Why is it whenever we have people coming to stay in our homes, we suddenly have the desire to take on projects that we have put off for a long time? And I’m not simply talking cleaning the bathmat or changing the shower curtain liner; no, I’m talking about BIG Projects…. like…?
Got your attention, right?! Well, read on and see what crazy project my hubby and I decided to tackle two weeks before family and friends descend on our house to help us celebrate our daughter’s wedding coming up later this month.
So you drive down your driveway past your front yard every day, sometimes even multiple times a day. You walk past your front yard every day when you take your dog (or yourself) for a walk. Why then suddenly one day when you know OTHER people will be coming up and down your driveway and sidewalk, do you look at your yard and say to yourself, “Seriously, this is the best we can do for a first impression?” “The best curb appeal we can muster?” “The best welcome we can give?”
Let me give you a very brief description of our front yard before we had this sudden revelation. We live in Southern California and when we bought this house not quite two years ago, we inherited five palm trees, two other trees that I can’ even tell you the name of (ask me the name of a piece of furniture and I’m good…plant names, not so much!), several rosebushes, several succulent bushes, and a couple of flowering bushes that again, I can’t name. This my friends, was all in the front yard. The nice folks that we bought the house from definitely had green thumbs, my thumbs are brown. On top of this, California has been in a severe drought until just a short time ago so watering was very limited to almost nonexistent. That situation is slightly better now but you still use water conscientiously.
We have big future plans for our front yard. We want to remove all the lawn and put a desert scape in. However, this is outside the budget for this year so we had to decide what affordable changes we could make that would be more water friendly and make the front yard more appealing. With all the trees, you couldn’t really see the front of the house. Several of the bushes were dying from lack of water, and unfortunately we had sort of let the parking strip go and it was slowly being overrun by some sort of vine-like weed. We also have this cute little patio right outside our front door that has been sitting there empty. It was crying out to be furnished and used! (I swear it told me that every time I walked by!)
So, this was my starting point. I thought if I could make the entry to the house more inviting that was certainly a good beginning! Off to the Home Depot we went in search of some cute furniture for this little front porch area. I must say, I found the two cutest wicker chairs that were the perfect color and style.
In order to save some money, I decided to make my own cushions (more on that later) and I had a little glass-top outdoor table that would work perfectly between them after…come on…say it with me…I painted it!
This little front patio is made of pavers that were badly faded from the sun. Remedy? Paint of course! We had some cement stain left over from the back patio makeover from last summer. So, off I went staining the pavers!
Those changes looked so good but now the front stoop looked old and washed out…. you know what’s next! I painted it a nice charcoal gray to tie in nicely with lighter gray house and newly stained red pavers.
Okay, so you know the drill. Once I made those changes, I noticed how dull the mailbox looked so I took it down and gave it a fresh coat of spray paint. Front porch light that was probably original to the house needed updating. Back to the Home Depot and for $22 we picked out a nice new light for my handy hubby to put up. Finally, I updated my house numbers to match the black mailbox and front porch light and then added a big vase, which I painted to tie in with the chairs.
One last little addition to this area is a fence that we put on the border of the patio area to actually give it more of a front-porch feel. Very cute and very affordable. Total cost was around $25 for the fence. Unfortunately, they only had black and we didn’t like that look so guess what?! Yep, out came the white spray paint! Always, always stock up on spray paint. You can do so very much with it!
As with most projects, once you get started, you can’t seem to stop! In the next blog, I will tell where we went next with this front yard makeover so be sure and come back so you don’t miss it!
Now, what will you do next to love where you live?