MY GORGEOUS MUMS finally made their full debut so today I wanted to share my colorful fall front porch and some tricks I used to achieve the look!
If you’ve visited Embrace My Space in the past, you already know I like to use unconventional color schemes, even at the holidays. The most recent example is my colorful fall tablescape that I pulled together using a Guatemalan blanket as a tablecloth. You also know that my home decorating mantra is: love what you have, have what you love. Today, I’m showcasing my love for color and knack for repurposing my own things to create a completely unexpected fall look that works. For me, at least 🙂
REUSE WITH PURPOSE. I didn’t purchase anything new to decorate my front porch this year (except for the pumpkins and plants, which are lucky to have survived this long), but if you take a look at this photo of my front porch from two years ago, you’ll see that the look was completely different than what I did this time around. Before I dove into the project, I spent a few minutes examining what I had and figuring out what I could do to make it look fresh, but still work together, with minimal expense.
The Old Look
Using the same vessels, wreath and door mat, I rearranged and repurposed these items I already owned to create a fresh look. I started with this rug from Sears, which I originally painted with three colors of metallic Martha Stewart craft paint.
After a few years the paint had held up really well, most likely because my porch is covered and we use the garage as our method of ingress and egress. Yep, I just said ingress and egress. I have to use my law school education for something, even if it is just using archaic vocabulary in my blog posts. Makes me feel like I got my money’s worth.
There were a few spots where the paint had worn off around the edges so I decided to paint right over the metallic paint with the all purpose enamel I used for the stunning railing in my foyer. The color is Benjamin Moore Surf Blue. It’s delish! I love how the floral pattern pops off of the rug now. It’s a nice change from the more subdued look the rug had with its first coat of paint.
I also gave my old fall wreath (pictured below) a little facelift so it would coordinate with the rug’s new look.
A simple bow of teal burlap ribbon, which I made using this tutorial, and a coat of Surf Blue on my “B” monogram completely refreshed the wreath and helped me to weave a new curbside color story.
THREE’S NOT A CROWD, IT’S A VIGNETTE. I know some people say they just aren’t good at arranging things, and I understand their struggle. A sweaty first attempt to create an effortlessly styled bookcase can make a person want to pull out their hair when the finished product ends up looking like a picked-over shelf at Macy’s on Black Friday. All that work without the thrill of scoring a great deal. Ugh.
It takes practice. I’ve been doing it for a long time, and I still arrange things a dozen times before getting the right look. Then I take a few pictures, realize the whole thing looks like crap on camera, and arrange some more. And, get this, I’m still not great at it!
But I am getting better, thanks in part to the rule of three. When in doubt, grouping three items together of different size, shape or color will help you create a solid foundation for a vignette. I used the rule of three all over my front porch to create mini-vignettes that, when grouped next to each other, added up to create the whole look.
Smaller vignettes can serve as one piece of a larger vignette, which is what I did in the above photo. Three Cinderella pumpkins stacked on top on one another create a vignette that, when placed between two fall mums, creates another vignette. I think you can see what I did here. Again, it takes practice, arranging and rearranging. Keep at it!
GIVE YOUR PLANTS A LIFT. My front porch only has one step, so I have to create height and dimension with different sized plants, planters and plant stands. Having certain pieces higher and then grouping smaller items on the ground in front creates a look that’s pleasing to the eye.
For even more height and an additional layer of interest, I added a vinyl shutter to either side of my front door. I had these sitting in the garage from when my contractor removed them to install a new French door leading out to our stone paver patio. These things only weigh about a pound so I strung them up using jute twine and they stay just fine. I wrote on the shutters with chalk, which will easily wipe off come Halloween when I’m ready for them to say “Boo” or some other frightening cliché.
MIX COLORS AND TEXTURES. For me, fall is about texture. Chunky sweaters, leather books, ribbed tights, fuzzy blankets and frothy beverages. On the front porch, you’ll get no better texture than frilly, gorgeous ornamental cabbages. I’m obsessed with these and they are really hearty, so with enough perseverance even I might be able to keep them looking great as we head into winter. Dried corn stalks are also an inexpensive way to add fall color and texture (and height!) to your front stoop.
MAINTAIN A COMMON COLOR THREAD. My final tip works for indoors as well as outdoors, but the way I ground my spaces is through a common color. No matter how many colors I throw into the mix, I always make sure to use the same color a few times to create a cohesive look.
You’ll find teal on my wreath, door mat and on a few of my planters.
And, of course, the vibrant fuchsia on my front door (Fucshia Flock by Olympic Paints) is balanced out with the pink hues of my mums and planters.
While I’m talking about my front door, now is as good a time as any to mention that this is the LAST time you’ll be seeing a new photo of the pink lady here on Embrace My Space. Despite her beauty, she’s not very functional because of her age. We can feel the freezing air flowing in around the door in the winter months, so we decided to get a new door. I will share it with you when it’s installed in a few weeks!
This time of year is akin to a seasonal-decorating marathon. As soon as the pumpkins are out for fall, it’s time to carve them for Halloween and before you know it it’s time to use the remaining flesh to bake in your Thanksgiving pie. OK, I’m not serious. I do not make pumpkin pies from my leftover Halloween jack o’lanterns. I do not make pies; I buy pies from the bakery.
Anyway, I hung my Halloween wreath immediately after snapping these shots, so more to come on my spooky decor next week!