We all know the importance of first impressions. After the long cold winter we had this year in Detroit, my front porch was not making a good one. We spent a lot of time working on home projects inside during the winter, but the outside was a bit neglected. When spring came around and the snow melted, our entrance was left looking a little like a war zone.
The extreme temps took a toll on our landscaping, our shiny black door lost it's sheen and our porch took a beating from snow, ice and salt. We're going to give it some time to see if some of our large plants come back to life before replacing them, but in the meantime I'd like the outside of my home to be a taste of the fresh updates we have made inside the house.
Luckily, making a good first impression doesn't mean the entire outside of your home must look perfect at all times. That thought is simply exhausting. A striking first impression can be achieved by concentrating on the areas that are first seen outside your home such as the front door. Today, using my porch as an example, I'm going to show how I created a low maintenance, welcoming entry that brings a little of the design style of our interior outside.
The first step was to clean the cement porch and give the door a fresh coat of paint. Once the area was clean, freshly painted and in good repair, it was time to accessorize. Above is a collage of the items I chose to create a stylish vignette to welcome our guests. Everything I selected was not only chosen for looks, but also for it's low maintenance qualities.
Here is a look at our porch now...
The large lanterns were purchased during the holidays at Sams Club. Large scale lanterns like these are a great choice for using outside. The size is substantial enough that they make an impact from the curb. It's important to use outdoor candles inside your lanterns, otherwise on the first hot day you could be welcoming your guests with candle soup.
Flowers and greenery are an obvious key ingredient to curb appeal. In order to make my life easier, I chose to incorporate them in easy to manage applications. Using planters as opposed to planting flowers in the ground allows them to be to be mobile. When we leave for a weekend, I can move my planters to the neighbors porch for watering.
Instead of filling my large, heavy urn with high maintenance flowers, I used a large round boxwood. Boxwood are easy to care for and look great year round. For a little added interest and height, I stuck curly willow branches on the top. My urn is also from Sam's Club. I like to shop for outdoor items at Sam's, much of their inventory is commercial grade. By design the merchandise there tends to be large in scale because it is intended for large business/corporate buildings. Using larger scale pieces allows me to make a big statement with just a few items.
Adding a large boxwood on the porch as well as using them to flank the step creates an eye-catching trio of summertime greenery.
Lastly, I replaced our boring door mat with an attractive, large, indoor/outdoor area rug (rug is available here). From the curb the striking round shape, bright color and graphic pattern in this rug draws the eye immediately to the entrance (and away from our dead bushes), sort of like a bulls eye. A rug like this meant for outdoor use, but it's good looks bring the feeling of comfort that comes from an interior rug. This addition alone instantly made our entrance feel more welcoming.
I'm looking forward to landscape projects and cleaning up the rest of the yard, but in the meantime I'm happy with the fresh new look of our entrance.
Here is another look at our front door before and after these simple changes…
Thanks for being my guest today. Please stop by again later this week, I'm sharing an exciting DIY project that had amazing results!
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