Curb Appeal for Small Homes

A pink two-story house.

The exterior of your home is the first thing a potential buyer sees, so making a good first impression is of utmost importance. For small homes, you need to use different techniques to create the illusion of a larger space. From arranging colors to adding some texture to the landscape, here are some ways you can boost your home’s curb appeal and make it more attractive to potential buyers.

Avoid Dead Spaces

It's easy to forget about areas that are not in the immediate view of the street. Transform these dead zones into a focal point with colorful foliage and borders. Not only will this add another layer of depth to the landscape, but it can also pull the eye away from an undesirable area.

Linear Paving

A small house with a linear flower-lined path.

You can create a perspective trick by using linear paving stones and boards instead of square blocks. Linear stones trick the eye into making a space seem longer, and therefore bigger, than it really is. You can employ this method by building a stone path that leads up to the front porch. Exaggerate the effect by incorporating a scaled-down object at the end of the linear stone path. Also consider adding boundary hedges along the property and trim the tops shorter as they get closer to the house.

Varying Levels

Incorporating different heights to your yard is another technique that adds depth to the space. You can do this a number of different ways, but try and avoid dramatic changes of height. Instead, subtly elevate elements in your yard. For example, you can raise a few planters or build a sunken patio.

Entryway Color

A red front door.

Creating good curb appeal is all about directing the viewer’s perspective. A good way to create a line of sight is adding dynamic color in the entry. This will pull the eye towards the center of the landscape and create the illusion of depth. You can choose whatever color matches your home, but consider something bright to attract the most attention.

Color and Volume

An array of different colors can also change perceptions. Unlike the previous methods, using color effectively does not depend on the location of the viewer. You should plant brighter colors at the front of the property as they tend to appear more voluminous. Then, place softer and cooler colors closer to the house. This color scheme will make the space between seem larger by attracting the eye to the front of the property.


A yellow cottage with green landscaping.

If colors are not an option, consider adding a little texture to the landscape, which can add a layer of depth to the space. Install plants that have finer and more detailed foliage closer to the sidewalk and large-leafed plants closer to the home. This is the same technique painters use to create depth in landscapes.

Dramatic Objects

Another way to add curb appeal to a small house is to purchase a few unexpected elements. These objects will attract the eye and take the focus away from the size of the property. Some examples include a mixture of hardscaping materials, large plant containers, furniture, and decorative pieces.

Adding Height

A house with curb appeal in the fall.

You can create the illusion of a large space by forcing your viewers to look up. A great way to do this is by installing a trellis of hanging plants or a vertical garden wall. The added height will make everything seem taller and can also double as privacy screens.

Contrasting Sizes

Including different sized shapes in the landscape is a good way to make a space appear larger. For example, using larger circles at the front of the property and smaller ones in the background can convince a potential buyer that the land is larger. You can also add a bit of width by using a winding or curved path instead of a straight one. Accentuate the illusion by adding colorful plants along the bends of the path.