creating curb appeal or “you’re decorating with exactly how many street side finds?”

Update:  Just a huge thanks to Better Homes and Garden for entering my porch in the Outdoor Decor category of their Summer Bash and an even huger (totally a word!) thanks to everyone who voted for us.  We won!!  Thank you all!

BHG Outdoor Decor winner

Consider yourself forewarned, I might just declare each newly finished, or even nearly finished, room “my new favorite space”.  I think when you’re facing a full house renovation you have to celebrate the little successes.  :)

creating curb appeal with some front porch decorating

And clearly it doesn’t even have to be a room inside my house for it to qualify.  To get the street side finds countdown started, I found that old window a few blocks away on an evening dog walk one day.  It’s perfectly chippy and a nice filler for that bare corner without blocking the view to our newly painted hardiboard siding.

Even though there are still a few little things to tick of the front porch to-do list like patching the cracks and painting the new posts (they’re only primed right now), covering the concrete floor with wood decking (maybe eventually) and making some sort of house number (maybe with sea glass?) I decided to skip ahead to the decorating anyway to polish off the process of creating curb appeal.

creating curb appeal with some front porch decorating

The timing worked out perfectly for a little front porch piddling (as my mom would call it) since my mom was actually on her way for a visit.  And you know you can’t visit us without being put to work.  But rest assured I try hard to assign you projects I think you’ll like.  So my mom and I arranged and rearranged furniture and shopped for accessories and plants.  But that stump was picked up along the street shortly after we moved in, Joel texted me a picture of it one day after he saw it on his way to work saying “I saw this and thought you might want it”.  Now that’s love. :)

And when Joel’s mom was here she picked the right pots and placement for the plants, the perfect little project for an avid gardener. You’re welcome moms!!

creating curb appeal with some front porch decorating

I found that metal star behind the plants a while back along a road in down town Key West and snagged that rusty old galvanized bucket in the background from my neighbor. She had drug it out of her crawl space so of course it was meant for my front porch decor. :)

It was perfect to get a new set of eyes on the front porch because I seriously would have never thought to keep the church pew and the rocking chairs all on the porch together.

beadboard on the ceiling

My mom arranged the chairs to face the house and the church pew and it creates the perfect little sitting area. Seriously … I would have never thought.

The space doesn’t actually photograph well from far off since the bright sunny daylight and the shade of the porch is a hard contrast.  But the wall that runs across the front of our property also serves to block a bit of the view from the street.  Which I can’t say I mind at all.  :)

The rocking chairs also serve to add just a bit of separation from the street.  And that large glass bottle that now holds our sea glass was a random Ross find, it was perfect since the tall glass vessel we had the sea glass in broke on the move here from Curacao.

creating curb appeal with some front porch decorating

Note to self: add some trim around the new, chunky patio posts to hide the brackets.

Even though I didn’t end up going with aqua for the front door color I wasn’t willing to give it up entirely.

creating curb appeal with some front porch decorating

A few coats of spray paint on an old chair makes the perfect seat for my new little succulent garden with a few pieces of white coral mixed in.  And that basket to the left of the chair, yep, street find … and that brick was washed up on a beach in Curacao.

I also spray painted part of one of the old patio posts the same aqua color, I used this one (affiliate link), and it makes the perfect pedestal for a new lantern I found on clearance at IKEA when we were in Tampa.  It was marked down to $6 because the box it was in was damaged.  Reason #289 to never skip a quick walk through the clearance section in any store, you just never know.

creating curb appeal

Under the church pew was the perfect spot for Joel’s grandfather’s old tool box and a rusty tractor seat that came from my grandfather’s farm.  I found the blue pillows on the church pew at Ross and they almost perfectly match the new front door color.  My mom and I also picked out some fabric so as soon as the pillow making fairy gets here they’ll be added to the mix.

Who can sew and wants to visit?  There are a few days available.  😉

front porch decorating April 2014

And for no other reason than I wanted to put this enamel bowl that was left in this house when we bought it somewhere a few more plants and an old crate found a home to the left of the front door.

creating curb appeal

Those gardening gloves are my mother-in-law’s, she accidentally left them there, but they make for pretty pictures so we’ll just keep them there ready for use on your next visit, Carole.  :)

Overall I can’t even believe where we started.

creating curb appeal

The new window sizes alone makes such a huge difference.  Or maybe it’s that we had to get rid of the old faux brick to enlarge the windows.  Hmmmm …


With a few random rain storms that have been coming through my progress on finishing up the caulk all around the new siding and trim has been slow, but we’re getting there. All of our family and visitors are gone so that actually freed me up to work on a fun little project for the back part of the guest bedroom.  I posted all about it on instagram.

creating curb appeal

See how many updates we’ve tackled and what a difference in the whole look of the front of our house it has made by checking out the 14 curb appeal ideas I first posted about right when we moved in.

14 curb appeal ideas

If you’re looking for more of the how-tos you can check out how we got rid of the faux brick, about the hardiboard siding installation, how the new windows went in (and more here), about the new exterior trim installation, the day we discovered the porch roof wasn’t attached to the house, replacing the old posts with chunky patio posts, caulking, painting, learning how to use a paint sprayer, adding glass door panels to the front door, picking a front door color with some Key West inspiration, installing beadboard on the ceiling and why I am in love with our new keyless entry system.




  1. Sue says

    Oh, you should totally do a mosaic of your house number with all that sea glass. I can see it now. :) Can’t wait to come down and sit on the front porch! It all looks awesome!

  2. says

    I can sew 😉 I’d be happy to make you some pillows. Looks great. I just remembered I have two of those enamel bowls around my house somewhere. Need to get those out!

    • says

      Ok, come on down, I have the fabric and black out lining ready. :) I kick myself all the time for all of the old enamal things I’ve had over the years that I went ahead and donated before we moved to Curacao. :(

  3. Victor Goonetilleke says

    Tje colours are great and the plants.. it makes one feel very relaxed and at home.
    wish I had a way to send you one from our tropial verandah!

  4. Gina says

    That looks great! I’m not great at sewing but I have made a few pillow covers before….when can I come?

  5. Patricia says

    Love, love everything you do Karah ! But I worry every time I see an exterior door with hinges placed on the outside – anyone with a hammer & a screwdriver can enter your home when you aren’t there! Maybe you don’t have room for the door to open to the inside?

    • says

      Thank you so much, Patricia!! The door opening out is a flood area thing, so flooding water can’t push the door open in the unfortunately event anything like that would happen. Luckily they make locking locking hinges specifically for this reason. But funny how many people notice that, we honestly didn’t until a reader pointed in out when we first started posting about the front porch. :)

  6. says

    Wow and Wow!…the porch looks magnificent!….i can just imagine the looks you get from the people passing by admiring your beautiful porch…love everything about it…the church pew is perfect!…love all of the treasures that make the porch so very special….you must feel such a great feeling of accomplishment when you walk up to the house … Happy Easter Karah!

  7. says

    Karah- I LOVE your updated porch! I have been wanting a church pew for mine- I love that u just kept it original.That actually looks great! & all the little details u placed under it to display.

    I want shutters like that! They are Gorgeous! Where did u find them?

  8. JaneEllen says

    Do you ever just have fun or be lazy or do you always work. Lots of great progress. Love wall with gate in front. Looking fantastic. Have fun once in awhile.

    • says

      Hahaha, we did nothing but have fun with some friends yesterday, absolutely zero progress was made. :) Thanks for the reminder, tho, it’s only worth the effort if you take the time to enjoy it as well.

  9. mlskidmore says

    BEAUTIFUL! What a welcoming porch! Congrats on being on the BHG challenge! Life to the full! Melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle

    • says

      Hi Penny! All the info on the shutters will be coming to the blog soon. Unfortunately I haven’t posted about them yet, but I did make them and would consider them a pretty easy DIY!


Let me know what you think!