Colorful Curb Appeal

Home in need of a face lift? Try repainting.

The sound of a lawn mower roared outside my living room window. My husband and I looked at each other and groaned.

Our neighbors were mowing their lawn. Again.

There’s nothing wrong with a perfectly manicured lawn. But when you have a neighbor who likes to mow and edge his yard once a week, it makes our lawn look like most women’s legs during the winter months: long, unkempt, and ragged.

So we got into the habit of timing our landscaping routine to follow theirs. We thought we did a pretty good job keeping up with the maintenance until one day, as we drove home after running an errand,
we turned down our street to see a disturbing sight: our neighbors were getting their house painted.

Son of a gun.

Over two days, a crew of painters pressured washed, caulked, sanded, and scraped to transform this beige-cookie cutter house into a beauty of steel green with maroon accents and eggshell trim. With every stroke of the paint brush, our house became uglier and uglier. With every dab of paint, the cracks on our exterior looked cavernous. With every completed side, our house looked more and more like it was constructed of mud and sticks.

It’s amazing what a coat of paint can do. We took one look at our drab exterior and knew what we needed to do.

So I began calling around for quotes, including the same company that painted our neighbor’s house.

Then we started looking at colors. (Or, then we walked through the neighborhood, and the one next to us, and the one next to that one, eyeing every house and analyzing every paint job, and snooped around on Pinterest and Googled words like “Hopsack” and “Cinnamon” to find the perfect color.)

Real estate experts advise neutral colors that appeal to the masses

Real estate experts advise neutral colors that appeal to the masses, something that will boost resale value in the future. That means no hot pinks, tangerine oranges and candy apple reds.

We decided on sable, a warm, neutral dark chocolate. For a pop of color, our door went from eggplant to tomato. And our trim came from the same color strip family: Everyday White.

It made a drastic change without taking a drastic toll on our wallet.

It’s considered one of the biggest bangs for your buck when selling your home, boosting your curb appeal instantly.

Might as well do it while you’re living there and enjoy it.

As we looked over the finished product with pride, no longer embarrassed by the faded colors, chipped paint and unsightly stains, the neighbor’s garage opened, and out rolled their lawn mower.

Oh well, back to work.

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Phuong Cotey
GGRE Editorial Director Phuong Nguyen Cotey is a former newspaper reporter and a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee in feature writing for her work at the San Diego Union-Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times). She left journalism to follow her other interests at a nonprofit public-policy think tank and built a second career around philanthropies and foundations. She's also equally passionate about editing. Phuong is the editor for Life*Vida, a book released in November 2013 by Los Angeles Lakers Center/Forward Pau Gasol, a 2-time NBA Champion and 4-time All-Star. She's also a homeowner who wishes she had a hallway closet by the front door and a bigger laundry room.
7 of 31 in Design

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