By Dave and Mary

Our Podcasts About Porch Decorating

Table of Contents

In this section, we offer our transcripts and highlights of our former podcasts. We hope you find these helpful, fun and informative!

Podcast 7: Autumn Decorating Tips with Jennifer Davenport of JD's All About Home

Podcast 8: Easy Outdoor Halloween Decorations with Jennifer Davenport of JD's All About Home

Podcast 12: Christmas Light Decorating Ideas for Your Yard and Porch with Bob Lyons of Nashville Christmas Lights

Podcast 14-2: Christmas Porch Decorating Ideas with Mary and Dave Morris of

Podcast 15: Country Christmas Ideas with Anita Diaz of Whispering Pine Homestead

Podcast 16: Easy Christmas Projects with Jennifer Davenport of JD's All About Home

Podcast 17: Photographing Christmas Lights with Becca Dorstek, photographer, Brooklyn NY

Podcast 18: Paint a Front Door with Awesome Colors with Jim Rogers of Modern Masters Paint

Podcast 27: Use Porch Appeal to Help Sell Your Home with Jeannie Timmons of Benchmark Realty

Podcast 29: House Portrait Painting with Leisa Collins of Leisa Collins Art

Podcast 34: Exterior Color Concepts with Lori Sawaya of Land of Color

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Podcast 7: Wonderful Autumn Decorating Tips

With Jennifer Davenport of JD's All About Home

Porch Ideas Network Podcast Logo Jennifer Davenport of Jennifer Decorates Mary and I interviewed Interior Decorator Jennifer Davenport who shared some fabulous autumn decorating tips with us. Jennifer is an Interior Decorator and Blogger at JD's All About Home.

She has so many easy yet wonderful fun tips. We know you will enjoy our conversation with her.

In addition to being a sought-after Interior Decorator and store-owner at JD's All About Home in Murfreesboro TN, Jennifer is a wife, empty nester (mom to three!) and lover of all things Halloween. She hails from nearby Murfreesboro, TN, and we are totally blessed to have met her and her husband recently.

Jennifer writes a weekly decorating column in the Sunday edition of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal and has a large Facebook following. We welcome Jennifer to our porch to talk all about autumn porch decorating ideas.

Program Notes: Autumn Decorating Tips

We love having our guest Jennifer Davenport on our podcast. She has fabulous ideas for autumn decorating both outside and inside. Jennifer is an Interior Decorator over at JD's All About Home. She is entertaining and a delight!

  • How to make bows for your wreaths that are not lop-sided (and also for little girls' dresses, too!)
  • Ways to use lanterns on your porch for seasonal decorating that will make you want to grab a few for your porch
  • how to make faux pumpkins look more realistic
  • How to make faux pumpkins look more realistic with a bit of paint and paper towel
  • If you bring pinecones into the house for autumn decorating, Jennifer explains how to get rid of the little critters that come in with them
  • Wire or no wire in your burlap bows? Jennifer knows which of these holds up better to time and weather.
  • Quick formula for making a wreath that is super easy and only involves three items
  • How Jennifer stores her wreaths to stay nice for the next year
  • Add twinkly lights to your porch for year round enjoyment and dress them up seasonally
  • The number one thing that Jennifer must have if she ever moves to a different home - or else she won't get onto the moving truck
  • Read Jennifer's featured column in the Murfreesboro, Tennessee Daily News Journal - see the Home and Living section
beauiful fall wreath made easy
Jennifer makes beautiful wreaths and this is one of our favorites.

Jennifer enjoying time on her front porch
Jennifer gathers inspiration on her front porch!
grapevine wreath on enclosed screen porch

Jennifer adds subtle lighting to her porch year around with twinkly lights woven into her grapevine garland around her porch ceiling. She even has a clicker inside her home that enables her to turn the porch lights on from the inside.

She tells us how she updates the grapevine for the various seasons and how she switches out the pillows. She and her husband built this porch onto the back of her home and it's one of their most favorite places to be.

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Podcast 8: Easy Outdoor Halloween Decorations

With Jennifer Davenport of JD's All About Home

Porch Ideas Network Podcast Logo Jennifer Davenport of Jennifer Decorates Looking for some easy outdoor Halloween decoration ideas? Mary and I enjoyed talking with Interior Decorator Jennifer Davenport who shares her love for Halloween and offers some of her best ideas.

Jennifer is an Interior Decorator, wife, empty nester (mom to three!) and lover of all things Halloween. She lives not too far from us in Murfreesboro, TN. She recently opened a shop in Murfreesboro called JD's All About Home.

In addition, she also has a beautiful home furnishings shop at JD's All About Home.

Jennifer Davenport of Jennifer Decorates She has dubbed herself "Queen of Halloween" and even has a sign in her home that says so! We know you will enjoy our conversation with her.

We welcome Jennifer to our porch to talk all about easy Halloween decorating ideas.

Podcast Highlights

Jennifer shares:
  • Why Halloween is such a joyous holiday for her and her family
  • A special tradition that Jennifer's family observes on Halloween night that would make for super fun memories for kids
  • Decoration ideas especially if you prefer the less-scary side of Halloween
  • How to make a super quick wreath for Halloween even if you are not crafty
  • dollhouse haunted house project
  • Make a super cute ghost for your front porch or yard using a tomato cage, some tulle, a styrofoam ball and black ribbon
  • How Jennifer turned an old plastic doll house into an amazing haunted house with black spray paint and an assortment of creative and spooky ideas
  • What to do with black cheese cloth and orange lights
  • Ideas for a Halloween tablescape that you can even do on your porch or outdoors

Excerpts from the Podcast with Jennifer

Why Jennifer and Her Family Love Celebrating Halloween

"I grew up with parents who loved Halloween and every year we had a party, we had a haunted house, we did homemade costumes. And it just became a delightful thing to look forward to every year.

And as a parent I decided I was going to go the same route and so I decorate my whole house for Halloween, our kids made homemade costumes and we made fantastic memories for my kids. One of the traditions we observe every Halloween night is ... "

On Decorating for Halloween

"My biggest thing is that it just doesn't have to be expensive. We are all busy, oh my goodness, we are all busy. But if you can take the time to do a little decorating and maybe throw a party, to me it's what makes life wonderful.

It's just taking the time to enjoy the holiday and you don't have to go all out like me with ten boxes of Halloween decorations. My husband rolls his eyes as I bring each box down. But take a moment to enjoy the holidays and make memories. It's just great. You can conjure up your own childhood memories and roll them into new ones with your kids and grandkids." halloween table setting
Jennifer's beautiful Halloween tablescape

dollhouse haunted house project
Jennifer explains how she made this ghost from a tomato cage and a styrofoam ball

Halloween front door wreath
Jennifer designed this awesome Halloween front door wreath

Halloween paper lanterns
Fun paper lanterns make for an easy Halloween decoration for a party on your porch

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Podcast 12: Christmas Light Decorating Ideas for Your Yard and Porch

With Bob Lyons of Nashville Christmas Lights

Porch Ideas Network Podcast Logo beautiful holidays lights on this home Mary and I are always looking for Christmas light decorating ideas and had a great time interviewing Bob Lyons Sr. with Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, the experts in all types of outdoor and holiday lighting.

Bob shares lots of ideas to make your holiday easier, safer, and offers tips as how to create amazing holiday light displays.

We enjoyed learning how the experts create such beautiful displays, what lights and spacing to use on our porch, and tips as to how they string lights on tall trees (possibly like the ones you may have), using wreaths and much more.

Podcast Highlights

  • Determine your color lighting options
  • Should you focus lighting on one area of your home?
  • How many strings can you attach to one run?
  • Discover an easy way to hang lights on tall trees
  • Discover the best distance for light spacing for maximum effect.
  • Are battery operated lights a good option?
  • Get even more outdoor Christmas lighting tips from Bob Lyons Sr.

Program Excerpts: Christmas Light Decorating Ideas

LED Color: "LED's are what they call "saturated", which means they are true red (if that is the color of the bulb). With incandescents you are changing the color by the coating on the outside of the bulb whereas the LED is only putting out blue light or only red light (if that's the color of the LED)."

String Lights Together "It's the wire size that determines how many strings and it's the wattage used. If you are using 33 watts which is a typical 100 set and its is a typical 22 gauge wire, you can run three.

If it is a 20 gauge or 18 gauge wire you can run six - if you go LED you can run as many as 25 but still, conservatively, don't run a lot together, you can break them up."

Lighting Strategy: "If you are doing a porch, you might want to extend out from the porch and light some things and do some things on some trees to give it depth. "

Porch Lighting: "The greenery gives you some extra rather than just having a string of lights out there getting a whole atmosphere. We like to use a lot of wreaths, a lot of garland, and a lot of Santa Clauses, star bursts."

front porch and yard in Christmas lights
Inviting Christmas lights by Outdoor Lighting Perspectives

Iconic barn and large tree lit with christmas lights
Just had to share this magical scene by Outdoor Lighting Perspectives

Outdoor Lighting Perspective's logo We enjoyed visiting with our guest, Bob Lyons Sr., of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives. This company is one of the world's largest full-service outdoor lighting companies.

With more than 100,000 installations completed, this franchise knows what it takes to grace thousands of homes and businesses and has been doing such since 1995.

nashville christmas lights logo Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Nashville operates in the Middle Tennessee area and is a premiere holiday decor company providing all types of outdoor lighting for both residential and commercial entities.

Let them create a beautiful design for your holiday lights, put them up, take them down after the season is over and neatly store them till next year.

Visit their Christmas Lights site today at

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Podcast 14-2: Christmas Porch Decorating Ideas

With Mary and Dave Morris of Front Porch Ideas and More

Porch Ideas Network Podcast Logo Mary and Dave, founders of Front Porch Ideas and More We love decorating our porch for Christmas and wanted to share a few ideas that are easy and relatively inexpensive to do.

Whether you have a large front porch or small portico, our decorating projects can add lots of holiday cheer without breaking the bank.

Most of our projects can be made with items you have on hand. We also give you tips for gathering items with little to no cost.

You'll see it doesn't take a lot of decorating expertise to create a wonderful holiday display on your front porch.

Podcast Highlights

In this podcast on the Porch Ideas Network we talk about easy Christmas decorating ideas for your porch. Please join us!
We hope you will listen to our program. Thank you!
Mary and Dave shares these ideas:
  • Liven a faux wreath with fresh greenery
  • Add a festive doormat
  • Find inexpensive or "free" greenery
  • Hang ornaments the easy way
  • Add colorful presents to your porch with this clever item
  • Re-purpose your pillows with pillow toppers
  • Make a rustic holiday sign
  • How you can use wiffle balls in your decorating
  • Use paint buckets for holiday displays
  • Create a holiday mantel on your front porch

Program Excerpts: Front Porch Holiday Decorating

Grinch decorations on porch

For a festive Christmas porch, hang ornaments from your ceiling like Donna did here on her Grinch porch

Old sled and evergreen plants make for a holiday porch

See the old sled and evergreens on the porch? Instant holiday look. Boxwood evergreens are one type of shrub to consider for year round beauty on your porch.

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Podcast 15: Christmas Country Home

With Anita Diaz of Whispering Pines Homestead

Porch Ideas Network Podcast Logo In this episode, Anita Diaz shares her country Christmas home with us.

As author and creator of the wonderful blog, Whispering Pines Homestead, Anita's decorating ideas have been featured in numerous magazines such as Country Woman, Romantic Homes, Southern Holiday Life and Ideal Home.

If you have ever seen photos of Anita's home, inside or out, you will know exactly why publishers wish to feature her.

Anita Diaz lives in beautiful Balsam NC right near the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Smoky Mountain National Park where she grew up. The property has been in her family for five generations.

After serving their country in the United States Air Force, Anita and her husband Luis moved back to the mountains of North Carolina where they are raising their family in a lovely country home with beautiful porches! Anita is not only a wonderful home decorator and seamstress, but also a Worship Leader and singer in her church and community. She is most certainly gifted.

Anita's porch is lovingly known as Whispering Pines

Dave and I love the sign that hangs on Anita's country porch "Whispering Pines". Her grandfather left this on the property and now it hangs proudly on her porch. It is perfect if you ask us.

Program Highlights

In this podcast, Anita Diaz shares her beautiful country Christmas home with us. It's just a pleasure to hear Anita speak about her family homestead and how she uses treasures from her family to decorate. Please listen to our program!

Anita drapes garland and beautiful red bows on her porch railings and porch steps. Notice the lovely colored lights, too.

Anita shares:
  • What her NC mountain home means to her and her family
  • Her fascination with the 1950's and the life her grandparents had
  • Why you don't have to spend a lot of money or shop at the big box stores in order to have a wonderfully decorated home
  • You can reclaim, repurpose or make things yourself like Anita does
  • How to enhance inexpensive wreaths with fresh greenery and natural elements
  • Where to get cuttings for free that you can incorporate into your garland and wreaths
  • Why she switched from white Christmas holiday lights to colored lights and how she is slowly converting over to LED
  • How she achieves a rustic look by mixing materials such as burlap, velvet, and tartan
  • Where to shop for authentic vintage items without spending a lot

Excerpts: Country Christmas Home

Country Theme: "I have a sled that my grandfather made that I use as a focal point, and the rocking chairs, mason jars with candles in them, anything that looks country and vintage."

Lights "Look at the colored lights...that's how it was when I was a child. Everybody used colored lights. So for the last several years I've used those big colored lights and love the way they look. It says Christmas to me and reminds me of being a child." "

Garlands: "For the garlands I drape around, I bought the cheapest, most unattractive garland you can buy. I can't use real garland outside because they won't last.

I fluff them and make them look nice and put red bows on them and use pine to insert into the wreaths and garland to make them look really nice. I take out [the fresh greenery] at the end of the season before putting it away for next year."

Christmas Vignettes: "...I'll take a basket like that and fill it up with greenery and I have a poncho of my grandmother's, a red, plaid, wool poncho, and I will just drape it over the basket and perhaps put a candle there; they are things that mean something to me."

Take a Look at Anita's Country Christmas Home

Anita Diaz beautiful NC mountain home

A beautiful country home in lovely Balsam NC, Anita and her husband Luis have made this a most enchanting home for their family.

Anita's porch is lovingly known as Whispering Pines

A scene from Christmas past: Her country porch in the mountains of North Carolina is decorated and we love the traditional and rustic decorations that Anita uses throughout her porch and home

Burlap, red bows and garland grace Anita's porch steps
A close-up view of the burlap, red bows and garland that grace Anita's porch steps
Anita's country porch is decorated with garland and red bows

Anita's Christmas porch often includes this vintage sled that belonged to her grandfather and the poncho that belonged to her grandmother. Using treasures that you love and have been handed down to you makes for a more meaningful Christmas and wonderful memories.

Anita's double front doors decorated with wreaths

One of Anita's tips is to add fresh greenery (of various types) to faux wreaths. Here you can see how beautiful it looks with delightfully hand-tied bows, sprigs of holly and pinecones. We love her double front doors.

Anita decorates her home with Christmas vintage

A close-up of the faux wreaths with fresh elements added. Isn't this a wonderful idea? You can save the faux wreaths from year to year (and get the least expensive kind, too) and then dress them up with greenery from your yard or scraps from the Christmas tree patch

Anita decorates her home with Christmas vintage

Anita beautifully decorates her trees with authentic vintage Christmas elements

Vintage mason jars with snow and old-fashioned ornaments

Anita shows how you can create a vintage vignette using mason jars, some snow and lovely old-fashioned ornaments and bottle brush trees. What a magical scene that would work perfect on your porch, too.

Putz house that Anita made as a fascimile to their homestead

Anita lovingly created this putz house which is a replica of the old house that belonged to her grandparents. What a wonderful way of preserving their legend. This putz house is made of cardboard, tissue paper, Christmas lights, a rock wall, a screen door and even a snowman. Glitter, too, of course!

Anita's dining room decorated for Christmas

You can just see all the whimsical country touches that Anita adds to make for a truly memorable country Christmas. We love the tree. It's totally natural and whimsical with its vintage-inspired elements. As Anita says, "It's authentic!"

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Podcast 16: Easy Christmas Ideas

With Jennifer Davenport of JD's All About Home

Porch Ideas Network Podcast Logo Jennifer Davenport of Jennifer Decorates We have some creative and easy Christmas projects that are perfect for your front porch and home.

Jennifer, of JD's All About Home, shares her tips for creating some magical Christmas decorations that are easy on the budget and fun to make.

Jennifer, a popular Interior Decorator and columnist in her town of Murfreesboro TN, always has fresh and fun decorating ideas and enjoys doing creating on a budget.

You can be assured you don't need to break the bank creating a designer look and you'll have lots of fun doing it. Jennifer received the prestigious People's Choice Award" in the "Parade of Homes".

She blogs at JD's All About Home. Visit her site to see all of the easy Christmas projects we discuss here.

Program Highlights

Audio Program: On this podcast Jennifer of JD's All About Home shares easy Christmas projects such as decorating a Christmas tree with ribbon loops like you see here. Listen to our program at
Jennifer shares how to decorate a Christmas tree with bows
What Jennifer discusses on our podcast:
  • Two Christmas decorating tips for your front door - one with mittens and greenery and the other with wooden letters spelling out J-O-Y
  • How to decorate a Christmas tree with ribbons that makes you look like a designer
  • Easy and eye-catching porch decoration with an empty pot and shatterproof Christmas ornaments
  • Two things you need to know about tying a great bow - and they are both easy!
  • What you need to know about getting ribbon in November (pssst! don't procrastinate)
  • How to create a super easy snow village using a glass dome, little house and plate
  • How to create magical porch lighting with grapevine garland and lights
  • Purchase grapevine on a roll. Yes, a roll!
  • Make a sparse Christmas tree look fabulous by adding fresh greenery and grapevine

Excerpts with Jennifer Davenport

Easy Christmas Projects

On Making a Mitten Wreath

Christmas door decor tips from Jennifer at JD's All About Home
Jennifer designed this adorable mitten door decoration
"I added a little bit of grapevine to give it a woodsy feel...because I wanted it to look rustic and added the mittens with floral wire, and then just a bow; it's pretty easy."

On Decorating a Christmas Tree with Bows

Audio Program: On this podcast Jennifer of JD's All About Home shares easy Christmas projects such as decorating a Christmas tree with ribbon loops like you see here. Listen to our program at

"I use three ribbons in three different sizes and cut them about 15 inches and make a loop; a loop in the middle,and then you have the tail.

And then you take the floral wire and wrap around that loop and the trick to make it look cool in the tree is you fold it in half and kind of push it back into your tree."

Example of ribbon loops that Jennifer uses to decorate the Christmas tree
Example of the ribbon loops that Jennifer uses to decorate Christmas trees

Shatter-proof Ornament Decoration

Super easy decoration - shatterproof ornaments in a pot
So super easy - colorful ornaments in a pot
"You want to get the shatter-proof ornaments, 10 or 15 of them, and lay them in a pot. What's really cool is if you get the shatter-proof ornaments, then in the evening when you have your outside lights on it hits the glitter on the ornaments and just looks beautiful."

Easy Tree Skirt Idea

"One of my favorites that is really, really easy, is to buy a blanket or a throw, .... and I found a lime-green throw and just nestled it under the tree in a circle."

More of Jennifer's Easy Christmas Projects

Christmas door decor from JD's All About Home
Spell out J-O-Y at your front door

Italian Christmas cookies from Jennifer at JD's All About Home
Jennifer makes these delicious Italian cookies at Christmas time
Enchanting little snow village from JD's All About Home
This enchanting little snow village is very quick to make

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Podcast 17: Photographing Christmas Lights

With Becca Dorstek, Photographer

Porch Ideas Network Podcast Logo becca dorstek photographer Photographing Christmas lights can be tricky, but Becca Dorstek makes it easy for anyone by sharing her ideas and tips with us. Becca, a self-taught photographer, has taken amazing photos of Christmas lights on the porches of homes in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, New York.

We were excited to share her photos with you and now you get to hear how Becca can help anyone capture the magic of the season.

You don't have to be an expert photographer to capture the beauty of holiday lighting on your front porch or in your neighborhood. A few simple tips and ideas can help you create striking images whether you use an SLR, iPhone or Android.

Our conversation with Becca reveals not only the preparation steps you need to take but also some fun tips to make it more enjoyable. We welcome Becca to our porch to share her professional photography tips and ideas!

Program Highlights

holiday lights with the American flag
Beautiful front yard display
(photography by Becca Dorstek)
  • Becca shares low-light photography tips
  • Why she says patience and experimentation are key ingredients in getting great shots in low-light pictures
  • Get beautiful panoramic photos with your cell phone
  • How to find wonderful neighborhoods that decorate for Christmas
  • Tips for choosing the right time for taking your evening holiday pictures
  • The essential things you should carry with you for your photo expedition
  • How a bean bag, tripod, timer and remote clicker can improve your low-light photography
  • Why you need a long exposure time for low-light pictures - and how much exposure time Becca has found to work for her
  • Filters - which one is great for nighttime photography and why you may not even need one
  • What "exif" settings are and how you can see them to find out what settings photographers are using to get great pictures
  • Taking photos in a snowstorm of front porches with their lights on is amazing

Excerpts with Becca Dorstek

Picking a Location

"Plan to get there when there are less people and looking at the weather report and finding a cold snap and just dressing well. I go out when it is very cold, below zero, nobody's out and I just have the run of the block."

Stabilize Your Camera

"For the longest time I didn't have a tripod so I would find anything to put my camera on: car roofs, mailboxes, and what I discovered was the bean bag. If you don't have a bean bag you can use a bag of peas."

I've done shots where I put it on a tripod but pressed the actual shutter button, even then a very short amount of motion has resulted in slight blur of my photos so if you want to blow something up and make a wall hanging or poster you'll notice it."


"The biggest thing a person can do is to prepare themselves to spend some time out in the cold, dress appropriately so you are not freezing and miserable, bring the hand warmers so you can keep your batteries and fingers warm."


"I'll bring one that's 18 to 55mm, you won't need a zoom and you won't need a super wide angle lens unless you want it all distorted, so rather than lugging around a bunch of lenses, I just bring what I need."

beautiful christmas light display on front porch
Amazing Christmas light display
(photography by Becca Dorstek)

front of house lit with christmas lights and decorations
Capturing the magic of Christmas
(photography by Becca Dorstek)

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Podcast 18: Paint a Front Door with Awesome Colors

With Jim Rogers of Modern Masters Paint

Porch Ideas Network Podcast Logo modern masters logo Painting a front door is an easy way to add curb appeal. Now with the help of Modern Masters Front Door Paint, you won't have to re-paint your front door for a very long time.

Jim Rogers, President of Modern Masters, has created a wonderful paint that won't fade and will last for many years.

In addition, they manufacture many other specialty paints you can use indoors or out. You may have seen their paints up and close and personal - they are the paint of choice for amusement parks, restaurants, and many other well known venues.

Mary and I, however, love the colors of their Front Door Paint and the ease at which almost anyone can paint their front door. Jim explains it all in our podcast.

Program Highlights

Our guest, Jim Rogers, of Modern Masters shares about the wonderful paint that they offer specialized for front doors: Front Door Paint. Listen to our discussion with Jim about the importance of keeping your front door inviting and fresh with paint that does not fade. Not only that, Jim tells us about other amazing paint products they offer - even one that will allow you to make your decor rusty for a vintage look.
Front Door Paint by Modern Masters
  • Why a special paint for front doors?
  • We're talking colors like: Elegant, Serene, Energetic, Passionate, and Happy
  • Find out why this Front Door Paint is so amazing
  • Discover Modern Masters' Front Door app that lets you select the perfect color
  • Create amazing looks for lights and other objects
  • Learn about their creative theme park paints
  • Create the look of real rust without the fuss

Excerpts with Jim Rogers

Your Front Door Appeal: "People need to be kind of aware that when someone approaches your front door, you want to welcome people and give them a little view into your lives with your front door color. If someone has yellow, orange, or purple on the front door - colors that you don't see all the time - you are like, oh, this person is going to be interesting and you want to see what is going on inside the house."

Front Door Colors "We have 24 colors that we chose and it gives you a nice visual palette that represents all the different emotions of color. So people have something to choose from.

They are not relegated to the traditional colors and they are not just random primary colors or secondary colors. There was a lot of thought process put behind the colors themselves."

Front Door Paint App: "I think it is difficult for people to choose a color until they actually see it. We built an app so people can paint their own door on the front of their house virtually and have a chance to see what it would look like as a preview before they purchase.

You can outline your door online and then choose the color at the bottom of the app. You just touch that color and it fills in the door that color."

Modern Masters Unique Paints: "At first it was metal effects, which is our line of oxidizing metal paint, which is a very unique material. And the most popular one is our iron paint that you can spray and activate and it turns into rust.

So it is kind of an idiot-proof way to get to that finish [rust] rather to have to learn how to do several different float techniques with paint colors to try and reach that and it still look tainted. "

Modern Masters Front Door Paint

before and after front door painted with modern masters paint
What a difference this front door paint can make

modern masters front door paint guide
Fantastic Paint Colors

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Podcast 27: Use Porch Appeal to Help Sell Your Home

With Jeannie Timmons of Benchmark Realty

Porch Ideas Network Podcast Logo Jeannie Timmons, Realtor How important is curb appeal when selling a home? Consider this. When potential buyers pull up in front of your home what do they see?

They see the exterior of your home and the front porch. Curb appeal is the attractiveness of your home's exterior when viewed either on the internet or from the street and can make or break a deal.

Your home's appeal must invite the buyer to view the rest of your property and it is also a strong indicator of how well the home has been maintained on the inside as well.

Jeannie focuses on this real estate selling mantra: repair, clean, and decorate, all three of which are very important.

Porches are really the first room of the house that a buyer sees and experiences so it is one of the most important areas of the house, and curb appeal is essential to making a great first impression.

Along with Jeannie, Mary and I will share lots of ideas as to how you can create curb appeal to maximize your home's selling potential. Creating curb appeal is really easy to do and can be done quite inexpensively; lots of times you can use items your already have on hand.

Podcast Highlights

curb appealing front porch
Well maintained curb appealing front porch
  • How long it takes for a buyer to form an opinion of the outside of your home
  • Stories about how two homes were sold with the help of very low-cost but smart updates to the exterior
  • Jeannie's insider tips on how to refresh your home's curb appeal to make it super appealing to buyers: sweat equity + R, C and D
  • Why the front porch / stoop is one of the most important areas of the home to prospective buyers
  • The small things that Jeannie says are important to pay attention to
  • Where Jeannie advises to keep colors neutral and where she encourages pops of color
  • The one kind of flowers that Jeannie encourages us not to have on our porches

Program Excerpts: Porch Appeal to Sell Your Home

Jeannie Timmons shares...

Paint and Replace

"Painting the front door, porch railing, the trim, and the shutters. So just a fresh coat of paint - that's just sweat equity. I always have my sellers change the hardware if is worn or rusted.

I would just have them go and buy new hardware for the door: the doorknob, the lock, and even the kick plate if there's a kick plate, and house numbers. All of those things are just small details that make such a big difference. "

Home Seller Inspection

"When I'm working with a with a seller, I like to act like a buyer. And so what I'll do is put my buyer's hat on and we will take a pen and paper and we'll walk through the house.

I would look at it just as if I was the buyer and make a to-do list with them. But after the cleaning and repairing comes the fun stuff - the decorating. And so the porch is key in that."


"Even though as a realtor we get tired of neutral but neutral is always best. Because people can visualize their stuff in there.

Nine times out of ten unless the house is new or just happens to be the colors that you have in your old house, buyers are going to go in and paint anyway. I've had buyers who have said, "oh, my comforter would not go in this bedroom because of the color of the walls."


"The key is to make your porch inviting, warm, and cozy and yet not cluttered. You don't want something that is so cluttered that you can't really walk around without being afraid that you are going trip over the flower pot."

Curb Appealing Front Porches

beautiful small front porch
Quaint but curb appealing small front porch

soothing and curb appealing front porch with swing
Aesthetically pleasing front porch

curb appealing farm house front porch
Who wouldn't want to spend time on this porch?

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Podcast 29: Custom House Portraits

With Leisa Collins and Bruce Goodman of Leisa Collins Art

Porch Ideas Network Podcast Logo Leisa Collins A house portrait painting is a work of art - and what a wonderful way to celebrate a special place than to have it painted by a professional artist.

That is why Dave and I were very excited to find Leisa Collins who does custom house portraits in watercolor. She has been commissioned to do hundreds, if not thousands, of these paintings and each one of them is unique and meaningful to the recipient.

Her work starts out as a sketch that she shows her customers. Then she turns the sketch into a detailed pen and ink drawing and finally a watercolor house portrait painting that is perfect for matting and framing.

Podcast Highlights

Beautiful custom house portrait painting - wraparound porch! Learn how you might have one of your home or for a wonderful gift
An example of Leisa's beautiful work is this wonderful farmhouse
Our special guest and professional artist, Leisa Collins, shares with us the story of how she became an architectural artist. She draws, then paints from photographs to create beautiful and unique custom house portraits for her customers.

She has painted 35 different architectural styles for customers in 43 states. An entrepreneur who hails from New Zealand, Leisa has been an artist since a teenager. Listen to our podcast to hear how excited and passionate Leisa is about her work.

She explains the many reasons her customers commission her to create house portrait paintings:
  • To celebrate and remember the house they grew up in
  • To serve as a memory of different homes where a family has lived
  • As a special gift to yourself to celebrate the pride you have in your home
  • As a gift to your parents to celebrate a special anniversary
  • As a closing gift from a realtor to the new homeowners
  • To have watercolors of your home in all four seasons!

Leisa also paints other places that commemorate special occasions - places where something meaningful and memorable took place. So, for example:
  • Like the church where a couple was married
  • Or the place where they became engaged
  • Or the college you graduated from or the elementary school you attended
  • And landscapes, too. Like your favorite beach or mountain scene. Or the street you grew up on.

Program Excerpts: Custom House Portraits

With Leisa Collins

Reasons Why People Love House Portraits

"People put so much time, money, love, blood, sweat and tears into making their homes beautiful. It is where they raised their family.

Often times their home is passed down from their family so it has all those beautiful memories and fun times. They want to capture all that and in as much as they love their home, they wouldn't dream of hanging a photo of it on their wall. That's just a bit tacky.

However if somebody captures all that beauty and turns it into a piece of art and then it is a beautifully framed piece on their wall, then they will enjoy it every day. I am always getting emails from people telling me that."

Who Are Your Customers?

"About a third of them feel they have put so much into their house that they just deserve a house portrait as a gift to themselves.

Another third would be people giving it as a gift. Usually to their spouse. Usually it is a surprise gift so there is a certain "skulduggery" going on.

The other third is kids who have grown up in their home, or it is their parent's home. It's their childhood home and may not even be their home any longer.

There are also a lot of people that once they have their own home, they want art of their earlier homes. They want a series of all the homes they have lived in."

More Examples of Leisa's House Portrait Paintings

Beautiful custom house portrait painting of a family home. Learn how you might have one of your home or for a wonderful gift.
We bet this family home holds many sweet and happy memories

Beautiful custom house portrait painting of a gorgeous home - learn how you might have one of your home or for a wonderful gift.
Lovely home in springtime

Beautiful custom house portrait painting of a log cabin in the snow - learn how you might have one of your home or for a wonderful gift.
Cozy log cabin in winter snow
We have more pictures of Leisa's house portraits, too.

Have Leisa Paint for You!

Just fill out our simple form below if you'd like Leisa to get in touch with you about painting a house portrait for you. What a treasure whether it be for yourself or to give as a gift. Leisa will write back to you within one business day.

Or alternatively you can call her at 703-598-7360 and let her know you found her through Front Porch Ideas. Please tell her that you found her by visiting Front Porch Ideas. While we earn a commission if you purchase a painting from Leisa via our referral, the cost is the same to you.

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

Please enter the word that you see below.


Meet the Artist

Professional artist, Leisa Collins Leisa has been creating art nearly all of her life and in recent years she took it up again as her full time profession.

As a native of Auckland, New Zealand, she has traveled the world extensively. She has been commissioned to paint house portraits in 35+ architectural styles and in all 50 states.

Not only that, but Leisa is also very supportive of homeowners who preserve their historic homes. And she helps other artists who wish to create a full time living from their work.

Three ways you can get in touch with Leisa:

(1) At her website, and please tell her you found her via Front Porch Ideas.

(2)Or you can call her at 703-598-7360. Please let Leisa know that you found her through our website, Front Porch Ideas.

(3) Through our form. Just fill it out and Leisa will reply back to you.

We may earn a commission but at no extra cost to you.

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Podcast 34: Exterior Color Concepts

With Lori Sawaya of Land of Color

Porch Ideas Network Podcast Logo Land of Color logo Color is a mystery to many of us, Dave and I included. You know, figuring what goes with what and what colors to paint the walls or the accessories.

Today we welcome Lori Sawaya to our porch. Lori is both a color expert and color strategist and the proprietor of the Land of Color.

Lori clears up a few misconceptions we have about color and helps to explain how you can use the colors in your permanent fixed elements on your home to match accessories.

You might be a little surprised at what Lori says and you might not ever think of a neutral color in the same way again. Do you know what color that Ben Moore calls their color of the year for 2016?

It's a surprise - at least to us. But it makes so much sense.

Podcast Highlights: Exterior Color Concepts

Mary: Dave and I are really excited to welcome you to our podcast today because our topic is going to be color.

Dave: Which I know little about

Mary: Oh, Dave you don't give yourself enough credit. But we do get a lot of questions from our site visitors about color.

Dave: We once got a question from a site visitor about what color to paint her porch.

Mary: Please welcome to our porch today Color Expert and Color Strategist, Lori Sawaya. Lori is the proprietor of We welcome you to our porch today, Lori!

Lori: Thank you for inviting me!

Dave: I need all the help I can get. This is great. This is great.

Mary: So Lori, let's start out by explaining to our listeners just exactly what is a color strategist.

Lori: A color strategist is knowledgeable about both the art and science of color.

And we strategize to purposefully use color to enhance design and solve problems. And what that means for a homeowner specifically on exteriors is in regards to paint.

Paint and colors are intrinsically tied and there are certain strategies for paint products and using them in tandem with color collections that can do various things for your exteriors - from enhancing the design and curb appeal to more functional things like making the paint last as long as possible.

Mary: Awesome! It sounds like there's more of a science to color than most of us realize. We are surrounded by color all of our lives yet most of us know very little about it and how it works. Most of us have problems deciding upon colors and what colors work together.

Dave: Picking paint and picking furniture are two things I don't like to do because I'm not very good at it. Lori: Both can be a lot of work.

Mary: I can't tell you how many times that Dave and I have painted our walls only to choose a color of paint thinking it's going to be perfect and put it on our walls and it's more yellow or more pink or something like that.

So why do you think people have such a hard time choosing colors and knowing what goes together?

Lori: Well I think a lot has to do with how the big companies organize their colors and their displays. They are usually arranged by spectrum and they often pull out the softer colors, the more muted colors instead of the vivid colors.

I think that is a huge mistake because those softer colors, those pastel colors have more hue pairing and it is harder to detect which colors are in them like grays - especially if you take them out of the context of their hue family.

It is very hard to detect what color that is. It's hard to detect the yellow. It's hard to detect the pink.

And I was really happy to see here in a press release from Sherwin-Williams Paint Company that they launched a new in-store display where they are now displaying their colors by hue family.

Most people are familiar with Sherwin Williams - they are prevalent in United States.

So I think this is a huge step forward for consumers for making their color choices correct the first time. And even though we have a brand that is displaying by hue family,

I should mention within the display if you want green for your exterior it's clear to see where the greens are and within the green family there's a big range from very vivid to almost gray green in there.

And they are arranged by saturation, too, not just by hue family. But even though we have this new tool and a new way of looking at color, it's still always important to buy a sample and take it home and test it.

There's no getting around it. Testing is where you're going to make your final color decision.

Dave: Yes I think that's a really good point because you're paying for a lot for the paint to begin with and a lot of people will say I don't want to pay more for a sample. But really in reality you're probably saving a lot of money in the long run.

Lori: You do. And with this new consciousness of thinking of color by hue family it guides people to the right color factor so they're buying fewer samples than before. I'm very optimistic about this new way of arranging colors and stores.

Mary: That's awesome, Lori. Our son is selling their home and they had a professional stager dress up their home and their porches. Once it was done, it's so easy to see how things go well together because it was done so well.

It is really hard for the average person like Dave and I to start out with a blank slate and to know how to make something pop on our porch.

Dave: That's a big one because a lot of people want to dress up their porch and it really comes back to color.

Mary: It does. It does.

So can you give us some hints if we are just starting out and let's say we have a lot of neutral colors on our porch, how can we bring out some color in there?

Lori: Right. Well, there really is no such thing as a neutral color. Neutral literally means a pure white color, neutral gray or a neutral black.

So every color that is on the exterior belongs to a hue family. So what you have to do is determine what colors those are that are permanent on those elements of your house that you have to work with. That's where you have to start because that's not going to change.

Mary: So for example if your house is brick, let's say a wall of your porch is brick and there are colors in those bricks that might be orange or red, gold or gray.

So are you saying you have to figure that out and pull those colors out?

Lori: Yes, you first have to identify the color of your permanent fixed elements and that is going to give you the clue going forward for choosing coordinating colors to create your curb appeal scheme.

Dave: That's really good because Mary will say that color has some orange in it. And I will say orange? I don't see any orange. That's my problem. I don't see any inner colors when I look at things.

Lori: Right, right. Well the easiest way to figure out those colors is to compare it to vivid color swatches. So find a chip that looks pure primary red and the same with orange and the same with green.

And take those chips out next to the element. Light attracts light. If you have brick that belongs to the red orange hue family, you're going to be able to compare it to a red chip and an orange chip and figure out whether it's more red or more orange. When comparing like that it just pops out and you can figure it out.

Dave: Wow!

Mary: That is an awesome tip! Now Dave and I have an autumn porch. I just happen to have a piece of fabric in my stash of fabrics that I was going to use for the porch cushions.

And when I took it out to the porch I was kind of flabbergasted because that fabric looks really awesome on our porch! I think now when I go back and look at it I'm going to see that it's because I am pulling out the colors of the shakes and the shutters.

Dave: The other thing that we've seen is that people have been complementing us on our yellow mums and how it makes things pop on our porch.

On our blue porch, the yellow really pops out - it is harmonious with blue
When we added yellow accessories to our blue porch, we got many compliments

Mary: For a long time, we had been focusing on pinks and reds on our porch. But for autumn, I painted a sunflower wall art that goes between the blue shutters on our porch.

And I also painted some yellow sunflower pillow toppers and we've had some people say they love the yellow with the blue on our porch.

Lori: You have a real harmonious relationship between your accessories and the permanent elements on your house.

Mary: Yes, it does make a huge difference. What kind of trends are you seeing in color now, Lori?

I know that you said there are not really such a thing as neutral colors but from a layman's perspective we still refer to grays, tans and brown as neutral colors.

Neutral colors seem prevalent as shown on these pinterest images
Neutral tones are popular on Pinterest for decorating

I'm seeing a lot of that on Facebook and Pinterest where people are decorating almost completely with whites, grays, browns, tans, and then just a pop of color here and there with a pillow or a picture. Is that what you are also seeing in the color trends?

Lori: Yes, there are a couple of things about that.

First of all you can use the word neutral where it's a broad all-encompassing word that says we have a lot of range of flexibility to work with here with color. It's fine to use the word like that.

But when you get down to the nitty-gritty and you're trying to find the right paint color to go with your brick you kind of have to let go of that meaning of the word neutral.

So it is important to differentiate the use of that word.

On Pinterest, the brown, the tans, the gray, and the taupes are always going to be popular for exteriors. And green. In most regions you can find a black gray green and your block may be all beige. Green is usually a safe color to reach for.

But Ben Moore just announced the color of the year for 2016 which is "Simply White" (OC-117).

On my Facebook page for probably the last six months or so I've been posting a lot of white exteriors slightly because that is my latest color crush using white on exteriors. So here at the Land of Color, our color trend for exteriors has been using white.

Dave: That's funny.

Lori: Yes with a very skinny trim and not a lot of other color details on the structure. I painted my last house all white and it's sold quickly by the way.

The all-white color brings all of the elements together in a way that you see more of the detail and you can appreciate the architecture more because it's not interrupted by the contrast. It just depends on the house. You can't do that with every house.

So limiting contrast, using skinny trim instead of big chunky trim and using a lot of light I think I are the three top color trends for exteriors this year.

Mary: Being that it's white for exteriors, are you seeing any trend for front door colors?

Lori: That is what is so great about white. Every white belongs to a hue family too. There is no such thing as just white when you are choosing paint colors so just as you did with your yellow mums want to be sure that you strike the right color harmony to go with the exterior white that you are using but you have full range on a white house.

Nothing is more classic than a white house and a glossy red door. But you can also go with navy blue or a black that's not really black like maybe a very dark green. The options that are afforded to you with the white exterior are almost limitless.

Red doors pop out on a white house indeed
A classic and stunning combination: red door on a white house

Dave: Carrying that through with a white front porch, if you had that combination like you suggested a white exterior and one of those colors on your front door, then what can people do with either their furniture or the cushions on the front porch?

Lori: From the standpoint of curb appeal when I'm thinking of exteriors I usually try to imagine if I was standing from the curb and viewing the house - a little bit of a distance instead of standing right on top of it. For your accessories you really want to strike a contrast so they can be seen.

With white that's really easy to do because it's such a light value. Medium blues and pinks you are going to be able to see from the curb against the white exterior. So again with the light value of white you have a big range to find some color contrast with a lot of color.

Mary: To carry that question a little further, Dave and I are constantly changing out our porch to make it look nice for the season because you know we like changing things up. But it does become a lot of work because we like to feature it on our site and of course we are all about porches.

But how can you have beautiful curb appealing furniture and cushions on your porch but easily make a few changes that just fit the change of the seasons. You know, like going from summer to autumn for example.

Lori: Are you changing out the furniture too?

Mary and Dave: No, I wouldn't think the furniture. It would just be the cushions and the amenities.

Lori: I think if you've done a good job of selecting your furniture so that it harmonizes with the permanent elements of your house, I think you can kind of cut loose and have some fun! Your porch is a good place to follow the color tones.

Places like Target in particular have seasonal color palettes were you don't have to sweat the details so much but just go with it and try it out and have fun with it for a single summer. There's always next summer, right?

Mary and Dave: That's for sure. We hope!

Mary: Lori, maybe you could talk for a few moments about the effects certain colors have. I know that red is often chosen because it's an exciting color. Restaurants often choose red for the inside of their places and blue is often thought to be tranquil and peaceful. Can you tell us a couple other colors and the mood that they set?

Color Secrets Unlocked - book cover shared by Lori Sawaya - Lori: Sure, I actually wrote a book called Color Secrets Unlocked and it's a book of 25 infographics. There are not a lot of words in it. In fact there are exactly 300 words and it addresses what colors say, their mood and meaning.

And when you're talking about what colors mean you have to take into account two things.

You have to take into account the color saturation, is it vivid or dull. And you have to take into account context. So you can have a bright vivid red that is a very energize pop of color from the color on your house.

When it's used on your house - say the white house with the red front door example - it's very energizing.

But that same red's energy set against a brown house is different. I like a red door on a brown house.

I love red and brown together it looks fabulous. The context of red with brown changes because the brown isn't such a stark contrast as with the white. Brown and red are closer in value than white and red.

So red doors are always going to make a statement from the curb but they're going to make a bigger statement on the white house then on a brown house.

So it's hard to assign a single color meaning because you do have to take into account the color saturation, is a vivid or dull, and where is it going to be used. So blues are always a good safe solid choice for exterior doors and shutters because it's classic.

It's not too far off the color grid for most people's taste. Same with dark greens and forest green. Something a little more out-of-the-box that might have more of an individual appeal would be colors of purple like an eggplant front door.

One of my favorite shutter colors is from Sherwin-Williams and it's called Black Bean and it belongs to the purple hue family. In certain lights you can see the purple in that brown.

It just depends on your own personal taste and when it comes to color psychology there's a lot of personal experience that influences how you see that color and what it means to you. Once you get past all of that, the saturation and the color, it really comes down to what do you think it means and how does it look to you.

Mary: That is awesome and way more than I expected you were going to say about color. So cool, the perspective that you bring to it.

Color Secrets Unlocked - book cover shared by Lori Sawaya -

The red and browns complement each other nicely in our living room.

And when you said red and brown I got to thinking about it and actually our living room has a red ceiling and a lot of brown tones in the fireplace. We have a wall with barnwood and our furniture has tones of browns and tans. It looks really beautiful together but I didn't know why.

So speaking of red and brown, I have just been learning to paint and I've been getting a little bit of education on the color wheel. I can't believe that all these years I didn't realize that colors that are opposite each other on the color will go well together like blue and orange or red and green. I don't have the color wheel sitting in front of me but is that the case for red and brown, why they go together?

Dave: Yes, and if you could too, for folks listening please explain the color wheel and how you use that.

Lori: Well, that's a loaded question!

Mary and Dave laughing: Well not a lot of detail, just how people can use it.

Lori: You have to keep in mind that there are different color wheels so it depends upon what color wheel you are talking about. The color wheel that Mary is probably talking about is the color wheel for mixing colors.

Mary: Yes, actually I am because this color wheel I have tells you if you add this color to that color what the resulting color is.

Lori: I did a video not too long ago talking (see below) about color wheels and the different kinds of color wheels there are out there. Some color wheels are based on the primary colors of red blue and yellow. And other color wheels are based upon cyan, magenta, and yellow and you get different results.

Video: Learn from Lori About Color Wheels

Enjoy Lori's video about the color wheel

Lori: I think that's about a 20 minute video and it will answer just about every question that you have about how to derive color harmony by using a color wheel.

Mary: Well Lori before we wrap up, one question I wanted to be sure to ask you because you have a section on our site about haint blue porch paint. Just wanted to ask you a little bit about that. We have a blue porch ceiling on our front porch.

Dave: Yes, it's probably not authentic haint blue.

A haint blue porch ceiling is lovely and a southern tradition
There's southern folklore about why porch ceilings are painted blue

Mary: But it still is a pretty shade of blue. I really didn't know about haint blue porch ceilings until we moved to the south where you see it quite frequently. Could you tell our listeners about why porch ceilings are painted blue?

Lori: I don't know that anyone knows why exactly. One of the best explanations is the story of haints and haunts and using a particular color of blue that mimics the color of water is supposed to help keep those spirits, those ornery spirits, from entering your house and from attaching to you.

So that's the biggest most common and popular theory why people paint their trim, shutters, doors, porch ceilings a haint blue that mimics water. It fools the haints so they don't cross over into your house. A lot of people don't know that story. It's old Southern folklore that migrated further north. Actually all the way to Ohio.

Mary and Dave: That's our home state!

Lori: Me too, I'm from Columbus. Actually that's where I found my first sample of haint blue in the most haunted house of Ohio, it is in Dresden. And it's called Prospect Place. And it was actually on Ghost Hunters.

So many years ago I drove out there to Prospect Place and met George Adams and heard all about his great-great-grandfather George Adams who was an abolitionist. It was a stop along the Underground Railroad. The folks who lived on his property painted their rooms haint blue so they brought with them the tradition of the south when they migrated up there to Ohio. And I got a sample right from the wall.

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