Confession: Mr. Smith and I don’t live in a neighborhood that you’d let your kids trick-or-treat in.
Sure, there are some cute homes on our street that the owners take pride and care in. But sadly, the efforts of many are undone by the few. These few are the tattered houses with dirt lawns covered in broken toys and litter and porches clogged with junk. They’re the plots surrounded by the stench of rotting garbage and dog crap. On a humorous note, the worst of these dumps has the words “SMILE: YOU’RE ON CAMERA” spray painted over the door in addition to numerous “NO TRESPASSING” signs tacked here and there. Ha! Ok sir, I’ll try my hardest not to break into your house. Recently, two old mattresses were moved onto the porch, blocking the foreboding signs. So who knows if I can contain myself from breaking and entering now. 😉
It’s a reality I try really hard not to think about, but sometimes I can’t help but feel despaired that we live on an ugly street. I guess I can’t be too upset since it WAS our choice to purchase a foreclosure in an older neighborhood, but, unfortunately, they’re not selling cheap foreclosures in the nicer areas. At least the town garbageman who built the majority of our house back in 1969 was kind enough to install a sturdy perimeter fence around most of the property. This fence spares us the view of the condemned home behind us, the one with the caved-in roof. Amazingly enough, someone still lives in this tottering structure but refuses to repair it or let anyone help him repair it. As a result, the property values of his direct neighbors have fallen drastically.
When I look at things from a larger perspective, I realize that the majority of the folks who live in these eyesores are meth-heads who can barely take care of themselves let alone their houses. However, if I’m honest, I really look at things through the perspective of have-some-decency-and-respect-dammit. It was this perspective that kept me from putting any sort of effort into our porch until a year ago. After all, why should I put forth effort in curb appeal when the ex-convict who lives next door can’t even keep his weeds under 3 feet tall?
Yes, the whole situation threatens to get the best of me sometimes. In fact, when our good friend, Doug, confessed that our desolate porch made the house look abandoned, I agreed with him, but remained stubborn about doing nothing.
And so our porch remained unchanged for two more months until I noticed the beginnings of some serious structural issues. Unable to deny the need for change any longer, we took action and had the space practically rebuilt.
What a difference bright blue doors and new railings made! Doug was even kind enough to give us a porch swing which I immediately painted blue. Sure, the swing sat on the floor for 6 months but the pop of color was still nice. 🙂
One year later, the finishing touches are complete on our porch makeover, and I’m grateful for the curb appeal that I bucked for so long. It makes coming home much more welcoming and inviting!
Ready to see the final results?
Autumn Porch Makeover Reveal
Since I’ve done enough talking, here are the before and after shots of our sweet new space…
I just noticed that the white trashcan remains. It’s our rain-catchment system for now. 🙂
New light fixture:
Our shutters are merely two of our old porch floor boards cut to size, painted and screwed into the siding:
Our house numbers used to reside on the corner beam. Now they are painted on the street-facing door:
This trim was a beast to figure out but it makes such a difference:
Yes, we have two front doors, but we mostly use the study entry on the left.
P.S. The deadbolt of the door on the right is currently stuck. I might have miscalculated my location when applying some of that gap-filling spray foam. Oopsie.
The open wall space to the left of the doors was a puzzler until good ol’ Doug gifted me with one of his old windows. The stump I took from our Rumpus Room and the mums are from the grocery store. Seven dollah!
Last minute I decided to repaint the chair blue. At first I painted it a dark grey but soon found the color fell flat against the black shutters and trim.
The wreaths I made on the cheap thanks to some yard sale steals I found back in May. Two wreaths and a roll of raffia rope for $2!
I had no idea what to do with the raffia rope until my friend, Rebecca, showed me how to untwist it into useful craft paper.
I played around with the raffia until I crafted a suitable flower and used the flowers to fill out my wreaths. This saved me mucho dollars at the craft store.
Large-woven wreaths are my favorite to work with because all I have to do is push the flower stems among the branches, wrap everything in wide ribbon and I’m done–no glue needed. This way, if I want a new look next season, I can pull everything off and start again.
One last gift that Doug gave me was this bit of hope: Corner properties tend to set the bar/trend for their street.
I can only hope this is true.
I can only hope that one day soon we will run out of Halloween candy because we had too many trick-or-treaters, and not because we eventually turned off the porch light and ate the candy ourselves. (Though I don’t really mind the candy-eating part.)
Happy October, everybody! Let’s make it a beautiful one.