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2010 August 28 | The Property Network | Stamford CT Real Estate | Stamford Short Sales | Norwalk Homes for Sale | Greenwich Luxury Homes and Beyond!

Archive for August 28th, 2010

Welcome your guests with open arms, tips for creating curb appeal

Saturday, August 28th, 2010




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McDowellFrontyard236772 C22 Welcome your guests with open arms, tips for creating curb appeal | CT Real Estate

Backyard outdoor rooms are extremely popular everywhere in the United States. Outdoor kitchens, spas, video centers, fireplaces, pools, gazebos—all help to establish a wonderfully useable, comfortable, desirable living space in which to entertain family and friends. But many homeowners tend to forget about the front yard and entrance to their homes because…simply…they don’t spend much of their time there. “An owner returning home from work drives along the driveway to the garage and enters the house from that doorway, never even catching a glimpse of the front door of the house,” says Scott Cohen, a designer regularly featured on HGTV and the owner of The Green Scene, an award-winning residential landscape design and construction firm. “Owners feel that, although the backyard is theirs, the front of the home belongs to the neighbors. They often neglect it because they practically forget that it’s even there.”

Cohen says the front of a home should actually be of paramount importance. It’s the primary area seen by those approaching and leaving the home and by all passersby. The front entryway is the first thing an invited guest sees, so it should be attractive and hospitable. “I like an ‘open arms’ design for an entry,” explains Cohen. “The base of the stairs should be wide and, as they lead to the front door, the width should be reduced somewhat. The perception is one of welcoming, open arms to anyone moving toward the entry.” Cohen also advises against “duck walks” or an entryway access that is so tight that people must walk single file to reach or leave the door. “The entry should be generous and comfortably allow for two-way traffic,” he notes.

Cohen discourages owners from creating too many approaches from the front yard to the house. “Some homeowners offer a multitude of walkways to visitors,” he explains. “There’s a path from the front to the backyard, another path to a side yard or garage, as well as the steps leading to the front door. All these paths are confusing to guests; they don’t know which walkway to use.” Cohen believes the front door should be the main focus, and the walkway or stairs leading to that door should be prominent in the front-yard design.

Landscaping and architectural details that coordinate with the original structure will look like they belong and have always been a part of the house, Cohen says.

He advises using the same materials and shapes that are on the house in the landscaping design. “If a house has a low horizontal plane, so should the landscaping,” he says. “A grander home can handle a grander scale of architectural and landscaping details.” Nevertheless, he warns, “Never overdo or overpower the home itself.”

In order for steps to be attractive and safe, certain design elements should be included. Wide landings are comfortable to walk on and impressive looking. Stairs should be well lit for safety reasons. “Never light stairs from the top because that will cause a shadow. Light stairs from the side with eyebrow or pilaster lights or on the face of the step itself,” Cohen suggests. “I prefer side lighting myself. Lights on the face of a step tend to look more commercial.”

Landscaping plantings can be simple and monochromatic or ambitious and colorful. Dividing walls can be stone, stucco, or live hedge. But all the details should complement the original structure and coordinate with the original materials used in the construction of the house. Cohen adds, “A well-planned and appealing front entryway says ‘come on in’ to visitors and tells them that the owners are proud of their home and warmly welcome guests.” Written by Carolyn M. Runyon.

Be sure to check with your local municipality for set-back requirements or restrictions before designing your new front yard.




  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Welcome your guests with open arms, tips for creating curb appeal | CT Real Estate
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Welcome your guests with open arms, tips for creating curb appeal | CT Real Estate
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Welcome your guests with open arms, tips for creating curb appeal | CT Real Estate
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Welcome your guests with open arms, tips for creating curb appeal | CT Real Estate
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Welcome your guests with open arms, tips for creating curb appeal | CT Real Estate
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Welcome your guests with open arms, tips for creating curb appeal | CT Real Estate
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Welcome your guests with open arms, tips for creating curb appeal | CT Real Estate
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Welcome your guests with open arms, tips for creating curb appeal | CT Real Estate

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