The More You Read, The More You Learn

Why learning is important..."It is critical that a company create the kind of environment in which people really believe they can learn, grow, and prosper. The focus has to be on developing people."


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Dress Up Your Porch for Under $100

Spring is here and it’s a good time to put out the welcome mat. Your front door and porch area is an invitation to guests and it also says a lot about you.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Here are five ways to add personality to the porch for less than $100:

Paint Adds Pop
If there’s one thing that says spring, it’s color. Painting the front door is the easiest and least expensive way to dress up your entry. But before running to the paint store for a gallon of fuchsia, look at your home’s existing color palette
Dark colors draw more attention ,but extreme contrasts will detract from details, so it’s important to stay in the same color family. That doesn’t mean if your house is beige, you’re stuck with only browns.
Visit a paint store to see brochures of recommended palettes using your existing colors. Also, most paint companies offer color palettes and advice online.
A good quality exterior semi-gloss enamel costs about $15 a quart. Don’t forget to sand the door before painting, just enough to remove the enamel’s gloss finish, or the paint will eventually peel.

Regardless of the size of your entry, pottery is always a good choice to direct visitors to your front door. Depending on the size of the porch, a large single pot or a group of three smaller pots (vary the size) will look best. Make sure to coordinate the color of the pots with your front door. They don’t need to be the same color, but keeping them in the same family, as with paint selection, will create a striking look.
The least expensive pots are plastic, which look fine from a distance but aren’t always as charming close up. Ceramic pots are the most expensive, about $25 to $50 for a 12-inch pot. Fiberglass can look as appealing, even up close, and are around $10 to $20 for 10 to 13 inches.
A good choice is the venerable terra cotta, which can be easily painted to work with your scheme. A large 16-inch terra cotta pot is about $16. A 12-inch pot is about $6.50. Make sure to use a sealer to coat the inside or moisture will cause the paint to peel. Use an outdoor-rated paint, such as Patio Paint, which comes in a large variety of colors and costs about $5 for an 8 oz. bottle and $1.75 for 2 oz.

Flowers / Plants
This will also give your front porch some needed curb appeal. Even if you don’t use a pot, place a couple of six-packs of bright flowers in front of or along your porch. Keep in mind your color scheme. You probably don’t want orange mums if you are using blues or lavenders.
A one-gallon plant costs about $4 to $5. If you are using pots, use a larger plant as a centerpiece and surround it with quart or six-pack varieties.

Add a Personal Touch
An inexpensive way to add a personal touch is with a doorbell cover. These come in many sizes and styles, from golfers to lighthouses. A nice brass cover with a pineapple — the universal sign of hospitality — and the word "Welcome" above it online for $14. Expect to spend up to $20 for a nice brass doorbell cover.
If you don’t have a doorbell, consider a door knocker. These also come in many styles for around $20.

House Numbers
Replace tired house numbers with new ones in bright brass, antique brass, chrome or black Prices run about $6 each for 4- or 6-inch numbers. There are many online sites that offer a large selection of specialized font styles at around $11 each.

Other ways to enhance your entry include light fixtures, door kick plates or mailboxes.
Light fixtures can be expensive, but you can find a nice light fixture that isn't very costly. Door kick plates in various finishes are $20 to $30 depending on size and material. A simple mailbox in black or white will run $10 to $20.

No comments: