As temperatures continue to rise and flowers and trees start to show off their beauty once again, the home decor focus turns from interior to exterior. Creating a beautiful outdoor space doesn’t just make your home look fresh, it also provides a perfect place to relax or entertain.
A front area can be ho-hum or happening; it’s up to you. Beautifying the entrance to your home does have an effect, however. “A well-cared-for front yard says a lot about the people who live there,” says landscape designer Melanie Rekola of Melanie Rekola Landscape Design. “If the front entry has feel-good décor, inviting furnishings and lush plantings, you just know the inside will follow suit. I think it makes one want to get to know these types of homeowners.”
Rekola offers her top tips on how to make your front door and the surrounding space shine this season.
Who says gardens belong in the backyard? Rekola recommends trying a container garden on your front porch. In fact, try more than one! “Adding a group of container gardens filled with spring blooming bulbs in various sizes brings so much vibrancy to a front porch in springtime,” she says. “You can even add a large vase filled with the branches of spring flowering shrubs (such as forsythia and pussy willow) to the mix for a fun, festive and long-lasting arrangement.” Rekola recommends that you stick with a specific color palette for the best impact and a cohesive effect.
Roll Out the Rug
No matter how you choose to decorate your front patio or door space, don’t forget to look down and include a fresh outdoor rug to welcome in your visitors, Rekola says. Don’t forget to add a fresh outdoor rug to welcome visitors in! “ I think often people choose door mats that are much too small,” she says.”By choosing a large one that fills your door space properly, your front door will have the attention, warmth and textural contrast it needs to pop.”
Scandi Goes Outside
Scandinavian design is hot these days. The style prizes clean lines and open spaces, often with wood furniture and light walls. It showcases function and simplicity instead of ornate decoration. This translates beautifully to your outdoor spaces. “I am loving the Scandinavian style wood plant stands that hold planters high off the porch floor,” Rekola says. “I love wood accents in general for porch decor – the addition of teak side tables or chairs looks so cozy and appealing. Wood ceilings are gorgeous in porch areas, too!”
Front and Center
Covered porches aren’t uncommon in many areas, whether they are small and frame the front door or expansive and run the length of the house. There is another option for creating a usable and beautiful space near your home that you might not always associate with the front lawn. “I also think front yard patio spaces are wonderful additions and not seen nearly enough,” says Rekola. “It's nice to have a different area to chase the sun or shade, depending on the weather and time of day. Why not enjoy all your outdoor spaces and not just the backyard?” A pergola provides architectural interest and a background to display beautiful plants. Hang string lights to extend the enjoyment of your space after dark.
Plants are an obvious choice for gussying up many front porch looks, but how you showcase them matters on a functional level, says Rekola. “I would forgo hanging baskets altogether,” she says. “They are very high maintenance and need to be watered constantly.”
Opt instead for larger planters that don’t require as many waterings. “Bigger is better when it comes to planters for both impact and upkeep.”
Stick With What You Love
No matter how you choose to decorate your front door and surrounding area, the rules for making it your own and keeping with your personal style are simple. Do it the same way you would for indoor spaces, says Rekola.”Bring the indoors out in the same style and color schemes for furniture, toss cushions, textiles and even flowers,” she says. ”You can even add some candles, outdoor lamps or fairy lights for that added bit of sparkle if it fits your personality and style.”