By Becky Moore

“Picture-perfect.” It’s one way to describe the sprawling Queen City of Charlotte, N.C.  No matter which of the city’s 199 neighborhoods you live in, it’s only natural, to want your home to look as good as it can. Here are five exterior home decor tips for Charlotte.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

If the paint on your home’s exterior is chipping, faded — or out of date, a fresh coat of paint will spruce things up right away. Earthy tones such as clay and olive are always popular, but you might experiment with pops of color on the front door or shutters. Aqua, pale pink or a buttery yellow can make your home come alive in flattering ways, if you’re brave enough to go there.

A Thick, Green Lawn

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A thick, green lawn is always an excellent way to dress up your home. Charlotte lies in the in-between climate of the Piedmont region — neither too hot nor too cold — so both warm-season and cool-season turfgrasses are grown here. No matter what kind of grass you have, the same rules apply: Mow regularly, water the right amount, and keep an eye on those weeds. Your lawn will thrive and give the outside of your home a manicured look.

If you are trying for a manicured look, weeds poking out from the cracks in your driveway or between the walk and the porch will instead cry out “scruffy.” These bad boys need to go and fast. You can buy weed-killer at the hardware store, but that money can add up fast if the weeds keep coming back. The chemicals are also cause for concern. But you can get rid of weeds easily by just pouring boiling water on them, or by making a homemade weed-killer in your kitchen or garage.

 

Stop and smell the flowers

There are plenty of good reasons to stop and smell the flowers — and even better reasons to plant them in the yard. Scientific research shows flowers decrease stress and make people happier and more creative. The lavender-colored wild pansy is native to North Carolina, as is the creamy mountain laurel and the fiery coral honeysuckle. These easy blooms will attract pollinators and are perfect for your Charlotte yard.

Get a Clean Start

This trick is easily one of the cheapest ones on the list — with one of the biggest impacts. Head on down to the home improvement store and rent a power-washer. It can be as little as $50 a day. Then blast the dirt and grime off the driveway, the front porch, and the fence. Be careful with the pressure and the nozzle setting if you use it on softer or brittle material such as old brick. You don’t want to overdo it and blast away anything delicate and expensive-to-repair. It’s a weirdly satisfying chore that will leave your home exterior sparkling clean. It will also give you some serious return on your minor investment.

Paint or Stain the Deck and Lawn Furniture

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Sometimes all it takes is a little paint or stain to make that patio furniture and deck look new again. You want to enjoy the fall evenings in Charlotte. A little touching-up goes a long way to make your yard look more inviting.

It’s easy to overlook your home’s exterior and let the paint chip or the weeds grow. But these five tips to exterior home decor will make your place one of the freshest on the block and the envy of the city.

Becky Moore calls herself a “dedicated do-as-much-as-you-canner” who writes about home and landscaping issues. She and her equally handy husband have moved into and refurbished a new (to them) house every two years for the past decade.