The countdown is on. My sister is getting married in just two weeks. I can’t believe the time is already here. As I put the finishing touches on my speech and tackle last-minute preparations for the bachelorette party and bridal shower, my family is getting the home ready for out-of-town guests.


Although my parents now live in Hawaii, they spend half the year in Cleveland. A big part of holding onto the house has been the notion that it would be needed when my sister’s big day arrived. Guests from Hong Kong, the Philippines and Hawaii will be gracing us with their presence, and we want to make a good first impression — starting with our home’s curb appeal. It’s been a busy year, and there is not a lot of time, but thankfully there are some quick fixes we can implement (for not a lot of money).

Power wash. April showers haven’t exactly been kind to the home’s white exterior, but a good power wash should do the trick. Hitting the driveway while we’re at it won’t hurt, either.


Add potted plants at the entry. Aim for various sizes and don’t be afraid to go bold with the containers. They’ll add a nice punch of color and help to invite guests in.

Create a seating area. There is something about sitting on the porch and watching the world go by that just makes me feel comfortable. Adding some outdoor pillows to the mix gives a touch of softness to that homey feeling.


• Light it up. Flank your entry with decorative lighting, and plan path lighting as well. Solar path lights eliminate the need for headache-inducing electric wiring, and they also come in a variety of designs.

Refresh your address. I think the last time we replaced the numbers on our home was when we moved in more than 20 years ago. The numbers have faded and no longer match the hardware on our front door. New ones are easy to find and come in an array of finishes. Match yours to your front-door hardware for a cohesive look.

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