John Gidding, host of HGTV’s Curb Appeal: The Block, wowed a crowd of interior designers and buyers attending January’s Total Home & Gift Market at the Dallas Market Center. Head of John Gidding Design, Inc., New York, Gidding is best known for dramatic exterior makeovers of single family residences documented on the weekly HGTV series.
A keynote speaker during the semi-annual trade show, Gidding offered tips for enhancing the appeal of residential front yards and exteriors while maintaining neighborhood harmony.
“Inside the home is the place to be unique. Outside the home is the place to create cohesion,” says Gidding who framed his remarks around three Euless, Texas, homes featured on the reality show early last year.
“It has to fit into the fabric of the neighborhood.”
Yet creating individuality within a neighborhood isn’t impossible.
How does Gidding do it? He focuses on seven themes.
“Create a path to your front door,” says Gidding who suggests delineating the path with brick or stone or lining it with flowers or greenery. “I’m always looking for ways to accentuate the entrance.”
“People have calmed colors down. I’m seeing a lot more neutrals. People are taking consideration of homes on either side.” This direction creates a palette of flexibility where other accents can add pizzazz. Gidding recommends homeowners not paint brick. “I don’t paint brick unless I have to, then I use a ceramic-based paint.”
Exterior accents can look out of place if they out of scale. Gidding emphasizes the importance of keeping all accents in proportion to the size of the home and to other exterior features.
“Accessories are so important. You should use something appropriate to the size and scale of the area,” says Gidding who recommends homeowners use accessories to add color and visual interest.
Gidding suggests homeowners create a seating area at the front of the home for relaxing and welcoming neighbors. “Seating is so important. It creates a neighborhood. A lot of outdoor furniture is making a comeback. It’s no longer relegated to the back.”
6. House Numbers
House numbers are often overlooked, he notes. As a result, with each home project, Gidding creates a distinctive house number by adding a bold color, utilizing a new material, raising the number, making it larger or moving it to a more prominent location.
“Contact local nurseries for information on what will grow best in your soil,” says Gidding. Practical, colorful landscaping can add ambience and personality to a home.
Gidding reminds homeowners not to forget the design impact of garage doors. “If they’re facing the street, it’s probably a good place to invest some money.”
Throughout the talk, the self-effacing host added comments based on his experience and mistakes, generating enthusiasm from the crowd of 150 attendees.
Gidding’s recommendations and design tips were clearly appreciated