If you have been following my blog for any amount of time you will know that almost everything in my house is recycled, upcycled, salvaged or some kind of a DIY project. Our electronics, sofa/chair and mattresses would be the primary exceptions. I can stretch a dollar like there is no tomorrow and can transform a space on a very limited budget. However, this process definitely takes time, patience, perseverance and often, hard work, but the results always seem to be worth it.
On rare occasions, I will make one “splurge” in a space. Keep in mind a splurge for me is still not very extravagant, but rather implies I broke down and bought something brand new and didn’t get a great sale price 😥
The new cushions for our 10 year old wicker patio furniture would be my front porch splurge. We have needed to replace the very old and worn out original seat covers for more than a few summers now, but despite looking, I never followed through. As mentioned in my first Front Porch post, I felt very limited because of the colour of my house. I tried to find cushions that would match, but to no avail. It’s just a weird colour. Out of pure desperation, I made a decision that I had to commit to something as the old ones were literally falling apart. It was actually when I decided to stop trying to “match” the colour that I finally had a break through. If we were to paint the exterior of our house, I would love to paint it navy with white trim. There are a few houses in our neighbourhood with navy stucco and white trim and they are beautiful. As I thought about this, it suddenly dawned on me that just maybe navy blue would work with my current house colour. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any cushions locally, so I resorted to ordering from Wayfair. Although we do quite a bit of online shopping, I hated the idea of ordering expensive cushions online. I would have much preferred to buy them locally, try them out and then return them if I didn’t like the look. Going with an accent colour seemed a bit risky because of the colour of our house, but we took the plunge and ordered despite our reservations. After pondering the new cushions for a few days, we both decided we loved the look!
The other strange part of this front porch makeover was that we have these old cedar deck chairs that were purchased when we owned our cottage about 18 years ago. The canvas seats are still in perfect condition and wash well in the washing machine as needed. The issue was that the canvas was green. Again, I felt completely at a loss with this green? We love the chairs, but I could not get my head around how to work with the house colour, the green canvas and new cushions. My neighbour is great with colour and she said to look at the green as a neutral colour and an extension of my garden and plants. I had never considered this before, but sure enough the new cushions, green canvas and house colour all miraculously came together! In fact, I don’t even hate my house colour as much now that I learned to work with it and not fight it.
So, with our existing wicker furniture and new cushions, our old cedar chairs with the green canvas seats and our freshly painted swing and white shelf, the foundation for our space was set.
It’s All in the Details:
- We decided to keep one of the end tables that I had previously upcycled several years ago, but needed to take some time to think about how to accessorize it a bit. We had this old camping lantern that we used when I was a kid, stored in the basement. We have never actually used it, but it still works fine. It brings back fond memories and I could never let it go for sentimental reasons. It now has the perfect home on our front porch. Beside it, I placed this cute little decorative watering from the dollar store. I added a sprig of dollar store greenery and “Voila!” the table was set.
- The DIY Welcome Sign really helped to make the porch appear more inviting. The sign on its own wasn’t enough, so I added in the DIY Pillar Candle Holders I had made from salvaged couch legs. I picked up the galvanized pitcher at Michael’s for half price (maybe 60% off ) and slipped a 500ml empty plastic coke bottle into it so that I could add water and fresh greenery. The final item in this little display is another dollar store find….a second miniature watering can with a sprig of artificial greenery.
- Although I am yet to start or complete my mailbox makeover, the Upcycled Vanity and flowers really helped to dress up this corner by our door. I love how the distressed shutter helps to soften the backdrop for the pink flowers which might not be a perfect colour match for the house and yet, they seem to work.
- The freshly painted shelf certainly helps to anchor the space below the porch wall. It was a tricky space to work with because we needed to honour the space needed for the swing. We needed something narrow that wouldn’t interfere with the swing when in motion. This little shelf fit perfectly. I added a set of 3 dollar store plants, a stack of garage sale vintage books and an old drawer from our vintage sewing machine makeover. I may still add some little legs to it and actually put something in it, but for now it is just there!
- I’m sort of into birdhouses this summer. Not sure how or why that started, but it did. I picked up both of these birdhouses at the dollar store. I set one on the shelf and the other beside the milk jug I bought with the galvanized pitcher from Michael’s.
- Of course, we needed some new throw cushions. I would have to say I am still working on this. I had picked up 6 napkins and 2 placemats from a garage sale for $1 (for the whole set). I simply paired them up and sewed them all together leaving one side open. On the open side I added a velcro strip to close it. I actually can’t believe this deal. In the end, I got 4 throw pillows for $1. I had the velcro and navy thread on hand. I upcycled the old patio furniture cushions as well as a few I had in storage by adding more batting to them to fluff them up and give them new life. I had scrap white fabric on hand that I used to sew the new basic covers for the cushion inserts with the extra batting. I love the velvet edge that these cushions have. What a great deal and they look great. I am still sorting out how I am going to use the four cushions as I have another space where navy cushions will work as well. The green cushion and insert were picked up at a garage sale for 50 cents each.
- We have these beautiful arches on our porch and for several years placed hanging plants there during the summer. The issue was that the porch doesn’t get much sunlight and some areas more than others. In addition, I found that I wasn’t great at tending to the plants and they quickly became more of an eye sore than focal point. This year, we opted to purchase some inexpensive Ikea lanterns to hang in lieu of the live plants. I love the look and the candle light is beautiful when sitting out on a summer evening.
Front Porch Makeover Before and After Shots:
You can see a striped seat cushion on the single chair by the swing. The old seat cushions were reversible with solid brown on one side and a striped pattern on the other. The porch was certainly “okay”, but I had never taken any time to actually decorate the space.
Some paint, a few purchases and a bucket load of DIY projects later…here is the front porch. I still have a couple little decor project on my “to do” list, but here it is so far! The porch extends the whole width of our house which is 27 feet. The sitting area and entrance are about 8 1/2 feet deep and the swing end is about 6 1/2 feet wide. So this is a pretty large space and easily accommodates the two separate spaces. (If you click an image it will take you to slide show mode.)
Feeling so grateful to have our porch looking more presentable and inviting!