WRITER | RYLEE SORRELL
PHOTO | ALL PHASE PETOSKEY
Summer is right around the corner, and with the amount of time we’ve spent indoors this year, we could all use some fresh air! It’s the season of self-improvement and home improvement, so let’s talk about curb appeal. There are many great ways to improve your home’s curb appeal, like using your door as a pop of color or adding planters and landscaping. But one of the best ways to refresh the exterior is with updated lighting. It not only acts as a design element but can give different layers of light and add a lot of value to your home! Here are a few ways you can level-up your curb appeal with outdoor lighting.
The first and most common form of outdoor lighting is wall sconces, and they are usually found by the front door, on the garage, and in the back near a porch or sliding door. Because they are the most popular, there are endless options. So play with a larger scale, funky style, or even a pop of color! Fixtures are often made in collections or families, so use the largest size on the garage and coordinate smaller sizes in your other locations. Sconces should be mounted 60-65 inches from the ground, putting the center around eye level. When choosing a size, look for a fixture that is one-third or one-quarter of your door height. The larger end of the spectrum will give a more designer look.
Speaking of a designer look, adding a pendant, chandelier, or fan to an outdoor living space will do the trick! Bringing elements we normally equate with interior design outside ensures your style doesn’t stop at the door. Curb appeal is all about personality, so find unique pieces to show yours off! Follow the same rules as indoor lighting: no lower than 7 feet from the floor if you will walk under it. If mounted over a surface, such as a table, the distance from the tabletop to the bottom of the fixture should be 30-36 inches. One great trend right now is exterior pendants hung from a tree paired with an outdoor dining set.
Trees and landscape offer another great lighting opportunity. Putting in a few spotlights to emphasize the greenery at night seems subtle but gives a high-end custom feature. No shrubs or trees to light? Opt for path lights up the driveway or walkway, or step lights up the porch! Adding “layers” of light is not only pretty but practical. Think about adding a few recessed lights on the porch and under soffits, or consider tape light to under-light handrails and stone.
If your existing home lacks the wiring to enable these options, there are less-permanent choices that don’t require an electrician. For example, add some string lights, plug in a few exterior lamps, and place portable LED lanterns near lounge seating for some night-sipping under the stars.
In this time of social distancing and staying home more often, make your space one that serves you and brings you joy! No matter the size of your budget or your home, there are ways to level-up your curb appeal with lighting.