Inexpensive Ways to Boost Curb Appeal

Since moving into our first home back in late March, we’ve been knee-deep in projects (fun fun), particularly indoor projects. As fun as it has been, I’ve found myself cringing at the curb appeal (or lack there of) of our house. We have some high hopes for big changes to come, but we’re working on saving up for those. In the mean time, I’m happy to report we have taken some really exciting steps in putting our touches on the exterior.

First things first, you may remember this picture from when we first bought the house:


Not bad, but not particularly cute. A collection of uneven, overgrown, randomly placed bushes, out of date shutters, and a sad looking porch. Like I said, some of the changes-to-be are still set for future dates, so it’s not an entire makeover, but we did tackle some budget-friendly updates.

Take a look:

Budget-friendly Curb Appeal

It really should say “In Progress” rather than after, but I really wanted a “TA DA!” feeling when you saw it. Here’s a little breakdown of what has been done so far.

Budget-friendly Curb Appeal

One super sweet addition that is not listed is that we took down the chain-link fence and built a 6-foot fence for privacy and aesthetics pronto. Building a fence, though, is not particularly budget-friendly, even though we did get our lumber on sale.

our cherry tree

This was our sweet little yoshino cherry tree the day it was planted back in the spring. I had been hunting for a decorative tree for the front yard for a few weeks, when I found this lovely at Aldi, of all places, for $10 or $15 (I can’t quite remember). Lowes and Walmart couldn’t compete with the price, so I snagged her up and promptly planted her.

Our cherry tree

She has grown quite a bit over a tremendously hot summer. I can’t wait to see what she’ll look like in the spring! I have visions of this:

One day...Photo Credit

The truly enormous shrubs that you no longer see in front of our house were chained to an SUV and ripped right out of the ground. If your engine can handle it (not you, RAV4), it is most deliciously efficient. The medium-sized shrubs on the left side of the house were relocated to the empty space left by the enormous shrub on the right side of the house. And with that blank canvas on the left side, I made a planter full of plants I like: sedum, hydrangeas, lavender, russian sage, lambs ear, blue speedwell, rosemary, and a climbing rose in front of the fence. Can’t wait for these to get fuller and more shrub-like (shrub-like, not tree-like).

You may also remember the hidden, tiny azalea bush that was tucked behind one of the many, gigantic shrubs.

hidden azalea bush

So awkward.

So after hating it’s awkward location for so long, I decided to dig it up and move it three feet forward. It sounds ridiculous, but it was well worth the trouble.

Adding decorative flowers helps mix matched shrubs feel unified.

As for the remaining two shrubs, we pruned the fool out of them and then planted decorative flowers to help these mix matched shrubs feel more unified. These mums, by the way, came from Lowes’ clearance for a buck a piece. Seriously.

We’re hoping (maybe next summer) to extend the porch over to the right and add a pergola above it (maybe a swing to watch the sunset on, eh? eh?). Soooo there isn’t much motivation in doing any major landscaping here since it will be undone whenever that project commences.

And as for those shutters, they are about to be GONE. I cannot wait to show you what will take their place.

Painting a door is an easy project with a high-yield in the aesthetics department.

Our yellow door. I am in love. I am also noticing the tiny, dirty handprints all over the storm door. Uh, sorry. Gross.

But the door. This is the original wooden door to the house, which means it too is around 65 years old. When we moved in it was white with incredibly deep cracks in the paint, which made repainting this door quite a challenge. I’ll give you the breakdown of that process in an upcoming post. In the mean time, suffice it to say that this project was a little more involved than I originally planned, but still worth it (and it only cost the price of a quart of exterior paint).

mailbox makeover

Our mailbox received a makeover. Let’s remember what it looked like before:

mailbox before

It’s a good thing the gerber daisies were in bloom to take away from the sadness of this mailbox. The box itself is the same. I removed the number stickers by hand and then the remaining adhesive with Goo Gone. After cleaning it well and taping off the flag, we spray painted it with exterior white paint. As for the base, it was pulled out of the ground (and detached from the box, of course) and tossed. Then, we used a single post left over from building our fence (6 ft long, and 4×4, I think) and made a new mailbox post. I’m still debating whether or not to stain it.

mailbox makeover

And there you are. Unbelievably affordable ideas for improving your home’s curb appeal and a little update on our home.



  1. our fire department installed two smoke alarms (for free- they can do a free inspection and give you one for free usually) and they also put numbers on both sides of our mailbox. they said it was for emergency purposes because usually they can’t see numbers on the side of a house since they are so far away. thought interesting although i think they look terrible on the actual mailbox

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