Whether a homeowner is preparing their home for sale or not, curb appeal remains a key investment to make a lasting impression every day. “Curb appeal definitely matters because this is where we spend our lives,” says Paula MacNab, the owner of interior design firm MacNab Ventures for 30 years. “The things that we deal with daily should be pleasing to us— functional and beautiful.” MacNab suggests first having an expert take an objective inventory of the outdoor space, taking photos of the house from all angles. If you choose to complete this initial step yourself, she advises that you observe the home “as if you haven’t ever seen it before.” She points out that you might be surprised what has gone unnoticed, at least by the homeowner. Doors and Hardware A simple way to boost curb appeal begins with the utilitarian tools we interact with every day. MacNab advises homeowners to replace existing hardware, including simple details like the house number, door handles and hinges. “Be aware of the architectural style of the home when making choices,” MacNab says. Contemporary homes pop with brushed nickel or silver tone finishes, while a traditional home looks great with oil-rubbed bronze hardware, she explains. Turn a critical eye to current outdoor lighting options or areas that are too dark and potentially risky. Outdoor lighting should be pleasing and balanced, MacNab suggests. Consider adding pathway lighting or an outdoor fixture to softly enhance a piece of art. Replacing the front door or garage door can result in a big appearance boost. According to Forbes, replacing the garage door often gains a return on investment of 95 percent; front doors, 80 percent. “The front door is almost like jewelry. It sets the tone when people go through it,” MacNab observes. If a remodel is not on the schedule, MacNab notes that the simplest way to make a curb appeal impact is to make sure all doors and hardware are coordinated. Landscaping Curb appeal often begins with the green spaces of a home. In Monterey County, landscaping plans that include the proposed plants and irrigation strategies are required before installation. These ordinances integrate several conservation practices to help protect the soil and water of local landscapes. 18 The Best of Monterey Bay ® Haven 2023-2024 Looking from the Outside Curb appeal makes a statement; is it the right one? By Caitlin Fillmore shutterstock curb appeal_23.indd 1 8/1/23 4:06 PM