When we moved from the home I raised my kids in to a new house, I had a particular hard time adjusting to the move. After so many years in that home, it was going to be a challenge ANYWHERE I had moved to, however, this house was in a new subdivision and I had no landscaping, no trees and no garden that I had for years. I looked forward to putting my stamp on a few things, but, honestly, I didn't think it would change how I felt too much. However, I was wrong.
New Landscaping - Adding new landscaping to a house really adds curb appeal and seeing it when you drive up makes you feel good about your new house before you even open the door. When we were able to do that the first spring after we moved, it really made the new, bare house feel more homey and it put a smile on my face to see some nice color (and not just weeds!) by my front door. We weren't able to do it ourselves, but I was able to pick the plants I wanted and take some new suggestions too. Sometimes, when you can put your own blood, sweat and tears into the landscaping, it can make it even more satisfying to see your stamp on a house.
Old Plants/New House - Another thing I did to help that house feel more like home was add some plants we had at our other home that I new were easy care, and that I loved seeing during the summer months, into our new landscaping. If we would have lived there longer I may have added hydrangeas (they remind me of my mother) and lilac bushes are my favorite. If you have certain plants you love or that remind you of a home in the past, adding them will bring back memories, which will make your house feel like a home. Also adding some houseplants indoors will make your house feel more warm and homey. Plus, indoor houseplants are good for you too!
Pretty Potted Plants - At the new house, I tried to transplant some plants from the old home, but, the new, bare landscape was too harsh and they didn't survive, so I was trying to find another way to make it feel bright and pretty, without needing another professional landscaper to help. On my first Mother's Day at that new house, one of my kids gave me a pot of several different plants. I put it on my front porch and babied that pot all summer long! It was so pretty and lasted that when fall rolled around, I decided I wanted fall things out on my porch. It also gave me the idea to add large urns by the garage, something I had never done before. Seeing things grow and change, not to mention something to care for, made me begin to feel a connection to my new house. Living in my home now, we did so much renovation on the inside, that the neglected landscaping is driving me a bit nutty, but, since I can't afford to do a lot right now, pretty potted plants will have to do the trick for a while!
Garden - Finally, when you get a chance to plant a garden, then the house truly starts to feel more like a home. I have always container gardened, and when we lived at our old home, I had several brick planters that were around our pool. During the later years of us living there, I experimented with different plants in those planters and found I loved using them every year! So, when we moved to the new house, I didn't have those fancy planters and looking at some container gardens were super costly and after moving, I couldn't afford to buy anything that grand. I found myself hating our new house even more for that reason, until I had a dream one night that came up with a solution! We were able to buy larger plastic containers (that were bright green, no less) for $2.50 each on clearance! They were 18 gallon rectangular boxes, and we drilled holes in the bottom or them, filled them with plastic bottles and other plastic items (even some plastic Easter eggs) for drainage, then added great potting dirt and plants that didn't grow too large. It worked great for about 2 years! By the time the plastic containers had weathered a couple of winters and were breaking down, I was able to come up with a better, lasting, solution for containers (that I moved to this house and am using this year!).
Bottom line is this: Whether you garden or not, adding landscaping or planting a few trees or other bushes or shrubs will not only add curb appeal, but, as they grow and change, you will feel a nice satisfaction that you put your own personal touch where you live. It will make you feel connected to the house and when that happens, your new house becomes your home and there is no better feeling than when you come "home".
Until Next Time!
Jen Lush--Associate Broker and Mother of Managing Broker Photo Credit: Irene Dávila