Now that I can finally show you the outside of the townhouse, I wanted to share some photos of the teeny, tiny little spruce we gave it to boost the curb appeal. As you know, with condo rules we couldn't change much: the door colour, exterior colour, mailbox design and colour, trim colour, lighting choice, door style - they are all part of a master design scheme. Don't feel sorry for us though, because that also meant that exterior care and maintenance were up to the condo. Every spring they cleaned our gutters, inspected the brickwork, made necessary repairs, etc. - we even got a "free" roof. Although it was unnerving the first time I heard a stranger stomping around on the roof, and spotted a ladder propped against our bedroom window, this perk far outweighed our lack of creative input.
This is what the townhouse looked like when we first toured the property in 2009:
The next spring, I made the left side "flower bed" (if I can call that dirt-heap a flower bed) deeper and planted a small yew bush, which I refuse to prune. Lily of the Valley flowers (my favorite!) were both mailed to me by my mother-in-law and pilfered from my grandparents' garden and transplanted to the right. We also swapped out the dated brass door hardware for a pretty brushed silver handle and lock (obscured by the condo-issued brown storm door).
The house certainly looked more loved after our efforts, but I guarantee Martha Stewart would feel embarrassed for us. Sadly, by the time we went to sell years later our little spruce had faded. The orange mulch had turned blah and the salt had wreaked havoc on our lawn. The colourful mat, which was originally teal, turquoise and orange (look at me coordinating) had become disgusting. Even the mailbox was looking worse for wear.
We didn't do much to get the exterior ready for sale but we did plant some grass seed, splurge on fresh mulch, buy a crisp new mat, and add a colourful potted plant. Oh yes, we also restored the mailbox with a quick blast of black spray paint. I still refused to prune my yew.
During our original sprucing, I made a wreath with my Mummu, a devoted crafter. I added teal-grey eucalyptus (the same colour as our exterior), plus gold and coppery glittery bits to complement the orange door. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!
These small changes made the exterior of the townhouse more welcoming and helped boost our curb appeal, without spending a lot of money - or breaking condo rules!