A Country Living Inspired Front Porch

Just last week I did a post of a lovely front porch featured on CountryLiving.com.  I was so inspired, I ran out over the Memorial Day weekend and picked up a few pieces to try to recreate the look they had so beautifully achieved.

Here was my inspiration:

And here is our front porch now:

I especially love the new American flag – just in time for Memorial Day!  It’s still a work in progress, but already it’s so much more inviting than before.

  The porch is a blend of furniture from IKEA, which has great and affordable outdoor pieces right now.  A couple of tables I scored for free and painted eons ago that were collecting dust in the garage, a black flower pot, a few flowers from the yard, plus some lovely curtains my husband found, again – IKEA!  Got to love that place!

Tonight we’re going to relax in our new chairs and finish off a lovely bottle of Sequoia Grove.  If you like a full bodied red, I highly recommend it!

Sipping a little wine tonight will making working on the front porch in the HOT Florida sun worthwhile! I think…


Memorial Day Inspired Design

Memorial Day is a day when we honor those who have given their lives for our country, and it reminds me an American flag isn’t just a simple pennant, but a symbol of our freedom.

It can bring extra meaning to a relaxing front porch.

Or provide a beautiful backdrop for a lovely outdoor meal.

The stars and stripes can breathe life into a quiet guest bedroom.

And with a few whimsical accents, it can brighten up a simple space.

Most of all, it can remind how much we have to be thankful for when we wake up each and every day.

I wish you all a happy and safe Memorial Day!

A Porch Makeover in Less than a Day

As the days grow longer and the sun gets hotter, the lazy days of summer are almost upon us, which is why I’m so inspired by this front porch makeover by Country Living.

Before the humdrum space was better for collecting dust than sipping drinks.

But after the bright poppy colors and multiple seating options create the perfect place to chill out after a long day.

How did they do it? Just like this!

1-Curtains ($159 each; ballarddesigns.com)

2-Cushion ($79; westelm.com)

3-Pillows (Striped pillow, $29, and floral pillow, $32; potterybarn.com. Red pillow, $49.95; outdoorfabrics.com)

4-Table ($199; wisteria.com)

5-Lanterns Slatted lanterns, $250 for a set of three, and basket-weave lantern, $360 for a set o f two; twoscompany.com for stores)

6-Chair($59; lowes.com for stores)

7-Stools  (Similar abaca stool, $119; crateandbarrel.com)

8-Rug (Similar rug, $89, 8′ x 5′; homedecorators.com)

9-Floor pillow ($126; utilitycanvas.com)

 With nothing more than a Visa in hand and a few hours at the mall, you can have a brand new front porch, too.  Who says you have to spend as much as they did?  If I can wrangle the credit card from my hubby, I know what I’ll be doing this Saturday!

 To learn more, check out this great article: Porch Decorating – How to Decorate a Front Porch – Country Living

A Chair to Remember

Before                                                                After


Here’s how I did it.

I started with a chair I found a few years ago for $40.00, but couldn’t find a place for it in my home.

First I painted it with a base coat of white paint to soften the existing black.

I wasn’t too worried about the fabric getting damaged because I knew I would recover it.

The next step was to remove the chair seat and back.

With a Phillips screwdriver, I removed each of the four screws.

And voila, the seat was off!  My husband helped remove the back of the chair because it required a little more muscle, but it only took a couple of minutes.

I had some extra burlap fabric lying around, which was only a couple of dollars a yard.  You could literally use any fabric to give the chair whatever feel would work best in your home.

Next I cut the fabric and laid the seat on top of it so I could wrap it in the burlap.

This staple gun we picked up at a garage sale for 50 cents was the best 50 cents I’ve ever spent!  I used it to secure the fabric to the bottom of the seat.

Next I painted the chair with a second coat of paint.  For this coat I used a paint by Behr called Wild Honey.  Then I took some fine grit sandpaper and sanded down the edges of each leg.

I continued sanding down the rest of the chair for a distressed, lived in look.

Finally I reattached the chair seat and back, and now I have a lovely new chair!  The whole project took less than two hours.  I love my new chair and I love it even more knowing I refinished it myself.  I’ve never done a project like this one before, but it was so easy I will definitely do it again!

The Great Nightstand Debate

So after a little pow wow with the sister-in-law-to-be, and a couple more coats of paint, the nightstands are finally complete.  I would up going for a his and hers theme, so they are similar but not identical.



And the finished product – the updated Master, which includes a new relaxed pillow from the line!

Now we need new lamps.  And a larger rug would nice.  Oh, and what to do about that dark mirror…

The Nightstand Dilemma

I have been talking about changing our nightstands so often, I’m afraid my husband is going to zap me with the Taser we keep in his top drawer.  The thing is, I love the beachy vibe in my living room and the resort feel in my guest bedroom, but our master bedroom doesn’t have a coastal vibe at all, and that’s going to change, starting with the nightstands.

They were another freebie from Grandma Rose (or payback for the ones she stole from my garage when I wasn’t looking).

Not exactly my style, so I decided to try a couple different approaches.  With one, I went with a few coats of creamy white paint with a little blue green underneath.  I painted the handles as a quick fix until I can find the right hardware.

A great tip I learned from my mother-in-law is to keep the paint brush sealed in a plastic bag so it won’t dry out in between coats.

With the second nightstand, I went with a more distressed, worn in look. Since the hardware is an odd size, I’ll have to find them online once I decide which look I want.

And that’s where you come in.  Help me decide by leaving a comment with one simple word – White or Blue?

Would You Pull the Trigger?

 With all the violence on TV and the reports on the death of Osama bin Laden, I couldn’t help but contemplate guns.  I have never owned or even touched a gun and looking up photos of them gave me chills, but they are a big part of our culture and they have made their way into the art on our walls.  Andy Warhol painted an entire series of them.

From pink and red

To the colors of the rainbow

To a very realistic depiction

They claim space at gallery exhibitions

And inspire other artists, like Gerard Yates, too.

I have a hard time imagining ever hanging gun art on my wall.  Even if the idea is to ponder violence and why it takes up so much space in our world.

What about you?  Would you pull the trigger and decorate with guns?