A Budget Front Porch Refresh: How to Overhaul Your Porch for $500 or Less

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I am so honored to be joining forces with some of my favorite Instagrammers and bloggers to bring you a Spring Refresh Reveal today. When you’re done here, be sure to head over to check out Jeweled Interiors, House of Hipsters Blog, Glamohemian Girl, Home Ec Op, and House on a Sugar Hill. Some took on big room reveals, others smaller refreshes, but between all of us, we’re hoping you can come away with some great inspiration.

I tackled our front porch for the Spring. Most of my room reveals are big reveals that often involve complete demolition and building a room from the studs. But, this time around, I wanted to offer some smaller tips for how to transform a space for $500 or less (and in a single afternoon). Like any space I design, it all begins with a thrift hunt. Sometimes, that can mean shopping my own basement, other times it means hitting up the thrift store. For this challenge, it meant both. I had “revealed” our porch renovation in early December, but because of the time of year I was not able to give it the true overhaul I had been hoping to. Back in the Fall, we screened in the porch to keep mosquitos and neighborhood cats out of the space, replaced the railing, and slathered the entire space in Sherwin Williams 2021 Color of the Year, Urbane Bronze. But it had yet to be styled and with Spring’s arrival, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get the porch ready for the warmer weather.

If there is one rule in design (in my humble opinion), it’s that every room needs a mix of old and new. Vintage is not only the environmentally conscious way to shop, it also adds character and layers to a space that could never be found by buying exclusively from Home Goods, Target or Home Sense (and, yes, I did hit up Home Sense for this project, too). I repurposed several pieces from my own home that had been around for a while. I had an old mid-century elephant plant stand that wasn’t being used and repurposed it as a side table for drinks. An old Art Deco brass wall planter that had previously been used for a One Room Challenge was moved outside to bring some interest to the wall next to the front door. And I also took my mid-century rattan planter and moved it outside with my fiddle leaf fig (side note: the rattan planter was scored at an estate sale for $1!).

But I wanted to add a bit more of a vintage touch, so I went out searching. My goal was to tackle this space in a single day, so one run-through of my favorite thrift shops was all the time I had. I happened upon this incredible mid-century atomic style plant stand for $45 and thought it was the perfect piece to fill out this awkward space I had behind the furniture. Our home (and porch) were built in 1910 and so the space is a bit narrow for modern furniture pieces. My one big struggle for designing this space was finding a plan for the furniture that would not make the space feel cluttered on one end, and empty on the other. This vintage plant stand was the perfect piece to pull the eye from one end of the porch to the other.

I also hit up Home Sense to see what I could find at an affordable price. Home Sense, in my experience, can be hit or miss, but I was lucky to find a few bit hits on the day I stopped in. The large Moroccan style floor pillows were perfect additions to add to the back of the rattan daybed from Article. I layered some kilim pillows I already had around to make the daybed feel cozy and complete. I also found a super cute rattan tray that picked up the rattan from the planter and the daybed and made entertaining just a bit easier having a piece that fit perfectly on top of my brass side table (which was from Target last season). I also found a super cozy jute rug at Home Sense for $24 that was the perfect scale for my little porch nook.

And last, but not least, I added plants. Hitting up my favorite nursery (Heritage Farm + Garden for those local to Long Island), is always my favorite thing to do, so I was happy to have an excuse to visit. I had brought out a few plants that I had been over-wintering inside and that was obviously an wallet-friendly way to fill in some of the space, but it still needed a bit more greenery. In particular, I was looking for plants to fill in two things: 1. the super cool classical bust planter I scored at Home Sense (also for $24), and a brass bowl I’ve had laying around that I thought would look super cute on the mcm plant stand I had picked up. I also reused clay yogurt containers as planters for little succulents and cacti to fill in the plant stand. And, last but not least, layered it with a cool piece of driftwood I had found while perusing the beach with my little three-year old, Josie, last week.

In the Fall I had added some touches, too, that remain but are finally going to be appreciated more now that the weather in warming. The Starburst Sconce from Anthropologie replaced a super old and dilapidated sconce that was hanging on by a string. The Sol Daybed and Miro Rockers form Article are staples that will stay on the porch for a long time to come. And these simple white Cityscape Planters (pictured below) from West Elm complement the tropical punch offered by these big Bird of Paradise.

Before I remind you to hit up all of the other stellar reveals, I just want to leave behind a few tips for styling with plants. First, don’t be afraid to think outside the box as far as what can be used as a planter. Many plants are happy staying right in their plastic pots from the nursery, and these can easily be placed inside of nearly anything with a bit of depth. Just be sure that there will be a method for your plants to drain water. I decided to use an old brass bowl (not vintage, but an older piece I’ve had around) to hold some smaller plants. My second tip for styling plants in a group is to choose varieties with different shades of green. I’m not big on flowering plants for indoors (or porches), so that makes it a bit more challenging to create contrast, but not impossible. I chose four plants that would complement each other (two were exactly the same to balance it all out). And my last tip for styling plants in groups is to grab species that have varying heights. I chose a fern that will eventually spill over the bowl and ground the entire composition, but complemented that with some taller succulents that will grow upright and offer some height.

And there it is! My single-afternoon, under $500 porch refresh for Spring. In summary, shop your house, hit up the thrift store, and add some greenery to make a big bang for your buck.

Now, head on over to check out the rest of the crew:

Jeweled Interiors

House of Hipsters Blog

Glamohemian Girl

Home Ec Op

House on a Sugar Hill


08 comments on “A Budget Front Porch Refresh: How to Overhaul Your Porch for $500 or Less

  • Collette , Direct link to comment

    I followed you on this journey and was so excited by every project accomplished, I even enjoyed watching your furry pizza dinner guest – the life of a lockdown city dweller is nature deprived especially when you’re 12 floors up. Pigeons aplenty but they’re more feathered humans at this point😀. Enjoy your veranda this spring!

  • Ruth Ann Binder , Direct link to comment

    I am redoing my porch and when I was looking online, the image of yours is one of my favorites! I am trying to find the Miro Rockers and wondering where I might get them? thanks!

    • Kate Pearce , Direct link to comment

      Hi Ruth! Apologies for the delay in responding – they are from Article – but I’m not sure if they carry them any longer. These are from a couple of years back.

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