Front Porch Makeover | How We Easily Increased Our Curb Appeal

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Schnarr’s Hardware and Wave Petunias.

I’ve loved the look of our house from the moment we pulled up to tour it, but lately the front has been a little… uh… lackluster.

The constant sun has faded and peeled the banister paint. All my flowers have been dead for ages. The bushes are awful. The house numbers look outdated. The furniture and decor looked like mismatched hand-me-downs because they largely are just that.

We decided it was time to fix things! Lucky for me, I knew exactly where to turn for the tools and materials: St. Louis gem Schnarr’s Hardware, which I worked with a few years ago during a hardware-themed craft party. (As for the greenery, I honestly didn’t know what to do, but I was thankfully introduced to a brand at just the right time! Keep reading for more.)

So, what did we do to easily increase our curb appeal?

  • Sanded and repainted the faded or peeling parts of the banister
  • Trimmed back the weeds
  • Tore out (some) of the dying shrubbery
  • Replaced the basket coco liners
  • Added new flowers
  • Fixed and painted the light
  • Replaced the seating
  • Painted the outdoor accessories to match
  • Replaced the doormat
  • Added a wreath
  • Replaced the house numbers
  • Sanded and repainted the peeling trim

This project took us more than a weekend because of bad weather and weird schedules, but the amount of work could have easily been done in 48 hours. See more of the finished look below!

The first thing I did before beginning my project was head to the Do It Best website. Schnarr’s Hardware is a Do It Best brand, which means you can shop the store online from the gigantic website while still supporting a small, local business. (Best of both worlds!) When you do that, the items are sent to your pick of the two local stores with the weekly delivery.

While shopping Schnarr’s digitally, I fell in love with the Hy-Ko Oil-Rubbed Bronze Numbers and decided to use them as the new inspiration for my project. While technically they aren’t black, they read as black on our house – just with a little extra oomph! – so I decided to make everything either white, black, or an accent color to keep things cohesive. We don’t have much space out front, so I thought simple might be better.

I wanted to upgrade our mailbox because I thought the never-used arms on the bottom made it feel somehow dated. I’d just prefer a cleaner look. I actually bought a lovely, simple mailbox at Schanrr’s (this one) but realized the arms on mine are removable as I took the old one off. Oops! So, I popped them off and hung it back up. Much better! The new mailbox is still in my house and is actually being hung in my office for funky storage! I’ll share it on Instagram once it’s up.

With my new color palate in mind, I knew I needed to replace that cheap blue chair. Since we’re on a tight budget, I went to Craigslist where I found this perfect iron bench for $40. It is just the right size and color.

Around this time, I was invited to a fun planting party by Wave Petunias. (You might have seen posts in my IG stories!) While there, I made a beautiful purple-themed floral container full of Wave Petunias and some other accent plants made for full sun. The Wave team even sent me home with more purple and white petunias to help with this project, which cemented my accent color pretty quickly. After I knew the accent color, I made the purple wreath, found a few cheap planters at Ikea to mix in with my larger ones, and bought a clearance door mat at Target. Lucky me, purple is my favorite color!

Wave Petunias tolerate high temperatures well and expand easily, making them perfect for someone like me who has an unforgiving yard and a tendency to torture plants. Accidentally of course! I want a green thumb, but… it doesn’t seem to be there. Add that to the 100% full sun burning onto our yard and previous flowers have shrived to a crisp almost instantly. So far, these Wave Petunias are only getting bigger and better. And look at the colors!

Speaking of plants, our original plan was to trim back the tree and bush in front of our house and add mulch. Unfortunately, one suddenly died and the other was quickly overtaken by a bug infestation (not stoked) and will also be removed soon. We then planned to replace them with boxwood plants but found out this is the wrong time of year to plant them. So, for now, Lance has nicely trimmed back as much of the dying bushes as possible so they look more tolerable from the street; later this year, we’ll likely finish this up with new bushes, mulch, and a trim.

The small garden patches on either side of the stairs house my tulips during the spring, so instead of planting something new there for summer and fall I placed planters on top. These are all items I already owned, and everything was spray painted black to match. (Except for my weird cement sculpture that was moved to the left corner. Someone threw that away in the alley! Isn’t it cool?)

Up next was the light. Whoever previously worked on our house glued the light cover to the ceiling instead of screwing it in, so when we changed the bulb we couldn’t reattach the cover. Grr. Then it say empty for who knows how long looking frankly terrible. For this project, we found/bought all the right pieces to properly reattach it to the ceiling, and I spray painted the white cage black to add visual interest and match the other decorations.

While we’re on the topic topic of spray paint, I also spray painted my hand-me-down flower stand and wedding gift wind chime. I’m glad I remembered a tarp so I didn’t dye my grass black, but I did accidentally spray paint the top of my foot black. #promove

Sanding and repainting the banister was the last big thing we tackled, and it was what I was the most worried about. I don’t know why I assumed it would be so hard, but with a good handheld sander it was no problem. We went with the Black & Decker 5″ Random Orbit Finish Sander, which was powerful without being overwhelming. (Just be sure you use proper safety masks, gloves, and glasses!) After the top coat of old paint was removed, I went in with two coats of exterior white paint; I was going to buy a primer too, but the associate at Schnarr’s Hardware in Webster Groves found me a paint that had one included. One less step is always appreciated!

Once everything was done, it was time to style the space. I rearranged our planters and plant stands to fill empty gaps and create a more cohesive, welcoming look from the street. Now you see color from every angle!

If only it weren’t a billion degrees outside so I could actually enjoy my newly made-over porch… ha! Cross your fingers this heat calms down soon. Once it does, you know where you’ll find me!

Thank you for sponsoring this post and project, Schnarr’s Hardware and Wave Petunias! All opinions are my own.

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