Sunday, April 6, 2014

The front porch

It's time to make your front porch (or step) just as pretty as spring itself.

Of course, you'll need to begin by giving the entire porch a good wash down - a super good spray down with your hose nozzle turned to high (of course, don't spray it so hard that paint comes off!). Be sure to give even the ceiling a good wash. Squeegee the water off of any windows you may have hosed down in the process.

Next give it a good sweep or wash (it may need some soap and a broom to get it good and clean).

Scrub down any outdoor furniture that might be on your porch. Get rid of anything that can't be repaired, repainted or re-purposed.

 Let everything dry overnight.

 Now we can begin decorating! The trend now is to "bring the indoors out" - so think "living room" instead of front porch when choosing decor.



 If you live in an area where it doesn't rain in the summer, you might consider an inexpensive area rug. Opt for an outdoor version if your part of the world is a little more moist. Another option would be a bamboo rug or an oilcloth - These could both be painted in whatever way you want.



Is your porch furniture beautiful, or could it use a new coat of paint? Get out the paint and brushes now so you will be able to enjoy your porch all spring and summer.

Cushion it

Repair or replace any old or worn cushions - you may be able to recover them very inexpensively.

Plants Galore

Add lots of plants. Palms, pansies, geraniums - the possibilities are endless. Plant them in terra-cotta pots that you've painted to match the porch. You can decorate the rims in different, yet co-coordinating patterns. Consider adding some hanging pots or baskets in areas that won't matter if the water drips below when watering.


Add a wreath to your beautifully clean front door.

Hanging lanterns and string lights cast a romantic glow in the twilight. Use battery operated LED tea lights in hanging lanterns from and you'll get the romantic glow of candlelight with the safety of a battery.

Don't stop at a wreath and hanging lights - use your imagination... maybe some vases for the tables or more battery operated pillar candles. Even a small self-contained fountain in the corner to add the ambiance of a babbling brook.

Get your porch ready for the outdoor season and you'll find yourself, not only spending lots of time there, but you'll have a chance to meet your neighbors and get to know what's going on in your neighborhood.


More Outdoor Ideas:

Keep frost off your windshield. Fill a spray bottle with saltwater and spray your windshield at night if you know it will be a frosty morning. The salt will keep snow and condensation from sticking to the glass and crystallizing. You’ll need to do this every night as the use of windshield wipers during the day will remove the protective salty layer.

If you're just dealing with frost itself (no snow, etc) - just put an old sheet over your windshield in the evening & in the morning, remove the sheet and windows will be clear.
Metal Tongs Can be a big help when weeding your garden! They do a great job of removing small weeds – plus your new manicure stays fresh.

To temporarily seal a leaky hose, place a toothpick into the hole and snap off any part that’s poking out of the hose. Keep the piece of toothpick in place by wrapping it with duct tape or electrical tape (be sure the hose is dry first, or the tape won’t hold).

If you can find where Ants are coming in, sprinkle some cinnamon or baby powder in that spot – they won’t walk over it!

Ants also will not cross a chalk line (one year when the weather was awful we had an infestation. The ant guy was doing everything he could to stop them, but they were still coming in – it was nasty. I went into my kitchen and drew chalk lines around the edges of all my cupboards and not one ant ever went in – even the food cupboards!).

Keep mosquitoes away from your by splashing plain rubbing alcohol on yourself and allow to dry.

Use half pure vanilla and half water for a natural mosquito repellent.

Dab lavender oil on your pulse points (mosquitoes hate it), but you’ll smell great!

Keep mice away by placing small containers of used kitty litter around the outside of your house – the mice will smell it and wont’ want to cross paths with a cat.

To keep your garbage cans fresh, pour ½ cup of borax in the bottom of the garbage cans to help prevent odor producing mold and bacteria.

Make excellent garden walks with coal ashes. They become very hard by use, and no weeds or grass will grow through them



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