Curb Appeal Tips We Learned From Fixer Upper

Chip and Joanna Gaines from "Fixer Upper" are celebrities in their hometown of Waco, Texas. They always have something new up their sleeves. According to Variety, the couple's cable network Magnolia is even branching out into the realm of baking competition shows. This show joins almost other 100 original shows on the channel, and there are dozens more in development. One even follows the beloved Chip and Jo as they renovate an actual castle in Waco (via People).

No matter what project they are currently working on, the couple radiates positivity and realness — a big reason they are so popular with audiences. The second reason is their impeccable tastes in both exterior and interior design. Well, it's mostly Jo's taste, but Chip is so helpful that we'll include him. When updating your home, curb appeal is one of the easiest things you can do to give your property an instant facelift. Whether you are sprucing things up to sell or just want something nice to come home to each night, here are some of the best curb appeal tips we learned from "Fixer Upper" home renovations.

Lean into your home's character

"Fixer Upper" is famous for making run-down homes seem new again, but Chip and Jo are sure not to erase all the classic features of the property in the process. For example, the house pictured could have easily been a knock-down rebuild in its pre-remodel state, but the Gaines knew that the home's soul was worth restoring. If you look closely, you can see that the home's original arches and metal detailing remain.

According to This Old House, even if your home isn't an older build, it's still possible to add vintage characteristics as you update your curb appeal. This particular house appears to have roofing tiles instead of newer shingles, which offer an extra level of protection. In addition, the home has shingle siding on its front portion, which is a call back to the Queen Anne style of the early 20th century. However, if you have an older home, it's better to nurture its unique features and restore them rather than replace them with modern elements.

Use bold paint colors to make an impression

Trends come and go, but some classic colors will look good for years to come. Before restoration, Chip and Jo called this forest green home nearly move-in ready. When thinking about adding curb appeal to your property, it could be as simple as a coat of paint. According to Better Homes & Gardens, there isn't a wrong color to paint your home's exterior, as it's really all about how you style it. Chip and Jo favor warmer whites, creams, and earthy neutral tones. It's also a good idea to consider how your color choice will complement neighboring houses.

However, the Gaines' interest in this green home indicates that there are paint colors that go beyond the usual palette. Even if you don't end up painting your home forest green, we did learn from Chip and Jo that a fresh coat of paint, whatever the color, instantly adds a touch more curb appeal to a property.

Columns add a sophisticated touch

If you're keen on infusing your home with sophisticated style, "Fixer Upper" tends to use columns to achieve this effect. Chip and Jo loved the columns on this pre-renovation home so much that they assumed it was move-in ready. If you want to add columns to your home, understand the different options available. According to ThoughtCo, there are three main types of columns to choose from, Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.

Homes with columns on their front porches will typically have simple Doric columns. Their fluted sides and flat tops add chicness and sophistication to any home, especially when used in groups of three or more across the porch. Ionic columns are a bit more slender than their Doric counterparts. You'll see them more often on Colonial-style homes, but they add curb appeal to most porches. Finally, Corinthian columns, topped off by what seem to be overflowing baskets of flowers, tend to be used on large buildings, like universities or government offices. Using them at home might seem a little tacky and reduce your curb appeal.

Potted plants can really spice up a porch

Greenery is truly the unsung hero of curb appeal. Chip and Jo know this, so they often add a group of potted plants to their clients' front porches to make things seem a little more welcoming. But there are a few things you need to keep in mind when decorating with plants to increase curb appeal. The first and most important tip is to take the plunge. It's easy to experience decision paralysis when choosing plants. You'll need to consider what type to pick and how you will take care of them. However, having some plants will instantly increase your curb appeal.

In addition, selecting pots in fun colors and textures can really add personality to your porch. It can be easy enough to choose a classic brown terra cotta, but plenty of home goods stores sell fun pots in bright blue colors and even llama shapes if that's your thing. Finally, consider whether you want the plants clustered on the ground around your front door or spaced out on different levels. For example, you can place a few on the floor, a few in a planter box, and a few hanging plants for top-notch curb appeal.

A nice wreath goes a long way

Wreaths are an easy way to make everyone feel more welcome. Fans of "Fixer Upper" will notice that Joanna often likes to add a wreath to the front door as a finishing touch before the homeowners see their new place for the first time. Many might associate wreaths with the holiday season, but as we can tell from the wreath pictured here, wreaths are actually an all-season decoration. The time of year certainly influences the type of material used in a wreath, but not whether or not you should include it on your porch. The answer to that is always yes. There are plenty of ways to decorate a summer wreath, including flowers, faux succulents, and lavender. 

According to Martha Stewart, some people might be wary of adding curb appeal to their homes with a wreath because they don't want to leave a hole in their doors. However, you can hang up a wreath without leaving behind any damage. You can use a self-adhesive hook, a wreath hanger over the door, or even a ribbon. The key, however, is to make sure the wreath isn't too heavy. It should never weigh more than 15 pounds.

A covered porch adds personality to a home

If your home doesn't currently have a covered porch, it's never too late to add one like on "Fixer Upper." As you can see, the porch's roof instantly adds more character to the home by giving it a more noble profile when viewed from the street. According to Quality Built Exteriors, a front porch is the primary focal point of a home, so sprucing it up with a cover adds new dimensions and value.

In addition to the instant curb appeal, a covered porch can go a long way to balance other awkward or unbalanced architectural elements. It can add resale value to the home and provide another place to sit and relax, depending on the size of the porch. Finally, a covered porch remodel adds another level of protection to your packages. Sure, your home security system might help prevent theft, but if it rains and you don't have a covered front porch, you're out of luck.

Dormer windows never go out of style

Dormers are a classic window style that adds class to any home. Chip and Jo briefly featured this Colonial-style move-in ready home on "Fixer Upper" as a potential housing option for a client. The home didn't need any renovations, and a quick glance at its chic, symmetrical exterior quickly reveals why. According to Colony Homes, dormer windows are an easy way to increase your home's curb appeal when remodeling your home.

These windows are stately and balance out a home's outward appearance, making it more appealing to guests and potential buyers alike. However, those living in the house can also enjoy a few other advantages. The windows create extra space, as they stick out slightly from the roof, providing a perfect sitting or storage area inside. In addition, the size and constitution of dormer windows also ensure that they flood rooms with natural light, which can reduce the need for artificial lighting and energy bills.

A porte-cochère makes a home seem regal

Chip and Jo love this easy way to elevate a home's curb appeal. According to Boston Design Guide, porte-cochère means carriage entrance in French. The stylistic addition first appeared as an architectural element on palaces and manor houses during the time of French Kings Louis XIV and XV in the mid-18th century. They were a marker of a high-class home. Nowadays, you don't need to be particularly wealthy or even have a carriage to consider adding a porte-cochère to your home.

If your home has a side entrance, you can add this structure to offer a secondary location to unload your vehicle in inclement weather. However, if you can add a circular portion to your driveway, it is possible to build a porte-cochère as a sort of extended front porch as well. No matter the location, the presence of a porte-cochère adds instant curb appeal since this feature symbolizes wealth, power, and nobility.

Sometimes no grass is the way to go

You don't always need a green lawn for curb appeal, especially if you live in a more arid climate. Plenty of curb appeal tips lean into landscaping with collections of plants and flowers. If you live somewhere with extreme weather or have water restrictions, Chip and Jo still have you covered.

Even though this renovation took place in central Texas, homeowners across the country can take tips from the lack of greenery and how the Gaines still manage to make things look appealing. According to Gardeningetc, gravel is perfect for both the front and back yards. The best part is that there are different types of gravel to consider and they require little to no maintenance after installation. You can achieve the same look with larger rocks if you prefer a more sturdy look. You'll notice that there is still some greenery involved. Even if you live in the desert, consider adding a few drought-resistant plants to the mix.

Wooden accents make things down to earth

According to Niblock Homes, wood can add a rustic feel to a place. The natural material can also add a sense of earthy calm. Chip and Jo added wooden columns and shutters to this remodel because they knew the element would help improve curb appeal. There are several ways to incorporate wooden features to the outside of your home, but if you are hoping to connect your home to nature, then it's essential to leave the wood its natural color.

While you can add stain or sealant to ensure longevity, painted wood doesn't have the same impact as its untreated counterpart. You can strip down your porch's column, reimagine your window shutters as the Gaines have here, or branch out using the same general idea. Consider using a barn door for your front door, as the overall impact is similar even if it's just repurposed wood and doesn't slide open. You can also reinforce the underside of your porch's roof with stained bead board. This tip is a good idea if you use your front porch as an entertainment area since it's more pleasant to look at than rafters.

Sometimes all you need is a nice place to sit

No front porch is complete without a great place to sit. You'll see many cozy seating areas on the porches that Chip and Jo remodel. This idea tracks since "Fixer Upper" films in the small southern town of Waco, Texas. The American South is famous for having a culture of sitting out on the front porch, drinking sweet tea, and enjoying the warm evening and each other's company.

According to HGTV, it doesn't really matter what kind of seating you have available on your front porch, as long as you have something. You can choose to install a porch swing with large cushions to take in the scenery or a simple wicker chair set. However, consider how you will use the porch and what specific needs you have in the area to help you choose the best possible seating option.

Never underestimate the power of a good front door

The front door is one of the first things your guests see when they arrive, so Chip and Jo always make sure it looks good when they redo a home on "Fixer Upper." Here, we see a beautifully stained wooden door styled with one of Jo's favorite wreaths. However, according to Hunker, this is just one of many attractive ways to style your door and increase curb appeal.

While this door is a glowing natural wood, painted front doors also go a long way to increase a home's curb appeal. You might consider using a contrasting color to paint your front door to make it pop. While many might shy away from bolder colors inside the home, the front door is the perfect place to push boundaries as the smaller surface area makes it less intense. In addition to this, you should also make a statement with your doorbell, as nothing drags down the style of a beautiful front door like a drab doorbell. Whether you choose a digital option for security or a more ornate vintage option, make it bold.

Stonework can make a house feel more sturdy

The Gaines are known for leaning into a castle feel for the homes they restore on "Fixer Upper." This particular home was an option for homeowners to choose from in the episode because it didn't need much work. The property combines red brick and larger blocks of white stone to create a strong facade. According to Clients First Landscape Solutions, you can do more with stonework than upgrading your home's exteriors.

You can also consider installing a pathway with large stones leading up to your front door, stone steps, or even a stone wall for your garden beds. The key here is to use flagstone rather than concrete. Concrete is a durable and popular material, but it doesn't add much to curb appeal because it's so common. In addition, concrete stains easily and shows wear and tear. Switching to stone is an easy way to upgrade.

Window planters are always a charming addition

Chip and Jo know that window planters work well to increase curb appeal, especially when combined with symmetry, as each window has a box. Here, you can also see how the pop of red in the planter box under each window contrasts nicely with the pale green of the house. While it doesn't matter what flower color you pick for your home, it's always a good idea to have flowers around.

According to Better Homes & Gardens, a window box is the perfect, low-key way to show your personal style. While Chip and Jo tend to use a single type of flower, others like to fill their boxes to the brim with many different plants that grow at different rates and levels. For example, you might have a filler plant that takes up a lot of room, a spiller plant that uses dynamic space to spill out of the edges of the box, and a thriller plant, which is small but beautiful.