Tag Archives: front porch

Front Yard Pinspiration

People.  Are we all suffering from Spring fever?

I know I AM, + in fact, just a few days ago,

I went online shopping for something to hang on our front door.

This is what I want, from this etsy shop:

basket-with-pink-geraniums

OMiGosh, though.  It’s still only February,

+ yet, I am beyond ready to get outside + plant something!

It’s past time for us to ramp up our houses’s curb appeal!

Right now it’s so plain Jane + incomplete,

+ I fear that the neighbors are grumbling,

“When will they ever finish that house?”

porch

It may be a bit of a blank slate right now,

but here’s how the front of our house looked on the realtor listing:

dutch-colonial-before-with-shrubs

I think we can all agree that those overgrown shrubs had to go,

as did the errant enclosed front porch:

dutch-colonial-front-porch-midway-gone

dutch-colonial-front-porch-almost-gone

porch

But I just can’t come up with a design!  The humanity!

I swear, it’s got to be that off-center porch that’s throwing me off.

How on earth am I going to be able to tie each side together?

Then this happened.

A beautiful front yard of a house with a porch on one side:

front-yard-landscape

I’m sorry — I found this on Pinterest but didn’t get the source.

Thank goodness for Pinterest, is all I can say.

I don’t know how we would have managed our re-do without it.

So.  What makes my new favorite front yard so swoon-worthy?

 Let’s break it down:

First up, they’ve added a bit of symmetry

by flanking the front steps with a pair*of my absolute faves,

lollipop shrubs (as they say in the UK), a.k.a. topiaries*.

*Pairs = good.  *Topiaries = good

front-yard-landscape

Notice how they’ve tied everything together

by repeating the same plants from one side to the other.

And who doesn’t love that sweeping curve* of the edges of the beds?

*Curves = good.

+ + + + +

Now, then.  All I have to do is decide what plants to buy,

get that porch all tricked out,

 see about installing a brick sidewalk,

+ maybe get 3 window boxes for our bay!

Stay tuned!


My Yuletide Powder Room!

I love Christmas!

It makes me so happy to give my homes their Christmas makeovers!

Since this year, we’re in our new house,

it’s like FUN, times 100!

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So far I’ve tackled our front porch.

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What’s going on inside the house, you ask?

Sadly, not too much, really — until just a few days ago.

This year, I started with our powder room. 

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HA!  Doesn’t everyone start with the bathrooms + branch out from there?

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Anyway, back to said powder room —

its everyday “look” features both this darling vintage shelf, from etsy . . .

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. . . + this sweet vintage photo (circa mid 50’s)

of a 3 or 4-year-old ME,

with our pet Beagle, Scamp.

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I know!

ADORABLE!

So.  Check this out:

DSC08730

It’s an ornament that I made,

using an old photo (circa early 60’s) of my sister, Lisa.

OMiGosh, look at the way she was gazing adoringly at Santa!

Priceless!

I liked it so much that I made another one to send to her.

I think I also gave one to my other sister, Kathy.

I CRS (Can’t Remember Stuff), so I’ll ask her later today.

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So, anyway.

While I was already traveling down Christmas Memory Lane . . .

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. . . I included this pretty glass bell ornament in my vignette.

It reminds me of one that our mom had.

Group hug.

Finally, those plaid circles have a bit of a back story, too.

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They’re displayed in a trio of vintage metal embroidery hoops

that I’ve saved for a few years.

I bought the plaid flannel a few weeks ago.

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 Here’s one, sewn as a rustic Christmas pillows for my biz,

RedBird Vintage Home.

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YAY!  Bells!

Aaaannnnd SO.

Stay tuned for more Christmas photos,

just as soon as I complete a few more vignettes!


Christmas On The Porch

This is our first Christmas in the Dutch colonial,

+ it has me wildly enthusiastic about decking our halls!

Isn’t there something about a new house + holidays

that makes us want to just go nuts!?

Anyway, I started on our incomplete front porch,

which, sadly, is still awaiting its rails + steps:

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Does my display look goofy on the unfinished porch?

I hope not.

Let’s look at everything up close, shall we?

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I bought that old, gray bench in an antiques store in Galena, Illinois.

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I bought the old red mailbox this past summer

from Hammar’s This + That, here in town.

My plan was to store my gardening supplies inside it.

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The large number cards are from

the Scout Flea Market in Yorkville, Illinois.

416 is our street address.

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The 2 small urns were less than $20 each at Lowe’s.

Don’t you love pairs of things in the garden?  I do!

I bought those faux evergreen trees at IKEA last year.

DSC08651

I couldn’t resist buying that new-but-looks-old watering can

at my favorite garden center, Blumen Gardens in Sycamore, Illinois.

Ouch!  That thing is heavy when full of water,

but at least it looks good!

DSC08647

My sled was a gift from my friend, Alan.

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Don’t you love those primitive red mittens?

I bought those a long time ago

at a wholesale market in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Anyway, I think that’s going to be it for the outside.

Slowly but surely, I’m adding a bit of Christmas inside the house.

It’s hard, though, because I’m super busy

with my RedBird biz this month.

plaid umbrella flyer

I am participating in my friend, Amy’s, Plaid Umbrella Pop-Up Store

in the next 3 weekends in December.

If you’re from the Chicago area, I highly recommend this show.

Fantastic displays, awesome + affordable merch, nice people!

Etc.

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DSC08659


Front Porch Progress

Good things come to those who wait, no?

Well, that’s always a plus when you’re me,

because it seems like I’ve been waiting FOREVER

for this bad enclosed front porch to go away:

P1020767(1)

IMG_1334(1)

So close! It’s almost gone here!

I have a vision, of course, thanks to our beloved internet.

(What DID we do, back in the olden days

before the bozoputer, one wonders?)

Anyway, this is what I have in my head, Dutch-colonial-front-porch-wise:

Houzz.com

Houzz.com

Don’t you love it?  So charming + inviting!

Anyway, last week, the guys finally removed our naughty porch enclosure.

Drum roll!

Here ’tis now!

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Much bettah, am I right?

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But check out that light fixture!

It’s a nice enough Craftsman-style charmer, I guess,

+ I s’poze it would look pretty cool, hanging above someone’s dining table.

Just not my front porch!

Never fear.

Here is our cottage-y replacement, waiting in the wings:

light fixture -- front porch -- PB

Pottery Barn

Of course, I’ve already pleaded with G.O. to take down that dining room light mishap.

IMG_1395(1)

Having ‘a blast’ at the Steely Dan concert.

But get this!

He insists that he has other, more pressing tasks, than taking down a bad light fixture!

How’s that possible!!??

surprised boy

Obviously, unlike me, HE is not mortified by the idea that passersby

might think we WANT that dining room light hanging on our front porch!

HA!  Imagine that!

* * * * *

  On a related (sort of) topic, of course I’m already shopping for house numbers.

You see, they’ll go ON that front porch, eventually.

What I really want is a European-style enamel sign like this:

Something in Frenchie blue, perchance?

house numbers #3

Love it!  Done!

Pass me my credit card + get out of my way!

* * * *

But wait.

Just in case there’s something even cooler out there,

I’ve been shopping on etsy again.

Look what I found, from a cool shop called Claysquared:

house numbers #2

http://www.etsy.com/listing/158604427/modern-flat-house-numbers-frenchy-blue

HA!  How awesome is it, that they refer to the color as “frenchy” blue?

Is it just me, but aren’t these a modern version of the more vintage enamel signs?

What say ye?

This choice — between vintage + modern —

describes my design plan for our entire re-do.

house numbers #3

Vintage

house numbers

Vintage-inspired modern

Now that I think about it, it seems all my choices, so far, are of the vintage persuasion.

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Would modern stuff be cool or hopelessly out of place?

One wonders?


4 Befores + Afters In My Head

#1

Look what I discovered at the Dutch Colonial just this morning!

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  How adorable is that charming little window in the gable?

My steel trap-like mind immediately raced to a ‘before + after’

involving a transformation of this boxy room . . .

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B E F O R E

. . . into something far more wonderful, like this one!

A F T E R

A F T E R

Sure, we’d have to vault that ceiling.

Is there a problem, she asks?

G.O. assures me that there IS.

(Stay tuned.)

* * * * * *

#2

More do-able is our next ‘before + after’,

which is actually already underway.

It involves our front porch’s light fixture:

B E F O R E

B E F O R E

That Craftsman-style light fixture might look divine in someone’s dining room,

but not so much our front porch.

No worries . . . I’ve already ordered its replacement:

A F T E R

A F T E R

It was on final sale at Pottery Barn when I ordered it a few days ago . . .

. . . but I just checked, + it seems to be sold out already!

So glad that  I (for once) ordered in a timely fashion!

* * * * * * * *
#3
And speaking of our front porch,
here ’tis, in the first weeks after we started our project:
IMG_0755(1)
You just KNOW that it wasn’t originally enclosed like this!
Currently, it’s in its mid-demolition mode,
en route to its ‘after’:
IMG_1334(1)
Fingers crossed!
Here’s what I’m envisioning:
Houzz.com

Houzz.com

Can’t wait!

* * * * * *

#4

And, finally, here’s an ‘after’ which took place on Sunday:

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Our new finials have been attached to our garden shed roof!

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Love them!

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Not loving those plywood doors,

still in their ‘before’ stage!

Once again, stay tuned!


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