Curb Appeal, Episode I

Curb appeal.  Going from drab to fab.  Porch perfect.  Okay, maybe I made that last one up.  Either way, I am excited to reveal our first full-space makeover on the blog: the front yard!  It’s been a long time coming (three years, but who’s counting?) and we’re happy to show the neighborhood that we actually care about this place we call home.

Let’s revisit the before, shall we?  Kitten photobomb in the top left, of course.

This photo does not accurately capture the entire before shot, as we previously had monstrous evergreen trees blocking light from the kitchen.  During an autumn day of chainsaw action, we cut and broke down the tree branches to start from scratch.  And by scratch, I mean piles of old dirt that graced our yard for six months.  Also note the white planter and dark green tray, which of course we repainted to showcase its neon glory.  So, how did we go about revamping our yard? Here’s a few steps to lead us up to the big reveal.

Build a garden wall. All of the credit for this project goes to my all-time favorite husband.  He really jumped in headfirst, first by purchasing a pallet of fieldstone from a local garden shop for $350.  He then dug a small trench in the shape of the path for the garden wall and leveled out the land. Since it is a short wall and its purpose is primarily decorative, he didn’t have to take any steps to adhere the stones together with mortar, like many other DIY sites recommend.  We haven’t had any problems with this so far, since everything seems to be holding together.

He then laid out the stones in an arrangement so that the flat sides were facing outward, to create a relatively clean line for the flowerbeds.  The wall is about six or seven stones high and took him a large part of a Saturday morning and weekday evening to complete.  I made several attempts to help but just couldn’t seem to grasp the puzzle that fit so clearly in his head. Oh, engineers.

Add a pop (or pops) of color.  We added even more color to our porch by spray painting the wooden bench Dan built a few weeks earlier.  Don’t be deceived by this photo, I did 99% of the work and needed just a little assistance in the hard to reach corners of this bench, I swear.  I used about three cans of Rustoleum Painter’s Touch (in satin wildflower blue) spray paint to cover the surface area of the bench.  Again, this is good for indoor and outdoor surfaces and only runs you about $4 per can.  Other pops of color included the aforementioned neon plant stand and our DIY door decoration.

Never underestimate flower power.  We took it upon ourselves to identify flowers, plants, and mulch to breathe some life into the previous dirt pile also known as our front yard.  Before we planted anything, we bought about 12 bags of soil and spent probably around $40 to fill this area.  Dan also mulched and provided some fertilizer for the specific plants that needed it.  As for flowers, we chose salvia (tall, purple flowers), bidens (a gift from my dad and nod to my love for Joe Biden), and knockout roses (these bad boys above).  We also decided on two hanging plants above the porch as well as several in planters on our steps.  They add so much color and life to our porch – it makes a huge difference.

Now for the big reveal…

Ta-da!  Keep your Vanna White jokes to yourselves, folks, and focus on the beauty of the yard rather than my dazzling smile.  We have our knockout roses, salvia, bidens, and other flowers as well as some blueberry bushes in the back (all of these plants will grow into themselves and become fuller and greener).  Check out the pops of color brought in by the bench, Target pillows and basket.  And last but not least, our simple hanging flowers, potted plants, and door decoration.

And the side by side comparison.  Drum roll please…

So, that’s curb appeal, episode I.  We definitely have some more changes in mind including adding more plant life to the garden and are on the hunt for a new welcome mat.  Otherwise, we are just enjoying the fruits of our labor and spending a lot more time on the porch from now on!

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  1. Pingback: 2014: The Year of “Do” | Creating Krista

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