I recently teamed up with Peddlers Mall Stores on my front porch refresh, and I can easily admit, my porch was certainly in desperate need of some freshening up. If there is one fact about me that you need to know, it’s that I’m obsessed with the Peddlers Mall. I like digging around other people’s old stuff, it’s a simple as that. While I did source a few items elsewhere, the main items came from two local Peddler’s Mall stores.
Here is the before:
The bones are good, full of potential, but I’ve left it junky, crappy, un-loved, and gross. How sad. You can see in the photos, I have cushions sitting out, a large green mystery stain, a laundry basket, a winter sled, old mulch, a Kroger bag of dirty diapers, ummm, et cetera crap et cetera.
This post is less about design, and more of a story about what you can accomplish when you get off your lazy butt and put a little love into your home. Especially the entrance, make it be a reflection of your home. Like at the very minimum, maybe just don’t have crap living on your porch. Things I had to tell myself.
I knew I wanted seating, both in the entry area and the nook further back. Seating is inviting, it says “hello friend, come sit with me and connect while we hear birds chirping in the background”. Seating would also make all parts of the porch available for use, not just the entry.
Seating was the biggest challenge, so off I went to the Peddlers Mall to see what I could find. Sometimes the Peddler’s Mall is fun for casual browsing, but personally, I prefer to have a general idea of what I’m searching for. For the porch, I was looking for a cool chair and round-ish side table. I didn’t find a round table in my price range, but this octagon table felt round enough.
The rattan chair from the Middletown peddlers mall caught my eye. Painting rattan is a big debate, but I chose to paint this chair a high gloss pale blue so that the texture and shape of rattan could stay while bringing in a pop of color. I used an oil based paint, cleaned the surface, and painted it right on. No sanding needed. Oil paint is great for outdoor items because it’s durable and slick, meaning you can water plants without worrying.
This bench below was not an instant purchase. I took this photo while browsing, but couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I had to go back and get it. I chose not to paint this piece because I like the look of painted pieces paired with raw pieces. Other than needing a cushion and pillows, it was perfect as is. I loved the wicker-y rattan look, the light wood color, and the curved back shape that looks the like bench is giving a hug. Outdoor cushions are actually pretty pricey, I found a beige one on clearance and despite the dull color, I worked with it since it was so cheap.
The rug situation was tough, I definitely needed a rug to anchor everything together. I attempted using an old golden yellow rug that was once in Ari’s nursery, but I knew deep down that an outdoor material would be best opposed to a quick fix using an existing rug.
Large outdoor rugs were a bit too expensive for me, so I found four little outdoor rugs and duct taped them together. Most outdoor rugs this size were over $90, this makeshift rug was $40.
I chose to use the same rug for the end of the porch as well as the entry, this helps connect the two spaces together. I did this with lots of elements in the porch design in addition to the rugs. One of my goals was to make the entire porch feel unified.
I found a pillow online that I loved, but I didn’t have the money for all that. I tried to re-create the pillow by painting florals onto a white outdoor pillow I found on sale. I used cheap acrylic paint, it worked great. The plaid pillow was a find from the Fern Creek Peddler’s Mall, and normally I don’t buy fabric items in used state, but I inspected it and it’s totally fine especially for outdoor use.
Porch curtains started as an idea but became an obsession. I even lost sleep over it, as I sometimes do about highly important things like curtains. Ultimately I had to nix that idea because it became too complex for my budget and skills at this time. I was super bummed about it, because porch curtains would have created the perfect cozy and private porch nook perfect for a rainy day and a cup of coffee, and nursing a baby.
A fabric store down the road was having a major going out of business sale, which allowed me to purchase eight yards of this linen looking fabric for super cheap. My plan was to spray it with scotch guard to make it waterproof. If the area where I wanted to hang curtains was wood, not metal, this would have been easier for me to figure out. I thought I would hang hooks and dowels using 3M sticky hooks. See my attempt below, I didn’t take into consideration the temperature changes that happen throughout the day, so after I woke up the next morning, I saw my curtains prototype on the floor. Talk about defeat. Again, very sad this idea couldn’t be implemented just yet. Maybe a next summer project.
I picked up a flower pot and basket at the Peddler’s Mall, I think they both add a lot of texture and character to the space. Just a couple of bucks for both.
I have a friend named Tory, and she’s legit super mom. She’s one of those moms that are just so real with motherhood. She has two kids, and they watch Monsters Inc and eat biscuits, and I just know her home is filled with so much love. Anyway, her husband built me these wooden planters below. If you are local and want his contact info, I would be happy to share it with you! I bought two Behr Marquee paint samples in semi-gloss for painting these planters, I wanted to use it as an opportunity for bringing in a pop of color. My first idea was to have these symmetrical in the entry to give a grand look , but later decided they looked better tiered.
The entry rug was a quick DIY project. I found a cheap blank outdoor rug at Home Depot and painted the word “hello” with a few plants. Having your door mat say “hello” is such the in thing to do, so glad I have Pinterest to tell me these things.
My mom was a huge help in this entire project and I can’t thank her enough. She loves all things gardening and dirt related. She went with me to find plants at Home Depot one evening, and I had a complete breakdown. Which kind of sucks since I’m like ten weeks post-partum and pretty sure my hormones are back to normal-ish. Which means that in all my normal-ness, I let a plant upset me. I’m no garden expert, I knew nothing. I didn’t realize how pricey plants are sometimes, and how complicated the decisions can be. Plus it was raining and cold, and I was hungry. I left empty handed, but Susan came to the rescue with clearance plants from Lowes. I got four hanging plants for around ten dollars, and that’s a steal people! She also spent a Sunday afternoon helping me mulch. One day when Ari asks me to help him mulch, I’ll probably pretend I didn’t hear him.
I was able to re-visit the garden center later in the week with a better attitude and pick out some plants.
I had some leftover paint from the large planter boxes, so I decided to paint the hanging planters to tie the colors together and give them a finished look. It was a last minute impulsive decision that made all the difference.
To bulk up the front door, I painted the black door an even blacker glossier paint color. I also painted the trim on the storm door.
And yes people, even after this makeover I will still toss out my Kroger bag of dirty diapers on the porch until I’m ready to put it in the trash at a more convenient time. It’s not gross. It’s called no I don’t want a diaper genie, I want to continue to use this method let me live my life.
Would you like to be entered to win a $25 store credit to the Fern Creek Peddler’s Mall (this is one of my go-to locations). Visit their Facebook page for your your chance to enter!