Anyone who buys or sells a home knows that, when it comes to real estate, books are judged by their covers. Creating curb appeal is a key way to accomplish preserving and protecting the value of what is most likely to be a family's biggest single investment.
Unlike most books that focus on projects to enhance a home's backyard, Quick & Easy Curb Appeal focuses on projects that help make the front of the house more attractive.
Part inspiration and ideas, part resource guide, and part home maintenance reference, this book arms readers with everything they need to let their home give its guests a great first impression.
Some old St. Louis neighborhoods have a feature integral to each house on the block: a front porch. These porches provided a great place for neighborly interaction. They contributed to a strong community at a time when knowing your neighbor built the fabric of the neighborhood.
Porches are an architectural element that came to St. Louis from warmer climates. The porch provided protection from the weather and it was a few degrees cooler than the home’s interior. On a summer evening residents could catch a breeze on their porch. While cooling off they could chat with neighbors next door, watch those who pass in the street, and keep an eye on children playing out front.
“It was a double house, and the big open place be-twixt them was roofed and floored, and sometimes the table was set there in the middle of the day, and it was a cool, comfortable place. Nothing couldn’t be better.”
From The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Young men courted young women on the porch under the watchful eyes of family. Families slept outside on the porch during extreme heat. Casual furniture provided an ambiance of leisure along with that classic seat: the porch swing. Reading in the porch swing while sipping ice tea is a beloved tradition of a more slow paced time.
Porches lost favor with the advent of air conditioning, the automobile, and changing tastes of the public. As people shifted focus to their back yards for recreation and privacy, the neighborliness of porch culture disappeared. But today the porch has made a comeback. New homes are being built with porches that promise rest and comfort, an appealing symbol of leisure for our busy lives.
Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff