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This Is How to Increase Your Westchester Home’s Curb Appeal

Three landscape experts share their best tips for creating exceptional curb appeal.

curb appeal
Adobe Stock/ ozgur coskun

Whether you are considering selling your home or just want to improve your curb appeal (and who doesn’t), three landscaping experts are sharing their best tips for increasing your exterior allure.

To Get Started

Max Apton of Sweet Clover Design in Mount Kisco says it’s not necessary to spend a ton of money to update your curb appeal. “Overgrown landscape trees that are planted too close to a foundation, blocking windows, or looming precariously over the roof should be trimmed back or removed,” he says. “It should not be underestimated how much more welcoming a home can appear when it’s not being crowded by large trees.” He adds that the home also becomes brighter inside.

And while it may seem obvious to most, Apton says pulling weeds, pruning existing shrubbery, and adding fresh mulch is a must. “It’s remarkable what a difference clean, colorful planting beds with a fresh layer of mulch can make,” he says.

Attilio Petroni of National Lawn Sprinklers & Outdoor Living in White Plains suggests adding planters to your front entryway to be more inviting for guests when entering your home.

He also says to pay attention to your lawn. He says to ask yourself “Do you need to put fertilizer down to make it look lush and green?” He adds you should look at the architectural details of your home. Does it need a fresh coat of paint; does anything need to be repaired?

Pretty Plantings

In terms of what to plant, Jessica Zavaglia of Larchmont’s Zavaglia Associates says, “When people are looking for curb appeal or a facelift to their front yard, I like to see what plants are thriving on a property and which ones are not. Observing this helps educate me on the plant selections to suggest to a homeowner.”

She suggests including elements such as evergreen structural interest (which provides a year-round green framework for the garden), visual layers, and seasonal interest. She also suggests adding a focal point wherever possible. “[This] will also draw your eye around to various areas on the property,” says Zavaglia. “Good examples of focal points to add to your garden could be a bench, a piece of art, or a specimen tree.”

But if you’re getting ready to list your home, there are some areas you should focus on rather than others. “Don’t invest too heavily in shrubs and trees,” says Apton. “Your money is better spent on annuals and mulch, making the front of your home colorful and clean. Planting annuals leaves room for the buyer to renovate the garden without having to spend money on removing more permanent plantings should they not be to the buyer’s taste.”

“Don’t invest too heavily in shrubs and trees. Your money is better spent on annuals and mulch.”
— Max Apton

Zavaglia adds that symmetry is key when it comes to curb appeal. “We make sure to create an element of symmetry by including similar plant groupings repeatedly throughout the design,” she says.

Things to Consider

Apton says you need to remember the fundamentals of all garden design: What are the conditions in the front of your home? Does it bake in the sun all day? Is it shaded most of the day under a canopy of tall trees? Are deer and rabbits apt to be munching on your plants?

“Having this information is critical before heading to your local nursery to shop,” he says. “It’s easy to be dazzled by the gorgeous coneflowers and daisies when they’re blooming, but they aren’t going to like growing in the shade of that big oak tree you’ve got! Likewise, those delicate lacecap hydrangea that look so wonderful at the nursery aren’t going to enjoy baking in front of your brick house in the hot afternoon sun.”

And plantings aren’t the only things to update if you can. Zavaglia also suggests updating your existing walkways. “Doing so not only leads to new visual allure for visitors by refreshing old plant and hardscape materials, but by doing so, this also gives a homeowner the opportunity to change circulation and upgrade it for safety as well,” she says.

You need to remember the fundamentals of all garden design: What are the conditions in the front of your home?

Petroni adds that you should not only think about what your home looks like during the day, but also during the evening. You can add lighting to increase your curb appeal at night. He suggests the following:

  • Highlighting the architectural features of your home.
  • Installing sconces to the entranceway to your main door.
  • Uplighting deciduous trees
  • Accenting foundation plantings
  • Adding path light to walkways
  • Accentuate your garage doors for safety and security.

“Choosing the right lighting fixtures for the outside of your home will make all the difference,” he says. “Landscape lighting is one of the top exterior features that will also add value to your home.”

Related: How to Prep Your Yard and Gardens for Spring in Westchester

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