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First Impressions

After A Gloomy 2020, Refreshing Our Home’s Entry Is A Step In The Right Direction To Welcome Back Guests

Our neighborhood, considered the largest collection of Tudor-style homes in the Southwest, has many charming elements. At the top of the list are the homes’ big front porches. Coupled with the narrow tree-lined streets and small front yards, the porch is the ideal place to relax and visit with passing neighbors.

Homes in our 100-year-old neighborhood have undergone a myriad of renovations. With such small lots, adding a second story is the only option for significantly increasing square footage. Some homeowners have chosen to enclose their home’s porch to create additional interior space.

When remodeling, we never considered enclosing the front porch, preferring to keep it as an outdoor living space and entry. With the houses built before air conditioning was available, the covered porches allowed families a place to sit in the evenings to escape the stifling Texas heat indoors.

I’ve given our front porch a refresh to match the blue theme I’m working on for the interior. First, I stripped the door wreath I had down to the bare vine. Using my glue gun, I affixed a collection of artificial blue flowers from my local crafts store. I included hydrangeas, one of my favorites, along with an assortment of greenery. I finished it with a large blue and white bow made with ribbon from Mackenzie-Childs beautiful Royal Check line.

Every room needs an anchor for definition. Here, I kept the black and cream rug from Ballard Designs, which goes perfectly with our comfortable Smith Hawkins chairs and side table. Outdoor drapery frames the driveway entry. Black planters of Boston ferns are perfect at the front arches.

I was determined and delighted to find coach lights matching the ones we installed on the front of the house and back deck years ago. However, due to the pandemic, it took a while for them to arrive, then to get scheduled with the electrician, but they were worth the wait.

The fun stuff is all about accessories. On the side table, I added a lantern and used a Royal Check Mackenzie-Childs utensil holder as a vase. And I love my two black iron Labradors. I added inexpensive deep navy throw pillows, and a large basket for deliveries topped with another of the blue and white bows.

Having a covered porch makes it possible to have welcome accent signs like this pretty blue one. More than 25 years ago, an elderly neighbor gave me a metal wind chime, a cherished mainstay on the porch.

While traveling in England several years ago, I fell in love with all the charming cottage names, and ordered one for our house. With window boxes full of ivy and that being our granddaughter’s name, it’s perfect.

By using foundation pieces I already had, and staying with black as a base tone, the look and feel of the entry can easily transition to the next season with minor substitutions.


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