Spring House Hunt

Spring House Hunt: Tips for bumping up your home’s curb appeal

Ready to mix things up for spring? Dive in with these easy-to-do ideas that require small effort but can have a big impact.

Planters in a variety of textures filled with flowers and a bright yellow wreath brighten this doorstep. Terrain

Decorating is truly for all seasons, but it’s spring that often nudges homeowners to take up the charge of airing out, cleaning up, and primping their spaces out front. The front door — the face of the house — is especially deserving of attention because it is integral to a home’s personality.

Ready to mix things up for spring? Dive in with these easy-to-do ideas that require small effort but can have a big impact:

New hues

A sprightly color can enliven the look of an entry door, and now is a great time to get daring with a new shade. Just remember to add two coats. This is especially true if you’re hoping to sell in the near future. “A door that is freshly painted in a bold or bright color that complements the paint of the house shows that the seller has had a pride in ownership and taken care of their home,’’ said Elizabeth Bain, a Boston realtor with Commonwealth Standard Realty Co.


Hanging out

A wreath is one easy way to add a sprinkle of color to a door. Opt for one with big, bold elements and fun, seasonal colors like hot pinks and shades of green. Terrain, one home brand offering outdoor furniture and wares, has a variety of seasonally stylish wreaths made from dried flowers and ornamental grasses.

Mat time

If there’s room, flank the front door with topiaries or new planter pots. Add a new doormat to welcome visitors. “A new welcome mat is an easy tip that goes a long way. It looks crisp and fresh and can add a pop of color to the front door area, in particular if the door is a neutral color,’’ Bain said.

Go green

To inspire us toward a spring spruce-up at the main threshold of the home, we asked certified green-thumbs for easy-to-do gardening ideas to update a space over a weekend.

According to Sue DuBrava, owner of Cochato Nursery in Holbrook, there are a number of plants that would instantly dress up a drab area. “You want to pick plants that will survive with little maintenance,’’ said DuBrava, who recommends choosing ones based on how much sun or shade there is. “In full, hot sun, succulents are all the rage. First, find a planter with a complementary color or something that you can reuse, such as an old crock or wooden crate. Put in a combination of different succulents and moss for eye-catching effect. If you have shade, I like using begonias; they offer beautiful leaves, as well as flowers in all colors.’’


Hanging plants are great for drawing the eye in, however, they require more maintenance and water than potted plants, according to DuBrava. Try your hand at making your own combination hanging planter, said DuBrava, who loves pairing three perennials together: a colorful gold hosta, a purple Heuchera, and a painted Japanese fern, for example. “Then add pussy willows in the center for a vertical element,’’ she said.

IKEA’s Socker flower box is an example of a colorful way to spruce up a front porch. Price: $14.99 at IKEA.com. – IKEA.com

For Sallie Hill, owner of Sallie Hill Design and Landscape Architecture in Lexington, accents and accessories are one way to dress a door instantly. “I really like the idea of hanging wall art, such as metal, ceramic, or glass, or something artful to set the personality and tone of the homeowner. It can be as simple as an interesting rock or as quirky as a flying-pig statue,’’ said Hill.

For ground planters, one fun approach is to use hostas as a base. “They come in many different colors and sizes, and are very easy to grow,’’ said DuBrava, who suggests adding a vertical element and a weeping element to complete the grouping. Some experts refer to this grouping as “thriller, filler, spiller.’’


“For a vertical element, you could use an ornamental grass, a canna plant, or upright juniper,’’ DuBrava said. “For the weeping element, look for an ivy or supertunia or bacopa or sweet potato vine that comes in many colors.’’

Hill recommends some of her favorite varieties for displaying in a pot with other plants, including the Coral Bells-Heuchera ‘Forever Purple’, a perennial suited for shade. For sunnier sites, the Mexican feathergrass (Nassella tenuissima) is an appealing option.

If refurbishing your greater outdoor area is a priority, plan ahead. When hiring a landscape designer, Hill said, the timeline of work is contingent on the space and what elements the homeowner is seeking to incorporate, such as outdoor lighting. Time-wise, a makeover of that area can take two to three months from design to implementation. A simple spruce up can take three weeks for planning and executing it.

Christina Poletto lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she writes about unusual old homes and interior design trends. Follow her on Instagram dovetailordesignstudio. Send comments and story ideas to [email protected]. Subscribe to the Globe’s free real estate newsletter — our weekly digest on buying, selling, and design — at pages.email.bostonglobe.com/AddressSignUp. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @globehomes.


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com