This post brought to you by Gilmour. The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Gardening Cook. There is a saying that one can only have one first impression. That saying applies to the front of your home as well as to your personality or appearance. The front door and entry is the focal point of your home, and it conveys to the person who visits a lot about your style. These tips to Create Curb Appeal will not only jazz up your entry but may also increase the value of your home.

You can only make one first impression! See my 25 Tips to create curb appeal. #ad #GilmourGardens #GilmourGardening @gilmourgarden

Jazz up your Home Look with these 22 Secrets to Create Curb Appeal.

This has been the summer of make overs for me. A new sponsor of mine, Gilmour, has graciously given me some garden watering products to help with my garden chores. In the past few months, I have used their products, especially their Flexogen hoses, in several garden projects. I have been growing vegetables on my back deck, I transformed my back side garden to a Southwest themed retreat, and got super great harvests from my vegetables, due in large part to their wonderful range of watering tools. Now it is time for me to tackle the project that will change the way my front yard looks. Gilmour is a company that has a wide range of products for your gardening needs, including garden pruning tools, watering nozzles and wands, and a great variety of garden hoses. They are a trusted and reliable brand with decades of American heritage. One of their products which is of special interest to me is their Flexogen hose.Gilmour FlexogenI have two Flexogen hoses and love them. The hose has made my watering chores a breeze this year. Flexogen hoses have been proudly made in the USA for over 40 years and have a lifetime warranty. They are perfect for homemakers, like me, who really put their garden tools to the test. The Flexogen hose is the only 8 layer hose on the market. It has a one-of-a-kind patented construction (many other hoses are made with only six layers) and is built to last. Flexogen is made with crush-resistant brass couplings as opposed to weaker stamped-brass fittings. This means that the hose ends won’t be destroyed if you accidentally drive over it. With these features, it is easy to see why the Flexogen hose is the longest-lasting and most durable hose in its class.

Create Curb Appeal with these tricks.

I have a very modest home. The gardens are lovely and it’s decorated nicely inside, but I have always hated the way it looks from the front. The shutters are totally outdated in color, and the front door is rusted at the bottom and has no appeal. Super huge boxwoods dwarf the entry step, the garden on the right is totally over grown, and basically the front of the house has zero curb appeal. The front entry needs a total redo to make it look more modern and inviting.Front Entry Before the Make over

Would you like to create curb appeal to your front yard, and perhaps add value to your home? Join me in seeing how I make over my front entry. Perhaps you can put some of these tips for adding curb appeal into practice to see what a difference they can make. It does not need to cost an arm and a leg either. Sometimes just a little elbow grease can go a long way.

1. Entry Door. The front door can do so much to create curb appeal to an entry. Give the door a splash of color and update your hardware. We will be painting our brick later this year to a light grey color, so we changed our old, rusty white door to a lovely dark blue color. The rounded glass panel adds interest to the door and softness as well, which the house needs since it is so rectangular. It gives the entry a huge pop of color that I love. New hardware make the whole look brand new.  See this project here.New front door

2. Make your Shutters Match. Nothing brings a look together like coordinating paint. Shutters make windows look larger and painting them the same color as the front door ties the whole look together. It is an inexpensive fix that adds a lot of appeal to the front appearance. We turned our shutters back to front and painted them. The finish of them was like new and it saved us almost $350! All it cost was some paint and a generous amount of TLC.The Shutters match the door

3. Enlarge the entry step. Do you have bushes on either side of your step that are too large? If you do, they definitely will dwarf the entry. Trim them down to size. We had two HUGE boxwoods that made the front door area look much smaller than it actually is. Cutting the bushes down to a very small size opens up the front step and gives me a blank slate to start my make over. We did this early this year to give them time to fill out by the time the makeover is finished.Cutting down overgrown shrubs adds space to the front step

The step in the photo above is larger but not very great looking. This is how it looks after cleaning and some TLC.Front Step after

4. Dress up your House Numbers. There are lots of different ways to add house numbers to a front entry. Before my make over, I had used tiered planters on the front step with my house numbers on them. I liked them when I made the project but wanted something new for my make over. Adding the house numbers to this plaque also balanced the door way opening. You can view the tutorial for the project on this page of my site.DIY House number signboard5. Change the Lighting. I am ashamed to say that the door light on the front of our house is the original one from the 1970s. The bulb could only be changed by taking the light apart, so I left the outside of it off and it was just a bulb hanging in place from the fixture. (it is amazing what one can get used to and never notice, but I bet my guests noticed it every time they came to the house!) We changed the light to one which coordinates with the glass panel on the door, and, other than the front door, it is probably the single biggest change to the appeal of the entry. Not a bad investment of $37!A new front light adds great curb appeal

6. Give the door a personal touch. Add a swag or festive wreath to give it a soft touch and to showcase your personal style. This burlap wreath is a simple project to make and can be changed as the seasons transition, and it holds up well outside too. Since my new front door has an oval center, I’m not using the wreath right now, but as the holidays approach, I will add a swag to the oval center of the door that will showcase it well and welcome holiday visitors. This photo shows it on a plain paneled door.Burlap wreath.7. Add potted plants. Containers with potted plants add lushness to the front entry and give a welcoming touch and create curb appeal. They are easy to care for with just a splash of water every few days from my Flexogen hose and also give some softness to the entry point. I have a small patio at the right side of the house, where I have added a seating area and a cluster of plants. I use a staggered, asymmetrical look to the pots and plants in this section. The chair cushion covers match the brick work of my house too. Total cost for the seating was $32!Charming Seating area

8. Make over your Mailbox. Even though the mailbox is not near the entry, it still adds to the curb appeal of the front. Try to tie your plants into the look of the plants near the house for an extra cohesive effect. The pure white mail box post matches the vinyl siding on the side of our house. I used easy to care for perennials that won’t need a lot of tending or watering. Be sure to visit this page to see the mailbox transformation.mailbox-make-over-main9. Renew the planter beds. Get the garden beds near the house in shape by pulling weeds, pruning old plants and adding new ones. My garden bed on the right of the door was overgrown. I pulled everything out of my border on the right of the entry, and added shade loving perennials that match those on the left side. I added a layer of mulch to control the weeds and help in watering. My front entry faces north and does not get much light, so flowering plants were not an option. Fortunately for me, I love ferns, coral bells, helleborus, hydrangeas, and hostas!New side garden bed

10. Hide your hose. Hoses are necessary to keep your garden growing in tip top shape, but can look unsightly if left sitting on a lawn or a garden bed. Do you know that they actually make hose hiders? Basically they are just a big tub with a place for the hose to pull through that keeps it out of sight. I made a DIY hose pot from a large galvanized trunk. This big holder is the perfect place to store my Flexogen hose and garden nozzle. The lightweight build of the Flexogen hose greatly increase its flexibility, and the hose is super soft and coils easily. The hose pot adds a decorative touch to the front border and keeps my hose handy for times when I need it.Flexogen hose in a DIY hose pot11. Add height with a Shepherd’s hook. The brick on the front of my house can over power the surrounding garden beds and step. I added some height to the left garden bed and softened the brick facade by using a large shepherd’s hook. Begonias add a splash of color and give some much needed dimension to the wall. Two hanging baskets add some much additional softness here. The plants that I used are a chenille plant and two varieties of begonias: Rex Begonia and Angel wing begonia

.Shepherd's hooks add height to a blank brick wall.

12. Trim the edges. All of my garden beds have edging in place to keep the weeds and grass from growing into the borders. Be sure to keep them trimmed for a super neat affect that adds great curb appeal.

Trim the edges for great curb appeal

13. Incorporate a seating area. Earlier this year, I did a make over on a front garden bed to add a second pretty seating area. I have several lovely garden beds in the front yard, and the seating area adds great curb appeal and gives me a place to sit and admire my flowers. I did this make over on a budget too. You really don’t need to spend a lot to add a great deal of curb appeal.To create curb appeal add a pretty seating area in the Front yard.14. Clean the trim and discolored brick work. Brighten up the look of the eaves, siding or brick by giving them a gentle cleaning. If the house is not too grimy, a spray with a good cleaning nozzle will work just fine. Gilmour makes a great high burst cleaning nozzle that adds a steady stream to clean them up in no time at all. Clean siding, windows and brick work with Gilmour cleaning nozzles.

15. Keep the walkway weeds in check and be sure it is clean. The walk way to our front door has a small crack in it. We can’t afford to replace it now, but that does not mean that we should allow weeds to grow in the crack, or on the spaces in the brick steps. Easy ways to keep them the weeds are bay are to either boil some water and pour it on the weeds to kill them, or use a DIY weed spray to keep them in check. Using a high burst cleaning nozzle to remove the weeds and make it sparkling clean is also a simple way to go.A clean walk adds curb appeal

16. Hide your Garbage bins. Garbage bins are a necessity, of course. But they don’t have to be an eyesore too. The patio area shown above in tip #7 once housed my garbage bin, recycling bin, four or five bins for all my garden yard waste, and a huge mess of things that could easily be stored in our back shed. After cleaning the cement patio, I decided “NO MORE!!” We tidied this area up and moves the bins around to the side of the house (only about 10 extra steps to add garbage to them). You could even put a white enclosure around them if you really don’t want to see them from the side view.Garbage bins on the side of the house are less of an eyesore I had a long narrow garden border that was an overgrown mess of raspberry bushes that had never produced. I pulled them all and placed the bins in this area. They can be seen from the side but from the front it looks like a single bed. This is a great tip to create curb appeal, and it gave me a charming patio seating area in the front that actually adds to the look of the house, instead of detracting from it.

17. Lay down a welcome mat. After spending time making the door the focal point, draw the eye to it with a welcome mat. This simple addition welcomes the guests, adds a focal point, and helps to keep dirt on the outside of the front door. I was going to buy a new welcome mat, but cleaning my old one with a Gilmour nozzle got it very clean and the color now matches my brickwork, so I don’t need to replace it! What a change!Welcome Mat Before after18. Transition the seasons. It is easy to have a welcoming look to your front door with great curb appeal in the summer time when flowers and plants are growing well. But as fall and winter approaches, think of ways to transition. Add asters and mums in pots instead of summer flowers. Colorful pumpkins welcome in fall in a fun way, and corn stalks can be added to your wreath with just a bit of a switch out. Add white lights on bushes, and a Christmas wreath to your front door to create a holiday effect. Just because summer will be gone doesn’t mean the front door won’t need decorating as the days get cooler.change your entry with the seasons The change of seasons often gives the home owner a lot of tasks. From cleaning a bird bath, to getting the trim on a house clean, a freshening up brick work, and cleaning cars. All of this can be much easier with a high burst nozzle, like a Gilmour Cleaning nozzle.

19. Plant a Tree. My favorite tree is a Japanese Maple that my daughter gave me for my birthday. It graces the front yard and I planted a small border around it to showcase it. The tree is small still, but it adds a lot of appeal to the front yard and I think of Jess every time I look at it.To creaate curb appeal, add a pretty tree. This Japanese maple tree adds great color.

20. Garden Beds add Softness. Break up your lawn area by adding a flowering cottage garden bed. I have a kidney shaped bed in my front yard and I get comments from all of my neighbors as they pass by about how beautiful it is.Front Garden bed

21. Garden decor adds so much. Garden decor breaks up garden beds and gives them a finished look. I use large urns and birdbaths in most of my garden beds. Plus it brings the birds and butterflies to the garden which is lovely! Keeping the birdbath clean requires regular maintenance though. Gilmour’s cleaning nozzles make this a light task!a bird bath adds curb appeal to a front garden bed

22. Add Matching Planters. The front entry is the perfect spot for symmetry. Nothing does this in quite the same way as a set of matching planters. In my front entry, I have two matching pots of white caladiums at the beginning of the step area, and two tall planters at the doorway, with liriope muscari variegata in stylish tall block planters painted to match my shutters and new front door.New planters complete the look The change from start to finish is amazing, and even though our house is still quite modest, the new curb appeal of my front yard makes me feel as though I am living in style! I can’t get over how the changes of color makes the house look completely different. I’m proud to say that I love the way my house looks now!

To find out more about Gilmour, and see some gardening and watering information, please visit Gilmour on Facebook

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