It’s a beautiful time of year. The first of the lilac blossoms are starting to show, birds are singing and the sun stays up until 9pm. Time to open up your home to the outdoors and enjoy the season of gardens, barbecues, and morning tea on the front porch. May is a great month to think about brushing up the exterior of your home, which can be as simple as a few cans of paint.
Paint Is Your Best Friend
The fastest, least expensive and most impactful way to brush up your exterior is to use paint. Painting the front door a bright, cheerful colour makes such a dramatic change to even the dreariest entryway! The most popular colours for doors are rich reds and blues, colours that pair well with bricks and neutral coloured siding. Bright yellows look fantastic against grey siding. Don’t feel as though you have to stick to these hues, or that you somehow have to ‘match’ the rest of the neighbourhood. Take inspiration from the homes of Newfoundland, where you can find entire homes painted brightly to counter the cold, wet weather. Or London, Cologne, and other old European cities where tightly packed apartments are unabashedly bright shades of every colour under the sun. Sometimes the unexpected feels the most fresh and energizing! Take for example this front door painted with Behr’s Fresh Apple P360-6. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a front door this colour, but the result is amazing, tying the home and lush green gardens together into one space. To finish off your new door you might want to update its hardware as well, but you might be able to get away with a bit of cleaning and polishing- especially if it’s an older piece that brings a lot of character to the door.
Once you’ve painted the door, what else can you do? Why not re-paint old benches, the mailbox, the railing and instead of replacing old exterior lights, give them a light sand and a few coats of spray paint- they will look like new! Blacks and whites are the most popular colours for this project- black helps the fixture look elegant, and white often matches the house’s trim making them easy matches. You could also have fun finding a colour that compliments your freshly painted door, then draw these colours into other details such as potted plants and seat cushions. For a step by step on this project, check out this link: https://www.todayshomeowner.com/video/how-to-paint-outdoor-light-fixtures/
Hanging or Sitting Plants?
Once you’ve finished painting, adding a few potted plants is a great way to add in seasonal colour and make your home feel fresh. If you have limited space, hanging baskets might be your best option, either hung from a bracket, hook, or over a railing. These also have the benefit of providing a bit of foliage privacy for front porches. If you have the space, a few large potted arrangements by the front door or along the step might be best. The fun thing about planters that sit is that you don’t have to consider their bulk and weight as much- you can create an arrangement in just about any kind of container. Old watering cans, pails, milk buckets- a bit of oddity to add charm to the space. You can buy already made planters but if you plan to make your own keep in mind the size, texture, and colour of the plants. For a minimalist feel, consider potted ferns. For lots of drama, try tall flowering hibiscus.
Create a Space Just for You
A lot of outdoor spaces are underused, which is a shame- we’re already indoors too much between work and winter months! If you have the good fortune to have outdoor space, make it yours. One way to do this is to extend your living space outdoors. Do you have a garden shed sitting in the backyard? Have you ever heard of a She Shed? Now make sure you check on your local bylaws before starting a project of this scale, but after that the limit is your imagination. Turn that old shed into a relaxing meditation room, a craft space, or even a small home office. With added insulations and electrical work you could use this private retreat all year round.
Come Home to Smile
Sometimes the best thing to come home to after a long day of work is something to make you smile and laugh. Whether it’s a garden gargoyle, a ‘Welcome’ mat at your front door or a decorative bird bath to watch feathered antics from your porch, sometimes these little details do the most to uplift the spirits. Have fun with it.