A not so recent article in the Telegraph talked about the need and impact of kerb appeal for the residential home, discussing the reasons behind it and some top tips to get your home looking fantastic. Here at Garageflex, we whole heartedly agree that making your house look smart and appealing is the way forward but what about your garage?
Quite often the garage is reserved for everything that you don’t want cluttered around the house so becomes a dumping ground. But it doesn’t have to be like that. With a few tips and some great storage ideas, you can have your garage looking as slick as your house.
1. Put aside some time to go through everything in your garage and get rid of unused or unwanted items. This makes it much easier to organise the things you want to keep and donate all your unwanted items to your local charity or sell on ebay (one man’s rubbish and all that…)
2. With the items you want to keep, think about where they should live and put them with similar things marking boxes with labels to be clear and easily be able to find them again
3. Look at bulky items and decide whether you need to think about storage, Garageflex can help you with this and provide some ideas and costs
4. Look at your floor, could it benefit from being upgraded? Again, Garageflex have floor tiles and resin floors available which really bring everything together to get the slick look you want
5. Ensure your garage door is clean, squeak free and working properly. If not, get someone in to repair it or give it a fresh coat of paint.
These are just five things that can help bring the wow factor into your garage. For more information, contact Garageflex.
5. Think about whether you could install some storage in your garage
Speak to Garageflex about how we can maximise the storage in your garage, giving you back your ten minutes per day to do something fun.
mproving the appearance of a property doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive project, she says – but there are a few rules. “No DIY is better than bad DIY,” she says. “Badly painted front doors with drips running down them or dirty looking houses are a no-no. A lack of cleanliness can be very off-putting.”
1. Paint your front door. It sounds simple but this is the first thing that people are going to look at. “Go wild with colour, it’s the one place you can,” says Sarah Beeny, whose favourite door colour is currently cerise pink. Strong, bright colours in full gloss are popular at the moment but if you haven’t got the nerve, black is always a safe bet, or a flat, dark plum colour such as “Pelt”, by Farrow & Ball, says Tacina Smith of interiors shop Smiths of Kensal Green . For a contemporary look, matt, muted and washed-out colours are favoured in smart London streets.
2. Invest in quality door furniture. “Spend an extra £100 to get really good things,” Beeny says. “Cheap generally looks cheap.” Try to choose furniture in keeping with your property; heavy Victoriana door knockers and letter boxes will look ridiculous unless your home is Victorian. Priors Reclaimation specialises in period door furniture (www.priorsrec.co.uk ), as does Drummonds (www.drummonds-arch.co.uk ) For a more contemporary look go for brushed aluminium or chrome (Knobs & Knockers; www.diytools.co.uk/diy/Main/knobsandknockers.asp ) Avoid tune-playing door bells.
3. Lighting is vital, placed either side of the front door to add symmetry, or a lantern in a portico entrance, says Alex Michelin, of swanky London developers Finchatton. Don’t be afraid to try out lights in situ before you commit; if they’re too big or too ornate they can look brash. If your property is approached via a garden, light it sensitively. “Good garden lighting is unseen,” Beeny says. Hide lights in the trees or conceal them in the garden path or drive. Carolyn Trevor, an interior designer who has a long list of celebrity clients, recommends Charles Edwards for wall lanterns and lights (www.charlesedwards.com ) or Phillips and Wood (www.phillipsandwood.co.uk )
4. The approach to the front door (steps, a path and/or a driveway), should be swept of leaves, and free from rubbish. Cars, bicycles, horse boxes must be neatly parked. Alex Michelin recommends marble, sandstone or Portland stone for steps and paths, and newly painted railings. Porches can give an air of distinction but can become dumping grounds for clutter. “They can be awful if they are stuck on as an afterthought – they must be in proportion,” says Crispin Holborow of Savills.
5. Numbering or naming a house can easily go wrong. Wonky numerals, badly painted names, or plaques with pictures (such as birds, trees) do no justice to the front of a house. There’s a trend in London for shiny oversized chrome numerals or stencilled numbers, which can be ordered from Turnstyle Designs at www.turnstyledesigns.com or www.nu-line.net/nl For houses with fanlights, Carolyn Trevor suggests the number or name is acid-etched into the glass. Or for an affordable alternative, Tacina Smith recommends number stickers from www.simplystick.co.uk Holborow would steer away from putting a name plaque on a country house. “If they don’t know where you live you don’t want them there,” he says. For those who insist, names can be wrought into gateways, or inscribed tastefully on brass or slate, and screwed to the gate post or porch.
6. Windows look sad when they are dirty, so make sure yours are cleaned regularly. Rotten window frames are also unacceptable and if you’re putting in new ones, make sure they are appropriate with the design of the rest of the house. “The position of the glazing bars is massively important,” Beeny says. “And don’t feel you have to paint them white. They look great in lots of different colours from stone to dark green to black.” Bear in mind the colour of the brick/stone work before choosing a colour though. Finally, all curtain linings and blinds should match when seen from the street or driveway (try www.theblindscompany.co.uk or www.eclectic-interiors.com )
7. However small the space is, add some greenery. “You don’t need a big garden to plant a creeper, and houses look beautiful with plants trailing up them,” Beeny says. “And you can easily make window boxes yourself. Just paint a plastic planter and plant it with some draping ivy.” Landscaped beds with colourful planting and box hedges set off the front of a house; or for smaller spaces, such as either side of the front door, planters with box topiary. Remember though that some creepers are not good for brickwork as they can pull the mortar out of the pointing.
8. An impressive entrance gate is a “must have” for a country house, Holborow says. But entrances should reflect the period of the house; wrought iron electric gates are in keeping with a new-build home, while a white-painted gate with simple stone pillars is better suited to a manor. Carved owls and eagles should really only adorn the entrance pillars to stately homes and castles.
9. Spruce up a tired façade by repainting, re-pointing, or rendering over ugly brickwork. Don’t go too crazy: paint colours should be more sensible than on the front door, and in keeping with the period of the house (and the ones either side, if you live on a street). This doesn’t mean to say that they have to be the same colour (unless you are in a heritage area).
10. Don’t let the house next door ruin your kerb appeal. If your neighbours have rubbish outside their house, suggest you remove it, rather than whinging about it, Beeny says. “And if you’re trimming your hedge, ask if you can do theirs while you’re at it – 10 minutes mowing, or rubbish collecting is worth the effort.” Try to conceal their rubbish bins
(and yours) behind a hedge or a small fence. If you have to have them on show, make sure they are clean and the lids are on.