If you’ve been wondering ‘how can I make the exterior of my house look expensive?’ You’re not alone. Before investing in a complete renovation, think critically because spending a small fortune on paint, fittings and landscaping does not always guarantee a smart, bespoke or value for money look.
Exterior transformations do not always have to be large or expensive affairs. Instead, they can be slowly cured through minimal updates that won’t break the bank but leave your space looking expensive and luxurious. All your front yard landscaping, front door and porch needs are a few thoughtful touches to give it the five star status you’ve always wanted.
Here, some of our favorite interior designers and landscapers offer their easy-to-copy ways to make a house look expensive.
How can I make my house look expensive?
Refreshing your interior with a lick of paint, hanging stylish wallpaper or switching things out with new furniture are go-tos when it comes to decorating. But what about transforming your home’s exterior – where do you start and what style do you go for?
If your facade is decidedly off-putting, a radical exterior makeover can transform it from ugly duckling to prime real estate. Or you might want to rethink your front yard and swap unsightly weeds and uneven paving for symmetrical topiary, smart gravel and a freshly manicured lawn.
On a more modest scale, there is a list of minimal tweaks, be it a freshly painted front door color scheme or a new patio step, that will improve your property’s curb appeal and entice potential buyers to step inside if you so desire. to sell.
1. Replace a front door
A well-chosen front door design speaks volumes and sets the tone for what visitors can expect once inside, but there’s more to replacing a door than just good looks. The latest materials are extremely strong and efficient, offer greater safety and are available as copies of classic designs and modern alternatives. While the front door is all about first impressions, our love affair with extensions has put more emphasis on the back of a property. Sliding, folding and patio doors have become almost ubiquitous, bringing light and a sense of the outdoors all year round.
If you live in a period property and your door is original, it is worth trying to preserve it for as long as possible by repairing, repainting. But if you’re starting over, there are many options, from modern and bespoke to reproduction and reclaimed.
Lumber – Wooden doors look beautiful and enjoy an unrivaled reputation. Look for FSC hardwood to ensure it is sustainably sourced. Wood can be painted and trimmed, but needs maintenance. Modern designs are heat efficient; reclaimed doors do not last as long or keep drafts out.
Composite – Also known as GRP (glass reinforced plastic) or fiberglass, this is low maintenance, highly insulated and will not warp. Wood effect finish available.
Steel – Offers unmatched strength and security, including multi-lock systems. It comes ready to paint. Traditional fiberglass coatings are also available.
uPVC – It may lack charm, but it does not flake, fade or rot. uPVC doors are highly efficient and often have increased security
2. Replace hardware and railings
Whether you’re restoring or replacing your front yard gate, railing or front door hardware, be sure to maximize curb appeal with stylish, secure designs.
Aim for a look that matches the style and age of your home. Large ornate letter plates and banks would be out of place on a door of smaller proportions, while simpler contemporary designs in classic finishes such as polished brass or nickel will freshen up period doorways. For high quality originals, contact your local salvage yard. Contemporary designs in brushed aluminum and steel finishes tend to be simpler. For a more rustic feel, wrought iron is perfect.
3. Paint your house
When it comes to paint colors for the exterior of a house, consider the architectural elements of your home the same way you would interior paint colors along with drapery fabrics and furniture. ‘Do you have red or yellow-toned bricks? Limestone or granite walls? What color are your roof tiles? Build these into your design scheme to ensure your paint choices are complementary,” advises Ruth Mottershead, creative director at Little Greene (opens in new tab).
Creating contrast with light and dark colors is a popular look. ‘This highlights the structure of the house and creates clear lines by contrasting light and dark. In turn, this draws the eye to the specific details of the house that would be lost if they were all the same or similar colour,’ explains Megan Elsey, Product Manager at Ronseal (opens in new tab). ‘Look at the color wheel to see which colors contrast and complement.’
Choose exterior colors that blend well with their surroundings. ‘Pastel shades such as soft pink, lemon or powder blue may feel more sympathetic to a landscape or seaside property. Or, if you’re looking for a more reserved finish, consider drawing on tones from nature,’ suggests Helen Shaw, UK director at Benjamin Moore (opens in new tab). “For those who live in the suburbs, choosing deep, rich colors for woodwork can look great against a crisp white wall or the original brickwork.”
4. Add clothing
Whether your property is rural, coastal or more contemporary, there is a wealth of attractive, sympathetic exterior cladding styles to suit different budgets and buildings and enhance a modern or period home. Furthermore, exterior cladding is often said to be one of the best ways to add value to a home, so you want to make sure you get it right – the first time.
Wood is a good choice if you hope to increase durability and aesthetic appearance. Wood can be used as horizontal boards or vertically or horizontally for a modern style. “Naturally durable timbers such as larch, cedar and oak require no treatment to maintain them, and many customers find this beneficial,” says Tom Barnes, CEO, Vastern Timber.
Cladding is known to be an architectural feature that adds value to your home. “Excellent design always increases the value of a property,” says Fanis Anastasiadis, lead architect, Facit Homes. ‘If the cladding material is functional, of high quality and contributes to the aesthetic, then the house is better protected, which increases the property value and reduces maintenance costs. But without a great design, even expensive materials will not necessarily increase the value.’
5. Invite the five senses into your front yard
Plant a flower bed in the front garden with sensory garden plants that are filled with enticing sounds, scents and textures. Plants with interesting textures and shapes are key to sensory gardens. Try including a mix of contrasting shapes to create visual interest.
Your front yard is such an important part of your home’s curb appeal. If it’s well maintained, it’s a nice reflection of how much you care about your home and neighborhood.
“Colour in your front garden ideas can bring areas to life – the different tones imbue a range of emotions, from calming to stimulating,” says garden expert Leigh Clapp. There are so many beautiful flower bed ideas that will enable you to create a planted oasis in your front garden.
If you prefer a neater look, then topiary is a good option for structure. “Topiary can be used anywhere – it doesn’t matter if your garden is formal, informal, modern or traditional, topiary will effortlessly add a bespoke presence all year round,” says garden expert Matt James.