before & after / our front porch

After long last, I remembered that I had a blog and decided to post something! ;)

Kidding! It's been SUCH a busy summer, and blogging fell to the wayside because it's summer, after all. That's not to say Tim and I haven't been busy little bees, working away at home, because we absolutely have - and there's some fun before & afters to show for it.

My favorite project so far this summer has to be the front porch. Since we moved in three years ago, we've never given any love to the space - at most plopping two adirondack chairs down from our renting days, just so it wasn't bare. The paint was chipped, the decor was non-existent, and it was in a really sad state. It was all the same drabby gray/blue tone that didn't complement the house at all, not to mention, the landscaping was overgrown needed some TLC.

colorwhirl before & after | front porch

Now, the house feels much lighter and brighter. The crisp white paint contrasts nicely against the navy banister, stairs, and deck, tying in the navy shutters. The gray edging stones define the beds and contain the scaled back, lighter landscaping. We removed the heavy bushes on either side of the stairwell, opening up the porch entry. Evil, prickly bushes were removed from the front left bed (they were the WORST) and were replaced with lush hosta plants; my current obsession, and some cheerful yellow marigolds. The mature azalea bushes (that bloom in bright pink and purple) have gone dormant for the summer, but will look so healthy and happy as the hostas grow to fill in the space. We planted an arborvitae (he goes by Artie) to the right of the stairwell to bring some height to the right bed, but we're not sure he's in the right spot - he may get too big for the space he's in. We trimmed up our huge pine tree to a healthy height, opening up our yard even more, though now we've sacrificed some valued privacy in our back yard... a new project for us to tackle :)

For now, the landscaping is under control and we're on weed/clover removal duty for the remainder of the summer. I love how open our house looks now... like a warm welcome as opposed to a closed off, claustrophobic space.

colorwhirl before & after | front porch
colorwhirl before & after | front porch

I scraped and sanded the entire porch floor before painting it with a special porch and patio paint that has a sandpaper texture to it. It went down like a dream and instantly transformed the shoddy, splintered wood. It's not perfect, but it's infinitely better than before! I also painted the banister with navy paint leftover from the previous owners, and next on my list is touching up the white portion of the banister. Eventually we'll need to replace a few boards underneath the porch swing, but that will likely happen in the fall, if not next year.

After dreaming about having a porch swing for years, my wish finally came true thanks to my handy husband and Ana White. If you haven't checked out her site, you MUST - it's awesome. We used these plans as a guide but had to customize them to fit the width of our porch. I made a swing cushion out of several different types of foam cut down to size, and wrapped it in a shower curtain from Target. I'm in LOVE. The swing is extra deep so that even Tim can curl up and take a nap on the swing, which says a lot... most swings can't accommodate a 6'+ man.

colorwhirl before & after | front porch
colorwhirl before & after | front porch

Our porch is so much better than I originally envisioned - see my original inspiration here. The blues are calming and serene, the white is refreshing and airy, and the neutral tones and textures feel homey. The overall look and feel are an extension of our home, which I love. It's my favorite spot to relax once the sun goes down, listening to music, sipping a beer. Come fall, it's going to be the perfect spot to watch the leaves fall, curled up in a blanket... I can't wait.

This space makes me happier than I could have imagined, which makes the dozens of hours spent sanding, scraping, weeding, and mulching so worth it, not to mention the two-a-day trips to Lowes where I befriended many employees.

Next up: finish up the back yard (until next summer) so that we can finally relax in our very own great outdoors. Do you have any summer projects you've completed, or have yet to tackle? Tell me I'm not the only one that visits Lowes at least 4 times per weekend!