by Susy Alexandre December 16, 2022

Elevate your Curb Appeal - Winter Outdoor Decor Ideas

Credit: Pexels 

The first impression your house makes is from the exterior - so make sure it’s a good one by paying special attention to your property’s “curb appeal”.

While the winter months may present a pretty blanket of white at the first snowfall, the wintery weather will quickly turn into a slushy mess and you’ll want to take extra care of tending to your exterior property during this time. Things like salting the ground along the property’s access points and walkways, maintaining good lighting around the home and adding some seasonal greenery to enhance the landscaping. 

Here are 3 key ways you can elevate your curb appeal - and keep your property’s exterior safe and accessible - this winter season.

Clear the snow & make walkways safe 

Credit: Pexels

Safety comes first and plays a bigger role in “curb appeal” than you may think. 

Consider the last fall or winter season. How many homes have you driven or walked past your neighbors’ homes and noted the blanket of leaves or snow still covering their walkways? Or the icy sidewalk creating a sheet of glass creeping up the driveway toward the house? These things are not only unsightly, but also present safety concerns. 

To start:

  • Ensure all pathways, walk-ups and points of access on the property have been cleared of snow and are salted as needed
  • Stock up on salt for de-icing your property and be prepared with all the seasonal tools, including shovels, snow-blowers, gloves etc - don’t wait until a big storm hits! 

The most important thing here is to ensure you are prepared and prioritizing these key points of exterior maintenance through the harsher season of the year. 

The winter season in Canada is a long one, and if you don’t keep up with regular maintenance of your property through these colder and messier months, the build-up of snow and slush and ice will become very difficult to manage and your property - and curb appeal - will suffer. 

In keeping on top of your property maintenance, you create a safe experience for those passing through or, in the case of properties for sale, coming to see your home. Beyond that, you ensure a tidy and clean impression of the property, which suggests pride of ownership and allows for a positive first impression of the property. For sellers, remember that the exterior of your property is the first and last visual that potential buyers will have of your home. Make it a good one! 

Most communities offer snow removal services for seniors and those with qualifying disabilities. Check your city’s official page for information on this service specific to your area. For Toronto, 211 Ontario offers eligibility details and links for those interested in applying.  

FYI: In Ontario, the landlord of a property is the one responsible for the maintenance items like clearing the snow and mowing the lawn. 

Create a warm atmosphere with lighting 

Credit: Adobe 

Lighting makes all the difference when it comes to warming up the exterior of your home during the gloomy winter months.

Your outdoor lighting does not have to be a costly production in order to have the right effect in its use. Warm lighting can be achieved with strategically placed outdoor-safe lights, and these can be utilized in a variety of forms. 

Just a few exterior light styles you can employ for your property include: 

  • Outdoor lanterns (in particular, those with faux-candles which are battery-operated, as these are safe and require less maintenance) 
  • Strategic lights placed to highlight and accent plants and trees
  • Sconce lighting on the sides of your front door 
  • Lights along the ground on either side of your walk-up or lining either side of the driveway (be careful not to overdo it - remember, the effect should be subtle and warm)
  • If you’re feeling festive, you can wrap some pre-lit garland around your upper balcony - but be careful not to clutter or block any railings along staircases, as this could create a safety issue

Enhance your landscaping with seasonal details 

Credit: Adobe

In order to get the most out of your holiday decorating experience, you’ll want to consider your home’s exterior style and your desired decorating theme. Maybe that means you’d like to be extra fun and festive - without being cluttered, of course. Or maybe you’re aiming for a more refined holiday theme, some tasteful holiday accents and uniform lighting throughout. Whatever your holiday decor preferences are, there are options available for everyone and at nearly every price point. 

However you celebrate the season, it’s a safe bet that there are a few holiday touches you reach for each year to warm up your home. Give your exterior the same festive treatment and consider a few popular outdoor accents such as:

  • A wreath will freshen up your door’s exterior and immediately add warmth - and remember, they don’t have to represent any specific holiday - many wreaths are now available in neutral, warm styles, crafted with lush greenery or other natural textures to create your desired effect.
  • If you’re lucky enough to have some sturdy trees on your property, take the chance to use your natural landscape as opportunities for added lighting - for DIY installation, opt for netted exterior lights that can be draped easily over shrubbery and trees. 

Credit: Unsplash

Holiday season aside, there are a number of ways you can spruce up your home’s exterior so it looks its best year-round:

  • Consider new address numbers for your home - with so many styles and sizes now available (including written numbers versus numerical symbols), this is an effective - and inexpensive – way to give your front porch (or wherever you place your numbers) an instant tune-up!
  • A new doormat works wonders in creating an inviting atmosphere through your exterior entry, be it on a spacious porch or a single step-up to the door. Whatever space you’re working with, there’s a doormat that will work to your specs and allow you to showcase a little bit of your home’s “personality” right off the bat. 
  • Make sure the basics are up to par: items like your front door to any hardware such as door handles, windowsills, front door lighting, etc, should all be well maintained and in good working order.
  • Don’t discount the appeal of a traditional wall-mounted mailbox! While many neighborhoods have community mailboxes for the bulk of their post, there are still many who use wall-mounted doorside mailboxes. This may be more of a daily “tool” to your mind versus a decorative accessory, but visually, this is an element of your home’s front area that’s front-and-center to visitors. Ensure your mailbox is clean and in good shape with an appealing look that compliments your homes’ exterior theme. 

The most important “rule” of holiday decorating is, of course, to have fun! The winter months may feel long, but the festive season is a short one - so enjoy the process, because it’ll be over before you know it. 

Seasonal maintenance may not always be as enjoyable as stringing lights and hanging a wreath; the exterior upkeep during the winter months can be a challenge, but if you maintain some kind of routine and avoid the buildup, you’ll find it becomes a lot more manageable. 

Credit: Adobe

Need an extra hand or have one to lend this season? Look within your community for opportunities to support one another. 

Something else to keep in mind as far as snow shoveling and other similar items through the season is to outsource these tasks within your community. If you have the budget, and there are local youth within your area who are offering their services, this presents an opportunity to relieve yourself of some of the more labor-intensive exterior upkeep while also supporting your fellow neighbors. 

On the flip side, if you’re able, make an effort to check on your more senior neighbors, who may need the help and be otherwise unable to venture out and ask for themselves. This is especially important after major storms and power outages, when those more vulnerable members of your community will need a helping hand the most. ‘Tis the season, after all!

For more tips and posts on things happening in your communities, please see our blog page. 

Royal LePage Your Community Realty is Canada’s largest independently-owned Royal LePage franchise, with over 1000 agents and 10 office locations to serve you and your clients. 

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