Should You CURB Your APPEAL, or Stand Out?

Simple tricks can help a home have a unique sustainable identity without becoming a neighborhood nuisance


Wikipedia defines “curb appeal” as “the attractiveness of the exterior of a residential or commercial property as viewed from the street, and continues to be used as an indicator of the initial appeal of a property to prospective buyers.”

We’ve all been through a neighborhood that has an architectural style that just drones on and on; where the homes are so similar that you can find yourself unintentionally putting your key into your neighbor’s front door. We’ve also seen the neighborhoods in which there was that one bold individual who wanted to let you know that they knew how to “stand out” by painting their home a “special” color, or commissioning the creation of the tallest porch columns in the zip code!

The questions to ask when creating your new project are: what is attractive to prospective buyers? Is it more appealing to blend in with your competition, or could there be a benefit to standing out? And if so, is there a way to do this to make the most committed environmentalist stand up and applaud?

Here are a few suggestions to make your curb appeal a standout by selecting the latest colors, newest products, and following recent trends that are more ecologically harmonious.

Color Palette

Magic mirror on the wall, what is the fairest color of them all?

Probably one of the most discussed topics regarding curb appeal is the color of the front door; however it is only a segment of what you see from the curb. If you want to stand out successfully, you need to do more than just wear a nice watch. You have to consider the entire ensemble when selecting colors for your home or project.

Most home color palettes today blend in because we are selecting from color options that manufactures think we will choose based on their testing. Instead, stand out by choosing a new, but neutral, color palette. There’s no need to start from scratch! Simply take a walk though your neighborhood and look at nature’s color schemes as they sit naturally. Grab a branch, cut a stalk, pick a flower, and take them to your local paint store. They’ll scan them and translate them into a fresh color palette for you that is familiar, but still new. Make sure to select a low or zero VOC paint, and even Mother Nature will nod!

Design Palette

Dare to be different. Frank Ghery, one of our most influential architects of our generation, was on his journey when he reimagined his own home. While we are not encouraging you to go to his extreme and practice “deconstructive architecture” using chain link fence and corrugated panels to clad your home, you should allow yourself to find your freedom and to venture out of the norm. One of the eco-solutions we offer our customers when building their homes is to use recycled materials such as reclaimed stone, siding, or brick. It’s a great way to bow to the environment by repurposing. Equally, your buyers may bow down to your best work ever.

In the words of Frank Ghery, “Your best work is your expression of yourself. Now, you may not be the greatest at it, but when you do it, you’re the only expert.”

Plant Palette

I grew up with the idiom “The grass is always greener on the other side,” which was a funny way to say that people are not satisfied with what they have. If the neighbor has a greener lawn, somehow their life must be better. And yes … my neighbor did have a greener lawn, so I thought it must be true.

Now, having become more aware as the ecological trends have veered us away from endlessly wasting water to keep our grass green, people are starting to experiment with new ways to breathe fresh life into their yards. But what are the latest trends?

Upping your curb appeal, and evoking a sense of luxury and visual depth on your home, is actually very simple. Just mimic nature. Nature is static and fluid at the same time. Erase the notion that everything- must-be-concrete; recreate a dry riverbed walkway with neutral-colored gravel and line it with drought tolerant, tall ornamental grasses. It’s just that simple!

BUILDING GENERAL’S WARNING: Following these tips may lead to long-term complications of not fully standing out. As neighbors discover your unique style, you’ll find them replicating it and eventually you will blend in … and so, another article begins!

Scott Harris, co-founder and COO of Building Construction Group, has been seen on national platforms (i.e. HGTV, Hallmark Channel, FOX News, TMZ) teaching the nation how to build a better home. He can be reached at

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