Give Your Home Instant Curb Appeal in 3 Easy Steps
July 27, 2016
How ToOutdoorsPatio
Curb appeal is a major thing when owning a home. It's the world's first impression of your most favorite space but probably the last thing you think about when decorating. First comes paint, then furniture and accessories and maybe you get around to throwing a mat outside the front door or a flowers if you're really lucky. Well Ashley Brooke and her crazy cute red door abode are coming to the rescue with three easy steps to instant curb appeal.
I'm going to be honest here, the design feature that truly sold me on this home was the entrance. Specifically the red front door. Seriously. As soon as the Realtor showed me a photo of the house, in my brain, I had already moved in! It didn't matter to me what the inside looked like because it had a red door and all was right with the world. A few years after moving in, we've finally settled in and are beginning to make all kinds of fun changes to it. But the one thing that will forever be is the red door.

Since my obsession with the front of the house is real, I am always looking for ways to dress it up. Having the big red door is wonderful, but it's really not the easiest to style since it's SO. RED. It also does not help that Central Florida presents a few unique challenges to landscaping outside. Between the balmy Florida heat and humidity and the flower-eating deer that roam the neighborhood, many plants do not stand a chance! So when we decided it was time to get serious about the front door decor situation, we needed a serious plan!
The first order of business: accessorize! Before thinking about plants we knew we needed new planters. The ones we had were falling apart. They were also charcoal black and not really giving the front of the house that Southern charm we were looking for. And that's when we found these pretty ones from Pottery Barn! We relocated the red Adirondack chairs to the front porch from the back yard and chose striped blue and white pillows to soften the look of it all. Besides, blue and white stripes match just about everything and especially red. WIN!
Once all the new front porch staples arrived we called in some reinforcements for the landscape design. Our gifted friends at Porch Therapy came to the rescue! I have a "green-ish" thumb and can keep things alive, but I needed some advice on what in the world to plant in our gorgeous new pots. Something that could handle extreme heat and an insane amount of humidity. If that wasn't all, I really didn't want to plant more deer food.
The ladies from Porch Therapy recommended all kinds of plants and came up with the Preppy-Meets-Southern-Tropical theme for the arrangements, which I had never thought to do! The front of our home is very "Southern" looking and I always thought that without hydrangeas or geraniums it just would not work... But I had never thought outside the box, and I am SO glad we did. After that, we were ready to whip our front door into tip-top shape!

In our Planters

Silver Buttonwood, Caladiums, Diamond Frost Euphoria, Echinacea, Alocacia, Canna Lily, and Blue Daze. The trees are Weeping Podocarpus.
Okay, so I know what you are thinking, "Ashley, that is a lot of work!" But honestly, you just need a plan and it will all fall into place. I pinky promise! So here you go friends, get out a pen and write down these three steps to help you get started:

Step 1. Assess your space.

What do you have room for? A wreath? A pot or two? Chairs? Map it out and decide what the space can handle and what you could do that really would make an impact. I already had the chairs and knew I wanted to incorporate them, so I just added pillows and pots. That part was easy!

Step 2. Find your colors/know your climate

Too often I find myself picking up a "pretty" wreath for the front door and bringing it home only to realize, "yes, that is pretty... but your door is red. Pink and purple flowers do not match. At all." Honestly, that has happened far too many times. After realizing that we needed to stick to primary colors, everything got a lot easier. Those aqua blue pillows are pretty, but they won't match, get the blue & white ones....etc. etc.

This also helped a ton when it came to plant selection! We knew our lane. Also, I had to come to grips that we didn't live in North Carolina where we could have hydrangeas galore. I live in Florida. It's 1,000 degrees in the Summer and, strangely enough, our neighborhood has more deer than people. So once I came to grips with that, the plant selection made more sense. Also, it's comforting to know that we didn't just pot a whole bunch of deer food.

Step 3. Get outside of your box!

This is hard for me. I like the comfort of a box, but after talking to professionals I realized... I can pot an actual tree? Again, no idea why I didn't comprehend it until now, but pots aren't just for flowers.

Also, move those pots around. If you have a perfectly symmetric front porch or entry way like we do, don't just stack them up on your steps. Get a little asymmetrical, add some interest! You'll be so proud of yourself when you do!
See, not so hard! Just get yourself some new pots, talk to your local nursery about what really works in your climate, and play around with it! Whether you are in an apartment or house, you want your guests' first experiences in your home to be special. So why not start with the front door?!
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Photography : Danielle Nichol Photography | Art Direction: Ashley Brooke Designs | Floral Design: Porch Therapy | Dress: Ann Taylor | Chairs / Planters / Drinkware: Pottery Barn |