We are very excited to have house guests coming this weekend! My husband’s whole family is coming to visit. Some have never seen our house or even been to Minnesota. We can’t wait to show them around, but first we need to get our house in order.
House guests means we kick it into high gear and try to complete as many unfinished home projects as possible. Since we start so many projects and never seem to have enough time to finish them, the to do list of things to finish up before guests come seems never-ending. Knowing we will never accomplish it all, we prioritize what will be most important to our guests having a wonderful stay.
A great welcome is a good start. Our porch earlier this spring was anything but welcoming. The naked, stained concrete porch did not say, “please come on in”. We also had nothing on the porch, which also makes a house feel abandoned. It looked like we never moved in from the outside of our house. We set out to do a quick mini porch makeover. The two starter projects were porch paint and some more greenery.
The porch paint made a dramatic difference immediately. The gray we chose tied in beautifully with the rock beds and helped ground the house. It is much more welcoming than the less-than-two-years-old, but still ugly concrete. It still needs a second coat, but with all the rain we have been getting it is impossible to get a 12-hour dry spell to apply a second coat.
Greenery was a must. There are lots of plantings in the rock beds, but still nothing on the porch. I have always loved large pots with spiral topiaries flanking the front door. Notice in the before picture we grabbed a couple spiral pruned dwarf white spruce. We found some nice big white pots at Target. The kind that look big and heavy, but are made out of some lightweight plastic or composite material. Together the big white pots and the spiral trees looked lovely…until the trees started to go brown and die. There were a few really hot days where I forgot to water them and they never recovered.
So worse than nothing on the porch, is dead trees on the porch. Not very welcoming. So we pulled out the dead trees and decided to replace them with something a bit more sun loving. We got two hibiscus topiaries. Hibiscus in our house are also fondly referred to as hibisky (the nickname for our first hibiscus we left with a neighbor when we moved from our first home) or as hula hibiscus (a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse reference to remind our son what a hibiscus is). Anyway, the hibiscus made a great replacement. We snagged the last two red ones at home depot, so now we have greenery and a pop of color.
Now this is much more welcoming. With the welcome mat coming soon I think we are ready for some guests (at least on the porch).
See a few sneak peaks of the other projects we have been finishing up on Facebook.