Building & Renovation

A Stand Out House

Especially when you live in the suburbs or have a strict HOA, it can feel like there’s nothing that sets your house apart from all the others. The urge to express yourself is strong, though. Here are just a few things you can do to make your home stand out from the crowd.


Everything from your front door to your garage door can be made unique and eye-catching with a little creativity and time. Whether it’s with paint, style or decorative elements like doorknobs and seasonal wreaths, you can absolutely make your mark. A quality front door can even boost real estate value.


The outside of your house may be governed by an HOA, but there’s often at least a bit of leeway and room for self-expression, especially with regards to paint colors, trim colors, siding type and roof type. There are a lot of ways you can subtly make your house stand out from others, even under the strictest HOA rules. 


The yard is the area where you likely have the most freedom to express yourself and where you can get the most creative. Whether it’s through decorative elements like wind chimes and statuary, or water features like fountains and fish ponds, there’s a lot you can do with a yard. Spice up a patch of lawn with flower beds and unusual plantings. If you have room for a tree, consider something with unusual flowers or foliage. Even the bark on trees can make a visual statement. If you live in a dry area or want a lower maintenance yard, consider xeriscaping or hardscaping in your yard. There are near-infinite options. 


Speaking of stones, don’t forget that you can absolutely get creative with your paving options. Even if you don’t have a driveway, you still have the walk that goes up to your front door. Even a front stoop can be personalized. Stepping stoned can be very attractive as well as reducing wear and tear on your yard, and there are dozens of ways to pave a walkway using gravel, bricks and concrete. Don’t forget to consider the plantings around your walkways and other features like gates and fences.  


Good fences make good neighbors, according to the old saying, but who’s to say what makes a good fence? This is yet another area where you can get a little creative, with styles and materials and colors but also with alternatives. A living fence made of bushes or decorative grasses can make an attractive alternative to a white picket fence. A sunken barrier like a retaining wall or a ha ha will create a divide that is visible from the street without obstructing your view from the house. 

Obviously you will be constrained by your HOA, but don’t forget that if there’s a rule you want to be changed, you can always campaign or even become a board member yourself. You might find that you have more allies than you realize among your neighbors. Be the change you want to see in the world. 

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Canadian Home Trends magazine gives you a personal tour of the most stunning homes and condos across Canada. You'll be inspired by a selection of accessible home décor products, trend reports, simple yet stylish DIY projects, and much more. In each issue, you are given the tools to recreate designer spaces you've always dreamt of having at home, in-depth renovation and design advice, colour palette and furniture pairings, and Canada's best places to shop.

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