My front porch as been rather dismal lately, so when I started decorating for Christmas here is what I really wanted to do: BUY a new pair of wicker chairs with a new little table in between, and then BUY 2 little cypress bushes to put in some black pots to go on either side of the door, and then BUY some sparkly lights to string along the house and bushes, and BUY a new throw for one of the chairs and BUY a couple of festive pillows to go in said chairs. All that BUYING would have easily added up to hundreds of dollars. So desperate times call for desperate measures, right? 😉 haha
I wouldn’t call my situation desperate, but I really wanted to make my home more ‘homey’ on the outside. So I am going to show you how I did it. Hopefully you will find something that is doable for you and your home!
1. Create some seating. I started with the wicker loveseat– instead of the aqua/yellow/coral patterns that were on the cushions for summer, I needed something Christmas-y. So I got some red-ticking fabric, some flannel fabric, and some faux fur fabric (very inexpensive with coupons at Joanns) and sewed new envelope-style pillow covers. I also wrapped the seat cushion with the fur. My porch is covered but even when it rains or snows, it doesn’t get these areas wet.
2. Add something that works as a table for the seating area. The loveseat needed a little table to set things on, if you were going to sit out there. But I didn’t have one. So I improvised. I used an older bentwood chair I had lying around! I kinda love unexpected elements, like chairs as side tables. To break up the brown, I placed a folded flannel scrap of fabric on it, THEN the basket. The basket adds some texture. I then found a white wooden star tray in my Christmas decor, propped it up with a boxwood wreath and my little chair/table was looking pretty dang festive! Add a little Danish Butter Cookies (my fav from my childhood Christmases), some hot apple cider and this has suddenly become a place you can sit down for a while!
3. Add some fresh greens. I went and clipped some branches off of a cypress tree on my property, and made a little swag for the light fixture, and stuffed some more in an old bucket I had. I filled the bucket with some red berry branches and some fir clippings from when I was trimming the Christmas trees we bought. After a night of freezing rain, I saw HD had fresh wreaths for $5. So I picked up a couple and stuck one on my front door. Lastly, I used a end section of leftover swag I had to put across the main window.
These birch logs I got in the garden section at HD, packaged up like firewood, for $8. There was so much more than what I put in this bucket too!
4. Balance out your door. I just added some pretty decor to one side, so leaving the other side out would not only look funny, but it would be sad! haha 😉 I wanted to create some visual height, so I grabbed my old ladder, wound some fake red berries around it and tied a little chalkboard I had to it with a little wintry-saying. Then I took the old chippy stool that I had used previously to hold pumpkins on the porch (I bought at an antique store for $10 earlier this year), and put a fake little tree and a black lantern on it. It is perfectly acceptable to mix fake greens with real! Next I took a wire basket and placed a bunch more of those red berry branches I found along a busy road close by.
5. Add some simple embellishments. I chose to get some satin ribbon in a champagne color and tie bows along the window swag, the wreath, and the porch light. This added some nice variation in texture, as well as some cohesion. I also noticed the other side of the wicker loveseat was looking a little bare, so I placed a picnic basket with a little faux fur scrap popping out. This created balance of color/texture/visual heaviness, and also the idea that some hot cocoa fixins and popcorn could be in there… who says you can’t have a picnic in winter? 😉
Instead of buying new Christmas lights for outdoors, I reused lights we had on our back porch for the summer, and just strung them along the ceiling.
Now at night, this space is well-lit with a warm glow, and looks cozy and inviting! My favorite is how you just see a peak of our Christmas tree, twinkling from inside!
And that’s it!
I hope one (or all) of these tips were helpful in some way and that you maybe think twice before you overlook the outside of your home…. creating a home-y feel isn’t hard or expensive!