How To: Fall Front Porch

Fall Front Porch How To

 

I love fall front porches. I was so excited to decorate ours this year. As soon as October hits, I start the decorating!

 

Fall Front Porch How To

 

Fall Front Porch How To

 

There are several components to making a really great fall porch. Even if you don’t have a very big front porch (like us) or even no front porch at all, you can still incorporate some of these elements! Even if you live in an apartment, some of these are doable!

 

Fall Front Porch How To

 

Mums: I love mums. The more mums the merrier, in my opinion. This year, we went with mums and daisies. My favorite mums are the dark red ones. They feel so fallish!

 

Pumpkins: You can’t a fall front porch without pumpkins! Instead of having one big one, I like doing several and mixing up the sizes. Just like the mums, more pumpkins look better! Don’t just mix up the sizes but also the colors too. White pumpkins contrast really nicely with the bright orange ones!

 

Plants: You can also mix in other fall plants with your mums and pumpkins. We saw some really cool looking kale that I wanted to get (but didn’t) at Lowes.

 

Hay Bales: I realize if you don’t have much space, the hay bales are a hard thing to incorporate. But I love the way they look, and the way they add some height! Plus the hay adds some really great texture. You can get small ones like ours from Hobby Lobby.

 

Wreath: You can either do a fall wreath or a Halloween wreath. I love Halloween, so of course I opted for Halloween! See my DIY Halloween wreath below. This one is less Halloween and more fall, but it still has the pumpkins!

 

Door Mat: You could go fall or Halloween for this too. I love the Halloween, but this fall one is really cute too!

 

Lanterns: I have seen some really cool front porches with large lanterns, and they look great! We don’t have any lanterns this year, but I am definitely going to remember it for next year!

 

Fall Front Porch How To

 

This is my Halloween wreath. I made it several years ago. It took me hours and hours, and I burned all of my fingers doing it. But I love it and it was worth it! I feel like I saw it on Pinterest, but I swear I don’t think I even knew what Pinterest was when I made it so I don’t know if that is where I saw it. All I did was take a styrofoam wreath and wrap it with black ribbon. Then I used a bunch of different Halloween ribbons and hot glue gun them into loops. Then I glued the loops on the wreath (pack them in so it is really full). Then I painted the letters and glued those on.

 

The only thing I still want to do is find a door mat. I am looking for one I can use all fall and winter (even though I really want a Halloween one!) I had seen a black and white buffalo check one on Pinterest, but I can’t find anything like it anywhere! Hopefully I find something.

 

Have you decorated for fall / Halloween yet?

How To: Have a Gallery Wall

Gallery Wall How To

 

I really love gallery walls. We have one in our entry hall, and I feel like it is such a focal point in our house. Gallery walls, if you remember, are one of my ways to spruce up your entry hall on a budget, but they work just about anywhere! I am planning on having another one in our bedroom, if I can ever get it together.

 

Gallery Wall How To

 

Gallery walls are a little intimidating. When I did one for the first time, I was really overwhelmed. I had no idea what I was doing. You can find lots of posts on Pinterest on the EXACT way you should lay out your gallery wall, but I am going to be honest – I don’t believe in them. To me, there isn’t a right way to do a gallery wall. And unfortunately you just have to try different things until it works for you. I have moved things over and over until it was just the way I wanted it. It is kind of like styling bookcases, you just have to play until you are happy.

 

Gallery Wall How To

 

I do, however, have a few tips to help you get started. While it can be overwhelming, if you just have fun and use pieces that you love, you will get there, I promise!

 

Gallery Wall How To

 

 

Have a theme

You can have a strict theme, like all pictures in black and white, or a loose theme like the framed pictures will all be in white frames. I think it helps to have a similar color pattern going on to tie it together. I’ve got a lot of blues and pinks in mine.

 

Mix it up

I love mixing different pieces together – family pictures, abstract art, quirky prints, objects. Unless you have a theme that is only family pictures, I think mixing it up makes it feel more well rounded and really gives it some added interest. Also, play with the sizes of everything. Don’t have the same size for all of your pieces (unless of course that is part of your theme).

 

Start from the center

Start with the center piece and work your way out. For our entry hall, I started with the mirror. Then I built around that. I think it helps to have a central focal point (even if it is just the focal point in your head).

 

Play with layout

Don’t be afraid to try a different things. Instead of putting a bunch of holes in the wall, either try laying it out on the ground or taping up pieces of paper so you can get an idea of how the sizes will work (or do both!). My dad helped me hang mine, so he was really patient with me while I tried different things. I like a little bit of a haphazard layout where things aren’t perfectly symmetrical. But I have seen some really pretty ones that are all black and white pictures in the same frames all perfectly lined up together. That is a personal taste, but I think if you have a mixture of things, the layout works best if it isn’t symmetrical. If everything is the same size, same type of piece (all family photos, all wedding photos, all black and white, etc), then symmetrical might be the way to go.

 

Step away

Sometimes you just have to step away. Leave it alone and come back to it later. I do this with just about everything – grocery list, blog post, something at work. Sometimes if you step away from it for a little while, you can get a little clarity or inspiration.

 

The main thing is don’t get frustrated. If you are interested in reading more about artwork for gallery walls, make sure to sign up for my newsletter at the bottom of this post. It is going to be one of the things I am discussing for the September Edit!

How To: Paint Your Front Door

How To Paint Your Front Door

 

Another Hodum Fixer Upper project has been marked off the list! A while back, I talked about how I wanted to paint our front door a bright, fun color. It was black and boring, and I felt like it made the front of our house that much darker (we have a lot of trees anyway). And we finally did it! If you watched my Instagram stories (@nikkihodum) a few weeks ago, you might have seen part of this 2 weekend long project.

 

We painted the inside and the outside of the door. The outside I instantly loved, but the inside did take some getting used to. I like white walls for everything, so painting the inside of the door was a little scary. But I also wanted to brighten up the room and make it a little more fun!

 

This was my inspiration for painting the inside:

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The picture is linked to this website, but I don’t see the image anywhere…

 

Here is the before of the outside:

front door outside before

Side note – it is really hard to take pictures with the glass door.

 

And here is the before of the inside:

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

 

Our front door was in terrible shape on the outside – the surface was bubbled and rough. So we ended up having to strip the whole thing. This is what we did on weekend one.

 

How To Paint Your Front Door

 

We tried used a paint stripper, but it did nothing.

 

How To Paint Your Front Door

 

So we ended up having to use an angle grinder with a wire brush wheel to get all of the paint off.

 

How To Paint Your Front Door

 

The paint I used was called Blue Macaroon from Sherwin Williams from Lowe’s in a satin finish. I have a rug in my entry hall that is navy and teal, and I wanted something that would be a few shades lighter than the teal in the rug. It is bright enough that it makes an impact from the outside, but light enough that I am not totally overwhelmed on the inside. It also ties nicely into our living room.

 

Weekend Two was all about the painting. I used this tutorial from Sherwin Williams that shows you what to paint first. I don’t know if it really makes a difference, but I followed it because I didn’t want to have to do it again! I did 2 coats on the outside, but needed 3 coats on the inside. For some reason the white paint kept showing through.

 

So here is the after of the outside:

 

How To Paint Your Front Door

 

And here is the after of the inside:

 

How To Paint Your Front Door

 

During this project Charlie said something about the fact that if we lived in this house for a while, this probably wouldn’t be the last time we painted the front door. In the middle of painting he said, “Hey, what about navy?” I wanted to kill him. But for now I am really pleased and excited about the door! He really likes it too.

 

It really was a super easy and inexpensive project. The paint was about $30 for a gallon (and we only used about a quarter of it). The most expensive thing was that we had to replace the hardware. The lovely people before us apparently are the ones who painted the front door black (we found olive green underneath), and they just painted all over the hardware. I think we spent about $100 on the new hardware (which I don’t love, but we were limited in what we could get without Charlie having to drill new holes and it just wasn’t worth it to me). So if you don’t have to strip the door and don’t have to buy new hardware, you could do this for under $50 and most likely in one weekend.

 

Do you have a colorful front door? Or are you thinking about trying it?

How To: Whitewash Brick

WhitewashBrick1

A few weeks ago, I shared our Fireplace Makeover (here). So today I am sharing how I whitewashed our brick.

 

HowToWhitewash

 

I was REALLY nervous about doing it. REALLY nervous. We had spent all of this time and money having the brick done, and I was so worried it wasn’t going to look good. You can’t un-paint brick. But I also knew that the brick was way too red for what I wanted.

 

Whitewash Brick 2

 

This is what it looked like before I did the whitewashing. Aren’t the walls beautiful? You can see where the old mantle was, and where we had drawn where the new mantle would be.

 

So I naturally did a ton of research before I did. The one thing that I didn’t do that I would highly recommend doing if you try this was test it on a spare brick. I just went for it.

 

HowToWhitewashBrick

 

The only materials you will need are paint, a paint brush and some sort of rag (I used one of the hubs’ old t-shirts). Generally you use half paint, half water. I ended up watering mine down a little more after I did some because I wanted more brick to show through. I wanted the whitewashing to be pretty light.

Any paint will work. I am pretty sure that I used our trim paint, which is a semi gloss (Benjamin Moore Dove White). The brick absorbs a lot of the paint, so it won’t seem shiny going on. But you can always use a flat or an eggshell if you prefer.

 

IMG_6838

 

The process-

First, wipe your brick with a damp cloth or towel. Just like any other paint surface, you want it to be clean. It is harder with brick, and little pieces will probably come off. But that is OK.

 

Once you have your half and half mixture, start painting your brick with your paintbrush. I would take it a little section at a time. Then use your old rag and wipe it some. It is going to go on much heavier than it will end up being. The brick absorbs a lot of the paint, but that is why I suggested testing it on a spare brick. Again, you can’t un-paint it. You can always add more paint.

 

Then just keep going. I took it about 2 – 3 bricks at a time. Our fireplace isn’t enormous, and this took me about 30 minutes. It was so easy, and I am so pleased with how it turned out. I really think it softened the look.

 

DSC_0006

 

Have you tried whitewashing before? Or are you thinking about it?

 

Have a great day!