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Designers share the 5 things that could be making the outside of your house look worse

Shelby Deering   

Designers share the 5 things that could be making the outside of your house look worse
Curb appeal is the first thing potential buyers will notice when they see your home. hikesterson/Getty Images
  • The busy season for house sales has increased the focus on "curb appeal" for many homeowners.
  • A home's exterior can influence potential buyers' perceptions and could increase resale value.

Now that we're entering the busy season for house sales, "curb appeal" is on many homeowners' minds more than ever, especially if they're gearing up to sell in the near future.

A home's exterior serves as the first impression as potential buyers scope out your home and can oftentimes hint at what lies inside. And getting the look right is worth it, especially if doing so can increase your resale value.

Business Insider asked three interior designers to share the biggest mistakes homeowners make when it comes to curb appeal.

Here's what they said to avoid if you want to have the best-looking house on the block.

Bold paint colors can make a home stand out in the wrong way.

Bold paint colors can make a home stand out in the wrong way.
Although bold, unique, and trendy colors can make your house stand out, they can be a turnoff for some buyers who can't look past them.      Peter Gridley/Getty Images

Loud, trendy colors can make passersby take a double take, but not always in a good way. Although it's tempting to embrace the latest, boldest hues, it's not a wise idea when it comes to curb appeal.

"Sometimes standing out is not a good thing, especially when you are the only Pepto-Bismol pink residence in a neighborhood of neutrals," Sarah Latham, principal designer of Latham Interiors, told BI.

Insufficient exterior lighting can make a house look dim and less inviting.

Insufficient exterior lighting can make a house look dim and less inviting.
Good curb appeal can last into the night with thoughtfully placed lighting.      karamysh/Shutterstock

According to Jessica Dorling, owner and principal designer of Dorling Design Studio, insufficient exterior lighting can negatively impact the curb appeal and functionality of your home.

"Adequate lighting is essential for enhancing your landscaping and curb appeal," she told BI, adding that curb appeal isn't confined to daylight hours.

"You want your home to exude the same warmth and hospitality at night as it does during the day, and effective exterior lighting is pivotal in achieving this," she said.

Dorling also said that when adding additional exterior lighting, don't overlook the importance of illuminating elements such as the stairs and house numbers.

Skipping out on regular maintenance can make a good home look run down.

Skipping out on regular maintenance can make a good home look run down.
Items like tables and benches can make a yard and porch feel inviting, but it's important to maintain these items so they look their best.      Jacky Parker Photography/Getty Images

Using temporary materials in exterior finishes that won't hold up to your local environment is a big mistake, said Latham.

The designer shared this example: If you select a wood siding that's going to have intense sun exposure and needs yearly maintenance you don't have time for, your home can soon look degraded and neglected. That's why it pays to use long-lasting, high-quality exterior materials appropriate to your climate.

The upkeep also applies to outdoor furniture and accessories.

"If a homeowner puts wicker furniture on a patio with no overhang in a snow environment, that furniture is going to age quickly and into disrepair," Latham added.

Clutter like toys and bikes can be a distracting eyesore for buyers.

Clutter like toys and bikes can be a distracting eyesore for buyers.
Interior designers agree that bikes, toys, and other objects can clutter up a yard and hurt curb appeal.      Bethany Petrik/Getty Images

When you're trying to sell your home, it's important to clean up outside in the name of curb appeal.

Sarah Storms, owner and principal designer of Styled by Storms shared that too much clutter is overpowering to prospective buyers.

"Your front yard is your first impression. Remember to put away your bikes or kids' sports equipment," she told BI. "Sometimes, the best appeal is just tidying up."

Not mirroring the style inside the home with outdoor elements can cause a disconnect.

Not mirroring the style inside the home with outdoor elements can cause a disconnect.
If the exterior of your house is midcentury modern, the interior should probably be, too.      Paul Bradbury/Getty Images

"To ensure cohesion between the exterior and interior narratives of your home, it's crucial that they tell the same story," Dorling told BI.

"I often advise my clients to view their home as a book — if you're selecting a mystery novel, the inside of the book should be a mystery story and not a science-fiction story," she explained.

If the interior has been remodeled but the exterior hasn't, you're also doing your home a disservice, Dorling said.

Simply put, make sure the architectural styles match inside and out.

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