Fall time curb appeal

I know that I’m probably in the minority here, but I hate decorating for the holidays. I know…Come at me with your pitchforks and torches. But here’s my reasoning: I work really hard to get the decor of our house juuuuuuuuust right for us the rest of the year, so the idea of rearranging (and STORING extra) things for each holiday just doesn’t seem like a productive use of my time and/or money.

That SAID though…Our front “porch” is an entirely different story. I adore me some seasonal wreaths, Christmas lights, door mats, planters and garden flags.

So, with fall finally upon us, John and I set out to revamp our front stoop with a little autumn cheer. But first, the “before.” (and yes, you can clearly see my frumpy, “comfy clothes” donned self in the storm door reflection)

I am still so in love with our DIYed burlap wrapped floral wreath, but bright sunny flowers are giving way to crisp, colorful leaves so it was time to stow her away until next year. The other issue was our door mat. LOVED the cute bicycle motif, but as with most printed mats, the image faded and it faded FAST. ::grumblegrumble::

With the need in mind to switch things out, I decided to take things a step further. You see, we have a neighbor down the way whose front stoop I have always admired. Good colors, good textures and just all around super welcoming. Luckily for us, this person’s facade is an exact replica of ours (we live in the same townhouse complex), so I could copy the look pretty much down to the potted mums on the porch. I could, but I didn’t. We had to have SOME individualism. Here’s what we decided to take from our inspirational neighbor:

  • Okay, yes, we copied the potted mums, but we went a different route with our color scheme
  • A new front door mat – Although we chose to go with a non-printed motif unlike our neighbor for longevity’s sake
  • A new fall wreath, this one DIYed in the same method used for our spring/summer ditty
  • A brand new, shiny, pristine brass kick plate – The biggest inspiration garnered from the neighbor

For part 1 of this Saturday curb appeal transformation, I began with the plants. We picked up two yellow mums and two terracotta pots. Now, our neighbor went with bright yellow pots and red mums. I had every intention of doing exactly that, but didn’t really feel like breaking out the yellow spray paint when it came down to “go” time. So I went with these dark brown natural terracotta pots, which I didn’t even know existed. I figured the yellow mums would look nice and fall-like against the brown pots.

My method? I laid out a plastic bag beneath the work area (so I don’t litter our rear driveway beneath the back deck with dirt), and then plopped the pot and plant on top. I scooped a bit of potting soil that I already had on hand into the bottom of the pot, and then removed the mum from its temporary plastic pot for permanent planting in the new terracotta version. A couple sprinkles of filler potting soil around the edges and a little tamping in place, and we were done. I had only to repeat the process with the second mum and pot before I hauled those bad boys out to the front porch.

The second switcharoo in Part 1 was the door mat. We picked this plain Jane version up at Lowe’s for $10. I like that the “design” of the mat (i.e. the crisscrossing black lines) are actually plastic, so there’s no fear of that fading with time. I was okay with the simple look since I was more interested in the flowers and the wreath acting as shining stars.

Part 1 complete!

Now for the door…Again, I decided to recreate our warm weather burlap wrapped floral wreath in a more fall-appropriate guise. It’s a REALLY simple process and cheap as can be. I think my final tally ran about $7 for the new straw wreath form and felt (I already had the burlap and staples on hand). For full details on the process, click here (the tutorial was published over on Burlap+Blue yesterday!).

With the wreath ready for hanging, it was on to the very last phase of this redo – The kick plate. I had never ever in a million years considered kick plates. I didn’t even know what they were, until last season walking with our dog by this neighbor’s door and getting distracted by a shiny piece of glittery metal at the bottom of their front door. “What is thaaaaaat…?” I remember thinking to myself, as the dog ran smack into my suddenly still legs mid-walk. I did my research and figured out that it was a decorative metal kick plate – I knew that I just had to have one.

It took a little elbow grease (and some power tools), but that piece of metal suddenly took our curb appeal from a weak shrug and “ehh” to a wide-eyed “woaaaa” – At least that’s how I react every time I pull up to our house post-project. I think the whole look is just a little more pulled together and refined.

And since there’s nothing like a good ole fashioned “Before and After”….

And that, my friends, is my kind of seasonal/holiday decorating. Have you done any major transforming of the home since fall officially commenced? Feel free to share links!

P.S. Wednesday’s giveaway is still going strong!! Click here for a chance to win one of my brand new fine art prints.

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