Design for You: Curb Appeal by Pamela Heyne


No matter how much we love our home, there may come a time when we want others to love it even more, and take it off our hands for a profit. If it has the right curb appeal and a few other key touches,  that transaction may happen sooner rather than later.

Curb appeal is a general phrase that covers how the house appears at first glance, its style, landscaping, and general maintenance. Whether it is viewed from a long tree lined drive, or in a neighborhood with smaller lots, the house should look inviting.

One of my favorite ways to create this sense of welcome is the colonnade or substantial porch on the front. It should be designed with care, attention to detail, and be in scale and style with the overall home. The columns create interesting patterns of light and shade, and the roof provides shelter, subliminally saying you will be protected.


Of course, curb appeal must be supplemented by other touches. Realtor Cornelia Hechenbach Power said power washing might be in order. She also emphasized the importance of de-cluttering, including the garage, sometimes rearranging furniture, even removing unappealing wall paper.  Sleek baths and kitchens help.

For waterfront properties, Cornelia says the shoreline must be free of debris and sometimes suggests owners trim lower tree limbs to enhance the view. She said people “get too comfortable in their home and don’t see what buyers see.”

Some clients of mine had purchased a home that needed TLC.  I added on the front…you guessed it…an appealing colonnade.  I had looked at a similar design on a British manor house and was inspired by its proportions.  We made a number of other changes to the house, including a green roof (instead of a bare metal roof that runs off water into the bay, a landscaped roof that absorbs most of the water).  After residing in the home for a decade, the clients felt the need to downsize and sold the home…. in a mere three days.

Pamela Heyne is an architect and owner of Heyne Design in Saint Michaels. She is author of the recent book “In Julia’s Kitchen, Practical and Convivial Kitchen Design Inspired by Julia Child.” She can be reached at  or 410-714-9040

Write a Letter to the Editor on this Article

We encourage readers to offer their point of view on this article by submitting the following form. Editing is sometimes necessary and is done at the discretion of the editorial staff.