Making An Entrance

The phrase 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder', often holds true when it comes to what people feel when they look at a home or business for the first time. Positive or negative first impressions are formed instantaneously. Curb appeal refers to the aesthetic charm of a residence or commercial property when first seen. Usually, this becomes more significant when selling the property.

The new kerb appeal in the internet-obsessed age is having your property up for sale on an internet listing. “Web appeal” means that a home’s interior and exterior both need to be inviting enough to tempt potential buyers online.

A company’s kerb appeal sends a significant message to customers. Current and potential customers form an opinion about your business based on how it appears from the outside.

There are some notable examples worldwide where unusual exteriors have raised eyebrows, for example, a sporting venue’s entrance that resulted in a redesign five years after construction, artsy apartments in Seattle, USA or even the CCTV media house headquarters in China, referred to as “the Big Pants” by residents.

CCTV media house China Photo by Verdgris, CC BY-SA 3.0

These whimsical structures contrast with the Brutalism exemplified by bare concrete that was prevalent from the 1950s to the mid-1970s. Brutalism was the style popularised in post-war Britain, exemplified by many shopping malls, government projects and high-rise apartments. Its origins can be traced to French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier. The name itself was derived from b├ęton brut or “raw concrete,” but the name created a wholly different and for some, negative connotation.

This architectural legacy resulted in different box-shaped homes built from cheap and ageing materials, which over time, became quite unpopular and hotly debated over whether it is worth preserving or not.

Discarding an architectural genre does not come without resistance, so there will likely be a compromise. The exterior of any property can be tweaked through several imaginative options. Some inexpensive fixes to a boring house include putting on some accent trim like shutters, investing in some creative landscaping or painting the entrance a new colour.

Photo by Chanilim714, CC BY-SA 3.0

Even your old driveway can get a pick-me-up with some paving stones to uplift a lacklustre entrance. Creating an outdoor space at the front of the house for entertainment can also make the home quite inviting. A water feature, for example, is both pleasing to the eye and calming.

Photo by Phil Jones, CC BY-SA 2.0

For a business, architects can incorporate some comfort features into a new facade so that the style of the business is improved, and the functionality is enhanced as well. Contemporary buildings also have the critical role of improving energy performance for the interior of a building. Natural ventilation may be the purpose of the upgrade. In improving the exterior, access may be upgraded to accommodate ageing clientele or those with vision or physical issues.

Though the term 'kerb appeal' relates to selling a property, it’s not the sole reason for improving the exterior. Besides sending a message about you, the homeowner, or about the business, there can be a functional reason for an exterior upgrade like energy-efficiency or improving access. A professional can assist, but there are reasonable options that you can do to turn your uninspiring entrance into a visual masterpiece.

Do you have ways of adding kerb appeal to your home or business?

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  1. Curb appeal is the ultimate decider on how inviting a home or business is, so it's a big part of sales in both cases. If I'm looking for somewhere to eat or drink, I'm always more likely to visit a pub that looks light and inviting!

  2. Kerb appeal is so important both for home-sellers and for businesses. It might be a cliche that you don't get a second chance to make a first impression, but it's true!

  3. Kerb appeal really is so important - first impressions count after all. I try not to but I know I judge a place by the exterior.

  4. Kerb appeal is so important, I have looked around many properties that are amazing inside and the outside is just the deciding factor. I also think it's so important for businesses to have it as it's what invites you in x

  5. Never really thought about kerb appeal until now. Definitely gong to look out for it when viewing new properties etc!

  6. I like the idea of paving steps for the drive -- ours is pretty mundane so could use something to make it more appealing! :)