Saturday, September 17, 2011

Porch appeal

I know I said I'd return with a looky looky at our nearly completed fence, but the priorities have changed for now. Rather than working on the fence the past couple of weeks, Ben has been assisting our carpenter with the trim work in the upstairs renovation. Together they've been able to get a good deal of it done which means we can start thinking about soon (like in a few months) closing out those open permits and beginning the Phase 2 demolition - master bedroom, family room & laundry room.

In his spare time, which hasn't been much, Ben put the finishing trim on the fence but not yet the stone. I've been hitting up the paint desks at Lowe's & Home Depot trying to make sense of the exterior stain selection. It's daunting - let me tell you. Those little chips they display look nothing like what the stain actually is. On top of that there are so many choices - solid, semi-transparent or toner. We were convinced we'd do a semi-transparent for a saturated color but still wood grain look, but now after sampling a nearly a dozen or so & not really diggin' any of them, we're reconsidering toner. We did upgrade to a better quality wood, so why not show it off a bit! Not to mention that we need to make sure this color we works with all of our other finishes - the stone for the columns, the flagstone we are considering for our future patio, our existing brick, possible future house paint colors & our new sod. It's overwhelming when there are still so many unknowns.

Now let me get to the topic I had intended to post about. Our new found curb appeal. Did you realize that Labor Day weekend marked our 1 year anniversary in this house? That's right - we've officially been living in the South for 1 whole year, y'all! While I do hope to one day write a reflection on what we've experienced & learned this past year, I need to give that one some thought first. Obviously these days I'm finding fewer and fewer moments to devote to this poor little blog, but that's an important one that I want to give my whole attention to. In the mean time, let me share with you the curb appeal that it only took us one whole year to create! (Seriously - attention had to be given to the inside before the outside.)

Along with our newly green yard, we've gotten our landscaping under control. Gone are the nasty overgrown azaleas from the front and our pair of camellia trees have been trimmed back a bit. Obviously our pecan trees have still not been touched...nor have the stickers been taken out of our new upstairs windows!

I know it doesn't look like anything special, but you have to admit it has come a long way from what it once was. I no longer feel like we are living in the cob-web covered haunted house on the corner!

Really from a distance the changes to the green part of the year don't look very different, but if you could have seen it all up close, you'd know it wasn't good.

Now how about a closer look? Without spending much over $50, I worked some porch magic.

It's still not where I want it to eventually be, but it's a good start - at least I think. Let me walk you through some of the details.

If you've been around here for a while, you may recall this $5 Craigslist purchase once looking like this.

Isn't it amazing what a little creativity & paint can do?

Then there is this trio.

The retro metal chairs belonged to my Ma & Pa. I remember bouncing on them in their sun porch way back when I was a little girl. They were rusty white when we inherited them, but after some sanding and spray paint, they look brand spankin' new! The little black and white table in the middle was also Ma's. It's a ballot box. Would you have ever guessed? See that slot on the top? That's where you cast your vote. Ma was a jury commissioner extraordinaire for many years so she must have acquired it during that time. When I inherited it, the top was covered in wood grain contact paper. Talk about retro! The pillows are a little something I whipped up with some Sunbrella fabric I found for cheap online. I will never get enough of classic black and white stripes.

Then there was this project. I loved me some paint chips back in college, but long gone are those days. The Ikea table though is a keeper.

Can you spot it now?

The wood/white combo is another current fave of mine. In fact we we are hoping to tie it into the other side of the porch with a variation on this as a coffee table sometime in the near future. Ben has his eye on the perfect pallet for me at work. Now we're just waiting until it becomes available.


And let's not forget about my 'late night jazz up your boring door mat' project.

Spray paint - I can't live without it people. With all my spraying, you probably think I must be high on fumes by now! ;)

The old porch swing also got a new coat of paint - but not the spray kind.

Top the whole thing off with a couple of Pottery Barn outdoor faux fiber pillows, some Homegoods blue ceramic planters & my mildly artistic green thumb & that's how our house got some long awaited curb appeal!

*Since the writing of this post there have been some additions - I'll try to remember to photograph & share them soon.

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