We’re friends, right? So I can tell you what REALLY happened when I decorated my front porch for fall this year?
Awhile back I had this crazy idea to use an old chippy white door as the centerpiece for the porch. My husband and I brainstormed how we could anchor it so it wouldn’t blow over, and I began to plan what else would sit in front of it. The best part about fall decorating is that your decor comes mostly from nature, right? Well, I spent the weekend being 1 hay bale short of glory. 😉 I’ll tell you what that means in a minute.
This last Saturday, we headed to Bauman Farms in Gervais, Oregon, to get our pumpkins. (Have you been? It’s a little slice of heaven!) I was so excited to get home and decorate the porch! We cleared off the summer decor, and started with a fresh slate. Here’s the blank canvas:
Don’t worry, sad little porch, here comes the FALL!
We unloaded the truck and set everything out to begin the process. Little did I know it would take THREE attempts to get it right. Yes, THREE. Ugh.
The front door area was easy. I attached this cute little “Harvest” cut-out, made by Niki at Carpenter Farmhouse, to the basket on the door, and filled in with our farm finds! Mums, hay, corn stalks, and pumpkins…ahhh, yes!
But then. The trouble began.
We anchored the door, and placed a sweet little bistro table in front. I filled in with pumpkins and LOTS of other things, and it was ONE. HOT. MESS. Oh my goodness. TOO MUCH STUFF! It gave me a stomach ache. You know when something just isn’t right? We had to hit the road for a football game, so there was no time to fix it. Nope. I’ll just stew over it all night, K? (I’m gonna show you a pic. But promise you’ll still love me.)
Don’t say “It’s not THAT bad!”…Trust me. It didn’t look good in real life. The bistro table looked too “light” in weight in this scenario, and didn’t make enough impact. Plus can you even DEAL with all of the skinny legs everywhere? It’s making me cross-eyed! 😉
Sunday arrived and after church I decided to FIX IT. It was windy, rainy, and COLD, but I ripped it apart and added a different table (one with more “presence”). Nope. Still bad.
On Monday, it hit me. Maybe if I remove the jumble of decor from under the table, and replace it with one simple hay bale, the look will lock in for me? YESSSSSSSSSSSS. That was it. The hay bale.
Adding something from “nature” was the ticket, and kept it from looking like I was trying too hard. Ya know? So now let’s chat about the other details.
-THE SIMPLE LIFE sign. I have been on the hunt for just the right fall porch sign for awhile. I never found what I was looking for, so the night before we got pumpkins I took matters into my own hands. 😉 I scrounged up a raw board in the garage, put some letter stickers on it, and painted over the entire thing with black craft paint. Then I just peeled the stickers off, and VOILA! Free sign!
-The pillows. I like to think I’m fairly realistic when it comes to decor. I knew I would NEVER find the pillows that were in my head, so I decided to DIY those as well. I ordered some plain burnt-orange outdoor pillows, and stenciled them with white craft paint. Bam. Fun & easy!
-The vintage throw is something we’ve had for years, and I seem to use it every fall in some way. 🙂
-The striped outdoor rug. This little cutie is here pretty much year round, and makes any decor pop. It has never faded and I love it! You can find it here. (Note: this rug is often out of stock, but be sure to sign up for the alert for when it’s back in stock!).
The lesson here? Decorating is all about trial and error. That’s ok. That’s normal. And sometimes all you need is a bale of hay. 🙂
Summer, I heart you. But if you MUST go, it’s time for me to move on and get ready for my other favorite season, FALL!
Yep, while I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to summer, I like to be prepared for the next season. I’m already dreaming about what I envision for my fall front porch, and don’t even get me started on the inside of the house. But that can wait. Let’s talk about you!
Friends. I don’t wanna scare you, but fall marks the beginning of gathering season. It’s that time of year when you’ll host friends and family in your home for all sorts of occasions…holidays, family gatherings, dinner parties, movie night, birthdays…and as the weather turns cooler, we can’t keep everyone on the back patio. 😉 So let’s DO THIS! Let’s get prepared to make your home cozy, welcoming, and beautifully ready for FALL! I’ve rounded up 10 budget-friendly items that are staples during this season (and beyond!). And the best part? You can shop while you’re drinking your coffee and wearing your stretchy pants. 🙂 I know. You love me already.
All set? Let’s dive in! (some affiliate links are included)
1. Gotta start with the cozy-factor. The Farmersville Plaid Check Design Tassel Trim Throw screams fall to me, but since it’s black & white, it would be perfect for Christmas too…or let’s face it, anytime!
If you’re more of a color person, this EXTREMELY budget-friendly Southington 100% Cotton Throw Blanket would be so pretty draped on your sofa!
Ok, just one more throw…in case you need a super soft, cozy blanket, perfect for movie night! I love the clean & simple pattern on the Bertte Ultra Velvet Plush Super Soft Throw Blanket. Get. In. My cart.
2. This Green Wreath comes in a few different sizes, and how pretty would it be hanging on a barn door, a chalkboard, or a mirror? So pretty for autumn!
3. This Recycled Wood Wall-Mount Coat Rack. Please. Just so good. Ok, you caught me…I actually HAVE this coat rack in my own home, and get so many compliments on it! It’s great year-round, but how perfect is it for fall??
4. See? I knew what you were thinking. “What am I going to hang on my coat rack?” 😉 This Paris French Market Basket would look great, and I’m not gonna lie. I’m ordering one right now.
5. Speaking of baskets. This 3 Piece Multi-Purpose Rectangular Iron Wired Basket Set is an AMAZING value! I would stuff at least one of these full of cute little white pumpkins, and put it on an entry table, coffee table, or bench! And hey, you could always use one of them to make up a sweet little gift for a friend or as a hostess gift!
Ok, just one more basket, because baskets are life. 😉 The Seagrass Basket with Handles comes in multiple sizes, and I don’t mean to be over-dramatic, but I want to marry it. So, ya. Oh man. Your house is gonna be lookin’ G-O-O-D.
6. Excuse me while I covet this sign. Absolutely ADORE the simplicity of it…”hello fall.” My sister, Julie, makes the cutest signs and ships all over the US! You can find her on Instagram @signsofserendipity or on Facebook (Signs of Serendipity).
7. I’m a sucker for a custom pillow, and Erin at Porter Lane Home makes the most beautiful, high-quality pillow covers! You can find this beauty here.
I have to include a burlap pillow too, because, well this Grainsack Burlap Throw Pillow is just the cutest!
8. One of the struggles of fall decorating is keeping everything from looking too crunchy and dry. Am I right? This little Echeveria Succulent Plant in Pot is your secret weapon to remedy that exact problem! I can just see it nestled in with some pumpkins on your fireplace hearth or entry table. And bonus! This little guy will look great in your home year-round.
9. Got a plan for your front porch? The Eres Black Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug
would be the perfect backdrop to whatever you decide to do! Pop some pumpkins & corn stalks on the porch, and the graphic punch from this rug will really set it off!
Enjoy the final days of summer, and by the time you pile in the car to get your pumpkins this year, you’ll be well prepared to decorate! Way to go!
So yesterday was a fun-filled install day. I hadn’t intended to write a blog post about it, only because I feel like there are never enough hours in the day…but hey. You guys are asking so many great questions, I figured, why not? I’m dying to share more pics with you anyway, and this way I can give you some links to items you’re curious about!
This project was all about giving these clients a new look in their living/dining room. They love to entertain, and they mentioned they wanted a neutral, sophisticated look, but still totally approachable and welcoming. Ummm, sounds like fun to me!
On our initial consultation day, the living room was being used as a playroom…but these clients had visions of moving the toys to another area of the house and creating a beautiful living room when you first walk in the door. Yes. I’m on board with all of that. Wanna see the before?
And here’s AFTER! (below)
You. Guys. Putting this room together was totally dreamy. It’s safe to say it was a REALLY FUN DAY. It was an extra added treat to have my good friend Anne (@pedalhomeinteriors) along for the day to help out. (THANK YOU ANNE!!! You are the BEST!) Ready for some sources? The mirror over the mantel is so unique, and I fell in love with the shape. You can find it here. The area rug looks so high-end, but was a great price. I used an 8×10, and repeated the same rug in the dining room (you’ll see in a sec!). You can find it here. The coffee table is surprisingly heavy, and the top is almost cement-like…LOVE! (you can find it here.) Wanna know a secret? The original coffee table I chose ended up being discontinued. I was SO BUMMED. But, silver lining! I like this one SO MUCH BETTER! The sofa table adds just the right amount of “rustic” to our sophisticated room, and you can find it here.
Let’s take a look at another angle of the “before”:
Can we talk about these sofas? I must admit, I’ve never ordered a sofa online before, but this pair of beauties made me change my ways! You can find them here. And the fun little end table? Find it here. The pillows came from HomeGoods, always one of my favorite places to stop!
From here, let’s take a look at the wall to the right, in its “before” state:
You guys know I’m a sucker for a big clock…and this oversized metal clock is PERFECTION…you should see it in real life! So gorgeous! Find it here. The console provides great storage for games, toys, whatever! PLUS, it leaves the room looking neat, tidy, and sophisticated. Win-win. You can find it here.
Let’s move into the dining room, shall we? Oh this is fun! Here’s the “before”:
I LOVED the chandelier when I first saw it, and the client asked if we could make it work, or if we should replace it….UMMMMM….KEEP!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Pretty much everything else got sold in a garage sale, and we started fresh! The table is so beautiful, and I was amazed at the quality! Once again, just the right dose of “rustic” to balance our look. You can find it here. The chairs are so soft, and so comfortable. You can find them here. The swanky new buffet turned out to be MUCH darker than pictured online, but it works beautifully! You can find it here. The curtains are such great quality, and we repeated them in the living room as well. Find them here. Oh, and find the lamps here, and the mirror here. Man, that paragraph was a little “here” heavy! 😉
Let’s take a look at one more angle, “before”, looking from the dining room into the living room:
And “after!” (below)
Thank you for allowing me to share this with you. Install day/Reveal day is absolutely the best and most rewarding part of the job. Especially when I get to work with such amazing clients…and then, BONUS! I get to share it with you too! Sooo? Feeling a change in your home? I’d love to hear what you’re up to!
Welcome! So glad you’re here for a little summer front porch tour.
Question for you. Is your porch saying “welcome” or “I’m busy?” 😉 I’ve definitely been guilty of the latter over the years. When my kids were little, it was all I could do to sweep the cob webs off the porch once a year. But hey. I started thinking about our porch being the first impression people have of us…and figured it was worth a little time to make it an inviting spot. So what do you say? Shall we tackle this together?
The front door is our very first opportunity. Last year’s dried up wreath probably isn’t your best try. Am I right? Well, I’m a practical girl and I want something that can stay long-term. It has to hold up to the weather (this spot gets wind like CRAZY, the rain blows in with a vengeance, and the afternoon sun BLASTS it like nobody’s business!). Oh, and did I mention I don’t want to spend a fortune? Ya, that too.
The solution? Well, inspiration struck one evening. I remembered this basket I picked up at Goodwill for $1. It’s flat on the back and even had a handle for hanging…it was just a little “warm-toned” for my liking. Easy fix. I quickly dry-brushed a little gray acrylic craft paint over the basket (2 minute project), and let it dry for a bit (I have NO patience, so luckily it dried very quickly!). Next, I went digging through my old craft supplies to find some floral foam for the bottom of the basket, and wedged it in tight (high winds in this area, remember?). The flowers are faux (from Real Deals in Salem, Oregon), but SUPER realistic looking! They were a little spendy, but WORTH EVERY PENNY. I stuck the flowers into the floral foam, but it was looking a little incomplete, almost as if the flowers didn’t “fill” the basket enough. Once again, I went back to my messy craft closet and fished out some old scraps of burlap. Once those were tucked in, I started getting excited. *YES! This is looking just how I had hoped!* Some black & white ribbon for hanging and I thought I was done.
Using a stick-on hanger made for windows, I put my new basket on the front door. Wait. Still missing something.
One last trip to the craft closet, and I found this “welcome” sign that had been tucked away. I wired it onto the front of the basket (the sign is a little long, but that made me love it even more! I don’t like perfect.) aaaaaand then. Then it was done. 🙂 Soooo? What kinds of goodies do you have in YOUR messy closets, just waiting to get turned into front door decor? Oh wait. Maybe I’m the only one with messy closets. (Note to self: clean closets this summer.) 😉
Let’s get on to the rest of the porch. Shall we? Here she is “before.”
We usually have a couple black adirondack chairs out here, which I love. But once in awhile something comes along that steals your heart, and you have no choice but to MIX. THINGS. UP.
We found this white potting table from Noble Vintage at a junk show recently, and it was love at first sight. I had no idea where it was gonna go, but hey. That doesn’t stop a girl in love. 🙂
Since the table isn’t super stable, it’s not suitable for dining. But it’s PERFECT for our summer front porch! Wanna see?
Yep. It’s safe to say I A-D-O-R-E this unexpected look. It’s casual, rustic, and outside of the box. It’s us! Well, if WE were porch decor. 😉 The bench is straight out of a barn, which is why I LOVE it (thanks for letting me buy this from you, Kelly! @vintagelady2 on Instagram), the large wire basket on top of the table is from Homegoods (can you even? I like big baskets and I cannot lie!), and the outdoor rug is from Wayfair. See that cute little bistro chair on the far left? It’s from Ikea! So cute!
Let’s talk about this “Hello Summer” sign. It was made by my sweet friend Jill, and you can find it here. It was literally the finishing touch to the porch…pulling the whole look together!
The welcome mat is from Magnolia Market (find it here), and yes I know there’s a lot of “welcome” happening here, both on the rug and the sign…what can I say? I REALLY want to welcome you! 😉 The fun galvanized planters can be found here.
Fresh, clean, and ready for the season! And this bench is the perfect spot to sit and watch my husband pull weeds. Uhhh, I mean, the perfect spot to set my phone while I work in the yard. 😉
Well? What do you think of our unconventional porch look this year? Ohhh it’s so fun to decorate with what you LOVE, isn’t it?
Heading to Waco? Or hoping to go someday soon? This is for YOU! Because if we lived a little closer, we might get together for coffee and chat before your big trip. You know, discussing all the fun little details that you won’t wanna miss! I’m no expert, but I’ve been lucky to visit a few times and each trip has been so unique and action-packed. Soooo, ready? Let’s talk about WACO!
Are you flying to Texas? If you’re like me, it’s not within driving distance. You can either fly into Dallas or Austin, and either way it’s about a 90 minute drive to Waco. We’ve found that it’s more economical to fly into Dallas. Oh, and you’ll need a rental car…be sure to choose something that has plenty of room for your luggage and all of your fun finds! While we’re on the subject of flights, think carefully about the days you’ll be in Waco. Keep in mind that most of Waco’s fun shopping opportunities are closed on Sunday, so if you’re going for a long weekend, use Sunday as your day to travel home.
Now you’ll need a place to stay! There are so many options. In the past we’ve spent the first night in Dallas, and driven down to Waco the next morning. HOWEVER, this year, at the last minute we decided to drive down to Waco as soon as our flight arrived at Dallas-Fort Worth. Best decision ever. This way we had a FULL first day in Waco…and we used up every second! When selecting your lodging, consider the following:
1. The number of people in your party.
3. Proximity to the fun.
If you have a big group going (girls trip!), it might be fun to stay somewhere you’ve seen on TV! This year, our group of girlfriends stayed at Harp House (Clint and Kelly Harp’s former residence as seen on Fixer Upper). We. Had. A blast. Here’s a little peek at their darling kitchen:
Aaaand all of us girls on the front porch:
A weekend to remember for sure! We laughed, we cried, we shared our hearts…Oh, it was the best.
Last year, I got to stay with this crew at Magnolia House. Have you heard of it? 😉 You know, Chip & Joanna Gaines’ bed & breakfast. IT. WAS. EPIC. Seriously. I’ve never stayed somewhere that dreamy in all of my days. It’s a little tough to get a reservation, but if you happen to get lucky and book it for your group, you WON’T be sorry. It will be an experience you’ll never forget! Here we are last year. 🙂 (below)
I mean, can you even DEAL with this? So gorgeous! Here we are walking from Magnolia House over to the cutest little Italian restaurant in McGregor for dinner. Whatta fun night.
If your group is a little smaller, you might check out another fun home from Fixer Upper, the German Schmear House.
Or if your group is VERY small, like maybe just you and your hubby? You might try the Shotgun House! (This one is on my bucket list!)
If staying somewhere “famous” isn’t your thing (or hey, maybe you’d rather save your money for SHOPPING! I’m with ya, girl!), there are plenty of hotels in town as well. This last time we spent the first night here, and it was great!
And NOW. What are your plans while in town? Ummm. I might be able to guess your first stop. You know. Because I DON’T LIVE UNDER A ROCK. 😉 Yes, I get it. Get up, put on that cute outfit you’ve been planning, and hope for the BEST hair day in the history of your life. This day is a GOOD DAY. Time to hit Magnolia Market.
If you go first thing in the morning, there will most likely be a CROWD. My take on it is, WHO CARES? Of course there’s a crowd! It’s AMAZING! It adds to the fun. Don’t you worry. The kind, friendly staff at Magnolia is constantly putting out more inventory, and there’s enough farmhouse goodness for all of us. Take a deep breath, and enjoy the experience. Notice the displays (hello, brilliant styling ideas). Smile at the people around you. Like you, they’ve probably been planning this trip for awhile. The line at the registers looks long, but it actually goes pretty quickly. So, don’t stress. Just ENJOY! I must say, we were so completely impressed by every encounter we had with a Magnolia Market employee. Always friendly, always helpful…it’s like Disneyland for grown-ups! (SERIOUSLY!)
The store is much less busy in the late afternoon, so if crowds aren’t your favorite, try hitting it then. Be sure to stop by the bakery as well…YUM!!! The line for the bakery is ALWAYS long, but worth it.
Pull up a seat on this pretty little patio and enjoy your cupcake or pastry!
You’ll want to plan to spend a good chunk of the day at Magnolia. After you’ve shopped and hit the bakery, it’s fun to hang out on the lawn, take a selfie with your besties, and hit the food trucks for lunch! Everything I’ve had to eat from the food trucks has been amazing, but this time I surprised myself with my choice. Are you ready for this? It was from Vitek’s BBQ and called “The Gut Pack.” Ummm, ya. It was SO NOT on my diet. But worth every calorie. Think fritos, brisket, beans, cheese, and all the toppings. So bad. But so good.
After lunch, waddle (and I do mean WADDLE) on over to the Seed + Supply shop/garden. So fun!
This time we got to chat with Joanna’s mom, and take a quick pic…she is the sweetest!
After Magnolia, there’s so much more to see! Just down the street (you don’t even need to move your car!) is a super cute shop, The Findery. You will love it! Don’t forget to go upstairs as well.
And OH! Just past The Findery, is the “Warehouse”, which is part of the Findery, but a HUGE BONUS shop. Don’t miss it!! It was one of our favorite spots!
When you’re at The Findery, ask for a list of all the shopping in town. I wish I still had mine…but it was a great directory to all of the other must-see spots! You’ll want to visit Junque in the Trunk (and hey, they’re even open on Sundays!)…look at this cuteness!
And Spice Village is filled to the brim with treasures! Here we are after a fun shopping trip to Spice Village:
Be sure to visit Harp Design Co…you might even spot Clint Harp! (and the Harp House is right next door!)
Now, a most important topic. Food. So much to eat, so little time. For the most amazing home-cooked breakfast, try Lula Jane’s. Everything is divine, especially the baked oatmeal (it’s pretty much famous), and just look at this sweet roll that has bacon baked into it. I mean, come on. So good.
Here’s our crew outside Lula Jane’s. 🙂
If you go, PLEASE, I BEG YOU, get a chocolate chip cookie. Even if you’re full. Just save it for later. Quite possibly the best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever had. And just look at this sweet garden. They grow their own produce for the restaurant!
Get a super delicious lunch at Cafe Homestead. I hear it’s also amazing for breakfast. My husband and I ate at Cafe Homestead last year, and wow. So good. I hear the Gaines family enjoys it as well!
Dinner? If you’re in the mood for some great southern food, try Jake’s in downtown Waco. Oh. My. Gosh. Delish. Another favorite is Ninfa’s, if you’re hungry for some great Mexican food!
Besides shopping and eating (two of my favorite activities), I’d highly recommend Waco Tours! Owned by Luke & Rachel Whyte and David Ridley, it’s a great way to learn more about Waco and explore the city! David took us on an amazing tour this time, along with Melinda his co-pilot and excellent tour guide. We enjoyed every minute! We learned a lot, and it was inspiring to see their passion for their city. It’s a must!!
Do we look like we’re having fun or what?
As part of the tour, we got to stop at Heritage Creamery for delicious ice cream (I tried Blueberry Cheesecake, YUM!) and Common Grounds for yummy coffee. Waco Tours knows the way to a girl’s heart!
So?? What are you waiting for? Get that trip to Waco booked, and ENJOY EVERY SECOND. Girl, you are in for a TREAT!!!