Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Curb Appeal

Years and years ago, when my neighborhood was way off the radar and under-gentrified, I was spending my energy fixing up the inside--mostly new paint and trying to add some personality to a dreary, plain vanilla rowhouse. I asked my youngest brother what he thought of the work I'd done, and he said, "You can't polish a turd, but you're doing okay." 


Scroll forward a few years and now the 'turd' is sitting pretty in a sought after neighborhood. It's come a long way. New roof, updated boiler, re-pointed brick, new entry doors, carpeting, paint, moldings, safely working brick fireplace, new windows, renovated kitchen, updated baths, etc...  Asked for an opinion on the status, my brother readily admitted..."It looks really good."

I am very house-proud and am invested physically and emotionally as well as financially. If I don't do the upkeep, it won't get done, but I find the work very gratifying. A group of people walked past this past summer, paused and said "this house is really great" and I was very happy to hear that! Who doesn't like a slap on the back?

Adding window boxes to a flat house is like applying makeup and lipstick. The house went from blah to yah! Every season signals a sprucing up, and my window boxes are the place to outwardly celebrate Fall, Spring/Summer and Winter. Through the years I've learned to get inexpensive annuals rather than perennials, and to mix in faux accents with the flora.

This summer was really hot so the annuals took a beating from the exhaling airconditioners. I was heading for the "Grey Gardens" look---accck---time to switch to autumn!

Not a good look...

I spent a grand total of $30.00 to spruce up for autumn '09. I bought ornamental cabbages for $5 each at a nursery, then filled in with faux grasses and accents that I keep in storage and have re-used for years...all from Michael's craft store. Buy seasonal accents a year ahead and store them...you can save up to 75%.

Much better!


  1. Very creative! I think you've done an amazing job polishing! I love your blog!

  2. Dale, your place is FAR from turd-like. I remember when you showed me some old photos and I love how you saw what great bones were there and you just took off and made them shine. You're inspiring, and I love how you turned your space into a knockout that you are so right to be proud of.