The Water Awareness Committee of Monterey County, Inc. maintains an online database of plants, grasses, and trees that thrive in the area. The group’s website, montereylandscaping.org, helps homeowners meet the standards of local ordinances and support conservation efforts. The site provides resources on seasonal watering schedules and features galleries of online garden tours to serve as inspiration. If a small-scale landscaping project is on your wishlist, consider a mailbox garden. A small group of plants, pavers, and outdoor decor can turn a standard-issue mailbox into an “art point,” MacNab says. Spaces to Gather “I treat the exterior spaces like rooms,” observes MacNab, also a real estate broker with David Lyng Real Estate for eight years. “A client is potentially envisioning themselves living in the home. You’re painting a lifestyle picture.” A garden gate or low wall of plantings create memorable pass-through spaces or dramatic entrances to outdoor rooms. Be sure to add groups of seating to make the porch look inviting. It’s one of those win-wins—both visually appealing and practical, encouraging people to utilize the space. Memorable Extras According to MacNab, homes need an identity, and they can generate one with or without a homeowner’s intention. “If the front of the house is not well maintained it can create a first impression that the whole home is not maintained,” she explains. When thinking about curb appeal, it’s important to be memorable for the right reasons. MacNab suggests adding features like a fountain to delight visitors’ eyes and ears. Another way to stand out is by giving your home its own unique moniker with a name that is identifiable and appealing, she says. Some favorites from the Monterey Peninsula include the whimsical Casa Compromise in Carmel and the golf-themed Our Mulligan in Pebble Beach. One can go clever or simple. But extras must be chosen with care. “Curate, curate, curate,” MacNab advises. “Less is more. Choose better quality and fewer items.” MacNab reminds homeowners to take the “after” photos to see the effect of curb appeal. “You’re most likely going to get way more return on your dollars than the cost,” she points out. “Make the property ‘Instagrammable.’” The bonus is that in doing so, you will also make it more liveable. 20 The Best of Monterey Bay ® Haven 2023-2024 shutterstock curb appeal_23.indd 2 8/1/23 4:06 PM