Home > Features > Style > How to improve your home’s exterior without repainting

How to improve your home’s exterior without repainting

Looking to add value and street appeal to your home before putting it on the market? Adelaide interior designer Louise Romano shares her top five ways to improve any house.

When it comes to putting your house on the market, street appeal and first impressions are critical. House buyers are infamously harsh judges and even more so in a competitive market.

Painting the exterior of the house seems like the obvious first choice to add value, however, Romano says there are plenty of other ways to give your house a makeover without the mess and expense of painting.


A landscaped area to the side, featuring a range of low maintenance plants can give some life back to the house and act as a focal point, says Romano.

“Landscaping says a lot about the house on the inside as well as the outside.

“You can create an area that is low maintenance but also tidy, just make sure you read the label on the plant because its lifespan all depends on the space you have.”

Despite the difference it can make, Romano notes that not everyone has the funds nor the space for some landscaping work.

“Adding some big pot plants, maybe near the door or an empty space, is a great alternative,” says Romano.

“A Monstera or Fiddle leaf work well in sunny and shaded areas,” she says.

“I know our summers are hard on plants, but if you consistently maintain and hydrate them, they can last a long time.”

Feature door

An impressive front door is a worthy addition, according to Romano.

“Of course, it depends on the style of the house, but a nice wide door is a great way to elevate the exterior,” she says

“A beautiful timber door with hardware –  if it suits – is popular, or alternatively a door with glass panels works well to filter light throughout the house.”

Homeowners also now have the option to avoid bulky screen doors, as they can purchase a detachable fly screen, which goes on the inside of the door.

“The old door screen really closes off the home and you don’t get to see your beautiful door,” says Romano.

“Now you can enjoy both a feature door and summer without the flies.”

Curtains and shutters

The right type of curtain or shutters can make all the difference.

Romano says that roller blinds can often be heavy on the home and make it feel closed off.

“Yes, they serve a purpose but they are quite bulky,” she says.

“Plantation shutters or sheer curtains are a bright alternative.”

As well as achieving a modern look, these light filters also add functionality.

Plantation shutters shield against heat in summer and insulate in winter, and sheer curtains maximise natural light and protect paint colour.

Architectural mailbox

It may seem surprising, but an attractive, custom mailbox can add unity to your house.

Like the front door, a mailbox gives the first impression of your home and speaks volumes as to who the homeowners are.

“It is like putting a piece of jewellery on with an outfit, it just finishes it off, keeps it fresh and organic,” Romano says.

A mailbox with a monochrome and neutral colour palette can be timeless, or if you’re looking to add texture, a timber mailbox can help give the home an organic feel.

Contrasting colours

An exterior with contrasting colours can help to add balance to the home.

“Of course, the classic way to add colour is through paint, but this can simply be done through furniture,” Romano says.

Simply placing some outdoor furniture on the front veranda or step can provide enough punch to elevate the entire look.

“If you have the room, add a black or white wicker chair or a steel frame chair, depending on the style,” Romano says.

“You can then add a nice pillow which can also make everything more inviting.

“Not only does this balance the house out, but also creates a relaxing space.”