Step Right Up
Brightly painted siding and neatly pruned landscaping aren't the only things guests notice when they visit. For homes with a stair walkway, the steps are a major focal point. For dressed-up steps—and firmer footing—try a set of sturdy rubber treads in a scrollwork pattern. The cutout design mimics the timeless look of wrought iron, and collects dirt and dust from guests' shoes before they get to the front door. And when it's time to clean, all you need to do is spray them with your garden hose. Available at Amazon; $17.07.
Related: 7 Thrifty Designs for a DIY Walkway
Front Porch Foliage
By adding decorative elements to your front entrance, you'll increase your curb appeal while making your home seem welcoming. This horse trough planter, which has a coconut fiber lining, is perfect for flaunting seasonal blooms. Place it over your front porch railing or underneath your window sill to give a countryside look to your porch. Since the planter is durable and weather-resistant, it can survive seasonal storms and windy forecasts. Available at Target; $14.79.
A Brighter Address
Make your curb appeal shine by day and by night with a set of solar-powered light-up house numbers. The LED light and plaque can be mounted directly to your home's siding or staked in the yard to add a dose of charm. More than that, the illumined address will allow guests and first responders to easily find your home at any hour. Available on Amazon; $28.28.
Related: 8 New Ideas for DIY Outdoor Lighting
Whether tan coir or black rubber, the average doormat serves a purpose, certainly, but rarely does much to shape a visitor's first impression of your home. Want to liven up your entry area with a punch of personality? Lay out a peppy doormat like this one from The New England Trading Company. Made of recycled float rope—the same stuff used to haul lobster traps out of the ocean depths—the Colors of Maine doormat appeals not only for its loose weave of vivid colors, but also for its conversation-starting origin story. Available at The New England Trading Company; $39.95.
Adorn your home and collect your letters in this wall-mounted mailbox, which combines a sleek modern look with practical functionality. The classic envelope-shaped box is made of strong galvanized steel to withstand both rust and the weather. A black baked enamel finish covers the surface. Installation is easy: simply mount the mailbox onto the side of your house with screws. Available at Wayfair; $39.99.
Made in the Shade
Style, shade, protection, privacy—one purchase for your porch or pergola outfits your outdoor living space with all of the above! The Moroccan-patterned fabric of this Corado Outdoor Window Treatment from Elrene means to not only extend your indoor aesthetics but also filter out harmful UV rays (and prying eyes). Hang by its easy velcro tabs and count on this durable material to withstand moisture, mildew, and fading all season long. Available at Macy's; $50 for a 50-inch by 84-inch panel.
It's a classic curb appeal boost, no less popular now than 20 years ago. Perhaps that's because there are few easier or more impactful ways to decorate your entryway than with a hanging planter—or several! With SOCKER hanging planters from IKEA, you get a choice of bold, grabbing colors, from firehouse red to lime green. Plus, though supremely inexpensive to purchase, SOCKER hanging planters are tough enough to withstand the weather, with their galvanized steel construction and powder-coat finish working in concert to resist rust. Available at IKEA; $5.99.
Outdoor activity doesn't necessarily stop when night falls, so it's important to illuminate the driveways and footpaths utilized most often. With no wires to worry about, simply stake several GardenJoy Solar Lights anywhere around the yard in the morning. They'll harness the sun's power during daylight hours (as well as a boost from rechargeable batteries) to produce up to 8 hours of glow beginning at dusk. Built to handle all of the elements—rain, snow, and sun—these path lights can stay outdoors year-round and last many to come, thanks to the 20,000-hour lifespan of each highly efficient LED bulb. Available at Amazon; $34.40.
Although mulching a tree bed helps keep out weeds and grass, the shredded bark can also tempt neighborhood animals to dig in your landscaping, and leave a trail of wood chips strewn over the lawn. For an ever-orderly yard, consider a permanent mulch ring for small landscaping trees. The recycled-rubber mat keeps out weeds, lets in water and air, dissuades meddlesome squirrels, and looks fresh all year round. Available at Plow & Hearth; $19.95.
Stylish in Solar
How many solar lights can boast as much style as they do illumination? These fence post caps made from artisan glass store energy from the sun throughout the day, then switch on at dusk to light up your porch, patio, or deck. Designed to fit snugly and securely on fence posts or railings, they bring both personality and functionality to your yard. Available at Plow & Hearth; $39.95.
Whether you're a lawn care novice or a master gardener, everyone can use a little help around the yard. Subscribe to The Dirt newsletter for tips, recommendations, and problem-solving tools that can help you tame your great outdoors.