what essential ingredients make a difference and what most of us are getting wrong.
1. No real entrance
“Have a marked front entry area,” says Rachael. A gabled portico or built structure at your front door that can be seen from the street directs visitors into your home. “Paint your front door a bright colour or mark the entrance with posts and stairs so that the entrance way is recognisable," she says.
House numbers are a must and a decorative bell is a nice touch – choose your style and match it to the door hardware.
“Create a seating area at the entrance with weatherproof cushions to welcome visitors and relax and watch the world go by”Rachael Turner
2. No verandah
Adding a verandah or front porch or changing up your balustrading creates a beautiful entrance to your home and a lovely area to relax in. “Try to match the style of your home, whether it’s colonial, Queenslander or classic Hamptons style,” Rachael suggests.
“For added impact, add an arbour or pergola to the front of your garage,” she says. "An element of handmade a carpentry softens the look of your home and creates a weatherproof area to arrive beneath."
3. No fence
“A picket fence is an affordable way to dress up the front of your house,” says Rachel. Sold in packs from hardware stores, "They’re a quick and easy way to perfect the front of your home and give a beautiful impression from the curb side.”
Regardless of the finish of your home – whether brick, render or painted timber, a crisp white picket fence provides a contrast and is an inexpensive and charming addition.
Rachael encourages homeowners to invest in a custom-made or decorative mailbox (such as the ones her husband, Simon creates for her clients), including your house number to match the style of your house.
“Rescue collected finds from street clean-ups or op shops to add character”
4. Neglected paintwork
To dramatically and immediately changes the look of your home you can’t go past a new paint job on the exterior. “Work to a palette of four main colours drawn from the colour of your roof, including [colours for] the main body of your house, your trim and front door,” Rachael advises.
5. A neglected garden
Plants are incredibly important in making a beautiful entrance and give your home a polished edge. “Massed planting looks beautiful from the street, drawing your eye - whether a clean, manicured look or a rambling hedge,” Rachael enthuses. “Topiary and climbing plants (with an investment of time and patience) looks stunning and softens [the look of] the house. Rachael suggests rows of Lilly pilly and Japanese box hedges for an attractive, tidy appearance.
“Add pots at the entrance with flowering plant for a seasonal burst of colour”
A home that presents beautifully on the street delights not just prospective buyers and passers-by but is a delight to behold as you arrive home each day, stirring a sense of pride in your home.