Update Your Door
It might not seem like it will make a big difference, but painting, changing, or updating your front door can actually go a long way toward giving your home a simple facelift. Looking for a real statement? Try a bold, bright new color to make your entryway stand out. If a new door style or color isn’t enough, you can also try experimenting with some upscale address numbers or accessories like a door knocker. And of course, don’t forget a new welcome mat or porch rug to match your updated entry.
If you’d like to make a huge impact on the exterior of your home, consider adding shutters to your windows. Shutters allow you to add an extra bit of architectural punch and a burst of secondary accent color that can be used to complement the overall color scheme of your house. Depending on the style of your home, shutters can add elegance or depth. It’s also possible to create a positive change by removing old shutters — some houses do look better without them.
Plant Fast-Growing Trees
Yes, we know, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. But since you are here now, why not improve your property by planting a selection of fast-growing trees? Poplars (and quaking aspen trees in particular) grow extremely fast and have the potential to provide you with vertical height and shade in as little as five years or less, depending on the variety. Quaking aspens are a great choice as they have an enormous range (thriving anywhere from Mexico to Alaska), so you’ll likely find them suitable no matter where you live. They are also a great choice for smaller properties, as they usually won’t grow to extreme sizes. On the downside, poplars/aspens typically live only about 50 years, but this is usually a fine trade for their rapid growth and beauty.
If you live in a cooler region, you can also try willows. They can even be made into hedges. If you have plenty of space and don’t mind a tree that will eventually grow to a large size, you could opt for a coniferous tree suitable for your region. Conifers are generally fast-growing and good looking and can spruce up your home in no time.
Trees are great but don’t forget the possibility of adding shrubs to your landscape as well. They are an inexpensive way to add interest and color to your property. Juniper shrubs are hardy and can be used in a variety of ways — as standalone bushes, as hedges, and even as a groundcover — so research the variety that would best suit your landscape. Junipers usually do well in dry regions.