It’s post-Christmas and we are well into the new year. We’ve also entered the thick of winter. We take refuge in our chunky knits, our long underwear, our trendy toques and layers of scarves, mitts and socks. The tree is tucked away, the Christmas lights are down and perhaps we feel hopeful for an early spring – even if it does feel like the distant future! During this span of time, where the lustre of Christmas décor has long worn off, how can we spruce up our home exteriors for some added curb appeal to get us through the drab winter months? When everything is blanketed with snow and skies are grey, having a warm and welcoming exterior can keep spirits bright.
Making an Entrance
You may still have greenery in your urns and window boxes that you can edit of Christmas influence, and instead add fresh sprigs of pine and spruce to keep things looking full and green. These often take a beating during the high winds of winter and driving snow. Now is the time to create fullness and newness by giving them some added attention. Or consider adding faux topiaries and boxwood balls to take you across that winter finish line. Faux greenery is an ideal way to add colour with a low maintenance approach. There are many online websites that sell such ornamentation, and home décor shops often carry similar items. These are also available made with bark and wood for a more natural effect. A bright coloured door is also an appealing contrast during the winter months. Another way to add colour and interest is with bird houses and ornamental feeders; these distract from the grey landscape of winter and provide a functional refuge for nature’s winged visitors.
A Picture-Perfect Porch
This seasonal stretch provides an opportunity to consider turning over your porch décor. This could include outdoor cushions, throw blankets, lanterns with flameless candles and other garden accessories that help to create a neutral look. Consider switching up your doormat for something new that will reflect the personality of your home
and family. Many online websites sell statement welcome mats which can set the tone before guests even make an entrance. Having a theme in mind will help, and can be tied into your interior look and colour schemes.
Light It Up
Clear the path to your doorway and ensure your front door has ample lighting for a warm and welcoming entrance. Add warm, white lighting to key zones to give off warmth during the winter hours and boost night-time curb appeal. A driveway and walkway lighting plan can add interest and creativity to your home by illuminating the shape of your landscaping. Remember – impressive curb appeal begins at the street and delivers a continued experience all the way to your front door. Lighting also makes your home appear larger from the outside, making it attractive and increasing its value at the same time. Also, keep exterior lights clean, as they tend to collect dirt during the winter months.
Have a Snow Removal Strategy
When removing snow consider specific areas to shovel to avoid unsightly mounds which, once frozen, create hard-to-navigate walkways. Be consistent with snow removal and have salt on hand to ensure safety and cleared areas. Properly cleared pathways and removal of icicles from your eavestroughs can create appealing lines and angles which will complement the shape of your home and overall design. Also try to keep shovels out of sight – they only add to potential front entrance clutter.
Remove sticks and branches that have fallen during storms. Also, this is where your snow removal strategy comes in handy to keep traffic off a winter lawn. Grass underneath can be easily damaged during winter months and keeping lawn traffic minimal will ensure successful spring growth. Directing traffic to designated pathways will assist with successful maintenance. The good news is, your winter yard to-do list will be shorter! In the spring or fall when pruning, consider trimming to frame and accent your home so that you optimize the design and lines of its architecture.
Don’t let winter chill your curb appeal. Put the same amount of time and care into your curb aesthetic regardless of the season and you’ll be the envy of your neighbours! And don’t forget to find beauty in the season itself, after all the Kawarthas are one of most beautiful regions in Ontario all year round.
By: Joanne Clark