Tag Archives | front door

4th of July rag wreath

So…I made another wreath, but it wasn’t a magazine wreath this time! (Like this one or this one.) I wanted to make something quick that was 4th of July themed, but as usual, I wanted it to be free. Or at least very cheap. I already had red and navy fabric on hand as well as canvas from my radio cabinet redo and Christmas tree cones, so at least all the colors were there!

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I didn’t have a wire wreath frame (which would have been ideal for this project), so I reused a wire hanger from a previous wreath instead. It does make the wreath a little more floppy than a wreath frame would, but I don’t mind that look.

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If I were buying material for this, I definitely wouldn’t have bought canvas fabric since it frays so much, but again, I wanted to use stuff I had on hand.

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This was certainly one of the fastest wreaths I’ve ever made! I cut the fabric into strips that were about 1″ wide and 7 to 8″ long, and then tied them onto the wire circle. And that was it! It took less than 2 hours and I may have been a bit distracted by the show we were watching.

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The final touch was these star gift tags from the dollar section at Target. Got me again, Target! I just can’t resist!

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I took the jute strings off and attached them to the hanger with paper clips.

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The total cost was probably under $3. The stars came in packs of 2 for $1 each, so that’s $2…and the fabric was all super cheap when I bought it and I used hardly any of each (the navy was on clearance, the red was from a thrift store, and the canvas was a drop cloth from Lowes.)

I think it turned out great! When I first started tying the strips on the hanger, I was worried it was going to look really stupid, but I just kept squeezing more in until I couldn’t possibly find the hanger anymore.

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We don’t have a great place to hang a flag on our house, so this is our show of patriotism instead. 😉 Happy 4th!

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Front door refresh

We did it! We finally have a new color on our front door! It’s a bit pathetic that it took so long (I’ve been wanting to repaint it for at least 2 years!), but it just was never a very high priority with so many other items on our to do list.

When we first moved in, it was black. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE glossy black front doors on some houses. But on our house, it looked like a big black hole. And really emphasized how orange our brick was. (This is a picture from before we lived here.)

500 Midland Ave, Springdale, AR 72764

We built some new steps leading out to our garage a few months after moving in (swapping one too-tall step for 2) and bought some gray floor paint for them. I had quite a bit leftover, so I slapped it on the front door and sprayed the kick plate oil rubbed bronze. It was only ever supposed to be a temporary solution!

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The paint was flat, which is NOT the ideal sheen for a front door (most people stick to semi-gloss or high gloss), and the gray didn’t match the tan house paint we had first, or the new gray we chose when we repainted. Needless to say, it was time for something a little more lively and in a front-door appropriate sheen.

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With the help of my mom and sister-in-law and the input of a few friends, I settled on Biscay by Sherwin Williams in semi-gloss, color matched to Behr Premium Exterior (I chose not to use a high gloss because our door has a lot of imperfections!) Here’s the before.

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And after, complete with new hardware!

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I love love love this color!! It is bright, for sure, but I’m really loving how happy it is! And it makes my year old magazine wreath look not quite so faded! (Although I am thinking another magazine wreath might be in order for fall!)

Vibrant wreath on a chalky blah door…

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Or slightly faded wreath on a vibrant glossy door!

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Definitely prefer the second! It’s such a fun color that’s perfectly between green and blue, which is exactly what I wanted!

I generally like the brushed look for mill work, trim, 6 panel doors, etc., but this time around, I decided to brush the inset areas only and do the rest using a high density foam roller. This sad door has had so many coatings poorly applied (not by me!!) and has a ton of drips, dings, specks, and other imperfections. I think the roller texture hides these better.

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The unfortunate thing about freshening up a paint color, though, is that it often makes surrounding things look worse! And this time is no different…my antiqued green radio cabinet really doesn’t go with the new Biscay door. It’s been on my “need to redo” list for a while anyway, since I’m trying to infuse some kelly green into the space (which doesn’t look so hot next to brownish green), but I think it just got bumped up! I’m picturing a greige hand brushed finish, antiqued with dark wax, and canvas drop cloth instead of the gold fabric.

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But back to the door. Take a look at the exterior before. I love our new paint job, but the door was just the wrong shade of gray (a little too bluish so it obviously clashed with our new gray siding color) and the house still was lacking color.

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And after! I think it looks so happy and actually takes the attention away from the orange brick, while still being a complementary color

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Please forgive the now brown grass. Despite the rain we’ve been getting (in July? What is your deal, Arkansas?), the hot weather has taken a toll on our previously green and weedless lawn.

I also found this Seeds color palette using Biscay, and realized it’s fairly similar to what we’ve done with our exterior. We have a medium gray on the siding, dark charcoal on the shutters, extra white trim, gutters, and windows, and tan/orange brick and grout.

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I didn’t find this till after, so it wasn’t inspiration so much as confirmation! Apparently, I had the right idea! Or at least that’s what I’ll tell myself.

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It was a little brighter than I had initially thought of using, but the storm door is very reflective and often creates a glare. I wanted to make sure the color would still pop from behind our storm door, even on a sunny day.

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You can see the glare in this picture especially. But the color is still vibrant!

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The door before just looked so washed out and dreary.

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And now it makes me happy!

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I’m excited for all the wreath possibilities with this door now! Before they were the only color, so they had to be super bright! Get ready, Andrew! New, hopefully free, wreaths are in our future! (He thinks I have a wreath problem.)

I think that about does it for the front of our house, besides landscaping! So what do you think?

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Storm door swap

So we’re those people who insist on having a storm door. I know, I know…houses in magazines NEVER have them. But they also never have any clutter, ceiling fans, TVs, coffee tables with storage, dust bunnies, or any evidence that real people actually live there.

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Sometimes you gotta go for practicality. And I have a LOT of reasons for wanting a storm door. Such as…

  • Our front door doesn’t have any windows or transoms, so I like being able to leave our front door open to bring more light into our living room.
  • It makes it WAY easier to paint your front door and your wreath/door decoration doesn’t have to be weather proof. (Important stuff here, folks!)
  • It protects the wooden door jambs from the elements.
  • The cats love to look out and watch the birds. Really important, right?!

One of the biggest reasons was that when we were painting the exterior of our house and the door was down to paint the trim around it, our house looked incredibly cheap and unfinished. If you have a really nice house or at least a decorative front door, go for it. Ours just looked dumb and naked without the door.

Now that you know why we wanted a storm door, here’s why we didn’t want this one! Not only was it incredibly faded and no longer black…

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It was also gappy, and therefore not energy efficient at all. Andrew would never let me keep the front door open because it would change the temperature of the room so quickly!

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The hydraulic closer broke when we took the storm door off and put it back up during our exterior painting project.

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So if we didn’t make sure to pull the door closed behind us (or it didn’t get latched tightly) it would flap around in the wind.

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Not ideal. We could have bought a new closer and spray painted the door, but we really couldn’t fix the warped frame. So we opted for a new one, and sadly, not a cheap new one. All the cheap ones (as in under $100) are the same style as our old one or only have a window in the top half.

After comparing prices, features, and looking at the doors in person, we settled on this 3000 series door with fast and easy installation system by Andersen. We went with white to match our windows, gutters, and trim. Here’s the before.

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And after!

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This door comes in a wide assortment of colors, and the glass actually comes out and you can replace it with a screen (which is also included). The door has a locking mechanism with a key, if you prefer to keep it locked, and a much nicer handle than our previous door (obviously) and most of the other comparable doors we looked at.

The handle set is sold separately so you can choose the finish. All the other doors had to be special ordered if you wanted a different finish than what was in store. The total price for the door and handle set after tax was $271.08.

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This door was a bit more expensive than some of the other white full glass options, but we chose it because the frame seemed much more sturdy (specifically compared to Larson brand doors.) It advertised an easy 45 minute installation process…which quickly turned into over an hour. But hey, we did get it installed eventually!

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It’s a big change compared to the dark door we had before, and I don’t always do well with change, so it’s taking me a while to adjust. I do think it feels fresh and bright, and we wanted to keep the colors consistent, but I also think I might have liked a black or dark brown door that tied in with the dark bricks.

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This door also has double closers, one on top and one on bottom, and this cool feature where you tap the button with your foot to make the door stay open.

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Ta-da!

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It’s probably a more useful feature if you actually have a functional front porch…but who knows, it may come in handy.

And now, just for fun, let’s look back at our house before we ever even lived here. This is the picture currently on Zillow (before the repainted front door, new roof, landscaping, windows, mail box, exterior paint job, gutters, and lots of cleaning up!)

500 Midland Ave, Springdale, AR 72764

Yikes! And here it is in progress.

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And now! Complete with our awesome green, weed-free lawn. Which, sadly, will turn brown once this spring rain stops and summer weather finally arrives.

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So there you have it! Technically, now there’s nothing left on our “must do” list for the front of the house (not including landscaping, of course, which is never-ending!). And there are always still things we’ll dream about doing…like adding a real front porch, new sidewalk, and an extended A-frame roof line to match. *Sigh* Maybe in the next house.

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