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How to Give the Exterior of a New Home More Character

Newer homes tend to lack the charm and character of older homes. 

One of the main aesthetic problems with newer homes is that they nearly all look the same, making the neighborhood rather boring.

Here are some tips and tricks for adding charm, character, and personalization to the exterior of your home.

 

exteriorcharacter16photo courtesy of petercaulf www.sxc.hu/photo/771454Potted Plants
Adding a potted plant or two to your front porch will add instant curb appeal and character to the exterior of your new home using little time and effort. 

You can go to a garden center, hardware store, or big box store to purchase a decorative planter and live plants to put inside. 

When putting plants in a planter, a good rule of thumb is to have a tall plant in the center, medium sized filler plants around the tall plant, and plants that spill over the side of the pot in front of the filler plants. 

For extra character, get an over sized pot that will demand attention from the street. 

If you are a bit more creative, consider painting the flower pot a bold, unique, or metallic color for added drama.

 

Furniture
Another way to add instant character to the exterior of your home is to add furniture. 

Furniture is inviting and encourages people to visit and linger. 

A rocking chair on the front porch is an obvious choice. 

You can also add a bench to your front landscape under a tree or a porch swing.

 

Exterior Home Color
I'm guessing the exterior of your new home is boring builder beige. 

To give your home more character, paint the exterior of your home a color other than beige, but check with your Homeowner's Association first.

Most new home builders automatically paint a home beige to offend the least amount of buyers.

Unfortunately, most paint jobs done by home builders are done to minimum standards, so your home will probably require repainting in 2 to 5 years.

Don't forget to paint your front door. A bold paint color, such as red, is very welcoming and adds charm to a home.

 

Landscaping
Add to your landscaping to add character to your home.

Once again, most home builders put in minimum landscaping to make your new home as affordable as possible. 

Consider planting one extra tree per member of your family. 

A mature tree can increase your home value by up to $1,000 per tree when you decide to sell, so plant some now to give them time to grow and mature. 

Make your flower beds twice their current size and fill them with evergreens shrubs in the background for greenery in the winter and colorful deciduous plants for color in the spring and summer.

Plant mature trees and shrubs for greater effect if financially possible.

 

How to Give the Exterior of a New Home More Characterphoto courtesy of Sharon Mollerus flickr.com/photos/clairity/1503877283/Vines
Vines to add character and charm to a home and cover unattractive surfaces quickly.

Chocolate vine, trumpet vine, confederate jasmine, and moon flower are some popular fast growing vines (check with your local nursery to see what is appropriate for your climate).

Plant the vines to grow over fences, on a trellis, up columns, or on either side of your garage door to cover the sides and above your garage door.

 

Reclaimed Elements
Reclaimed architectural elements such as old bricks, old statues, and old bird baths make your home look older and more charming. 

Reclaimed antique or vintage items make your new home special and one of a kind.

 

Moss
Add moss to new architectural elements to give them more character and make them look older. 

Simply take some live moss, a little bit of sugar, and either beer, buttermilk, or yogurt and mix it up in the blender.

Spread or pour the mixture over whatever you want the moss to grow on.

Spritz it with water from a spray bottle once a day for a week and make sure it stays in a shaded location.

 

Light Fixtures
Lighting fixtures are an integral part of your home's exterior. 

Most builder grade light fixtures are too small, very basic, without character, and boring. 

Upgrade your exterior lighting to make your home unique.

Select larger light fixtures to draw attention to your home and make it more charming.

 

Architectural Elements
Consider adding extra architectural elements such as shutters, a vintage red front door, copper gutters, a real wood garage door (or one that has handles and looks like it opens to the side), window boxes, a door knocker, a unique doorbell, or other elements that appeal to you.

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