We recently spruced up our front porch. The exterior of our house has been a work in progress for the past year or so and the porch really needed a little boost.
Last fall, we replaced our old shutters with custom built (by me) cedar shutters. I built them from cedar fence boards, sanded and stained them with MinWax Provincial stain and then two coats of MinWax Helmsman Spar Urethane. They really changed the overall look of the house. I wish I had taken a "before" photograph of the porch, but the one above is the best I could come up with. You can see the traditional white columns just weren't cutting it with the new stained shutters, so our next project was to replace them with stained posts and porch brackets.
We priced cedar posts and they were pretty expensive. My dad suggested we use treated pine posts. Good move. The four 6"x6" treated posts were around $20 each. We ended up purchasing two additional 6"x6" posts that my Dad used to make the porch brackets. After we installed them, we let them "dry out" for a month or so before we stained and sealed them the same way we did the shutters.
I built this table from 2"x3" boards for the base and 2"x6" boards for the top. It was my first furniture build and was fairly simple. I love the way it filled the space to the right of the front door.
I filled these great planters I found at T.J. Maxx with variegated ivy and geraniums.
I've always wanted a haint blue porch ceiling, so we repainted the bead board with Benjamin Moore's Palladian Blue (HC-144). We also added patio string lights at are from Wal-Mart's Better Homes & Gardens line.
These planters aren't technically on the porch, but the side of the house, but I couldn't exclude them. I found these really big containers at Big Lots and filled them with sun ferns, variegated ivy, geraniums and sweet potato vine.
And finally, we also gave our old mailbox a redo too! I stripped the paint from the post and stained it to match the shutters and porch posts. I gave the mailbox a fresh coat of black paint and added brushed nickel house numbers to the post. Then a sun fern and variegated ivy in a pot finished it up.