Todays post is brought to you by Jessica Phan from Balsam Hill, a high-end manufacturer of Christmas trees. Jessica is out of San Francisco and just before the holidays got into high gear I had one question for her: What do we do with all these beautiful porches come January? I mean let’s face it, even the grinch can get into the spirit of throwing a pumpkin next to his front door. But after all the festivities are over, and the decorations torn down, does that mean our porches go naked until next December? Here are Jessica’s tips to decorate your front porch even after the holidays are over.
Inspiring and Welcoming Winter Front Porches
Winter is a wonderful time of the year to celebrate a bountiful harvest and to showcase your design creativity. While there are many places around the home to decorate with the beauty of Winter, the front porch is the first (and perhaps, only) place that creates a lasting impression upon visitors. Decorating the front porch for the Winter can be a tricky proposition, but you can elicit oohs and aahs from your guests with these simple do’s and don’ts.
DO: Prepare your front porch for a make-over.
The front porch gets plenty of traffic all year long. Make sure your porch is always clean by sweeping away debris from the floor and steps. You can also use one-part cleaning solution mixed with three-part warm water to scrub your porch floor clean. For wooden floors, consider using mild soap or an oil-based cleaning solution to retain the natural beauty of wood.
DON’T: Decorate only for the Holidays.
Fall and Winter is associated with “porch decorating”. While the iconic pumpkin is a fantastic decorating piece and a default that many homeowners use, opt for decor that is festive for the time of year but also compliments the style and decoration of your home.
You can also transition your fall decor into winter by adding sculptural items like pinecones on your wreath. Tie on sprigs of berries or poinsettia and you have a beautiful front porch wreath that spans seasons.
DO: Make the colors of Nature your inspiration in your design.
The bright hue of falling leaves dominates the color scheme of autumn. Draw inspiration from these rich colors to complement your front porch design. Yellow, red, orange and brown look divine against a backdrop of dark green. Put faux green apples on gold urns and place them on opposite sides of the porch. You can also use rectangular planters or hay bales as the foundation for your other front porch decor. Mix and match shapes to create an attention-grabbing visual element on your entryway.
If you have outdoor furniture, cover it with fabric that matches the hues of Winter. Tinted glass jars with pillar, taper or luminaria candles also add a touch of color and coziness to your home exterior.
DON’T: Go crazy with color.
It can be tempting to throw in all the colors imaginable to make your front porch enticing and festive. There is no need to use all the colors of the rainbow to make your outdoor space look fantastic. Limit the color scheme on your front porch to a maximum of three. Repeat the hues all throughout the space.
DO: Revamp your outdoor furniture.
Winter is a wonderful time to get cozy with family and friends. While it feels great to be able to throw yourself on a bean bag, remember that you will be receiving visitors. It’s time to update your outdoor furniture and select pieces that are classic and also comfortable for your guests year round.
Since most people do not have the time (and budget) to shop for new furniture, look for creative pieces from auction sites, used furniture websites and stores, or thrift shops to save dollars. It doesn’t hurt to peek at your neighbor’s garage sale. Who knows, you just might score the porch swing of your dreams without going very far!
DON’T: Go over your budget when choosing furniture and accessories.
Shopping for furniture, accessories and other decorations for the home is bliss to many. However, searching for great pieces often means that there’s some form of overspending involved. Before heading to the stores to purchase decor, make a list of all the items you need and plan to use on your design. This helps to curb reckless spending and stops you from putting out a plethora of unnecessary items on your porch.
DO: Light up your doorway
The path leading to your front porch is just as essential as the entryway itself. Spruce up exterior lights by adding surprising embellishments that keep with the colorful theme of Winter. Tie a colorful bow or a burlap ribbon on a post mount and secure colorful decorations for a whimsical touch to your outdoor lighting. You can also accent wall sconces with fresh flowers or berries.
Decorating your front porch for Winter is an exciting project and doesn’t have to expire simply because the holidays are over! Draw inspiration from Nature for color schemes and use old furniture to dress up your entryway year round.
Jessica Phan is a designer for Balsamhill.com a purveyor of high-end artificial Christmas Trees. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area is perfect for her because she has a wide range of interests, including Art & Design, Fashion, Photography, Painting and Thrift Store Shopping.
Images: Cleverly inspired, House of Hawthornes, Besco Lighting