Oh what a difference a can of paint or a couple of potted plants can make.
Ramping up the curb appeal of one’s home or block is not as complex or expensive as many people think it is, according to Kimberly Lacy.
And Lacy should know. She’s one of the renovation experts on the popular cable TV show Curb Appeal: The Block, a show in which one house is chosen for a major external makeover and several neighbors’ homes are given minor touchups.
Lacy shared that such simple touches as changing the color of a front door, painting a mailbox and post, as well as introducing new plants with a splash of color to the landscaping can make a dramatic improvement in the outward appearance of a home.
Lacy, who has lived in the Stone Mountain/ Snellville area for the past three years until recently moving to San Francisco due to production for the show, said that when she drives around DeKalb County she sees an “interesting mix” of homes and neighborhoods that are “unkempt and wellmaintained spaces.” She pointed out that too many subdivision entrances are not welcoming and broken-down vehicles and cars under tarps occupy driveways.
She suggests moving bikes and toys from the front yard along with anything else that doesn’t really belong there to an out-ofsight spot.
“Be considerate to your neighbors,” she admonishes.
Lacy, who is a fan of using paint as a transformative element, said selecting the right paint color is crucial. She suggests avoiding colors that don’t match other homes in one’s neighborhood. Those who find themselves undecided about what colors to choose should paint sample colors on a large board outside the home and view it over several days, paying attention to how light affects the color and whether it remains appealing to the homeowner.
She’s big on painting front doors in a stand-out color and advises that the door and shutters do not have to be the same color.
“The door is like the soul of your house,” said Lacy.
While there are numerous improvement projects to consider, Lacy suggests that often less is more and said taking a minimalist approach is smart. A mistake many people make is to “put too much into the yard, wanting to go all out.” A better choice is create a space that can easily be well maintained.
“When you commit to having a nice lawn it’s a commitment forever,” she said.
She pointed out that homeowners should only install plants they are familiar with or have taken the time to learn about. Annuals require weed removal and dead annuals should be pulled up so that the space is not unsightly. Perennials, which grow back annually, need to be trimmed back to prevent overcrowding, she said.
Curb Appeal: The Block is in its third year with Lacy working alongside HGTV design stars Taniya Nayak and John Gidding. In her spare time she operates a design/artisan paint company.
Lacy’s passion for the design industry started at an early age, assisting her mother, an interior designer, and later starting a successful interior paint company by the age of 17.
In addition to physical improvements, Lacy said it’s important to develop a sense of community by getting to know one’s neighbors and being “unified.” She suggests “spreading a little love” by planning neighborhood gatherings and work days when neighbors improve their yards together, adding that “a lot of times you need someone else’s perspective.”
One tip she suggests is to consider swapping items between neighbors when something isn’t ideal for one yard but might be perfect for another.
Lacy said that waiting until after the first frost— generally around April 15–is the best time for exterior improvements.
“Don’t wait until April 15 to get started,” said Lacy, pointing out that removing leaves from garden beds, eliminating cobwebs and power washing exterior surfaces are all tasks that can be done in February and March. To gather ideas, Lacy suggests driving around neighborhoods, looking through magazines and visiting home improvements stores. Creating a plan and budget are also crucial, she said.