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Whether you're planning to sell your home or simply want to make it more enjoyable to live in, having great curb appeal goes a long way. If you've ever yearned for that English country cottage look, here are four important elements to make your home's exterior look like it stepped out of a postcard from the UK.
Old-fashioned Doors and Windows
English cottages all have several things in common, and one of the most important is an old-fashioned, substantial door. Solid wood is the key here, with hefty hardware and tiny windows near the top, often with leaded or stained glass.
Fear not that you have to scour the antique markets for reclaimed doors. Companies like Andersen carry a range of doors that could suit historic homes, and though they may look old, these doors will have the functionality a reclaimed antique door may not.
You can find both replacement doors and windows that fit in your existing frames, making swapping them out much easier. Think about making your windows match the style of your door, and rather than using more contemporary double-hung windows, look for small-paned models that crank open symmetrically from the center.
Old English cottages traditionally had a lot more metal than most Americans use in home building today. While you may not be able to go for a full metal roof, you may be able to incorporate metal accents in elements like the mailbox or light fixtures. Select copper or bronze for details that will oxidize over time to a lovely greenish patina.
Other Entrance Features
Country cottages typically have a lot of other features that practically sing "Rule Britannia." You can try one or two of these or all of these features for a layered effect that looks like the result of centuries of planning:
- topiary trees and shrubs
- wooden gate at the curb
- natural stone path to the entrance and stone stoop
- bench by the front door for removing boots or enjoying the view
English Country Garden
Of course, an English country cottage would be nothing without the traditional English cottage garden. Instead of a more manicured look favored by modern American homes, English gardens have a slightly informal, eclectic appearance.
Herbs and vegetables can be integrated into old-time vibrant flower beds, and small fruit trees will look right at home. Often, there is no lawn at all. You can carry your garden up the walls of your house with the use of window boxes or even climbing ivy and roses.
Creating an English country cottage look can transform blah, "cookie cutter" houses and make your home look truly unique. Just be careful if you're planning to put it on the market; you may like the final result on your house so much you won't be able to part with it. For more information, consult companies like Andersen doors.