When giving your home's exterior a makeover, don't neglect an important aspect: your garage door. Do you want your garage door to be aesthetically appealing as well as functional? If so, here are three smart ways to transform your garage door into a serviceable yet eye-catching part of your home's exterior:

1. An Interesting Garage Door Mural

If you want your garage to be a focal point and don't mind drawing attention to your home, you might consider installing a mural on your garage door. These designs are sometimes referred to as "photo doors" and "garage billboards." Relatively easy to self-install, these murals attach to single or double garage doors and are often available in various sizes, or you may ask to have them custom cut to fit your garage door. Some garage door murals are also suitable for sectional garage doors.

If you do choose to install a garage door mural, you might want to be certain the materials used are weatherproof. Look for materials that can resist fading from the sun's ultraviolet rays and can withstand moisture and wind. Also, be sure to obtain an installation kit if you plan on installing it yourself.

As for the motifs, you may find all kinds of designs available from specialty dealers. Popular designs include sports car and trucks, landscapes and even animals. Can you imagine a garage door mural that offered the illusion of a horse peering out over a barn door or stall? How about a realistic tiger appearing to walk out of the garage, or an elephant or giraffe? This might make passersby do a double-take from a distance, but the murals are easily removable if you decide to take it down.

Because the murals are removable and may be stored away when not in use, you might want to consider special holiday or seasonal editions. For example, consider a festive Christmas design or a scary Halloween mural. Creepy pumpkins, ghosts or even a graveyard design might be a fun idea.

2. Decorative Magnetic Garage Door Hardware and Simulated Window

Maybe your garage door is perfectly functional and in good condition. If you aren't looking to replace the door yet you want to spruce up its appearance, there's another option to consider. Decorative hardware kits are readily available and not all that difficult to install.

For maintenance free steel doors, you might want to consider a simple to install decorative magnetic accent handles. Look for carriage styles that can be installed without the use of tools and with no drilling required. Like the above mural idea, these also are easily removed without any modification to your garage door needed.

In addition to the decorative magnetic hardware, you might consider a magnetic simulated garage door window. A simulated window kit offers the depth and dimension of an actual window, without major to your garage door. It's also virtually maintenance free.

3. Garage Door Screen

And now for the functional aspect of your garage door makeover. How about installing a garage door screen? A retractable screen that works with your existing garage door should be spring loaded for easy operation. Basically, the garage door screen will be interchangeable with your garage door so you can easily switch positions as desired.

A screen for your garage door is a practical way to keep your garage cool in the summer, without the risk of pests entering inside your garage. For security, you might want to consider adding a locking system to the garage door screen. Keep in mind, garage door screens are best installed by professionals, as they are typically spring loaded.