The Treehouse: Front Porch Makeover

Front Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design MomFront Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design Mom

This post is brought to you by Lowe’s Home Improvement.

I love a good front porch makeover! It’s one of those projects where small changes can make a big impact, and make any house look like it’s loved and up-to-date.

Front Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design Mom

Way back in the day (2007), when we lived in a rental house in New York, I did my first porch makeover. It made such a difference. Instead of being bummed out as I drove up to the house, I grinned! I’ve been a big believer in making your front door a happy place ever since.

Front Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design MomFront Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design Mom

In this particular instance, we replaced the front door, which can be expensive. But if you can keep your current door, a Front Porch Makeover can actually be a bargain project and can be tackled over a weekend.

Front Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design MomFront Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design Mom

If you’re thinking about your own Front Porch Makeover, the key elements are:

1) A fresh coat of paint on the door. A fun new color is ideal! You’ll only need a quart of paint, so this isn’t a big expense.

2) A new light fixture. There are great looking options in every price range. My first porch makeover included a light that was $30.

3) Fresh pots and plants. If you’re willing to DIY, you can create something awesome for a bargain.

4) Updated house numbers. There’s something about shiny, new house numbers that communicate this house is loved and cared for.

5) An extra detail with a pop of color. It could be a red mailbox, or a blue chair, or a yellow bird feeder. Something pretty that brings an out-of-the-ordinary feel to your entry.

I’m telling you, for less than $150, you can give your house a facelift that will make a huge difference in how your feel about your residence.

Front Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design MomFront Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design Mom

I’d love to tell you all about the decisions I made on our front porch — the door, the light, the chair. All of it. It was such a fun project!

Front Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design Mom

First, let’s talk about the door. You may remember, that we bought this home without seeing it in person. In fact, the first time I saw this house in real life was the night we arrived from France and moved in. I had seen it in photos, and I loved the house even more in real life, but my first thought as we walked through the door: This door doesn’t make sense with this house, we’ll need to replace it, hopefully soon.

So basically, updating the front door was the very first thing I wanted to do when we moved in. And it took us a full year to get around to it!

I wanted something that looked simple, clean and modern and fit with the architecture of the home. I did a bunch of research and found a company that made true mid-century modern doors, but the doors were crazy expensive! Way out of our budget. So I kept hunting. Eventually, I happened upon a line of doors called Pulse by Therma-Tru. Clean lines, and simple designs at realistic prices. We special ordered ours from the Lowe’s door department and it arrived about 3 weeks later.

I stood outside with my laptop and looked at the door options on the Therma-Tru website, then looked up at the real porch and figured out what I liked best. I knew we wanted to keep the left sidelight, and I knew the handleset should be on the right, and knowing those two things helped me narrow the options down.

Front Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design Mom

After the door was chosen, I picked out a modern handleset, called Seattle by Baldwin. Again, this was a special order from Lowe’s. I researched online, found the handleset I wanted, then went in store to order the exact thing. It was helpful to order in store, because there were a bunch of construction questions that affected the order that I didn’t know how to answer — I’m afraid if I had tried to order something online, I would have chosen the wrong type.

Front Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design Mom

The  door arrived unpainted and I spent a good chunk of time thinking about color. When I think about the future of this house, I picture the exterior in a charcoal gray with a shiny red or yellow door. But it may be awhile till we paint the exterior. It’s a big commitment. So for now, I needed to work with the colors that are currently on the house — a red-brown and a dark grey-brown. I ended up choosing Valspar City Storm. And I love it!

Front Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design Mom

Next, I updated the light fixture. A shiny new light fixture makes a huge difference. Our old one looked rusty and cobwebby even when it wasn’t. I chose a new one from a company called Kichler. It’s so handsome! I love the straight lines.

Front Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design MomFront Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design Mom

Then, it was time for smaller details — house numbers, and a sleek, simple doorbell.

We hired out the door installation, but the smaller projects — the new light and doorbell and house numbers — we could install ourselves.

Front Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design Mom

Once the more permanent details were in place, I turned my attention to seating. I really wanted a chair from the old school Homecrest line. They are vintage metal outdoor furniture in several shapes, and they look amazing with mid-century architecture. I stalked Craig’s List every day till I found just the right one.

Front Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design Mom

Eventually, a set showed up in Santa Cruz — about an hour and a half away. The set included a highback chair (pictured here), and two smaller chairs with a table. (I’m saving the two chairs + table for another spot.) The highback chair had some rust damage, so we restored it. It wasn’t hard to do, it just took some time and muscle — I’ll create a restoration how-to tutorial for a future post. But the chair looks like new now!

Front Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design MomFront Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design Mom

The next project was making concrete planters. A super fun, easy project. Really inexpensive and really satisfying. I’m planning to include the DIY in my book. Very excited about it!

Front Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design MomFront Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design Mom

I feel like I’ve bought a million succulents for the house at this point, but they do so well in Oakland’s climate. I can’t help myself! I found these beauties in Lowe’s garden department.

Front Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design Mom

The last details I picked up were the wooden doormat, plus a pillow and citronella candles I found at Marshall’s.

Front Porch Makeover. Give your house a major facelift in 5 easy steps! | Design Mom

Oh man. The makeover has added such happiness to the entry! I love walking up to the front porch, and I love sitting in the chair and watching the birds. I knew the makeover would make a big difference, but I think it surprised me how BIG the difference actually is.

Have you ever taken on a Front Porch Makeover? I’d love to hear your stories!

P.S. — Find more posts about The Treehouse. Also, here are a few “before” photos so you can see the difference:

"Before" photo of a Front Porch Makeover"Before" & "After" - Front Porch Makeover on Design MomFront Porch Makeover Before+After

46 thoughts on “The Treehouse: Front Porch Makeover”

  1. Eagerly awaiting the restoration post on the chair! I, too, have been searching for Homecrest chairs. Snagged some today, but they need some TLC.

    1. Yay! As soon as we’re back in town, I plan to get working on the table + chairs that were part of the Craig’s List find. I’ll document the whole thing so I can share.

  2. Ooooh, I just love it! Now I’m completely inspired to update our front porch — especially our icky brass light fixture and empty space just begging for a chair to sip coffee from.

  3. Wonderful!! I think even the smallest details – like good lighting – make a front porch so much more welcoming. And, the door is truly beautiful.

    Have you thought about painting the chair a citrus color – like lemon or grass green?

    1. My kids were suggesting bright colors for the chair, but I think I was in “restoration mode” and wanted to go with the original white.

      When I tackle the table and two chairs that I bought at the same time maybe I’ll go for citrus!

  4. Gabby, I love the idea of painting your house charcoal and the door red or yellow! That would look so stunning. A deep navy would be amazing too :)

  5. Bonjour Je viens de découvrir votre blog J’habite près de Paris -France. J’espère que le séjour dans mon pays avec votre belle famille a été agréable Je ne pratique pas la langue anglaise et je le regrette mais il y a le traducteur donc je peux parcourir les blogs bricolage et créativité américain. Je vais donc “remonter le temps” pour lire votre blog depuis le début. A+

    1. Bienvenue! Je suis heureux que vous lisez mon blog. Je ne suis pas bon en langue française, mais j’utilise Google Translate. : ) J’aime la France!

  6. My first thought on the new door was, “Oh, how very California.” And I’m definitely gushing over the numbers & concrete planters, too. We’re updating the outside of our house and other than painting the door I’d completely tossed off the idea of styling the front porch due to its small size.

  7. I liked the look of the house numbers and decided to look closer at them on Lowes.com. The two reviews there are both 1 star; mostly screw/mounting problems. I’m guessing that the numbers worked fine for you?

    1. They did work well for us. There is a template included to assist you on where to drill the holes. We used painter’s tape to attach the template to the wall, and drilled right through it.

      The only change we made, is that instead of caulk, we used a heavy duty glue (E-6000).

      My only recommendation would be to read the instructions thoroughly before you begin. Because the numbers are 3-D, it’s not as straightforward as just screwing them to the wall. : )

  8. i love it! when i moved into our rental townhouse two years ago the front porch makeover was one of the first things I did to make it feel like home…my home. lovely updates!

    1. It’s one of those things that is easy to put off, because once you’re inside the house, you don’t see it anymore. Out of sight, out of mind.

      But if it’s a bummer of a front porch, it will bum you out every time you come home. Then, once you refresh it, it’s a happy greeting every time approach the house.

  9. Oh I just love that you named your home too! I think when you do that it makes it more magical, like you are returning home to a secret land, that is all yours! We named our home (a little yellow farmhouse and field) “The Land of MU” !
    I just love the transformation, and you are right! A quick change on the front door can change everything! The mouth of Chi, as referred to in Feng Shui! And it holds so much importance, such as opportunity, and wealth!

    I Just adore your posts and entire blog concept!!! Thank you for sharing so much!

    ~Angela

  10. I love the front porch picture and particularly LOVE the paint you chose for the door and its frame. It’s both crisp and elegant as well as fresh and modern.

  11. Just add a bright, graphic print runner to that long walk-up area in an outdoor friendly fabric (like woven plastic). I feel like that would totally make it complete!!

  12. Stunning! I love the planters and the chair, everything! I especially like that little wooden mat under the door with a slight step to it. Very nice.

  13. I love your house numbers! I would dearly love to change out our numbers for something new, but local ordinances require a particular (ugly) style. Oh well, I can enjoy other people’s choices!

    1. Oh man. I have never lived in a home with particular ordinances. I’m sure there are both benefits and annoyances. Do you prefer it overall? Do the ordinances give a good feeling to your neighborhood?

  14. I like the make-over, but! I actually prefer the former light-fixture and door, and the entire porch seemed quite inviting and enchanting before (and not even out-of-date!). Personally I would not have changed it, but the new set-up looks good.

    1. If only you were my neighbor, I could gift them to you. : )

      The light fixture you might have talked me into, but the door? No way. The decorative Italian glass and traditional lines were so out of place with the architecture of the house. Though on another house, I’m sure the door would be have been quite lovely!

  15. The porch looks great! It’s so true, just a few changes and it makes a huge difference. Now I want to do this! I think some new numbers and a new light will make a huge difference. It’s so much fun to think about little things that can make a big change. This is one of them. Thank you for this!

  16. I love this before and after. As always, you have great taste!
    I really like grey as a colour but I would go for a bright-coloured door (but our landlord won’t let us, meh!), but in this case it makes a lot of sense! What colour will you paint the house when you do?
    I also really like the old light fixture and even the old door, but you’re right, just not in that context. Hopefully some lucky local will get those – I wish the British version of Craigslist, Gumtree, was as well-stocked!

    Alice x

  17. These concrete planters are simply perfect.
    Can you share a tutorial soon, as I want to do one with my daughter in her upcoming holidays?
    Manuea, Germany

  18. Wow! The makeover looks great! It’s amazing what a difference it makes. I can’t wait to see the house in charcoal grey with the shiny red or yellow door, but in the meantime the grey door is lovely with the current color.

    And those succulents! Those are my all-time favorite plants. It would make me happy just seeing those as I came home everyday.

  19. We are in the process of buying a ranch and the front door needs this! I have been looking at these doors as well, but the house exterior is about the blue gray color of your doors–I’m a little at a loss as to what great color would give the door some character. I know red is an obvious option, but I’m not a red person. My dream is cobalt blue but I don’t think it will work now. Any ideas?

  20. Pingback: Getting Seasonal in the Entry | The Tressle Blog | The Official Blog for Tressle.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top