The Front Porch: A Digital Makeover
The weather outside is frightful, but my computer -- so delightful. Ideas are coming from my brain... let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.
OK, so poetry is not necessarily my strong suit. But the point is that I refuse to give up on that confounded front porch, even though it's raining horizontally where I live and probably won't stop until, oh, about May. And it's not that I mind working outside in the rain. I enjoy it. But my camera is not so thrilled about it, and neither is my son! Hah! So the front porch makeover has gone digital for the duration.
So. Where we last left our clueless intrepid decorator (that's me), she had cleaned up the front porch and gotten it to this, more or less so-so state...
...and enlisted your help. Once again, I have to say, you people are AWESOME. What great ideas!!!
And you requested a wider view, so you could get a better feel for the house. Good point! So, here's what the whole front of the house looks like:
You can see now why I'm struggling. Mr. Magpie calls that a "chalet" roof. At least, when he's being nice. Mostly he just calls it names. Let's just say we don't love it. But the house was a great choice for us otherwise, so it's what we've got.
At any rate, one of the great suggestions people made was to clear everything away from the front porch and start fresh, so I could really see what was working and what wasn't. So I did that, and ended up with this:
Which is when it started to rain really hard and I thought I'd better take my camera inside.
But then I thought... a ha! Photoshop! So I pulled in my pictures and started to add things that we had all talked about.
The big thing about the house, of course (aside from that roofline "feature"), is that it's flat. Like FLAT flat. So I have been working on trying to add depth and interest. Aside from dramatically extending the plantings in the front, I had already started to install a low split-rail fence around the front yard. Here's the section I added this year, for example:
So for my digital makeover, the first thing I did was add the fence in all the way across. Like so:
That definitely helps a bit. So I thought I'd add in all the other things I've wanted to do or that you all suggested:
Paint the front door grey-green
Add a path and step up to the front door
Add shutters and window boxes under the small windows
Paint the garage door
Add some height on either side of the garage door
Extend the lawn to the driveway and fill in the plantings
Put a bench in the seating area
I really want a bench. It's a great place to watch the kids play or rest when gardening. What I really wanted when I moved was to bring my old bench with me to this house, but the new owners requested it, so I left it behind. BUT, I saw this awesome example of a headboard turned into a bench at It's the Little Things, and I happen to have a headboard floating around waiting for such a project, so hopefully I will eventually have a bench there. But with fewer pots!
Anyway, this is what it might look like with all that done:
Not bad, not bad!
But still, not quite there. The big problem, as so many of you smart people pointed out, is that the focus is in the wrong place. It shouldn't be on the window, it should be on the FRONT DOOR. Duh!!! (Sometimes I'm kinda slow.)
So, how can we redirect emphasis to that tiny front door area? I'm thinking porch, right? A real porch. So I drew this:
That's a big project and I don't know if I will be able to do it. I'm toying with getting the look with a freestanding arbor, but we'll see. But if I could pull something like that off, it would look pretty good I think!
But, just to double-check, let's go back to our close-up view.
Here's the porch again, cleared of all the stuff. (Especially, please notice, the star over the window -- thank heaven you guys will tell me the truth and not let me embarrass myself, right? Thank you. Goodness.)
And here it is, all fixed up:
Now, if I can't do the porch, it'll still be pretty good. Not AS good, but still pretty good:
But I definitely like it with the porch. Maybe an arbor of the same shape would work -- that I could definitely do.
I also planted river birches along the front of the house last summer to add depth. It's hard to see them in the original pictures because they're small and have lost their leaves. So I mocked that up, too, and grew them a bit to see what they'd look like in a few years.
Hmmmm.... what about from the street view?
Uh, yeah. I *might* have put in too many trees. But so much work! I don't want to take them all out. Hmmmm.... what if I just take out that middle one by the house.
Maybe, maybe.... close up view?
I think that just might work!
So, genius bloggy friends of mine. What have I missed? What mistakes have I made? Truth. Friends don't let friends accessorize badly. In other words, let's not have another "Star Gate" situation. Lay it on me! And... what's your absolutest mostest favoritist thing about the front of YOUR house?
You guys are the best!
P.S. Meanwhile, I'll keep chipping away outside, but there's not going to be a ton of real-life action on the porch until Spring, because.... The holidays are coming! I need me a living room! More on that in a couple of days.