Evolution of a Front Porch
Last week, I showed you all our latest (and final!) front porch setup. While I am so completely thrilled and content with how it looks now, I mentioned that it was practically comical the number of “looks” our front porch has had over the 2+ years we have lived here. I wish I could say that the porch decor merry-go-round was intentional and all in an attempt to keep up with the seasons. However, at the heart of it, I think I just never really found a setup I truly loved (until recently). As I’ve been (slowly) doing with each and every space in our home, I’ve been going back to the beginning and chronicling everything – all the projects and progress and looks – in one big post. Here, not only does it show the evolution of my porch, my style (and my photography and styling skills!), but it also makes for a tidy one-stop shop for all things porch-related! Let’s get to it! Like usual, all the links to all the projects are down below!
Here’s our front porch pretty close after move-in day. Our pots (bought overseas in Okinawa) were out of boxes and still empty, and our red garden bench was recently re-finished.
Our garden beds were a hot mess. For some reason, our housing agency doesn’t keep up with the landscaping, so our garden had been completely over-grow and were un-kept. I spent DAYS digging everything out (including a fresh garden bed along the front porch) so we could start from scratch!
I did some minimal research (lesson learned) and brought home a whole car load of plants and shrubs for our garden. Look at my little Henry – just 20 months old!
Just about two months after moving in, we had fresh garden beds full of living plants and a porch decorated with colorful outside accessories! I proclaimed the front yard and porch done! Ha!
Soon after, we cycled into Fall, the Christmas, then Valentine’s Day…and I did my best to keep up with seasonal accessories, wreaths, and plants that always eventually died. Looking back now, I realize I wasn’t playing to my strengths. Wreaths are not my thing, styling takes me forever, and I do not have a green thumb. And so things continued to change because nothing felt quite right.
With the arrival of our next summer, I was eager to get our porch into shape, and gave it a makeover with a new outdoor “rug,” a two-tone star, and some fresh flowers. I absolutely LOVED the whimsical yet patriotic and very summery feel to this porch…
But when summer turned to Fall, I had such a difficult time transitioning all the reds and blues into something that would work for the colder months. Then inspiration struck. I put away the red bench and started from scratch. I sawed an old table we had in half and spray painted two old chairs my neighbor had given me. A few lumbar pillows and neutral accessories later, and I had one of my all-time favorite porch looks ever!
All this time, our turquoise poly-wood chairs were out in the lawn. These suckers are super comfy and were super expensive…and yet we never sat in them because they were way out in the grass. Then this past summer, I did the great purge of our house. I evaluated everything we owned and only kept the things I truly loved and were good quality. I determined we didn’t need so much front porch/yard furniture. And so, the red bench and the black table/chairs set were sold off (which I still partially regret. The black set, not the red bench). And up came the turquoise chairs to the porch. After a bit of tweaking, I’ve landed on our final look. It’s simple, it’s neutral enough (for southern coastal living at least!) and nothing feels unnecessary or over done.
I wanted to give one final little lesson learned with our garden. I definitely should have done more research! I bought dwarf boxwoods, which I thought were the cutest little things ever in the store. And while they work well for our climate and the deer don’t eat them…they are the most slow growing things ever! When you only live in a home for 3 years, fast-growing plants are important. They’ve done well (we’ve only lost one to root rot of the 8 originals), and there is some growth, it will takes years (long after we’re gone) for these bushes to fill in.
My other lesson learned: “know when to fold ’em.” After years of waisting time and money trying to keep the dear from eating my plants, this is the first year I didn’t plant anything new. I’m focusing on keeping my boxwood bushes alive and my potted plants watered…and that’s good enough for me!
See? Like I said…practically comical. And I didn’t even include every wreath and holiday look we’ve had over the last 2 years, ha! However, if you’re interested in the details for any of the images or projects you see, you can find all the details here:
Like I said, with 6-9 months left, I’m calling our porch done – for real this time! No more futzing and re-arranging…we’re just gonna enjoy what we’ve got: beautiful weather, great neighbors, and super comfy chairs to enjoy both!
So what do you think? Which “look” is your favorite? Do you change your porches out as much as I have mine?
Halloween costumes and crafts are in full swing. Hope to pop in later this week with some really exciting news!