The outside of a home is the first thing everyone sees. We allowed ours to suffer in favor of more family time. My husband worked nights and every other weekend for years, and to combat the lack of time we had together, we filled the time we had together with as much fun as we could. Now he’s home much more, so we finally have time to have fun AND take care of what we’ve neglected.
Our front area definitely needed a facelift. We didn’t have tons of cash to spare to do it, so we set out to give our home some curb appeal on a budget.
We had two 25 year old rocking chairs, painted many times over the years, on the porch. They were in bad shape aesthetically but still structurally sound. $100 each for new chairs was not going to work for us, so I sanded and repainted these. I purchased a quart of Valspar Chalky Paint ($36) in a funky color, and BOOM! They look new!!
I found two small outdoor tables (unassembled and unfinished) on Amazon ($30/each). With 10 minutes of assembly and a paint job (using leftover chalk paint), they were done. My front door is red, so to tie it together, I found new rocking chair pillows ($6/each, Home Depot) in blue, green, and red. I painted two mason jars red and purchased two adapters to make them into oil lamps ($6/each Lebanon General Store). I filled them with citronella oil, and now we’re bug-free and enjoying our porch! Green chevron burlap, found on clearance (for $1!!), wrapped an old grapevine wreath makes the perfect accent decor for our front door. Red planters with some ivy completed the porch. (Planters: Big Lots $8, Ivy: Lowes $5/both)
Next, we trimmed trees and pulled millions of weeds—which made an immediate difference! We have mulched before, and found it to be costly, hard work. Even worse, color faded quickly. Our solution? Pine straw! We got 10 bales for $30, (about ¼ of our mulch cost). It took about 30 minutes to spread, and it looks great. Solar lights and flowers completed the space. Solar lights can get VERY pricey, so I shopped around and found solar powered glass and silver globes at Wal-Mart ($4.97 each). Our big splurge was the hydrangeas at $16 plant. We chose hydrangeas because they’re hardy, easy to care for, and provide a great pop of color. The large clay planter was a gift, and the others (plastic) were $12 each (Lowes).
All that is left now is new paint on our railings and front door. When choosing outdoor paint, cheap is not necessarily best. Quality outdoor paint is fade and mold/mildew/algae resistant. It’s around $38+ a gallon but will save us from having to repaint each year.
Including the more expensive paint, our entire facelift only cost us $300!
Some tips for updating your space:
1. Pressure wash siding, brick, driveways, and railings. Trim trees, and pull weeds. Clean and maintained = immediate curb appeal. For us, buying a pressure washer to use maybe once a year or so isn’t really in our budget. We don’t have anyone to borrow from, so we rent one. Once year, for one day: $50.
2. Fresh paint! If your railings look a little sad, or your front door is faded—paint, paint, PAINT! Try a new color for a whole new look.
3. Yard sale it up! People let their outdoor decor get chipped or faded, and then they get rid of it. As long as the piece is structurally sound (as in, it’ll support your weight when you sit on it), all it really needs is new paint.
4. Most paint companies (like Valspar) have 4 oz sample sizes of paint for less than $5, and they’re tintable in ANY color. These are perfect for smaller projects because you aren’t stuck with a gallon of paint that you won’t use.
5. Look for sales and coupons. Lowes and Home Depot frequently publish coupons that give you certain percentages or dollar amounts off of a spend amount ($50 off of $250, etc). Sign up for mailing lists too. You’ll get coupons mailed to you just for signing up. (We received three $10 off Lowe’s coupons this way!) This is a great way to save on the more expensive purchases.