Creating Curb Appeal

March 2020

Curb appeal is that intangible feeling one has upon approaching a property.  It is what makes a residence more visually appealing over another and draws people to it.  Curb appeal plays an important role in the buying and selling process by enhancing characteristics, hiding flaws and attracting higher selling prices.

First impressions, from the initial glimpse at a distance to the visual experience upon entering the driveway will either attract or deter.  Boring spaces and landscaping affect both perceived and actual value.

Curb appeal for a single-family home generally refers to landscaping and front facing architecture of a dwelling. In a condo building that appeal, or lack there of, extends to common areas and amenities.

Residential buildings differ from that of a single-family residence in both scale and purpose.  When a skilled interior designer works with their professional landscaper, they can create magical experiences.  This requires condo boards and committee members to work with these professionals to develop a clear vision of how spaces are to be used by the occupants and their guests.

ADM Design works with condominium communities on updating and enhancing their communities.   Andrea McMullen, Owner and lead Interior Designer describes the process.  “Before speaking with anyone the condo board, or any committees, they should develop broad parameters of what they want to achieve.  Only then can suitable designers and landscape partnerships be sought out, interviewed and ultimately contracted.  Projects can range from a single space – inside or outside – to a complete landscape or interior renovation including the design of entry gates to lobbies, corridors, party rooms, terraces and roof tops.  Form must follow function to achieve practical and beautiful spaces including walking areas, space for seating and meditation, shade solutions and greenery.  In order to be successful, the vision for each area involving lounges, kitchens, BBQ’s, rest and play areas must take into consideration the diverse groups using each space.  Is this suited mainly for multi-generational living, families with children, visiting grandchildren, singles or empty nesters?  There may be restrictions to how certain spaces can be used.  Rooftop areas may have practical restrictions such as access or high winds to contend with.   Available budgets will always be a factor.”

Creating a design can be the hardest and most enjoyable part of the process for committees and management.  This is where they need to trust the professionals to listen to their needs and deliver a final product in keeping with their vision.  The process works best if a committee is established to manage the project.  This committee works directly with designer and landscaper to incorporate their desires, requirements and address all concerns.

Landscaping and design become assets.  The return on investment should include happy residents, impressed guests and increased value of each individual condo suite.  Cutting corners usually costs more considering annual maintenance and replacements which need to be factored in.  If you truly want long-term benefits, then added value can be achieved when buying quality.  Where cost becomes a consideration, it may be more prudent to divide up areas and spread a project over multiple years rather than creating something that does not last or fails to satisfy.

The time and money spent to design and landscape properly is always worth the effort.