3 Ways to Give Your Home a Face Lift: Tips from the Experts at Grand Designs Live 2016


There’s an old adage that first impressions are crucial because they can’t be undone. Whilst this might not be strictly true in all situations, you can certainly go some way to change your perception of something.

Giving your home a face lift is one way to change your attitude and feelings towards where you live. Not only can this make you feel happier as you approach your property, but it might also help you see your house for what it is instead of wanting to move elsewhere and start afresh.

At this year’s Grand Designs Live, architectural expert Charlie Luxton and TV gardener Ann Marie-Powell gave their top tips on how to improve your home’s exterior without blowing the bank. Here are three ways you can dramatically improve the exterior of your home and fall in love with where you live all over again.

1. Get Green with Your Front Garden

According to recent research by the Royal Horticultural Society, 1-4 front gardens are completely paved over. Whilst this might not be a surprise, especially if your front garden was paved over for low maintenance, a concreted space can become gloomy and uninviting.

If you would like to take back part of your front garden but don’t want to take to the slabs with a sledge hammer, Anne Marie Powell, at her recent talk at Grand Designs Live, discussed several ways of rejuvenating a tired-looking front garden. Here are a couple of ideas:

Flower pots

Instead of ripping up paving, why not cover it up? Adorn your front garden with flower pots of all sizes, colours and shapes. You can plant what you like and put your own stamp on your garden:

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Plant a (tiny) meadow

Can you imagine being able to roll out a meadow of flowers just like you roll out AstroTurf? Well you can – and guess what, you can roll this over gravel too and it will still flower. You just have to ensure that you lay the right foundations and install correct drainage. Most garden centres will provide you with the right information to achieve this.

If you still want to have some area for parking, or just want to reclaim a small area of your front garden for greenery, then simply roll out your meadow turf in a small area.


2. Make an Entrance

Charlie Luxton, architectural designer and TV presenter’s talk “Improve Don’t Move” discussed the concept of creating a narrative in your home through a sequence of spaces, highlighting that the front door should set the tone as it’s ’the first moment of engagement and the entrance transition’. Given that a lot of interaction takes place beside your front door from arriving to leaving your home, modifying a lacklustre entrance is a quick fix.

Whilst security should always be the main priority when choosing your front door, there’s no reason why it cannot make a style statement and become a warm welcoming environment after a hard day’s work.

Many people front composite doors to match the style of their home. Think, a country cottage with a wooden door and vertical frosted glass panes or a modern eco build with a mixture of wood and simple horizontal glass squares.


Furthermore, never under-estimate how much colour affects upon your mood. Think about which houses stand out to you when you walk down the street where you live or that you see on a commute to work? I can guarantee that the house with the brightly coloured door doesn’t fail to raise a smile. And just because a door comes in a standard colour doesn’t mean you can’t paint over it.

But before you get your paintbrush out, consider your home’s style and architecture first before selecting a colour. For example, a pastel hue might look out of place on a Tudor-styled exterior and a bright orange might not suit the colour of bricks used to build your house..

3. Improve don’t move

Sometimes homeowners get trapped into thinking that they’ll feel happier where they live if they move. Whilst this might be necessary for practical reasons such as a growing family or to shorten a commute to work, there are numerous things you can do to your property’s exterior to make it work for you.

Why not consider adding a porch to save on space as you enter the house? Adding this type of structure doesn’t usually require planning permission as long as it doesn’t exceed three metres.

Do you hate where your windows are positioned? Why not consider adding windows based upon the view you want to see? Or perhaps you could change the size of a window to allow more light into your whole home?

Roofing or brickwork on the verge of tumbling down? Repointing the exterior and replacing old tiles can give your home’s appearance a well overdue facelift and improve your curb appeal.



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