Frugal Suggestions to give life to bland front?

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OK hometalkers, after moving and unpacking all boxes, I want to add some life to the front drive. I am doing a lot of Lil projects therefore keeping frugality in mind, what are some ways to liven up this space.

I bought lathe round pots from Target in cream and was playing around with the placement of them, .... toying with the idea of box planters attached to the railings and perhaps spray painting them...

Front Door needs a new color!!! ----??????
(No red)

2nd project to happen soon is landscaping under the patio railing by taking out the grass, adding mulch approximately 4+ ft down from the railing and all the way across and with the addition of mulch (color not sure yet) and plants/flowers,...




q frugle suggestions to give life to bland front
q frugle suggestions to give life to bland front
Was only testing with colors I happened to have on hand.... test only...
q frugle suggestions to give life to bland front
  25 answers
  • Tammy Tammy on May 30, 2017
    If you don't like any of the colors you already have go pick up more swatches. Every time you walk by take one or two down until your left with the one you do like. This is a great time of year to hang flag bunting. This will give you a great splash of color and a welcoming feel while you figure out the rest. It is a beautiful property, have fun putting your personal touch to it.

    • Lindsay Dillon Lindsay Dillon on May 30, 2017
      Thank You Tammy....patriotic bunting is a great suggestion and thank you for the compliment

  • Charla Schuman Charla Schuman on May 30, 2017
    I like the idea of a green front door! I think it would go great with the brick, and other trim, etc. As far as sprucing up the front...I don't know if you saw this post from the other day, but it's a very pretty and frugal way to liven up around the front door, or even down the sidewalk or driveway! I'm sure even plastic terra cotta pots would work great.

    http://www.hometalk.com/29139369/make-your-entryway-beautiful-with-this-flowerpot-idea?se=fol_new-20170523-2&date=20170523&slg=4b2d86ad16a0f1759f29caf903ed661f-23292058&post_position=8

    This is another post from Hometalk I found. Apparently they have everything! Lol These planters could be made with scrap wood/plastic planters/etc, and then painted to look more expensive. 😉 You could even put them under the windows on the porch!

    http://www.hometalk.com/3216041/how-to-build-flower-boxes-for-railings

    I also feel like shutters would be beautiful. I think they would help fill some of the empty space, and they would be inexpensive as well!! This article shows you how to make them for $20. 😊


    Hope some of these ideas were useful!

    • Lindsay Dillon Lindsay Dillon on May 30, 2017
      WOW, visuals, I love it and thank you for taking the time to do that, I appreciate that,...definately helps and yes, I had thought about some box planters, in fact I have some and need 2 more they are plastic and would need to be attached some how, but spaced them on the railing just to see how it would look visually.

      Teal was a suggestion for the door color, just not sure I am that bold LOL!


  • Andrea Andrea on May 30, 2017
    Depends on area of the country.. Mulch might not work if windy or lots of rain. Might have to use rock. Color of ground cover and door should be secondary colors since house is tones of orange brick. Like chili red, teal blue, or olive green. Primary colors like red, blue, or yellow will overpower the brick. Deep browns would also work. Good post..

    • See 1 previous
    • Lindsay Dillon Lindsay Dillon on May 30, 2017
      and this is central tx, regarding the mulch question.

  • Annette Thomas Annette Thomas on May 30, 2017
    Yellow for your front door, not bright canary yellow, but a muted yellow and then trim the same color as the windows. For your driveway, I would add phlox along the stones, adds color and phlox will spread so you can plant every foot or so and in a couple of years it will be filled in. For your porch, if you are going to plant flowers in front I would not put flower boxes on the rails I would use hanging baskets, they would draw your eyes up instead of flower boxes which would draw a vertical line across the face of your house.
    Can't wait to see pictures of what you have done.

    • See 3 previous
    • Annette Thomas Annette Thomas on May 31, 2017
      You could Google it or ask your local garden specialist.

  • Archie Archie on May 30, 2017
    A deep burgandy for the front door. Add some color to the front lawn area and white shutters on the windows.
    Beautiful place you have now.

    • Lindsay Dillon Lindsay Dillon on May 30, 2017
      thank you, just moved in and trying to make it a little bit more lively as it sat for the most part unused, which thankfully for us is a blessing but a shame because it is a beautiful property.

  • Gma Kirk Gma Kirk on May 30, 2017
    A pale sea glass blue-green or a gray-blue or periwinkle would be a lovely complement to your brick's tones. I personally try to stay away from darker colors due to absorbing heat and colors fading.
    You can find bedding plants with similar light blue, periwinkle and creamy apricot colors to extend your color scheme to your flower beds.
    You can also plant a flowering vine along the front to grow on the railing- porcelain vine would be pretty. Hydrangea are also pretty and could carry that color scheme.

    • Lindsay Dillon Lindsay Dillon on May 30, 2017
      amen to the fading! I know that dark colors will and gray blue sounds better and tommorrow I am going to get MORE paint chips in the colors mentioned here and play around with them...hydrangeas are my fav flower :)

  • Bets Bets on May 30, 2017
    I would make the pillars larger, jut box them in and put trim pieces on the edges. Then paint eh front door burgundy and the trim the same color. Make shutters the same color as the cream on the dormers.
    Definitely add hardwood mulch in front and some small boxwood in front. A tall evergreen on the side to anchor the side of the house.
    Looks good

  • B J  Alexis B J Alexis on May 30, 2017
    Depends on how much you want the house to stand out, a teal blue for the door and muted yellow for the trim etc., neatly trimmed alternating fire & forsythia bushes along the front, and along the drive. Or a pale green ground cover along the drive. If there are alot of trees nearby, the leaves in autumn will get caught in the ground around bushes and will be a pain to remove. Seems to be alot to contend with, suggest selecting bushes/plants that do not require intense maintenance. Keep in mind if you plan on using the front porch frequently the forsythia and any flowering plants will attract bees, good luck!

  • Jill Nunes Madden Jill Nunes Madden on May 30, 2017
    It appears that you are going to get as many color suggestions as there are paint swatches available. Since you said being frugal was a priority then my suggestion would be to paint your front door the same color as what is on the siding around your windows on the second floor.
    I'm not sure what you have against red, or if you just meant not as a door color. But I really like the idea of red plants such as petunias are geraniums . They also are inexpensive and hearty with a little care required.
    But if you're looking for something other than red then might I suggest marigolds they will give you that pop of color and are low maintenance and inexpensive. Tada! you have an upgraded front yard !

    • Lindsay Dillon Lindsay Dillon on May 31, 2017
      lol so very true regarding paint colors and NO I am not against red I just really didn't want a red door! :) Above flowers you mention are all fabulously frugal options- thank you!!

  • Patricia Mustakangas Patricia Mustakangas on May 30, 2017
    How about some hanging flower baskets? You can buy the baskets and put in soild and plant something easy and bright, like petunias!

  • Trudy Trudy on May 30, 2017
    Pretty house but you definitely need some color! What about a sage green on the front door? Pillows on the chairs would add color and interest. Add some plants, you can find used pots at yard sales and resale places. Turn your chairs to make conversation corners instead of lining them up like soldiers would break it up. Have fun adding YOUR personality.

  • Allinthefamilysingers Allinthefamilysingers on May 30, 2017
    NO MATTER WHAT COLORS U CHOOSE NONE ARE GOING TO LOOK AS GOOD. lovely house but you need stronger speaking post make them larger and add a porch rail all way round it and steps. will be beautiful Then any color will SUCH amazing changes. GOOD LUCK DHALL

  • Claire Amirault Claire Amirault on May 30, 2017
    I think the first thing you should do is pick the color of your door. Then work off that color choice. You could be on the lookout for yard sale furniture pieces to go on your porch, paint them the color of your door. Terre cotta pots don't have to be painted, but plant flowers of colors that go with your chosen color. It will all tie together....

    • Lindsay Dillon Lindsay Dillon on May 31, 2017
      I do love terra cotta and agree with everyone front door needs to be decided and I'm an indecisive person lol, .... today I will be grabbing paint chip colors :)

  • Ser24256754 Ser24256754 on May 30, 2017
    I would paint the pillars the same color as your windows, use bright colored Adirondack chairs and lots of bright pots for lots of color. This will get you started.

  • Joshua Williams Joshua Williams on May 31, 2017
    I would add shutters to the windows. It's not crazy expensive and would make a huge impact.

  • Lydia Weikel Cox Lydia Weikel Cox on May 31, 2017
    Yes, you need some color, but also some means of addressing the scale (size) of the property as you approach it. Right now there are numerous horizontal lines that emphasize the size, that is why the suggestions of shutters, hanging flower baskets (with trailing flowers & vines) vs flower boxes and enlarging the porch pillars are popping up. Bright colors in annual flower combos & a bright door will take some of the focus off the broad width of house, porch, and retaining wall for the short term, but are those the colors you like? Do you wear them and decorate indoors with them? What about after flower season passes? Your brick appears to be a pinkish type, not the deeper burnt orange-red type, and it has some white in it, so muted but contrasting shades of mentioned colors will give contrast to brick too. A golden yellow with tan tones, teal/aqua with some grey or tan tones, a sage green heading toward subdued lime, a greyed blue, or dusty red will all work too! Choosing door color you LOVE should be first step, then branch out from there. When you have the door color selected, find a couple items to use as side tables to 2 groupings of 2 chairs. Wood crates, milk cans, or small tables. Paint them or cover with a yard of fabric that repeats door color, or some thing close on the color wheel. Add pillows to chairs, and 2-3 hanging baskets with trailing silvery vines (repeats the white in brick) and flowers close to and opposite your door color on the color wheel. A larger green plant/tree or two on porch and something of interest on tables will make even more homey & inviting. Those will make an immediate short term impact While you do other things and enjoy your new place. For later, I suggest an upright arborvitae between the two windows to right of porch in photo, and perhaps a repeat at end of porch. Forsythia would look nice when blooming in front of porch, but bloom time is only 2 weeks at best, then is a green mound. I suggest a bed with a selection of bushes and perennials that are long blooming Or bloom sequentially. A greenhouse or landscaper can advise what works well in your climate. Particularly nice for the space between porch and wall would be a selection of coneflowers which now come in a rainbow of colors from deep purple to rose, to oranges, gold, yellow pinks and white. They take dry heat very well, return each year, are good for cutting, attract bees and butterflies. Check out Burpee for seeds or plants. Very hardy! Yes, I agree with shutters and porch pillars with more girth, but in mean time, you could paint pillars a cream to light taupe color to make them appear larger and stand out as vertical lines against house. I better quit. NICE house, with many opportunities! Enjoy It!

    • Lindsay Dillon Lindsay Dillon on May 31, 2017
      Oh wow no simply amazing I appreciate all of your comments they are all Center valid points and I greatly appreciate it I'm not even sure I have the words to say but you definitely have an eye in knack for this I completely understand and can visualize as you were explaining thank you for the bottom of my heart

  • Chubby58 Chubby58 on May 31, 2017
    I have always painted my trim as clos to the color as the morter in my brick. This may sound silly, but it looks great. Someone told me this years ago, and I've gone with the idea ever since. As far as the rest, go with what your personal taste is and you can't go wrong.

  • Jean Thompson Jean Thompson on May 31, 2017
    Texas Bluebonnet Flowers, Poppies ( pop of Color) some kind of White flowers , You could paint the door and the posts to the Porch the same color - to add some contrast... nothing livens up an area like a coat of paint.. and some bright cushions or pillows on the porch chairs....etc..

  • Lydia Weikel Cox Lydia Weikel Cox on May 31, 2017
    Thanks for the affirmation! Happy to help! Color, design, garden/plants & fabrics are my happy place!😊 Body doesn't work as well anymore but eyes & mind still do.

    • Lindsay Dillon Lindsay Dillon on May 31, 2017
      I luv it and yes, anymore, I am all ears- well eyes in this case!! But you have a knack and I appreciate it

  • Patricia Mustakangas Patricia Mustakangas on May 31, 2017
    Either from the pillars or half-way in between would be my take.

  • Joshua Williams Joshua Williams on May 31, 2017
    Not at all expensive. Check out a local Habitat Re-store. I recently renovated my home and I made the contractor leave the old shutters. I gave them to a friend who simply repainted them and they look brand new.

  • Joshua Williams Joshua Williams on May 31, 2017
    And I also agree with others that you should paint the front door. Red looks great with almost every brick color and would bring soooooo much color to your porch. Some yard sale patio furniture that you could revive with spray paint would solve this problem with maybe a couple of potted flowers by the front steps.

  • Gale O'Neal Gale O'Neal on Jun 01, 2017
    I would add corbels to the posts to make them more substantial and add a pretty green or yellow door to brighten it up a bit then instead of shutters, since windows are such different sizes, I would add some decorations to the brick wall. Examples below (but you get the idea!)

  • Kay Campos Kay Campos on Jun 04, 2017
    My first thought was it needs shutters. But if that is not an option right now, then the first priority is the front door. The front door and trim would look great painted a soft light sage. It is a classic look that you won't get sick of any time soon. I say forget the window boxes, annuals in baskets(which can cost more than you might think. Invest in some foundations shrubs that are suitable for your particular exposure. You could plant some annuals between the shrubs for a pop of color ( hot pink vinca would do well in sun or shade). Make sure the annuals are fairly good size 5 or 6 inch pots.
    In the future I would budget for a wood or wood like railings, columns, and posts. However, in the meantime I would paint the metal railings black( to make them disappear). It is a lovely house that seems to have good bones. Enjoy it and don't work too hard!

  • Beverly Lambert Beverly Lambert on Jun 04, 2017
    Go with cream color paint on door and posts and rails, find your local recycling place where they take branches and leaves, you can get free mulch there, make the flower bedding area weave close and then further away from the front of the porch,and wide so it goes along the sidewalk entry not straight line across the front of the house, thsee 2 things will soften the look of your home. Good luck with whatever you choose.