Boost Your Home's Wow Factor

A few handsome additions and this cottage's curb appeal went through the roof.
Rebecca G. Warren / photography Van Chaplin

Even before they moved in, Julie and Jeremy Dennis started dreaming of little ways they could give the front of their house an image overhaul. Inside, the home was packed with character, but the exterior didn't boast enough wow factor. "We knew immediately that we wanted to make cosmetic changes to the outside," says Jeremy. "Our goal was to open up the entire area, and now the house flows from the outside in."

Welcoming Walkway
Trading the nothing-special cement steps for something better looking topped their list. A new walkway designed with slate and flagstone now extends to the driveway. Wide front steps lead into the house and provide a spot to display pots of flowers. The entryway was expanded with two arches and an overhang. A half wall of stone frames one side of the entryway; a railing with a crisscross pattern adds interest on the other side.

Pretty View
Above the large window to the side of the door, the couple added a cedar arbor awning. Before, the house lacked any architectural details to give it depth and dimension. The awning completes the quaint cottage look.

Like a bow atop a present, a new outdoor light gives the entry that special touch. Julie and Jeremy chose a gas lantern to coordinate with the new mahogany door they added. And the neighbors have certainly taken notice.

"We've had about seven notes left at our front door--compliments and questions about what we've done," says Jeremy. "It's just amazing what these changes have done to improve our home."

This article is from the April 2005 issue of Southern Living.