See that beast up there? That is my huge ass front door. And I do mean huge. That’s one of the things that is popular around these here parts, apparently. Rob and I noticed that the newer the house the more impressive the door has to be. Sometimes it doesn’t even make sense. There will be this itty bitty house with a pretty standard exterior facade but this gigantic, absolutely magnificent front door.
Some are just big. Like ours. It’s just freaking big. Oh and it has this annoying as all get out peep window. That’s right. It’s not a peep hole you can secretly peek out of to see if you want to open the door or not. Nooo! This is a freaking door inside of the door that you open up like it’s freaking medieval times or something.
But I digress… the doors of other homes have ornate carvings or gorgeous stained glass panels and they can be absolutely breathtaking. It can also be stupid gaudy. At first I absolutely hated out front door but as I started to decorate for fall around it I found myself liking it a bit more. I still hate that dang peep window and nothing in the world is ever going to change that!
Even though I felt like an absolute dweeb, I decked out the front porch with all manner of fall-like things. It seems as though fall doesn’t actually happen here. As I was putting out my pretty red and orange leaf garland I was sweating my rear off at the same time in 98 degree weather, that according to weather.com felt like 107. I had sweat dripping into my eyeballs and stinging them with that kind of heat. It felt a little more than totally ridiculous. But I love fall so I went ahead and decorated for the season that doesn’t seem to exist in South Texas because even if it ain’t happening anywhere it’s going to happen on my porch gosh dangit.
The first thing we did when we moved in was put my frog my sister gave me for Christmas probably 10 years ago on the front porch. We also had the old front door mat we had purchased and put out at my house when it was listed for sale smack down in front of that massive door. And it looked idiotic. It was like putting a baby’s bow tie on a 6 foot tall man. It just looked silly.
After measuring I realized that our door was 4 feet wide. Yep, FOUR FEET! Those 48 inches were why my regular door mat looked so silly in front. It turns out that super wide door mats aren’t terribly easy to come by. The only ones to be had at Lowe’s were very generic, like left over outdoor carpeting that was bound off or something. Walmart had one that we both thought was very ugly with fake stones on it but it seemed to be the best we could do. In the end we put it back because we both really didn’t like it. On an impromptu trip to Home Depot we happened to find a very simple mat that we could both live with and it was purchased and plopped on the porch. At only $20 we were pretty happy with it.
As it turns out, when we went to At Home (formerly Garden Ridge) the coming weekend they had a good many to choose from. A good many that were very, very pretty in fact. But our simple mat has grown on us and we like it just fine.
Our front door decor is a mishmash of a lot of things from many different places. The first thing we found was the garland at Michael’s. I preferred something a bit darker but Rob liked the bright colors. And, as it turns out, he was absolutely right and it was a good call to go with his colors. Our front door is pretty dark and unless the sun is shining right in the whole porch area is dark. The bright orange and red really pops no matter what time of day it is. It’s quite lovely, really.
We set out after a pretty wreath to match after realizing that the things we were going to get to make our own well exceeded the cost of finding one ready made to buy. This lovely sucker was from Home Goods for $25. Boom.
Now I have to tell you I am quite afraid of heights. Partially because I’m clumsy and broken bones hurt and partially because I always have been scared to death to get any more than a few feet above the ground. I even experience some panicky issues on swing sets. So I was quite proud of myself that I pulled out the ladder and strung up the garland all by myself.
We had purchased 3 lengths of garland on sale for about $10 apiece at Michael’s. When I hung it up I realized that even though we got the more expensive thick stuff it looked piddly against the behemoth known as our front door. I wound up snagging two long rolls of burlap from the seasonal section for $3 apiece to lay behind the garland and bulk it out a bit. Doubled over I had to trim the bottoms to keep them from dragging and tripping anyone.
I shrieked and maybe let out a little scream a time or two but I freaking did it and all by myself. (I’m beaming with self pride :)
Next I cluttered up the entry to the porch like nothing you’ve ever seen before. My frog from my sister remained in its place and I bought two real pumpkins and used my DIY solar cat jack-o-lantern I made just in front of it. On the right side I placed a new solar lantern that came from the clearance aisle at Target for around $20. It actually flickers like a real candle at night. It’s pretty groovy, really.
I grabbed a few gorgeous pots from HEB (a Texas grocery store) on sale for 20% off in a pretty awesome score for around $38. I also snagged 3 seasonal mums already in pots nice enough to show off on the porch for 20% off also for around $28.
I planted a bougainvillea in a pretty clay and mustard color into my pretty bright blue pot and then in my more sedate brown pots went Hawaiin Red Ti plants that I am told will get much bigger and much more red as they grow. These actually came from a lovely lady and her grandson at the flea market one way too hot Sunday for $32.
Noticing that my pots got lost in the grass, I took my happy self out early one morning with a pair of scissors and snipped all of the grass around them way low and dumped out a bag of little pebbles down on top of that. A few neighbors may have stopped what they were doing to watch me cut my grass with scissors but I didn’t really pay attention or care. They’re going to see a lot weirder so whatever. And I suppose they already have as a good 4-5 neighbors drove by very slowly watching Rob mow the front yard with our electric lawn mower, pulling the cord all around with him :)
Initially 2 of my mums were straight up on the ground but there was just stuff all over the ground and it looked a hot mess. I needed some difference in heights to make things seem to mesh better. Refusing to spend any more money I pulled a green folding chair that was a thrift score back in Oklahoma out of the garage and snuck off with one Rob’s painting stool. A fresh mum on each and this little project was considered finito.
All in all it wound up being a bit more than I wanted to spend for seasonal decor but with such a big door it seemed that less was just, well, less. Though I feel it is a bit crowded than I might actually want I’m far happier with my cluttered fall mess on either side of my door than having nothing at all. I’m not sure if it’s because people love it or because people hate it, but I’ve had quite a few people stop to have a looski. Some very nice ladies who came to the door to talk about Catholicism (but not for too long as their English was about as great as my Spanish) stood back and admired it for sometime before giving me kind nods and shy smiles before walking away.
I guess the most awesome part of this was that Rob and I picked everything on this porch together and split the cost of everything equally (it wound up costing us both about $100 but considering that plants can do well year round here we’ll have these guys out all of the time it doesn’t seem too bad).
And I think that is something I’m probably more excited about than anything… I’ve got the sweetest man around who will go to ten million stores looking at garlands and give me his honest opinions and help me choose the prettiest even if he really couldn’t care less if the porch is decorated or not. And he’ll hand over $100 of his hard earned money to decorate an Autumn front door he’s listened to me whine about for 3 weeks straight :) Happy Fall y’all!