In the South, our houses are all about the exterior charm which sets the tone for the inviting and hospitable interior beyond the front door. The exterior is a home’s first impression for guests as well as those passing by—and we all know that those matter, especially in the South. And that's why our home's curb appeal deserves just as much attention as our kitchen and living rooms .
From paint to pots , there are endless ways to boost curb appeal by making a few simple changes to the exterior of your abode. Keep in mind that doesn’t mean you need to implement every action item possible. In fact, sometimes less is more. Designer Jennie Holland abides by the rule of thumb to use no more than three ‘features’ on the exterior. “This includes paint colors and materials, each being calculated as a feature to keep the look restrained yet still interesting,” she says.
While some things are seasonal like planting new blooms in your
, other upgrades, like new light fixtures, might require a bit more thought. We called on expert advice from architects, builders, and designers for trends they’re seeing in 2023 from colors and contrast to materials that will give your home’s exterior a refresh and dial up curb appeal.
Give Your Front Door A Fresh Coat
“Rethink your front door,” says Jackier Mosher, co-founder of
. “Elevate the aesthetics of your home with traditional colors or make a solid statement with a vibrant, contrasting color,” she says. No matter what color paint you’re dipping your brush into, whether it’s a
, a fresh coat will do wonders for your front door. The affinity for bold outdoor colors took off during the pandemic when homeowners were looking for a creative outlet–and that hasn’t let up. We’ve already been seeing front doors that rival colorful kitchen cabinets and bathroom walls, but we’ll be seeing more statement doors and hardware in adventurous colors in 2023.
Install Natural Barriers
While we love a white picket fence, designer Laura Hodges says she's seeing more natural barriers like trees, hedges, and bamboo instead of man-made fences. With the right plants, a border hedge can upgrade your landscaping while adding privacy to your yard without sacrificing the welcoming aspect. It is important to consider growing conditions when deciding what type of shrub to use because it needs to be designed to last. Beloved boxwoods are a great route to go when forgoing a fence.
Add Copper Accents
“A curb appeal booster I'm also seeing for 2023 is polished copper accents. Installing polished copper gutters and outdoor lighting adds a distinctive and refined look to an exterior, and complements a multitude of exterior finishes and home styles,” says designer
. Though it is on the pricier side for exterior upgrades, copper brings warmth and charm to a house and is worth the investment because it will last.
Reconsider Your Porch
In the South,
are like outdoor living rooms so they deserve a refresh, especially when they’re
. “A fresh coat of paint or stain can do wonders, as can updating lighting. Layer up lighting to showcase historic architectural features. Hanging lanterns on the porch can match the pattern and design of the space and be a showstopper,” says Mosher.
Mix Your Materials
Just as the interior of homes are transitioning away from bright white , so are the exteriors. Holland is seeing a nod back to classic, earthy materials and tones that we've traditionally seen and a mixture of those coming back into style. “Whether it's brick, stone, siding, shingles, unique wood features, or a combo of several, I'm seeing these materials being used together on architectural details such as arches, extreme peaks, and even non-conventional lines for a layered look with lots of personality that will stand the test of time,” says Holland.
Consider A Darker Accent Color
While super high contrast paint styles are headed out the door, if you’re thinking about repainting your house, consider using a darker accent color for trim, windows, shutters, or the foundation, advises custom home builder Randy Schiltz of
T. Olive Properties.
Colors like deep blues and grays, forest greens, and rich browns to bring a calming, yet still interesting appeal to your home's exterior.
Keep Landscaping Natural
While clean lines and pristinely shaped hedges and garden paths are beautiful, they’re hard to maintain and can often look out of place. Instead, lean on natural and organic landscaping techniques with native flowers and plants, says Hodges. This also helps with the maintenance of your plants because they're already adapted to their environment—meaning you’re less likely to end up with dead flower beds.
Brighten With Exterior Lighting
"Exterior lighting is an easy and effective way to update curb appeal,” says Katie Vance, designer and chief creative officer of Powell . “Choosing a fixture that is proportional in scale to the home is key. You can’t go wrong with a classic gas lantern from Bevolo." While front porch lighting is important, the key to evening curb appeal means going beyond the doorway. “Illuminate your entrance and garden with spike lights and spotlight features beyond the porch like accenting favorite plants or trees,” says Mosher.
A lush, established landscape achieves so much curb appeal so why let it only be seen in the daylight? Designer Sara Johnson suggests moonlighting. “Adding lights to the tree tops and pointing them down, gives a beautiful ambiance where you can see the trees’ shadows on the ground—literally as if the moon was shining through the trees,” says Johnson.
Go Bold With Color
Whether you’re repainting your siding or just updating the trim—2023 is all about stepping away from the subtle tones. “Bold colors are emerging once again in a strong way. Exterior paint color blocking (bold color used in unexpected ways) exploded on more industrial-style homes over the last few years and I expect we'll see that trend continue but also leaning now into a more transitional-style home as well as on more modern-traditionals, too,” says Holland, “It's certainly an instant way to make an impression from the curb.” Industry experts say we’ll see earth tones, which help a home’s exterior feel more connected to its natural surroundings used a lot in the coming year. “Shades of navy blues, forest greens, dark browns, and maroons offer the calming aura of nature,” says Mosher.
Find The Right Shutters
“Properly sized shutters are so important. On larger windows, make them as if they are functional and stack them back with tie backs, and the mid rail should line up with the muntin on the window,” says Sara Johnson. “Hardware like shutter dogs (tiebacks) and hinges are also important to consider.” If you don’t have shutters on your home's front exterior, perhaps it’s time to make that change. Or if you do, consider a fresh coat of paint.
Plant Beyond The Garden
Mosher notes there’s more than one place to have greenery and florals. Add beauty, charm, and curb appeal by extending your garden with flower boxes on the windows and planters on the front stoop. While this is nothing new to Southern homeowners, container gardens greeting you at the front door or overflowing window boxes are never going out of style.
Choose The Right Windows
Windows can often be forgotten, but picking the right ones can be one of the most impactful ways to boost the curb appeal of your home. “A high quality window with decorative grilles in a unique pattern when paired with properly sized wooden shutters is the best place to start. Even better when those shutters have a special style or cut out,” says Monica Stewart of
The Misfit House. I
ncorporating a pop of color with the window casing or shutters add dimension and personality to the house too.
Think Again Before Painting That Brick
Timeless, unpainted brick is making a comeback in 2023. “ Painted brick has been all the rage for the past few years and while I also view it as timeless in the correct application—there are few things more charming than a beautifully colored, classic brick exterior. I love unpainted brick paired with black accents for a modern approach,” says designer Lauren Sullivan of Well x Design.
Utilize The Front Yard
Designer Sara Johnson says adding an outdoor seating area to the front yard is a great way to maximize small lots. “This creates a family-friendly neighborhood and increases home values,” says Johnson. A small table and chairs, bench, or pair of adirondack chairs add a welcoming feel to your front facade.