Follow along as we give this Nashville facade a serious facelift.

By Stephanie Sisco
Updated April 18, 2018
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Elsie Larson gave us a peek inside her most recent Nashville renovation project for the May 2018 issue. Since she hadn’t yet made it to the exterior of the house for upgrades, the Real Simple crew rolled up their sleeves and helped bring the facade to life. Watch us get to work.

Step One: Out With the Old

We wanted to start with a clean canvas, so we decided to remove the giant holly bushes that had begun to overtake the exterior. A word of advice: Removing shrubbery may be something you can DIY, but it’s a good idea to get a quote from the pros and talk to them about your options. You should have the utility company mark the lines before you dig to make sure you don’t accidentally cut one. Special thanks to Hewitt Garden and Design Center for all their help with this project!

Step Two: Refresh with Paint

The porch ceiling was painted a sage green that was looking a little dingy. A fresh coat of white paint (Pure White by Sherwin-Williams) instantly brightened the covered space. Cover your siding and porch floor with tarps to catch any drips.

Step Three: Let There Be Light

While the original lights had a craftsman feel that matched the style of the house, they were a bit small. So we opted for a pair of inexpensive urban barn lights ( in bronze to complement the brick and add more dimension to the space.

Step Four: Upgrade the Entrance

Once the tarps were removed, the team tested out two color options on the front door: Kale Green on the left and Isle of Pines on the right. After letting the shades dry, we decided on Isle of Pines because it’s blacker undertones complemented the black in the brick siding. We used Sherwin-Williams' SnapDry finish, which is perfect for doors because it dries in as little as an hour.

Step Five: Set the Scene

The most dramatic transformation came with the addition of new landscaping in front of the elevated porch. We chose to flank the stairs with a pair of tall, manicured shrubs, and then fill in either side with low-lying plants in varying shades. Over time, this greenery will grow to cover the cement elevation and give the yard a lush look. We finished off the plant bed with a layer of cedar mulch. Special thanks to The Home Depot for providing these plants.

Step Six: Add the Finishing Touches

To finish off our front porch facelift, we added some stylish outdoor furniture from World Market. We spread out a graphic and durable rug that we topped with a pair of modern wicker chairs and a wicker stool to create a really inviting space to sit for morning coffee or a post-work wind down. On the opposite side of the porch, we potted a few more plants into oval planters to bring some of that greenery even closer to the house.

In just one day, we were able to execute a top-to-bottom front porch makeover to make the exterior just as welcoming as Elsie made the interior. Thank you to all of the vendors who donated supplies for this mini-makeover project!