Spring. One of my favorite times of the year. I love opening up my windows and letting the fresh air in the house to cleanse it from the stuffiness of Winter. Everything is starting to bloom, the days are getting warmer and longer,and I start getting that itch to be outside. Spring Fever is in the air. Or it was until it started snowing and the temperature went down to 38 degrees.(It’s literally snowing as I type this, UGH!) The joys of Maryland weather! You know what they say, just wait 5 minutes and it will change. I’m a Midwest girl and I love Winter, but come April, I’m so over it! So, let’s pretend it’s 65 out and sunny like it was last weekend when I went into the storage unit and started pulling out all of my Spring furniture and decor.
When we first moved into base housing our front yard/patio area was a pretty big mess. The little patio space we had was covered in weeds up to my knees. The first thing I did was put my gardening gloves on and get to work clearing out the space. After that I had a blank canvas to work with. Then I scoured Pinterest and looked through every Better Homes and Gardens magazines I own trying to find inspiration for how I wanted my space to look. Once I gathered my findings I was off to Lowes (or Home Depot, they’re both great and have different things! If you are fortunate enough to live by a Menards, I would go there! And don’t forget they give a military discount!) I’m a total list maker so I would suggest writing down the things that are top priority so when you get there you don’t get side tracked or overwhelmed. Especially when you see all the pretty new things they have and end up with a bunch of stuff you don’t actually “need” and blow half your paycheck…I speak from personal experience.
Here is a picture of my front porch. The hubby and I did some work last Spring expanding our porch using interlocking deck tiles from IKEA. I really love how it turned out! (You can also get them at Costco!) I really wanted to put two rocking chairs on our porch, but there was only enough room for one so we chose to go this route and I’m really happy we did. It was really inexpensive and didn’t take more than a few hours.
Keeping your space simple is key. Don’t feel like you have to decorate every inch of the space (although, if you look at my porch from this Fall, that’s exactly what I did. You could barely get to my door. What can I say, I love Fall!) A doormat or rug is a great place to start. When decorating any space I always say to find a piece that inspires you and build off of that. If you find a great doormat/rug with a great color or pattern you love start there and decorate around that. That is what I did when I found mine! I generally change out my doormat from season to season or you can get a classic one that will work for the whole year. This one from Target is one of my favorites! I see this one in a lot of Fixer Upper episodes, and let’s face it, anything Joanna Gaines is doing, I’m going to copy! She’s a genius!
You could also get crafty and make a custom doormat using spray paint and stencils like these or these!
This is my current rug that I got at Target. You’re going to hear me talk about Target a lot today, I wish they were paying me for that plug, but sadly, not yet! I just really love their outdoor selection!
Dressing up your door. I would love to paint my front door a fun, bold color, but unfortunately that’s not an option with living on base. So, the next best thing is a wreath! I am a wreath fanatic! You can go to Target and get a classic boxwood wreath like this one. (I LOVE this wreath, I have mine hanging inside!) If you want a wreath that you can use all year round, this is a great option.
Or, you can go the DIY route. Pinterest is filled with great wreath ideas for the DIY-er. I chose to go with a simple, rustic grapevine wreath with little fabric rosettes I made. It’s simple but works all year round.
A few examples of DIY wreaths:
You could also do a cute basket like this one and fill it with your favorite faux flowers! They have cute over the door baskets similar to this at World Market.
My easy DIY wreath. This is my go to wreath because it’s simple and can be used year round. I’m a rustic kind of girl so I generally tend to stick with grapevine or burlap.
You can also use decals to give some character to your front door. I chose the “Hello” decal. I made this using my Silhouette Cameo but you can also order them from Etsy!
A wreath and a doormat are the essentials for spiffing up your porch and if that’s as far as you want to go that’s fine! But if you’re really looking to add some curb appeal here are a few more ways you can do so!
At our base the landscaping crew takes care of mulching the areas that need mulch throughout the year so, if yours does the same you can skip this part. If not, lets talk landscape. Curb appeal is very important to adding interest to your outdoor space. Mulch is one of many options. We used mulch for years but switched to pea gravel and rock in the past few years because we found mulch to be messy, especially when we would get heavy rain. Whichever route you decide to go, make sure you shop around your local stores for the best price. And don’t forget, Lowes and Home Depot give a 10% military discount!
Edging is another option when landscaping. There are many different options when it comes to edging, if you choose to add this detail. You don’t have to do this step, but I like the finish and definition it gives your beds. We chose to use brick because we like the way it looked and it was pretty inexpensive since we didn’t need very much for our small space.
Here are a few ideas for how to edge your beds.
I love this idea of using old pallets for edging!
Flowers and bushes are a great way to add more interest and color. I have a black thumb and tend to kill anything that needs much attention so I stick to low or no maintenance bushes. When my Mom was in town a few years ago she took me to Lowes and helped me pick out what she thought would be best for me. We decided to go with bushes that were slow growing and needed zero maintenance. I planted one in my front bed and one on each side of the garage door. I chose to do faux plants in pots for my porch and window box. I saw these when I was at IKEA and thought they were perfect since I can’t kill them. When doing potted plants consider using pots that have a fun color or pattern to them. I saw these wood planters at Target and totally geeked out! I put them in my cart, but ended up putting them back because I already have planters and I didn’t “need” them. It was a proud but sad moment!
My little pots and faux boxwoods! I love these and they’re obviously zero maintenance! I just sprayed the plants with a little UV spray from Michaels (to keep the sun from fading them out!) Don’t forget to check out the patio section at IKEA, they have some great options for really good prices!
If you’re looking for an inexpensive DIY project check this one out!
This one is my favorite! One day I’m going to make this!
Patio furniture. If you are lucky enough to have a large patio space, there are many different furniture options out there for you. I love rocking chairs! There’s something so calm and soothing about a rocking chair. I was so excited when I found these at Walmart last Spring! I wasn’t crazy about the idea of having wood rocking chairs outside, uncovered, exposed to the elements, so these were the perfect solution! I found these cute patio cushions and pillows at Target. Don’t limit yourself to Target (I know, why would you want to go anywhere else!?) they tend to be on the pricer side. Don’t forget about places like Big Lots and Ollies! You can get some great things there for a steal.
Could this porch be any more adorable!? Love the pop of color from the rocking chairs!
I love this idea of spray painting old or inexpensive patio furniture to give it a fun update!
All you need is a chair or two, a table with a fun pop of color, a few printed pillows and a lantern to spruce up your porch!
Don’t forget about your back patios as well. This is our neighbors. Her husband built this deck that cost about $200 and only took him the afternoon to build! I love it and we spend so much time out there when the weather is nice! He also made the pallet furniture to go along with it! I wish my husband was handy like that!! She just added a few chairs and potted plants and it’s the perfect place to have people over to hang out during the Spring and Summer!
Lighting. There are many different options for lighting your porch. I chose to go with solar powered lights so I don’t have any cords that I have to deal with. I hate cords! But again, they just add a nice touch and looks great when they’re lit up at night! You can also use lanterns and put a citronella candle in it to keep the nasty mosquitoes away!
Pillows. I am a pillow fanatic. I seriously have a problem! I love them. Inside or out. Again, I got mine from Target, they just happened to have the exact color I was looking for. I used my rug pattern as a starting point and when I saw these cushions I knew they would tie in perfect. The “HOME” pillow was a recent addition, I just couldn’t pass it up!
Remember, when decorating your porch a little goes a long way. You can do as much or as little as you choose. Start with a piece that you love and build it around that. We put a little more money into our porch last year because we knew it was a place we wanted to spend more time. I love sitting out on my rocking chairs, reading my morning devotions and drinking coffee, or after a long day of working sitting out there with my best friend drinking a glass of wine!
About the Author:
Hi, I’m Kristin. Army wife, midwestern-er, hairstylist, lover of all things decor! I am currently residing in Maryland with my husband and loyal canine companion, Oscar. We have lived here for 8 years, which in Army time is basically forever. I have worked full time as a hairstylist for the past 10 years but spend any and all extra time trying to make our base housing feel like a home! For all the military wives out there, you know, the struggle is real.
My love for decorating started when we were first stationed in Maryland. Our wedding gift from my parents was to furnish our first home together…Willow Leaf Lane. I was amazed how much a little paint and a million trips to Home Goods could make! (Oh, did I tell you we have 3 Home Goods just in the immediate area?! SCORE!) After a few years in that house we decided to try living in base housing. 6 years later we’re still here! I dream about the day we have our “forever home” and I can do all the modifications I want! But until then, I will work with the white walls I was given.