This post is brought to you by Lowe’s Home Improvement.
I love a good front porch makeover! It’s one of those projects where small changes can make a big impact, and make any house look like it’s loved and up-to-date.
Way back in the day (2007), when we lived in a rental house in New York, I did my first porch makeover. It made such a difference. Instead of being bummed out as I drove up to the house, I grinned! I’ve been a big believer in making your front door a happy place ever since.
In this particular instance, we replaced the front door, which can be expensive. But if you can keep your current door, a Front Porch Makeover can actually be a bargain project and can be tackled over a weekend.
If you’re thinking about your own Front Porch Makeover, the key elements are:
1) A fresh coat of paint on the door. A fun new color is ideal! You’ll only need a quart of paint, so this isn’t a big expense.
2) A new light fixture. There are great looking options in every price range. My first porch makeover included a light that was $30.
3) Fresh pots and plants. If you’re willing to DIY, you can create something awesome for a bargain.
4) Updated house numbers. There’s something about shiny, new house numbers that communicate this house is loved and cared for.
5) An extra detail with a pop of color. It could be a red mailbox, or a blue chair, or a yellow bird feeder. Something pretty that brings an out-of-the-ordinary feel to your entry.
I’m telling you, for less than $150, you can give your house a facelift that will make a huge difference in how your feel about your residence.
I’d love to tell you all about the decisions I made on our front porch — the door, the light, the chair. All of it. It was such a fun project!
First, let’s talk about the door. You may remember, that we bought this home without seeing it in person. In fact, the first time I saw this house in real life was the night we arrived from France and moved in. I had seen it in photos, and I loved the house even more in real life, but my first thought as we walked through the door: This door doesn’t make sense with this house, we’ll need to replace it, hopefully soon.
So basically, updating the front door was the very first thing I wanted to do when we moved in. And it took us a full year to get around to it!
I wanted something that looked simple, clean and modern and fit with the architecture of the home. I did a bunch of research and found a company that made true mid-century modern doors, but the doors were crazy expensive! Way out of our budget. So I kept hunting. Eventually, I happened upon a line of doors called Pulse by Therma-Tru. Clean lines, and simple designs at realistic prices. We special ordered ours from the Lowe’s door department and it arrived about 3 weeks later.
I stood outside with my laptop and looked at the door options on the Therma-Tru website, then looked up at the real porch and figured out what I liked best. I knew we wanted to keep the left sidelight, and I knew the handleset should be on the right, and knowing those two things helped me narrow the options down.
After the door was chosen, I picked out a modern handleset, called Seattle by Baldwin. Again, this was a special order from Lowe’s. I researched online, found the handleset I wanted, then went in store to order the exact thing. It was helpful to order in store, because there were a bunch of construction questions that affected the order that I didn’t know how to answer — I’m afraid if I had tried to order something online, I would have chosen the wrong type.
The door arrived unpainted and I spent a good chunk of time thinking about color. When I think about the future of this house, I picture the exterior in a charcoal gray with a shiny red or yellow door. But it may be awhile till we paint the exterior. It’s a big commitment. So for now, I needed to work with the colors that are currently on the house — a red-brown and a dark grey-brown. I ended up choosing Valspar City Storm. And I love it!
Next, I updated the light fixture. A shiny new light fixture makes a huge difference. Our old one looked rusty and cobwebby even when it wasn’t. I chose a new one from a company called Kichler. It’s so handsome! I love the straight lines.
We hired out the door installation, but the smaller projects — the new light and doorbell and house numbers — we could install ourselves.
Once the more permanent details were in place, I turned my attention to seating. I really wanted a chair from the old school Homecrest line. They are vintage metal outdoor furniture in several shapes, and they look amazing with mid-century architecture. I stalked Craig’s List every day till I found just the right one.
Eventually, a set showed up in Santa Cruz — about an hour and a half away. The set included a highback chair (pictured here), and two smaller chairs with a table. (I’m saving the two chairs + table for another spot.) The highback chair had some rust damage, so we restored it. It wasn’t hard to do, it just took some time and muscle — I’ll create a restoration how-to tutorial for a future post. But the chair looks like new now!
The next project was making concrete planters. A super fun, easy project. Really inexpensive and really satisfying. I’m planning to include the DIY in my book. Very excited about it!
I feel like I’ve bought a million succulents for the house at this point, but they do so well in Oakland’s climate. I can’t help myself! I found these beauties in Lowe’s garden department.
The last details I picked up were the wooden doormat, plus a pillow and citronella candles I found at Marshall’s.
Oh man. The makeover has added such happiness to the entry! I love walking up to the front porch, and I love sitting in the chair and watching the birds. I knew the makeover would make a big difference, but I think it surprised me how BIG the difference actually is.
Have you ever taken on a Front Porch Makeover? I’d love to hear your stories!
P.S. — Find more posts about The Treehouse. Also, here are a few “before” photos so you can see the difference: