Curb Appeal Secrets That Give A Home Unmistakable Southern Charm

White House with potted pink and purple hydrangeas
Photo: Robbie Caponetto; Produced: Mark Thompson; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Southern homes are inviting, hospitable, warm, and full of charm and personality. These Southern homes thrive because the exterior elements benefit from nearly year-round warm weather. Imagine leaving the doors and windows open, folks sitting outside in rocking chairs, and gardens brimming with verdant plants and flowers.

A home's curb appeal is its first impression, where guests and passersby get the first glimpse of its personality. And for those houses with unmistakable Southern charm, it's more than likely they have several—if not all—of the following seven features.

01 of 07

Welcoming Porches

Adaptive Cottage House Plan Front Porch Sitting Area
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Kathryn Lott

There is nothing as defining to a Southern home as a large porch. Whether it's the size of a garage or wraps around the entire house, a front porch is quintessentially Southern with its welcoming appearance and extension of the living space outside. Arrange seating areas for neighbors and friends to gather.

02 of 07

Porch Swings

Turnball Park House Plan Front Porch
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Matthew Gleason

You can't enjoy a front porch without a cozy porch swing. (You can, but it's not as fun.) Porch swings remind us of lazy summer days and hot summer nights when you keep swinging to feel a breeze.

03 of 07

Hanging Ferns

Southern Living Southern Rocking Chairs Front Porch
work by Lisa Kling / Getty Images

When it comes to distinctly Southern plants, ferns are near the top of the list. The leafy plants thrive in warm, humid climates, which is why they are often a staple on Southern porches. Their distinct shape is always noticeable when they're hanging prominently above a porch railing.

04 of 07

Window Boxes

Windows with Black Shutters and Hydrangea and Ivy Window boxes
Ralph Anderson

Just in case you don't have enough room in your hanging baskets, there are always window boxes to fill with overflowing flowers and plants. Why grow in the ground what you can plant right outside your window? Open your windows to a sweet, fresh fragrance flowering outside your home.

05 of 07


A Little Goes a Long Way
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Windows have historically served a practical purpose in Southern homes by providing much-needed airflow. Unlike homes in colder climates that work to keep warmth in by minimizing the number and size of windows, homes in the south have the luxury of inviting the outside in and embracing more windows. And even in the era of central AC, Southern homes still often have an abundance of windows in multiple forms: dormers, transoms, bays, and more.

06 of 07


Laurey W. Glenn

Like the windows they frame, shutters serve a practical purpose in protecting the glass from the big storms and hurricanes that our region experiences. But they also have a certain charm that adds interest (and often contrasting color) to a home's exterior. Plus, it adds to the home's personality.

07 of 07


White House with potted pink and purple hydrangeas
Robbie Caponetto; Produced: Mark Thompson; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Speaking of exterior home colors, whether it's the multicolored row houses of Charleston and New Orleans, or a classic Georgian home with blooming hydrangeas in the front yard, Southern homes almost always have some degree of color to their curb appeal. If there's color and personality on the outside of a house, wait 'til you see the interior.

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