• No tags were found...

April 2009 - Curb Appeal

CURB APPEAL‘SQUEAKY CLEAN,’ WITH STYLEA home that looks great from the minute youpull up to the curb plays on a buyer’s emotions.Plan for that kind of appeal even if your houseisn’t on the market right now. BY LIS KINGClockwise, from top right, courtesy of Benjamin Moore, Landscape Aesthetics, Inc., Rinox Pavers, Cipriano Landscape DesignNJSL 65

of the front porch. Conversely, a pale hue canbleach out in brilliant sunlight. Invest in a quartof the paint you’re considering and paint agood-sized area of the house or a large sampleboard and view it in varying light conditionsbefore making your final decision.“If you want to judge a color in the store,place it against a black background to comeclose to the way it would look outside.”The location of your house matters, too, shesays. For example, pastel pinks and aquas thatare perfect for a house at the shore can lookincongruous in an urban setting.LANDSCAPING TIPSA great garden will make any house look better,and realtors say that investing in landscapingis especially wise if your house has minimalcurb appeal. “Homeowners almost alwaysrecoup such expenses,” notes Meininger.Chris Cipriano of Cipriano Landscape Design,Ramsey, agrees. An award-winning landscapedesigner, Cipriano has launched a new servicestaging outdoor settings to help homeownersachieve maximum curb appeal.“Home staging is a technique usually doneindoors to prepare a home for sale,” he says.“But fixing up the outdoors is another vitalaspect of the selling process.”Cipriano’s garden staging process starts withremoving overgrown or scraggly shrubs andtrees. “They date the property, hint at lack ofmaintenance and are especially unsightly whenthey obscure windows or the front entry,”he says.He recommends setting out planters with colorfulflowers along the walkway and by thefront door, hanging flowering baskets fromoverhangs and porch ceilings, and adding windowboxes. Planting annuals, which alwaysprovide instant impact, next to walks, drivewaysand the curb helps, too. A mailbox garden isanother good idea, he says.THE WOW FACTORGreat layering is the secret behind maximumcurb appeal, according to Cipriano.“You accomplish this by staging plantingsfrom the rear of a garden and working outtoward the curbside view,” he explains.The basic principle behind layering is that thetallest plants form the background, and as the“rows” descend, so should the heights of theTHIRD GENERATION CERTIFIED LANDSCAPE DESIGNERS • ICPI CERTIFIED • NJNLA MEMBERSplants and flowers. But be sure you know their growth habits. Often the plants we buyare young, and they may not stay the same height as when you first put them in theground.The layering can also include fences, gates, freestanding arbors and trellises, whichshould all interact harmoniously. This could get involved, so consider investing in aplan by a professional designer.Playing into the layering scenario is the fact that expansive lawns are becoming athing of the past, says Chris, adding that larger planting beds are a growing trend, bothbecause they are more interesting than turf and because they save water.NJSL 67

Matching House and GardenFor true curb appeal, your garden should complement the architecture and details of your house.n Go casual if your house is the farmhouse variety,be it Americana or Provencale. An Englishcottage garden look with old-fashioned flowerswill be perfect.n Oriental landscaping with rocks, streams of pebblesand spare, spring-flowering trees and low spreadingjunipers suits the spare, straight-edged lines ofcontemporary homes.n Classic landscaping with tried-and-true shrubs,trees and flowers complements colonial homes.Think mountain laurel, holly, rhododendron, tulipsand daffodils.n Boxwood-bordered beds, topiary trees and shrubsare perfect if you live in a Victorian house. Alsoconsider old-fashioned roses, fancy arbors andhanging flowering plants.n Italianate villas call for formality. Think shapedshrubs in ornate urns, terraces, trellises, fountainsand great drifts of Mediterranean-origin flowers.For best results, don’t use too many plant varieties. Beds lookjumbled if you do. Repeat great clusters of the chosen plantsthroughout a bed. A single plant here and another one there willlook anemic. You want the bed to look lush and cohesive.FOUR-SEASON APPEALIt’s easy to have good-looking gardens in spring and summer, butwhat about curb appeal during fall and winter?It isn’t difficult to achieve, claims landscape designer DrewMadlinger of Landscape Aesthetics, Bernardsville. The variety ofplant materials with four-season interest is enormous, starting withornamental evergreens, ranging from trees to groundcovers. In addition,there are trees that bloom in spring, bear fruit in summer,turn stunning colors in fall and boast interesting bark in winter.There are also new varieties of shrubs, trees and flowers that bloomlonger and more frequently than their old-fashioned relatives.Some of Madlinger’s favorites are day lilies, hydrangeas, riverbirches, the serviceberry tree and red-stemmed dogwood, whileCipriano singles out the Montgomery spruce and Merry Berry holly,lavender falls wisteria, which blooms twice in one season, and theEmpress Wu hosta, a showy new perennial with great blue foliage.HARDSCAPE ELEMENTSHardscaping performs all year round, so naturally it’s part of thelandscape designer’s bag of tricks to create four-season curb appeal.The driveway, especially, is getting a lot of attention.Isoldi says that while pavers are good choices for the drivewaysand walks of higher-end homes, he’s seeing more and more crushedstone versions.“I like it,” he says. Goss agrees. “It’s a very natural look…It’s unpretentiousand goes well with all plant materials.”However, Ira Vosper, director of operations for Rinox Pavers,points out that pavers offer more color, shape and size choices thanany other hardscape option as well as optimum durability and minimalmaintenance.“Quite simply, creating curb appeal should always begin witha solid hardscape foundation of driveway, walkways and retainingwalls,” he notes. “Unlike trees, shrubs and plants, the righthardscape elements resist climate change and maintain beautythroughout the year.”CREATIVE LIGHTINGFinally, there’s evening curb appeal to consider. After all, someshowings happen at dusk or after dark, remarks Meininger. Placelighting strategically along the driveway and walk, have goodlookinglight fixtures at the entry, and make sure that interiorlighting is visible and welcoming from the outside.“Use light to showcase eye-catching landscape features,” addsGoss. “For example, think of placing up-lighting under a small treewith a lovely branching habit. Any potential buyer driving by afterdark will be sure to return for a daytime look.”RESOURCESBenjamin Moore PaintsMontvalewww.benjaminmoore.comDenise MeiningerProminent PropertiesSotheby’s International RealtySaddle River, 201.825,3600www.prominentproperties.comCipriano Landscape DesignRamsey, 201.785.0800www.plantnj.comGreta Goss, ASIDUpper Montclair, 973.744.2921www.gretagoss.comFrank Isoldi, Coldwell BankerWestfield, 908.301.2038Landscape Aesthetics, Inc.Bernardsville, 908.766.7200www.landscapeaesthetics.comRinox PaversDouglassville, PAwww.RinoxPavers.com68 NJSL | APRIL 2009

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines