Feeling Nostalgic?…One of our very first Lunchbox Season Posts featured a little “refresh” of our front porch, in which I painted the floors and got a new door mat! Gosh, I loved that doormat!
Several coats of peeled-off paint and several doormats later, our porch started looking pretty dowdy! The paint on the furniture and planters was grey. The cloth shower curtain I had knotted over the ottoman had clawmarks and tears. And, I’d forgotten all about keeping plants out there to make breathing easier.
Adding to the general disarray, over the summer, the city removed the large Norway Maple from the front of our house. All of the sudden, the porch became an afternoon tanning bed! Seriously, just a day after our beloved tree was gone, the candles we’d had in the porch lanterns for more than 7 years MELTED! Not to mention the Cantankerous Coot Across the Way [“C-caw!”] who took the city tree removal, which he shamed us for, as an invitation to come over and give me free advice on just about everything…”You know, now might be the time to replace that old retaining wall!” Okay, buddy, good fences make good neighbours and all, but we ain’t got that kind a dough.
Now, I tend to use the front porch as an outdoor office for at least 9 months out of the year. So, the mess, the sunlight, and the new exposure to the neighbourhood “C-caw!” wasn’t good for gettting any work done! So, I decided it was time to organize a little Front Porch Makeover. We may not have the budget to replace that front retaining wall, but I have been saving my toonies for a porch update for the past couple of years. Still, I needed to keep everything as budget-friendly as possible. So, I scouted the best deals and DIYs [Not one purchase over $90!] And, over the course of a few afternoons…
I took our porch from this:
HOW DID I DO IT? [P.S. There’s a BUYING GUIDE below!]
WHAT I ADDED:
A solar roller shade, a super comfy outdoor carpet, a new set of curtains for the entry-side of the porch, a cheerful orange bench for beside the entry, a doormat, two festive cat-pillows, three turqouise planting cups, dollar store votives, and several plants that can be taken inside over the winter.
WHAT I DIY’D:
I cleaned everything with vinegar and water. I laundered our turquoise pillows and the one set of drapes that was still in decent condition [these moved from beside the entry to the far end of the porch]. I re-spray-painted our wicker chairs, large planter pots, and wire plant stands. And, I re-covered our existing ottoman by simply layering two pieces cut from a 4×12 cotton drop cloth over-top!
VLOG! VLOG! Here’s a little video for you:
BEST BUY: The Coolaroo Roller Shade I added to the seating area. I found the shade online at Lowes, and realized, by lucky chance, that if I changed my home store online from my local one to the one on the other side of town, I could order the shade at a highly discounted price. So, that I did. I got it for $59, which is basically highway robbery for a blind of this size. [We needed a 10 x 8 ft shade to span the seating area and to go all the way down to the floor!] To top that off, I ordered some other things for the house so that I could maxize a Friends and Family promotion of 10% off $100 or more purchased online for in-store pickup or +flat-rate truck delivery. My husband helped me install the blind in about 20 minutes! And it’s perfect! This blind blocks the sunlight and cools both the porch and the front rooms of the house by several degrees in the afternoon. It provides a ton of privacy! [Goodbye, “Ccaw!”] My work-life balance is restored!
MOST VIBRANT ADDITIONS!
MOST VIBRANT: Well, this is a tie between our cute new orange wire bench and the cat cushions we found at Ikea! P.S. The cat cushions are not “outdoor” rated. So, we store them in our ottoman when not in use.
MOST ZEN FIND!
MOST ZEN FIND: I am insanely happy with the three large plants we purchased from our round-the-corner flower shop and secret-garden centre, East of Eliza. The green Prayer Plant, the red-streaked Caladium, and the orangey bright Croton [pictured by the bench above] all make me incredibly happy! I can’t decide which one I like the most. And, I feel like I’m breathing better already!
BEST DISCOVERY: The cozy night-time vibe! The shade and the votives make for an insanely festive place to work, dine, and play! I’m planning on having a little wine-and-cheese here with some of my clients, and then with my girlfriends, and then, and then…
So, what do you think? Isn’t it about time you made over your work-space or play-space or work-play-space? Here are all of our sources!
RUG: Canadian Tire: Canvas Spartina Flatweave Outdoor Rug, 5×8 $89.99, ROLLER SHADE: Lowes: Coolaroo 120×96-in Pebble Cordless Sun Shade $59* [*Special Price at Etobicoke North Store with additional – 10% off Friends and Family online purchase of multiple items for store pickup. Note, this product came with the updated cordless system with detachable crank handle, not the outdated chain assembly in the product description], BENCH: Ikea: Västerön $39.99, CURTAINS: Ikea: Lenda Curtains with Tie back $29.99 pair [hemmed with and iron and fusible tape, already on hand], COVERING FOR OTTOMAN: Canadian Tire: 4×12 Non-Laminated Drop Cloth $11.99 [item not listed online, cut in two], LARGE PLANTS: East of Eliza: Croton, Prayer Plant, & Caladium $9.99-$19.99 [additional 20-50% end-of-season discount, purchased 3, in large planters and on plant stand], DOORMAT: Ikea: Oplev $9.99, SMALL PLANTS: Home Depot: Echevaria, Jade, & Heart-Leaf Philodendron $2.50-8.95 [purchased 3, in small turquoise planters], SPRAY PAINT: Canadian Tire: Rustoleum Painter’s Touch 2x Gloss $7.99 [purchased 3 to cover 2 wicker chairs, 4 large planters and 2 plant stands], CAT CUSHIONS: Ikea: Mattram, $6.99 [purchased 2], SMALL TURQUOISE PLANT POTS: Ikea: Papaja, $2.49 [purchased 3], FLAMELESS VOTIVES: Dollarama, $2 for 2 [purchased 2 packs], VOTIVE HOLDERS: Dollarama: $1.25 [purchased 3], WHAT WE’VE HAD FOR 7+ YEARS: Coat Rack with Mirror [Custom], Flower Cushion and Striped Mat [Moss], Wicker Chairs [Ikea], Turquoise Cushions [Home Depot], 1 Set Curtains [Ikea], Ottoman with Storage [Ikea], Plant Stands [Winners], Lanterns [Ikea], Candles [Ikea], Large Planters [Home Sense], 2-Drawer Side-Table [Crayons], Turquoise Basket [Zellers], Potted White Geranium [Backyard/Indoors in Winter], + 1 Half-Dead Fern [Spring Purchase/Corner Store]