How to Create Kerb Appeal in 4 Easy Steps

Having to walk up a crumbling path of weeds and broken tiles to reach your front door? Always hated the way the windows look or never got around to painting your front door to suit your own tastes and not those of the previous dweller? Such neglected decorating dilemmas – you may  know if you’re a property show binger – fall under the banner of Kerb (US: curb) Appeal. That’s right, it’s about how your home shapes up from the pavement. Good news if you love a project, bad news if it sounds like just another thing to have to worry about, but either way something that is thought to work wonders when you’re trying to sell a place. For those in the former camp, below we’ve dissected traditional, countryside and modernist properties to bring you some easy-steal ideas. Those in the latter? You might be on the wrong blog…

Spruce up your traditional property

Traditional House  Curb Appeal  The Chromologist

Main image from Farrow & Ball

1. Repaint your front door and windows. This property features Railings, which is a perfect sombre shade for handsome Georgian buildings and townhouses of just about any vintage.

2. Got a porch/steps/space out front? Hit it with plant pots filled with lovely things – the more the merrier if you’re good at tending to your garden and won’t leave plants thirsty or, worse, dead. Find our choice of pot here.

3. Think about how your colour scheme works as a whole. Choose plants to work with the setting – the hot red Geraniums here make a cheerful contrast to the grey door and a potted fig tree adds some height at the foot of the steps.

3. Do you know what a gorgeous oversized door like this one needs? A statement knocker. A traditional French hand door knocker or ornate Lion’s head, ideally.

Make the most of your Modernist home

1. Fonts are a big deal when it comes to contemporary or Modernist buildings, so pick something crisp, clean and in-keeping, like this number from Modern Dwell Numbers or one of the beautiful designs from Heath Ceramics.

2. Where on traditional properties a splash of colour can stand out painfully, on contemporary or Modernist buildings which are more boxy in nature, brights add a welcoming uplifting accent. Charlotte’s Locks tones well to this house – Yellowcake and St Giles Blue would also look fabulous.

3. The plants should be fairly architectural for this type of scene and black bamboo is the perfect modern planting idea (but beware – it’s a thug). Tree ferns, silver birches and various sedums would also work well.

4. You know what ruins a hallway more than shoes and coats piled all over the place? Junk mail. Sort yourself out with a snazzy mail box.

Prettify your country pile

Country House  Curb Appeal  The Chromologist

Main image from House & Garden

1. Roses. This is all about the climbing roses (try Constance Spry) so a simple white door and window frames is totally acceptable. FYI there’s probably some slumbering winter foliage growing underneath this climber – the country set are sooooo organised about gardening.

2. With all that carefully-unkempt loveliness going on a bit of structure is necessary for this front-of-house. Throw some buxus topiary balls at the situation, but make sure they’re interspersed with some nice stragelly flowers to stop it feeling too much like your (fantasy or otherwise) ‘town place’.

3. Yes to the planter (or planters) next to the door, no to anything more modern than a black urn like the one shown. White is also highly acceptable.

4. A lovely little lantern outside = no more fumbling for keys at night and it also looks super smart.


 Opening image from Farrow & Ball Decorating with Colour by Ros Byam Shaw.


Jill Macnair


Jill Macnair has worked as an interiors journalist for 13 years, contributing to titles including Elle Decoration, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. She set up cult interiors blog My Friend’s House in 2009 with Ros Anderson and continues to run the forum daily.

The Chromologist 2018 | Farrow & Ball

The Chromologist