8 Strategies for Upping Your Home’s Curb Appeal

First impressions matter, so whether you want to spiff up your exterior for your own enjoyment or need it to shine when your house goes on the market, adding some eye-catching charm to your home is always a worthwhile endeavor. From simple updates to structural changes, we checked in with two Scouted experts who know how to turn ordinary abodes into showstoppers. Read on to see their strategies for making the most out of your home’s exterior.


Architectural Design by Matthew V. Costanzo Architect; photography by David Hillegas.

Utilize genuine materials. When building or renovating, Matt Costanzo, principal and owner of MVC Architect in Mountain Brook, Alabama, stresses the importance of using authentic materials. “Whether it’s reclaimed brick, carved limestone, cedar shake, or bluestone, the use of these types of materials will always give your home a texture or patina that newer, pre-packaged components cannot provide,” he says. 

Address your door. Kristina Leigh Wiggins Johnson, architectural designer and founder of Cosee in Midland, Texas, likes to think of front doors like the cover of a bestseller. “People will often determine if they want to read a book based on the cover,” she says. “Your front door should be treated the same way; it sets the tone for all who walk through it.” That being said, Johnson notes that wood tones and neutral colors are always the safest bet if your goal is universal appeal or achieving a classic look.


Architectural Design by Matthew V. Costanzo Architect; photography by Laurey Glenn.

Don’t shy away from an investment. When it comes to having an appealing exterior, all of the little things really matter. For example, when a client’s budget allows, Costanzo prefers to use copper flashing versus the more common steel or aluminum. Copper is on the expensive side, but Costanzo maintains utilizing this natural material on your flashing is a worthwhile investment. He confirms that not only is it aesthetically stunning, but copper develops a beautiful patina as it ages, and is a sturdy material that will stand the test of time.

See the light. As with interiors, light fixtures are a surefire way to update and even transform your home without too much of an expense. Johnson recommends ensuring all exterior light fixtures are clean and in working order. If they are old or simply dated, Johnson recommends replacing them with new, more contemporary fixtures.


Architectural Design by Matthew V. Costanzo Architect; photography by David Hillegas.

It’s more than a number. Sometimes an afterthought, house numbers have the power to make a big impact and set the tone for how inviting your home feels. Johnson advises that not only should they be large enough to read from the curb, but they should be updated to either feel more modern or to match the style of your house.


Architectural Design by Matthew V. Costanzo Architect; photography by David Hillegas.

Consider your window treatments. We often think of our shutters or curtains as things you only see inside, but Johnson notes that many are visible from the exterior. “If you have window coverings that read drastically different from the curb, especially in terms of color, it’s best to make them cohesive with the exterior design of your home,” she says.


Architectural Design by Kristina Leigh Johnson of Cosee Home; built by Ashingdom Homes; photography by Kayla Barker.

Clean it up. One of the most simple recommendations Johnson shares only requires a little elbow grease. “Make sure everything in the front of your home is clean! Dust the door, clean the lights, remove any spider webs from corners, and sweep the front stoop,” she says. This extends to tidying and dusting your front porch furniture and curbside mailboxes. Since mother nature can be wily, and pollen season is real, it’s a good idea to add the exterior of your home to your weekly and monthly cleaning checklist.


Architectural Design by Kristina Leigh Johnson of Cosee Home; built by M.R. Lary; photography courtesy of Cosee Home.

Keep it simple. An aesthetically pleasing home doesn’t have to be fussy. Costanzo expresses the importance of building and renovating with the intention that your home will stand the test of time and be passed down to future generations. That means removing unnecessary elements from your exterior and keeping it pared down and simple. 

TSG Tip 460 from Kristina Leigh Wiggins Johnson, architectural designer and founder of Cosee in Midland, Texas, and Matt Costanzo, principal and owner of MVC Architect in Mountain Brook, Alabama. Cosee appears in The Scout Guide West Texas. MVC Architect appears in The Scout Guide Birmingham.