5 Easy Things I've Done To Dramatically Improve The Outside Of My Home


Hello and welcome to the entrance of Melanie Lissack Interiors!

Hello and welcome to the entrance of Melanie Lissack Interiors!

If like me you are addicted to property programmes, you'll no doubt be very aware of the words 'kerb appeal'. For those of you who are not an avid watcher of Kirstie & Phil, 'kerb appeal' is the term given to the instant appeal of your home as you look at it from the street. The more kerb appeal your home has, the more desirable it will be (and more value will be assigned to it if you are looking to sell).

Even though I'm not looking to sell my property (we brought the 'dream family home' two years ago, and you'll have to drag me out of it) I try and keep the outside of my home looking as good as the inside. I love to return home and think "yes, I live here, and it's bloody lovely". It's also not that much hard work to take it from looking 'OK' to 'charming'

There have been a few things that I have done at the start of this summer that I think has dramatically improved my outside space, so I wanted to share them with you on the blog...

1. Invested In A Shed To Hide The Wheelie Bins

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Most of you reading this will have wheelie bins. With the development of recycling and also composting, most of us now have at least 2 or 3 wheelie bins that sit somewhere around our home. If you live in a terraced house, then these will be slap bang right outside your front door. Even though I am a huge recycling and composting fan, I am NOT a fan of those bins. Big, bulky and black, they stick out like a sore thumb. Our 3 wheelie bins sit right outside our kitchen window, so every time I was washing up all I could see was those bins. I therefore invested in a triple bin shed from Mano Mano to store those bins away from sight.

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This triple bin shed comes flat packed and cost £86.99, which I thought was a real steal. Of course it did not come blue with gold hinges and locks! That was a little touch I added myself. Yet it does come as treated wood and you can paint it if you want (this was painted in Cuprinol Garden Shades 'Barleywood').

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You undo the latch when you want to remove the bin on recycling day, otherwise you lift the top of the bin shed to put in your bin bags throughout the week.

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So now my kitchen window view has gone from this........

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To this..........

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How much of an improvement is that?? I'm overjoyed that those 3 bins are now not my focal point when I look through my kitchen window.

2. Made the front door more inviting by added potted bay trees

It seems simple, but by framing the front door with something decorative like a climbing rose, or potted bay trees, your home appears so much more inviting. You know when you see these little cottages and there is a climbing rose blooming up and over the door? Think how much that pretty rose is actually contributing to the wow-factor of the homes 'kerb appeal'.

For my home, the front door has steps leading up to the property, so I went for two matching potted bay trees either side of the door.

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You can buy these bay trees at good garden centres and nurseries. While they initially are an expensive investment (these trees cost £70 each) they take very little looking after, and stay green all year round. Pot your trees in pretty pots (these pots are £20 each from Heritage Garden Pottery) rather than large terracotta pots that will attract moss.

3. Given everything a new lick of paint

A new coat of paint is hugely transformative. Your outside space takes a huge battering through the winter with the rain and frost, so a fresh coat of paint will make everything look like new.  Concentrate on decking, fences, garden furniture and garden gates. A pure brilliant white picket fence looks a hell of a lot better than a greying, flaking picket fence. Make sure the paint you buy is the right type of paint for the job.

Exterior walls = masonry paint

Exterior wood and metal = A weatherproof gloss or satin for door and windows, or a garden wood paint for furniture and planters.

Rusty metal = A suitable 'straight to rust' metal paint.

This summer I painted planters pink, and gave the balcony doors a fresh coat of exterior paint.

This summer I painted planters pink, and gave the balcony doors a fresh coat of exterior paint.

I gave my railings a much more glamorous touch by painting the middle section gold.

I gave my railings a much more glamorous touch by painting the middle section gold.

4. Hung atmospheric lighting for hot summer evenings

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The right lighting is so important for creating the right ambience inside our homes, so the same should be applied to the outside. I've added hanging festoon lights on my balcony for that festival feel on late summer evenings. You can add temporary lighting like this for the summer, or invest in a beautiful outdoor pendant light to smarten up your exterior and provide lighting all year round. Mano Mano do a vast range of exterior lights.

5. Put up an interesting door wreath suitable for the season

This faux-flower door wreath is from Homesense.

This faux-flower door wreath is from Homesense.

A door wreath is not just for Christmas! Pretty door wreaths look fantastic on the exterior of your home all year round. In the summer go for colourful wreaths made from faux flowers. In autumn go for more rustic, orange and brown colours. To see all the seasonal and holiday wreaths that I have featured on my front door click here.

Have you done anything so far this summer to transform your outside space for the better? If so, let me know in the comments section below! You can also follow my 'garden decor' Pinterest board here if you want to see my favourite ideas for transforming an outside space.

* This post is in collaboration with Mano Mano UK.