If you've ever watched HGTV, listed a home for sale or worked in a real estate office, you've heard the term "curb appeal." Curb appeal offers potential buyers a good first impression. It signals pride of ownership before they step through the door. It offers the impression that the interior is well kept. It tells visitors that you care about the space in which you live.
It's a well known fact to all of us that curb appeal can boost the beauty--and value--of our homes. In fact we had a friend who went as far as mowing the neighbors' lawns on each side of his house just so they also looked well kept, and incidentally he got an amazing price for his home.
I miss the days when detail intensified the beauty of architecture--when homes lining the streets were different one from another. When brass door handles, ornate mail slots and chiming door bells were the first things to welcome one home. And when ornate window panes framed each beam of sunlight that crept into a room until it found rest.
I live in a home, that I've taken special care to add character to. One particular hobby has been designing our front yard with over-sized flower gardens and a cobblestone deck. Blue Adirondack chairs with striped pillows are a welcome sign to our guests, while a large floral wreath draws them toward our red door. I spend hours on end planting my flowers, carrying stone, and pulling the weeds that threaten my plants--all this in hopes that I've welcomed my family and friends.
Of equal importance to me, however, is the welcome I offer my husband each day. From the moment he steps through the door, I want our house to feel like a home. I want life inside that door to be a haven of comfort and rest. And I want my husband to know I'm his help-meet.
When Daddy comes home, the children know that all activity ceases and quality attention is given to him. This curb appeal not only boosts the beauty of our relationship, it signals the pride of ownership that we share, and tells him that he's valued in our home.
Life can be busy and dinner time can be especially hectic, but with just a little effort on our part we can make a lasting impression. I know that even five extra minutes of my time can make the difference, and set the stage for a great evening. It's the little things that count.
- We have all chores done before he walks in the door, and try to have things like the dishwasher and vacuum turned off.
- I make sure that the television and stereos are turned off so that the house is peaceful.
- If the kids are excited about something, I encourage them to wait about 15 minutes before they share their news.
- I try to have dinner prepared before he arrives. For me it's not always cooked, but the preparation is usually done.
- When I have problems to deal with, I wait until after dinner to spring it on him. I know that he's always happier when his tummy is full.
- I always greet him at the door with open arms, a kiss, and a warm embrace.
- I make an effort to look at him when he is speaking so that he has my full attention.
- I close my computer if I'm on it, and if I'm chatting on the phone I'll try to end the conversation and call her back later.
Since curb appeal is the first thing they see when they walk through the door, home-improvement is something all time-warp wives should consider. It's not a difficult task by any means, and the end result is well worth the investment we make.Darlene Schacht is an ordinary mom, living an extraordinary life, because of who she is through Jesus Christ. As help-meet to her husband Michael, she guides and nurtures their four children, leading them toward a deeper walk of faith.
Her work has been published in anthologies by Thomas Nelson, Tyndale Publishing and Adams Media. As well she has co-authored a book with actress Candace Cameron Bure called, “Reshaping it All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness.”
You can find her blogging at Time-Warp Wife where she empowers wives to joyfully serve.