Curb appeal: I need ideas for the river rock, my yard and porch?


I recently bought this house a few months ago. I don't know how to fix this to make it have some curb appeal. I hate the porch and the river rock. I want to get rid of this river rock add something to the porch and get some curb appeal. My front yard is a mess. Several houses in this area look similar and they all blend in together. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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  20 answers
  • I would start by painting the concrete porch and changing the ironwork to columns. Rake out the rock and plant some shrubs around the porch. The stone can be reused to make a dry riverbed feature in your landscaping. Consult a local nursery for the best plants to grow in your area.

    • Vickie Vickie on Apr 19, 2021

      Thank you so much for your advice. I appreciate it so much. I will post pics when I get it completed.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Apr 18, 2021

    Congratulation with your home purchase! I do agree with your instincts. Removing the river rock would make the home more inviting.

    My suggestions would be maybe to look over the craftsman style of homes in an image gallery and see if you can pick up some ideas there. I think making your porch supports wooden posts might be very attractive. And perhaps making a raise planting bed adjacent to your porch landing. Depending upon your garden interest in level of expertise you could plant ground covers or some low maintenance shrubs or get flowering plants suited to your location.

    Your budget might confine some of your plans just do it in a step-by-step fashion. Have a look at this craftsman style house with the porch below and perhaps you can see what the wood post add to the front porch area.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Apr 18, 2021

    Looks like you have some good drainage away from the house.

    Just looking at the house, the roof structure over the porch makes it look top heavy, so you'd need something more to "fill in" the supports on each side, something to add more volume to the open space. You might consider filling it in with screens.

    The river rocks need to go, maybe a dry river bed. Here are some visuals and you can use your river rocks to help create:

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Apr 18, 2021

    you can add plants even with the river rocks that would be instant color - walk around the area and take photos of yards for more inspiration- paint the front porch floor and your door - you can use wood wraps to cover your wrought iron posts

  • You could box out the iron columns in wood that would be beautiful and stately.

  • William William on Apr 18, 2021

    Replace the metal supports with chunky columns on the porch. Maybe a wood railing between the columns and on the right. Paint the door. Remove the river rock and put in some plants or bushes. Add a border of landscape blocks to the planting bed

  • Janice Janice on Apr 18, 2021

    Congratulations on your house purchase! I would also suggest replacing the metal uuprights with chunkier wood columns that would ground the porch along with d some railings for safety'sake which will also add to the curb appeal. I'd then decide whether to have rock or grass.....not both. The rock with many easy to grow and maintain bushes and flowers might be a considerabtion for the long term. You could contact you County Extension Agent's office for advice about what grows well in your specific area and perhaps even have the soil analyzed and amendments recommended for the suggested plants. It is definitely an attractive house and the current paint could be accented easily by painting the front door and storm door in a vibrant color that you love or one that contrasts with the body of the house color.

  • Betsy Betsy on Apr 18, 2021

    Hi Vickie: Congrats on your new digs :) I agree, get rid of the rocks. That is an entirely hard and tiresome job :( I agree with getting shrubs to put around the porch and house, maybe something with bright flowers. How are you about painting the house to make it stand out? Anyway, you can plant the shrubs and leave the rocks around them, that way you won't have to move so many. Maybe an area about 3 feet from the house. And, paint the porch, maybe a painted rug?

    Maybe box in those iron posts to look like they are wooden posts, and it's not that hard to put down sod. I did it to my back yard which is 60 x135! Just be sure to snug the pieces close together and water often.

    It's really a cute house, and I think you can do wonders with it! Check the houses in the neighbourhood and see what you like about them and maybe incorporate some of those ideas onto your home.

    Good luck

  • Em Em on Apr 18, 2021

    Take down wrought iron and add pillars. Home Depot carries them. Add a porch railing. Rake all of the river rock to the edges and use as a border. Plant a few small shrubs and line the river rock with hosta and add a small flower bed on one side with mulch and a bench to sit on. Paint your front door you favorite bright color.

    If you keep the stairs on the side paint the bottom of the porch a grey or shade darker to match the house.

  • Michelle Michelle on Apr 18, 2021

    Power washing porch put down a outdoor rug ,paint front door a pop of color. I would add a petite bistro set, potted flowers. On both sides of the porch remove rocks . In place some beautiful knock out out roses.

    Create a simple walkway. Also hang outdoor curtains on each side of porch for privacy or search privacy screen on a budget very cute house. Perhaps a window box on the furthest window. Scour yard sales and estates and goodwill and habitat humanity for items.

    This is my house I recently added yellow window boxes which is the color of front door. My roof is gray house wth blue trims

  • Vickie Vickie on Apr 19, 2021

    Thank you so your help!

  • Dee Dee on Apr 19, 2021

    I would build a deck to the end of the house, this way you could put chairs and a small table out there. . Use the river rock in flower beds. I would fill in the area in front of the house with dirt and put sod down for grass. The porch, front door and window trim needs to be painted.

  • Annie Annie on Apr 19, 2021

    I would add some color, like paint the trim. Maybe extend the porch and add a nive sitting area. You could remove the rock and create a boarder and go with a bark mulch and a couple shrubs

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Apr 19, 2021

    In my experience, folks plant far too much way too close to the house. This soon leads to problems such as difficulty with access for maintenance, water leakage into the foundation, and termites.

    I understand being a new home owner, you are anxious to make changes to up the curb appeal of your property. However, I would urge you to resist the temptation to start planting greenery and flowers before the larger structural landscaping issues are addressed.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Apr 19, 2021

    Although a green lawn in your front yard is still a desirable component of landscaping in many parts of North America, keep in mind that having a lawn is a high-maintenance ongoing task.

    It requires regular fertilizing, weeding, watering, raking, aerating, and mowing to maintain its attractiveness. In many geographical areas in the world, including USA and Canada, water is becoming a very expensive resource, with water rationing imposed during the hotter months.

    In making a master plan for your yard, I would urge you to check into xeriscaping, and to incorporate some features, such as mulch or rock cover. Think low or no-maintenance on a long-term basis.

    • Kevin Kevin on Apr 25, 2021

      Those rocks cost a bundle $$$ and could be beautiful if off-set by a few shrubs, sea-grass, etc.

      Select 3 spots clear out the rocks and replace with shrubs, flowers, maybe a birdbath or water-feature, etc.

      Good luck,


  • I would paint the base of the porch white to brighten it up and then get a nice doormat or a long rug that would add a pop of color. You could get some potted planets and stands and add some color once you can plant some annual flowers. I would remove the rocks and add in dirt, bushes/perennials (and some that flower) and maybe some stepping stones. You could bring a photo to a nursery and ask for some tips for bushes/perennials. Then I'd add some mulch.

  • Vickie Vickie on Apr 22, 2021

    I never thought of going to a nursery thanks so much!

  • Maxine Maxine on Apr 25, 2021

    You received some excellent ideas. My addition is simple and is something

    I did with my with my property having a slight incline. At the corner of

    the house I placed a wall 2 cinderblocks high, You could do 3. Cap with

    couple of pavers. Now you will have two levels. Now you can add some

    around the corner at least one quarter the length of your house.

    Happy planting

  • Lindsay Aratari Lindsay Aratari on Apr 30, 2021

    You could paint the porch. Add more plants and flowers

  • Sharon Sharon on Jul 01, 2021

    I would start by 1) paint door a bright color, 2) add a flower box and some potted plants with bright florals, and a couple hanging ferns from the porch ceiling edge, 3) rake back a foot or two from the edge of the house to create a flower bed and add some shrubs or decorative grasses to add interest, adding landscape fabric and mulch will keep down the weeds, 4) add some shutters to the windows for some quaintness coordinated with door color, 5) the remainder of the lawn could be converted to ground cover or lawn after removing the rock, the remainder of the rock could be used along the edge of the sidewalk, the curb and put in buckets with a sign FREE on the curbside.

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