-by Kym Kelly
As we come and go in our busy daily lives, we often stop seeing our surroundings through other’s eyes. A neglected front porch that accumulates miscellaneous odds and ends may not seem like a big deal, but to a new visitor or potential buyer it can be a real turn off. Even on a budget, some small touches, such as a good cleaning and a fresh coat of paint on the front door, can really boost a first impression. And, with the addition of a few furnishings, your porch can add real value; creating a welcoming transitional space between the outdoors and indoors.
After a good freshening up, consider the size of your porch and your home’s architectural details. You want to make sure people can easily access the steps and front door and not feel crowded with too much furniture or accessories. You will also want to create a style that compliments the exterior of the home, as well as reflects the personality of the home’s interior.
For those lucky enough to have a big front porch, making it into additional useable living space can be a challenge. For years, the porch at our house was left totally blank, other than a seasonal wreath on the door and a welcome mat. I had this idea in my head that it needed to be accessorized with beautiful rocking chairs, wicker love seats and tables, fantastic carpets, lush ferns and gorgeous potted plants just like in the magazines. I wanted it all, but wasn’t ready to pay the $2,000+ to create that style.
Finally, I began to look at items I already owned and scoured second hand stores to find items in my budget that would turn my porch from a boring entry to a bonus living area for our home. Now, our front porch has become my favorite room and I look forward to freshening it up each season by changing the plants and other accessories.
Recently, a customer of ours in Florida sent us this picture to let us know how amazing the custom stained Western Red Cedar Shingles we provided look on her home (p.s. we love customer photos!). I adore the sweet style she created on her porch with the vintage day bed and loads of pillows. She lives close to the ocean, so the simple addition of some “beachy” accessories completes this outdoor space perfectly.
Note how the color palette of accessories complements the shingles, which we custom coated with a semi-transparent stain called Water Lily. So inviting!
So, when you go home tonight, take a good, hard look at your entry and begin to think of items you already own that you might be able to add to bring a little personality and style to your front porch. Scour garage sales or thrift stores for a fun piece of furniture and maybe add a fresh coat of paint to the piece to bring additional color to your porch. Next, add some softness with pillows, candles (I buy the inexpensive ones at the Dollar Store), seasonal flowers and accessories. A well styled porch welcomes you home every day.
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