Porch Makeover

Have you ever noticed that when you get something new, it makes all your other old stuff look a lot worse? Like you get a new top and suddenly the jeans you wear it with are like, yikes so last year. Or whatever. Right?

After we “finished” [nothing is ever really finished] the front yard landscaping it looked so nice that it made our front porch look, well, really bad. Like, wow we’ve lived with this for a year?

old porch

Even one of our good friends commented that “if it were his house he would do something about that railing.” We agreed. We’ve talked about completely redoing it – removing the metal and adding some rustic wood pillars or something. We may still do that down the road. But for a quick fix, what is better than a can [or five] of white spray paint?

white railing

So much better already!

But then the nice crisp white railing made the old bench just look awful.

old porch bench

Like so many things in the house there was a time when I thought I could redo this. You know, maybe paint it turquoise. But it was just a piece of crap. So we replaced it.

With this guy!

new porch bench

Rawr. Andy found this perfect-for-us bench on overstock.com. Free shipping yo. Can’t beat it.

But then that mailbox! Awful! The same color as the old railing. We can’t have that now.

So we replaced it. Andy found this guy on Amazon. I dig it.

new mailbox

We still needed a little color so we turned to the same place we’ve ordered two other rugs for our house [overstock, duh] and got a preppy little blue hounds-tooth outdoor rug.

new bench and rug for porch

But the  biggest purchase and change was also the most functional [well, I guess the mailbox is very functional too. And the bench. Whatever. Go with it]. I have hated our old porch and garage lighting since the day we bought this house. If you scroll up you can see. Just so basic, old and really not very good at providing light. So we splurged and bought this and this  from Restoration Hardware when they had their Friends and Family 20% sale.


new outdoor light

and the porch…

new porch light

We got the 14 inch in bronze for each of them.

We spent a little chunk of change [and Andy still has white spray paint on his feet] getting this makeover done, but it was so worth it. The front of our house feels more and more like “us” and less like a retired Polish couple who refuse to spend any money, ever. There are still things we want to do but I think we are just about there on Project Curb Appeal, at least for 2013.

updated porch 2013


Tear Down That Fence

Some projects are immediately gratifying.

Hang a new piece of artwork.

Add a new light fixture.

And some projects are…slower to see results that you want.

The former owners of our house were avid gardeners. This included a massive, fenced in vegetable garden. As much as I like the idea of a vegetable garden, I really don’t have time to manage one. So we decided this year we would pull out the fence and open up our yard a little more.

Old pictures:

When I say it’s fenced in I mean – there’s a normal fence, and then an added on higher layer of fencing [in case of jumping bunnies??], chicken wire around the bottom and cement and or bricks lining the base, to prevent digging. This is intense fencing.

clearing out veg gardenI really hated this fence. Ugly. Blocked off our yard. Useless space [for us who like to buy our tomatoes]. Just not my style.

With no plans or desire to do a vegetable garden, we decided it was time to take out the fence.

Honestly, I thought it would be an all day, horrible job. Last Saturday I left to go to the gym at 9. When I came home at 1030, the fence was down! Andy and a good friend managed to dig up the posts that were held in with concrete and this is what we were left with:

yard_fenceIt definitely was not an easy job, but they managed to get it down pretty quickly.

yard_fence_downAfter the men did the heavy lifting, I spent a chunk of time filling in the holes, digging up bricks and dragging the metal poles to the front of the house.

yard_fence_goneSide note- Does every town have a troop of pick up trucks that circle every  night looking for any metal scraps being discarded?There is probably 50 pounds of concrete stuck to each metal pole. We’ve set out two so far and they each were gone within a few minutes. It’s amazing.

concrete_yardSo that’s that. It’s looking more like a heap of rubble right now and less like usable yard space. We need to get rid of the concrete chunks, remaining poles and bricks. This coming weekend we are hoping to rent a rototiller to loosen up the dirt so we can plant grass seed.


Overall though, I do like how much more open the yard feels.

Anyone looking for chunks of concrete?? They’re all yours – pickup only.