John and Sherry's Porch Makeover

Nifty Ideas to Transform a Porch

This is a story of a porch makeover. John and Sherry of Young House Love participated in the Home Depot and BHG's 48-hour challenge.

They had one weekend and $500 to transform the plain front porch of their Richmond, Virginia home.



Their goal was to turn their porch into an outside room that was light and airy like the inside of their home.

What would you do with $500 and one weekend to give your porch a face lift? Let's see what John and Sherry did.

Before the Porch Makeover!

Before John and Sherry's porch makeover
Before: Fairly simple and unadorned

And Voila! After the Porch Makeover

After John and Sherry's porch makeover
After the porch makeover: Fresh, welcoming and charming

Ferns dress up the porch
Another picture of their light and airy new porch

How John and Sherry Did It

Their project consisted of "painting, building, sewing, and hanging".

First, they painted their old dark-planked porch with alternating tan and cream stripes. Painting the floor in stripes actually makes the porch appear larger. It's clean, airy, and unique!

Mary and I really love the way their porch floor turned out. A simple yet very creative idea.

Here you can see the "before" floor and then after. Wow, what a difference.

Painting the Porch Floor and Comfortable Seating

Before painting the porch floor After painting stripes on porch floor
The floor paint makes a remarkable difference!
Sherry and John also painted their black planters in a cream color to go with the cream in the flooring. It's a nice way to tie them together for a very cohesive look as you can see here.

For seating they purchased and assembled a comfortable wooden glider which fits nicely in the space.

Incorporating Planters

Planter table Planters can become an integral part of your decorating scheme if you paint them in either complementary or contrasting colors.

Need a chair-side table? How about turning a planter into one?

Sherry and John made a little side table with a large planter and a terra cotta saucer that they sealed, painted and used as the top.

They now have a place for their magazines or umbrella drinks.

They also made their porch pet-friendly for their dog, Burger. They purchased a green paisley lounge chair cushion, cut it in half, and re-sewed it into two all-weather comfort pillows for Burger. How neat is that?

Notice that Burger's cushions complement their color scheme.

Also check out the feeding station they built for Burger. Talking about a dog living the good life.

Burger, John and Sherry's dog To add additional color and texture, Sherry and John purchased two hanging ferns. Symmetrically placed, the ferns act as abstract dividers without inhibiting their view.

The green and cream planters along with the green paisley outdoor pillows pull the entire porch together.

Outdoor Mat and Hanging Candles

Notice how the tan outdoor door mat in the picture below complements the stripes in the porch floor, the cherry red door, and the glider. Porch makeover - red door planter detail

To finalize their project John and Sherry came up with an ingenious idea - hanging candle holders.

They used inexpensive thick-ribbed glass bulb covers and wire from Home Depot to make these decorative lanterns.

Hanging candle lights Notice the charming lanterns. Even in the daylight, they add a touch of magic.

porch railings What a nice makeover in time for porch weather.

Although not part of the contest we just wanted to point out their porch railings. This unique pattern really dresses up their porch and adds much curb appeal.

John and Sherry's Next Porch Makeover

Budget-Friendly Ideas at Their New Home

Now that you've seen John and Sherry's porch makeover at their first home, we want to show you their quick and affordable front porch ideas for their second home.



The Before

John and Sherry's porch makeover
Kind of plain in the beginning, but just you wait...

John and Sherry's porch makeover
Another view before the porch makeover ...

What They Did to Update Their Porch

John and Sherry's porch makeover
They started with the bench they already had
When they first moved into their home, John and Sherry put their wooden bench (from their prior home) on their front porch. There it sat until a few months later when they had time to pay a little attention to their porch once again.

Mini porch makeover
Another view of their wooden bench
You know how moving goes - the inside gets the attention before the outside projects begin. After six months or so, John and Sherry decided it was about time to give their front porch some TLC.

Mini porch makeover

So they got out their old planters from their basement. They even found a hosta that survived its hibernation time in the dark basement (looks like it loved the basement).

John is showing giving their outdoor pillows and planters a quick bath to freshen them up and scoot out the spider webs and dirt.

Mini porch makeover

They filled the planters with some fresh new plants from the Depot. See the beautiful colors of the coleus? Looks great in the lime green pot.

Mini porch makeover
The bright green pillows add a splash of color to their bench.
Now you can see more of the planters

Another porch makeover
Shrubs make a welcome statement at the front door
To flank the front door, John and Sherry decided upon a couple evergreen shrubs. Funny but when we moved into our house, the homeowners had done the same thing. We didn't realize that an evergreen shrub can live in a pot.

If you like the idea of a shrub on the front porch, look at the tag before buying it to see how big it's supposed to get. Otherwise you may need to transplant it later.

Sherry said an alternative idea would be to put something seasonal in the pots - like colorful annuals in the spring and chrysanthemums in the fall. That would infuse a big dose of color.

The After

Another porch makeover
The freshened-up porch. We like it!

Another porch makeover
Another view of the mini porch makeover

Another porch makeover
The outdoor mat from their first home still looks just fine

Before porch makeover
The sweet li'l coleus adds a cheery hello to their porch

Before porch makeover
A comfortable place for John, Sherry and Clara to sit and relax
John and Sherry's porch makeover is not a super big change, but it definitely makes a delight of a difference. And it cost them very little.

John and Sherry's minor porch makeover took just a couple hours to do. But wow, it makes a fantastic difference.

Hope you got some ideas for your own porch from John and Sherry's example here.


We appreciate Sherry and John sharing their porch makeovers with us. It turned out great! You can learn more about their porch transformation at Young House Love.

/ / Young House Love's Porch Makeover


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