With a lot of renovating and redecorating complete inside our brick rancher, curb appeal is the name of the game this spring. We’re all about adding charm, color, and classic style to take our humble home’s exterior from blah to booyah. And we started with the front porch where we were set one goal: spend a little, get a lot. Here’s a glorious after shot, but let’s rewind and explain what we did to get there…
We had our hearts set on two big square black planters for either side of the porch after finding a few gorgeous options like this one from Smith & Hawken– but two large planters for $300? Not really in our budget! So we went to Home Depot and came home with these large 18×18″ planters for just $30 each- a super good deal for their generous size and sturdy construction (it’s hard to find anything that’s not plastic for that price- score!):
And although the wood tone didn’t really match our desired color scheme, it was nothing some exterior semi-gloss paint couldn’t solve. Even the random metal branch pattern looks chic in black on black- almost like an abstract sea coral. And you know we love anything natural…
We also jumped at the opportunity to use some of our free homemade compost (thanks to our super simple backyard compost bin) along with some potting soil for a yummy little mix for our $6 boxwoods- who will slowly grow into their new homes on either side of the porch. We’re also planning to add some cheerful annuals around them to fill things out until the boxwoods bulk up a bit.
Oh and we took a tip from our horticulturist friend and broke a few chipped old terra cotta pots with a hammer and tossed them into the bottom of each planter before adding soil (which helps to facilitate drainage without allowing dirt to slowly slip out of the drainage holes on the bottom of the planter):
We also picked up a few inexpensive outdoor pillows while at Home Depot. For just $12 each we came home with two colorful accents that tie in with our punchy red front door:
We paired the pillows with our old inexpensive Target porch chairs (which used to be yellow before we spray painted them last summer). Gotta love two old chairs spruced up with some classic paint and some happy stripes. Note: You might notice the wooden chair on the porch in our blog header- but we actually borrowed that guy from the sunroom (and a pillow from the bedroom) so we needed something that could really weather the elements full-time on the porch… which is where the spray painted outdoor chairs and pillows came in.
Of course we’d still love a long outdoor runner and a side table to stick between our chairs to cozy up the little front porch seating area. But until then we’re happy to save our pennies and wait for our boxwoods to grow. May you live long and prosper little guys.
What about you? Any curb appeal projects on the agenda for spring? Tell us all about it.
wow!! i would have passed those planters by not even thinking of using the paint! you are too smart! :) check out my blog and see if you can save my place! :)
Just popped over to your place and it’s bursting with potential. Happy decorating!
heather s. says
This spring I’m focusing on my outdoor projects as well. Well, once it gets warmer in MI! I can’t belive you guys can already plant things outside since we can’t do that safely until around Memorial Day. I bought some great pillows from Target and am looking for a nice outdoor rug and wall hanging for my back patio. I love your new planter boxes. I may just have to grab the same ones!
We actually bought ourselves a little patio set this weekend at Walmart. Most of the patio sets they sold last year have been switched over to the Better Homes and Gardens name for this year.
We were able to snag a set that was leftover from last year (old name, broken-up box) for less than half of what it will be selling for this year.
I read your blog everyday, but never have commented before. First off, thanks for all the great ideas. You are quite an inspiration. Secondly, we totally have the same porch layout, less the overhang, on our home and the front is just AWFUL. This is a PERFECT idea and for so cheap! I’m most definitely copying it! Thank you so much. :)
I don’t know if i’ll get to it this spring with my classes schedule but definitely by early summer. We plan to paint our front porch spendles, door, and replace the shutters. The previous owner painted them blue. It doesn’t look horrible but I would prefer the classic white. I just need to figure out colors for the door and shutters. We also plan to update the front floorbeds. We just moved in this past Sept so all the outside projects were put on hold and I can’t wait to get my hands dirty.
flowerbeds… not floorbeds… haha
I need a nap!
I agree that the planter boxes were totally inspired – I know deep in my heart that paint can cure anything but I seem to always forget that fact when I’m out shopping for things!! Great job, I can’t wait to go paint something myself. :)
I would have never have thought to paint those planters…they look fantastic!
Brandi H. says
Looks great!! I like your boxes better than the ones you were wanting.
I think our main outdoor focus is going to be in the backyard… a big leafy and shady blank slate. Once we get a few tree taken out to allow sun to reach the ground, we’ll be ready to play in the dirt!
looks nice :) i can’t wait til we have a yard, porch, balcony, something outdoors :)
not sure if you know but ikea just came out with their summer line & they have oodles of planters:
here’s many more goodies:
happy outdoor decorating :)
Thanks for those Ikea links! So much eye candy, so little time!
Yet another set of things on my growing to-do list for our new house. It’s an old white stucco farmhouse that is so blah right now. I’m going to be adding black shutters and I just scored a red bench for the little front porch from JCPenney for $99. I’ll need to add some planters but not til May or so when it finally warms up, so i’ve got time to peruse…
We had an old blue “motel” outdoor table from Target that we painted black to match our new outdoor chairs. Also a super cheap answer to making the seating really usable on our patio.
I love the pillows you went with! So colorful! And the planters look high class in black.
Excellent tip for the drainage! This is a perfect solution–thanks! I love your striped pillows and the punch of color they add. Great job!
I finally tackled my porch pillows, too, (http://bungalowbliss.wordpress.com/2009/01/30/porch-pillows-part-two/) and I will be removing the screens to open up the front porch, adding more landscaping to the front yard and–the biggest project–removing the aluminum siding and getting some color on the clapboard siding. It’s going to be a busy spring… :-)
Those pillows are fantastic Bungalow-bliss! Everyone go check ’em out. So crafty and fabulous!
I’ve been meaning to ask this *forever*–what happened to the option to edit our own comments (I think we had five minutes after posting)? That was so helpful…is there any way to bring it back?
Good question Bungalow-bliss! I must admit that the hubby is in charge of those technical details, but I’ll ask him if he can get that up and running again. There’s a slight chance that he removed it because it was bogging down the server (when things get slow it can cause our site to go down and he goes crazy and does some serious house-cleaning) but I’ll see if we can’t get that feature back for ya! Stay tuned…
I’m so glad that you guys are focusing on curb appeal this Spring. I definitely need some ideas! My husband is itching to work on the yard and exterior soon, so I hope you guys put me in the mood to tackle that very daunting task. :P
Thanks…and I appreciate the shout-out link. You read my mind!
I too would have passed right by those now-gorgeous planters in their former condition–not my look. But now! Well, I may have to see if I can snag them too. Your porch looks really, really good. Very inviting.
What about building a small table? It wouldn’t take much and with all of your experience, I’m sure you could do something simple!
I love the look of the boxes you got – black is a great color! I’ve been thinking about painting our front door black to match our black shutters. We have a brick home and other parts of it are white. I love the contrast between the three colors. And then, of course, green plants!
Great idea! We actually have debated building a small table (or spray painting some old castoff that we find on the side of the road or at a thrift store). Time will tell…
The black planters look just great! What a creative idea adding the little branches. It really gives a unique look. You are doing such a great job with your house!
I love these planters after being painted. I probably would have passed on them in their original state but painted they look great. I will have to keep that in mind.
I am excited to do some planting this spring. I have my eye on a couple of blueberry bushes! But first we have to wait for the rest of our snow to melt…so planting will have to wait at least a couple of months =(
So welcoming! Love the boxwoods and planters!
Love the front porch! Our Home Depot doesn’t even have their spring stuff out yet! Bummer…
Sherry – I like the contrast of the white windows and the darker colored trim on your house. What color is that? It looks like a putty color. I love it!
The columns and trim were already painted that taupe color when we moved in, so we don’t know the exact color… although holding our swatch book up to the column yielded a pretty similar tone: Glidden’s Basic Beige. Hope it helps!
This looks great! Our home is brick and the previous owners were a bit sloppy in some of the work they did. We have smears of white paint on the brick where they tried to paint the door trim and lattice. Do you have any suggestions for getting paint off of brick?
We’d actually head over to any home improvement store and ask the experts there what they recommend. From a power washer to a paint stripper they should be able to offer you a few options. Hope it helps!
Are those mesh chairs? The kind that cost about $20 at Target? I didn’t know the mesh could be painted. I’m starting to think everything can be painted!
Yup, that’s what they are. And they definitely can be painted!
Hello. I love your websites and ideas. My question is do planters always have to come in pairs? Can they stand alone or be mismatched??
Thanks. Keep writing!!
Mismatched and in odd numbers definitely works! We love two unmatched planters on one side of a bench and one or three on the other side. It feels semi-balanced but not too matchy matchy. Hope it helps!