Summer equals natural curb appeal but winter? Well…not so much. In fact, some would think it’s impossible. Not so, say professional home stagers; a bit more difficult perhaps but impossible? Never… It’s do-able to create your own winter wonderland minus expensive, difficult outdoor alterations with the plus of plenty of winter curb appeal.
Let’s face it; summer has a lot going for it. Not only is it the preferred time to buy and sell homes, gardens are flowering, trees are full of leaves, the sun is shining and curb appeal happens naturally. But with the arrival of winter’s chill, and the accompanying gray skies and shorter days, it seems that curb appeal is impossible.
Happily, you can create winter curb appeal, achieving a look that catches buyers from their first glimpse. Yes, you’re still able to have great curb appeal even when it’s cold and gray outside. It’s all a question of using everything the season offers to your advantage.
Good Ideas from the Experts:
Starting with the garden, accent the short winter days with patches of color. Pansies and their cousins, the violas such as “johnny-jump-ups” are favourite choices. Judicious use of sculptural plants such as evergreens and hardy grasses will brighten your home’s winter setting. Ornamental cabbage and ruffled kale are excellent color plants for containers and flower beds and make beautiful rosettes of purple, lavender and rose.
Enhance the seasonal sparkle and make a feature out of that unused birdbath by adding greenery with red berries. Frost-resistant urns can hold displays of twigs, winter greenery, and sparkly decorations.
Does your taste tend more toward the classical? Roman or Greek style outdoor sculptures will lend grace and elegance to the winter garden. By clever placement, a few well-chosen statues will lead the buyers’ eyes around the area. Pick frost-resistant statues; they won’t crack even if temperatures plummet.
Chances are that with the shorter days of winter, more buyers will be viewing your property after dark. Use the bright light of clear flood spotlights to highlight the home’s best features. To get the most bang-for-your-buck, have exterior lights at maximum wattage and keep them clean.
Turn your front door and entry into a focal point. Use a stunning seasonal wreath festooned with a colorful ribbon. Planters placed on either side of the front door filled with evergreens and decorated with fairy lights are seasonal and a great welcoming touch.
Highlight the Outdoor Lifestyle
Showcase the summer lifestyle by shovelling your outdoor entertainment area and take off the grill cover so buyers can visualize themselves there. If there’s a hot tub, leave it open and running for the duration of the showing. Outdoor tables and chairs should be uncovered and set up as you’d use them in spring and summer. Adding accessories like a colourful umbrella, scatter cushions and a coordinating tablecloth create a lifestyle picture your buyers will see as they view the interior.
Make a display of framed landscape photos showing the outside of the home during other seasons. If you’ve been lucky enough to have a storm and snow covers the ground, get out there at night and take photos of your house with all the interior lights on. With this trick, the light bounces off the white snow to create a cozy, welcoming glow. Don’t forget to disable the flash, and use a tripod for stability.
The most important action to take is shovel the driveway and sidewalks if necessary. Be sure that buyers can get a clear sense of deck and patio size by keeping them as clear as you can. Use some or all of these tactics and see your winter curb appeal skyrocket.