12 Curb Appeal Tips from the brick&batten Pros in 2021

Whether you’re aware of it or not, your home’s exterior speaks to your community. It expresses your personality to your neighbors and can make a good first impression on potential buyers. Whether you’re wanting to stay in your current home until retirement or you’re prepping it to sell, making improvements can be as simple or elaborate as you want. If you’re thinking about giving your home a new look this year, keep these curb appeal tips from our virtual exterior designers in mind.

At brick&batten, we offer virtual exterior design services. Our designers specialize in curb appeal, and all they need to get started is a photo of your home and some details on your preferences and goals. You’ll get a custom design displayed in a rendering with a clickable resource list. Get started today!

Before and after of a ranch home reimagined with new siding, a new driveway, and a new front porch

#1 // Get a Fresh Perspective

Sometimes it’s hard to re-envision your home when you’ve looked at it so many times. When looking at your home, imagine you are viewing it for the first time. Or, taking a photo of your house can literally help you see it through a new lens. You may notice something new, that you didn’t see before, and the process will open up your creativity.

Better yet, have an exterior designer give you a whole new perspective. brick&batten exterior designers can unlock your home’s full potential by taking that photo of your home and creating a custom design and virtual rendering like the one above.

Virtual rendering of a Spanish-style home with trailing plants on a pergola over the front-loading three-stall garage doors

#2 // Get Creative with Greenery

House plants with trailing vines have officially taken over the interior design scene, and you can take that same vibe to the front of your home in a unique, refined way. Growing ivy up your home’s exterior can cause structural damage. Get the same effect with a less invasive plant trailing on a pergola.

If you live in a region susceptible to drought, you can still add plants to your yard. Consider planting a Xeriscape garden, which requires less water to thrive.

Virtual rendering of a coastal-style home painted in Old Blue Jeans by Benjamin Moore, with Seapearl accents

#3 // Don’t Be Afraid to Deviate from Neutrals

Choosing a non-neutral color for your home can feel less intimidating if you’re able to envision it first. At brick&batten, we provide renderings to go along with all of our custom designs. Take the rendering above as an example. Looking at a swatch of Old Blue Jeans by Benjamin Moore might not help you see it as a home exterior color. But look at how stunning it is when rendered on this home!

Before and after oof a rustic style home given a modern update with new porch railings, patio and walkways, windows, and a fresh coat of paint

#4 // Modernize Your Railings

Sometimes even a subtle railing change can make a big difference. Notice how in the example above, both railings are made from wood and metal. However, simply altering the bars from vertical to horizontal makes a huge difference and instantly modernizes this home, especially when paired with the home’s fresh coat of paint and new windows. We’ve written an entire post about deck and porch railing updates if you want more inspiration.

Virtual rendering of a contemporary home with stucco, wood, and stone siding

#5 // Mix Materials

Stone, painted wood siding, stained wood siding, and metal can all work together in harmony. Mixing these elements creates an eclectic look that will make your home stand out (in the best way). Out of all the curb appeal tips we’ve mentioned so far, this one may be one of the hardest to apply though. Just be sure not to combine too many different styles, or your home could start to look busy.

Before and after of a home given a complete modern update, including new siding, a new entry, and removing the shutters

#6 // Remove or Update Your Shutters

Shutters are one of the most misused exterior design elements. While they can look lovely and add traditional elegance to your home, they can do the opposite if they are the wrong size. Shutters should feature brackets so they can open and close, and when they close, they should cover the entire window. However, removing shutters altogether can also modernize your home. One of our favorite curb appeal tips: Sometimes less is more!

Before and after of a transitional stucco home given a fresh coat of paint, a new front porch awning, and a modern front door that coordinates with the dark trim

#7 // Replace Your Garage Door

Don’t forget that your garage door can be a design element, too. This change is pretty affordable to make, but you’ll likely want to rely on help from a professional because automatic garage door openers require a motor and cable installation. Even though this isn’t an easy weekend DIY, it reaps big rewards in the curb appeal game.

Before and after of a Neoclassical home with painted brick and new copper gutters

#8 // Try Out Bronze or Copper Gutters

Who said gutters and downspouts have to be silver or white? They can be an intentional, elegant part of your home’s façade. Bronze or copper gutters add an earthy tone to your home that especially looks great with off-white or greige paint colors. Historic, traditional, and modern homes can all look lovely with bronze gutters.

Before and after of a brick ranch with painted brick, new windows, a new front entry, and updated exterior lighting

#9 // Enhance Your Lighting Situation

Changing out your porch lights can be a simple weekend project. Keep in mind that porch lights will appear about half of their actual size from the street, so don’t be afraid to opt for larger lights. We’ve been loving the lantern-esque porch lights that are in style right now. Lanterns are also classic; despite their popularity, you don’t need to worry about them falling out of style any time soon.

Before and after of a traditional brick home with off-white painted brick and simplified, stripped back front landscaping

#10 // Simplify Your Landscaping

We’ve said it once in this post already, but we’ll say it again: Sometimes less is more. This can certainly apply to your landscaping. If you have large bushes or overgrown trees that obstruct the view of your home, trim them back or remove them altogether. You won’t be able to see all the other lovely changes you decide to make if your home is being swallowed by greenery.

Find more front yard landscaping tips in this post by our partners, the landscape design experts at Tilly.

Two-sided before and after of a traditional home painted in Seapearl with new garage doors

#11 // Spruce Up Other Sides of Your Home, Too

When guests pull up to your driveway, they often see the side of your home up close first. Don’t forget to show it some TLC! Adding small landscaping touches will prevent it from looking like an afterthought. Bonus: It will also give you something lovely to look at every time you return home yourself.

Before and after of a home given a modern update with new siding and a new front window and entry, replacing the dated arched window

#12 // Swap Out Dated Arched Windows

While we love a good arched window (they can give off dreamy European vibes), sometimes they’re not right for the home’s or homeowner’s style. Replacing them with straight-lined windows can make a dramatic difference. Updating your old windows can also serve practical benefits (hello, lower utility bills).

Make a Curb Appeal Plan

It’s never the wrong time of year to start planning your exterior updates — even if you don’t plan on doing the work until 2022. Whether you go big with a new paint job or make subtle changes like updated shutters, you can create a place you’re excited to come home to, or a house you’re proud to sell.

P.S. If you enjoyed this article and want more inspiration, check out our top 10 home design trends for this year!

For more curb appeal tips, partner with brick&batten on a custom virtual exterior design. We’ll help you take the guesswork out of the process so you can transform you home’s exterior with confidence. Get started today with this simple questionnaire.