Winters in the Chicago area are not known for their cheerful color, and that means your home exterior may start looking a little drab. If you are looking for ways to spruce up your home and give it some much-needed curb appeal, the tips and ideas below may inspire you.

Paint Your Front Door

When real estate agents help homeowners sell their houses, more than 70% encourage their clients to apply a fresh coat of bright, cheerful paint – especially during the winter. You might choose to paint the door of a white house blue, or if your home is brick, consider a brilliant red. The best part of this project is its simplicity; most homeowners can DIY the entire project for under $100 in supplies.

Plant Some Evergreens

Winter foliage can go a long way toward making homes look alive in the dead of winter. Though tulips and hydrangeas add beautiful color, they simply don’t thrive in Chicago’s cold winters. Look for evergreen shrubs that will add a pop of green all throughout the year. Some ideas include boxwood, mountain laurel, evergreen azaleas, and even Oregon grape. Blue holly is another stunning option with its shiny blue-green leaves, and the female plants even sprout bright red fruit.

Make the Best Use of Lighting

Lighting plays a key role in curb appeal, and that is especially true in the dark, gray days of winter. Add some decorative lanterns to your porch, or consider utilizing lighting along walking paths, your driveway, and even the perimeter of your home. You’ll want to be sure that you look for products that are weather-resistant, and while metal frames are quite hardy, stone is often your best bet.

Keep Walkways and Driveways Snow-Free

Even if you are not a fan of the winter months, there is something beautiful and serene about a soft blanket of snow as far as the eye can see. Snow cover also gives you the option to create curb appeal by simply clearing the snow from your driveways and walkways. The distinct variation between the snow-covered lawn and the crisp, detailed paths is quite picturesque, and as a bonus, cleared walking paths are safer, too.

Don’t Overdo the Holiday Decor

If you are someone who loves holiday decor, you are certainly not alone. More than half of all real estate agents say that a few carefully placed decorations – including tasteful Christmas lights – attract buyers. However, overdoing the holiday decor can have the opposite of the intended effect. Instead, choose a few of your favorite (and simple) decorations and place them strategically throughout your home’s exterior. In other words, the holiday decor should be noticeable, but it should not detract from the best features of your home.


From landscaping to decorating and even a fresh coat of paint, there are countless ways to improve your home’s curb appeal without spending a fortune. A few evergreens, a brightly-colored front door, and a clear pathway to that door are often all it takes to spruce up your home’s exterior.