Improved curb appeal is often a compilation of small but impactful changes – including a refreshed front door color, new planting, and giving our name a home. Yes, the latter, an age-old British tradition, may come with an air of mystery, but as Dave and Jenny Marrs explain, it can improve our home's exterior in the most unexpected of ways.
The Fixer to Fabulous design duo recently sat down with H&G, fresh from their trip across the Atlantic, where they spent time in the Cotswolds, famed for its quintessential English villages.
Naturally, their time in the English countryside gave the couple experience some of the country's most traditional curb appeal quirks, many of which are rooted in century-old history – including some homes with names.
'I think about the houses we saw overseas in the Cotswolds, and one of the things I loved the most was that people named their homes,' Dave says.
'These names are shown on the gate or by the front door. It could be as simple as something as simple as 'The House on the Corner' or 'The Chapel,' but I loved how much character that added to each property. It would be cool if that were more common here in the US; I would love to see more of that.'
While naming a home is certainly less common outside the UK and Europe as a whole, there is no reason why we can't all embrace this traditional quirk. As Dave reminds us, it is a quaint way to make our homes instantly more memorable – and what more could we want from our exteriors?
Designer Jenny and expert craftsman Dave Marrs are the stars of HGTV's Fixer to Fabulous and Almost Home. Jenny also appears on Rock the Block (alongside designers including Jasmine Roth and Leanne Ford) and Design At Your Door (with Tamara Day and Tiffany Brooks). They currently live in a restored farmhouse in Northwest Arkansas.
A photo posted by on
Plus, names aside, Jenny says we can add curb appeal by upgrading one of the most influential features of all: the front door.
'You can boost curb appeal by swapping out your front door. I love wood doors; they add a lot of warmth, but painting your front door makes a huge impact, too. Fresh paint allows you to paint it a pop of color against a neutral house, and this can set the tone for what's inside your home,' Jenny says.
'It's the first thing people see, and it's the first thing they enter through, so finding a door that you love is really a really impactful thing.'
Improving our garden landscaping is similarly impactful, but while this can sound like a big job, Jenny reassures us that even the smallest changes in every sized yard can make a difference.
'Landscaping transforms a house, no matter the size of your yard, and even the easiest changes can be so influential,' she says.
'You just have to be thoughtful when planning out your landscaping – and begin with something simple like putting potted plants and flowers on your front porch or at your front door.'
'I love flowers, plants, and trees – they bring so much life to a home, and of course, this is the case for your exterior, too. I love the style of a traditional English country garden with climbing vines and abundant flowers everywhere. It feels so charming and beautiful to have so much life in front of a home, no matter how big the yard is.'
Back inside the home, Jenny's book, House + Love = Home offers more lessons to make the most of our spaces.
This welcoming guide offers advice on transforming any sized home into a beautiful, inviting sanctuary, including advice from both Jenny and Dave Marrs.
We love that Jenny and Dave's advice is simple but impactful, but also that it's so quaint. This is our cue to think about a name for our home, and, when it comes to curb appeal, take a lead from our neighbors across the pond.
Sign up to the Homes & Gardens newsletter
Decor Ideas. Project Inspiration. Expert Advice. Delivered to your inbox.
Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
Erin Napier found an ingenious way to disguise a TV in even the most traditional of spaces
Simultaneously concealing and enjoying a TV is now possible – here's how Erin achieves both in her living room
By Megan Slack Published
The best basement floors, an expert guide to the types and finishes
Basements, more than most other rooms, require a durable and moisture-resistant foundation – here is how to choose the best one while blending aesthetic appeal
By Lola Houlton Published