5 Inexpensive Curb Appeal Updates You Can Do Now

By Alexandra Nathan

Adding on a pool and deck certainly sounds alluring when we’re knee-deep in the white fluffy stuff, but Spring 2009 calls for less splashy yard displays. But since we eschew outdoor décor deprivation, here’s a few options for just-as-fabulous, but more wallet-realistic landscaping updates.

  1. Want to add impact now? For most of us, it’s too cold to start planting, but light displays can create outdoor ambiance well before it’s safe for bloomers to be outdoors. Try uplighting a fantastic old tree to add drama, or a series of solar powered, mushroom-shaped lights along a walk to impart a warm, welcoming feel without sucking energy.
  2. Found object artwork has been big in galleries for decades, so why not let the cost-efficient idea trickle down to your outdoor spaces? A rusted bathtub can make for a great lettuce garden, a bit of wrought iron can create an ersatz yard divider, even handfuls of used nuts and bolts can give a contemporary look to your not-yet-blooming flowerbeds.
  3. Rock out with, well, rocks. These naturally occurring wonders can be moved about to create dramatic impact. Think Stonehenge, then start piling.
  4. Get a new coat, of accent paint that is. Though you might need to wait a month or two until you start the actual painting process, spend some time walking around neighboring neighborhoods and idling in hardware store paint isles to get some great color ideas for mixing up your railings, shutters, and window frames.
  5. There’s no excuse to keep your potted plants in pitiful plastic. Get thee to a big box hardware store, Walmart, or Ikea and start looking for statement-making flower pots in bold, of-the-moment colors; inspiring shapes; and gigantic, un-wallflowerish sizes.