Being “too creative”

During my morning jaunt through the Yahoo Homepage I jumped on an article titled “Biggest Kitchen Design Mistakes.” Heck, I have a kitchen, I should probably know what NOT to do! (Side-note: I got everything in my kitchen right. Hah!) I followed related articles down the rabbit trail and ended up on the House Beautiful website viewing a slideshow titled “Decorating Mistakes.” You know the rabbit trail I’m referring to- it’s the little bar of related articles showing up at the bottom of whatever you just read. I can follow the trail of related articles through the world-wide web for so long that I find myself reading something completely unrelated from the original article. “Puppy rescued after falling from sky” becomes “Father hits son with samurai sword during family dispute”- WHAT? (Don’t judge me, we’ve all been there)

Anyway, in this slideshow I happened upon a quote from designer David Kleinberg that read,

“Don’t try to get too creative. Keep it simple.”

Damn. I’m all for simplicity (evidenced by my recent kitchen paint color change) but too creative? Is that even possible?? The whole point of creativity in home designing is to come up with ways to mesh ideas, put together rooms, and find simple solutions to common problems. How can you possibly have TOO MUCH creativity? Oh David Kleinberg, you just lost me.

The idea of being “too creative” got me thinking. First and foremost- IMHO you can never be too creative! Secondly, the obnoxious, rebellious part of myself popped up and I started thinking about all the ways I can be more creative in my home. Take that, David Kleinberg! One part of my home really stood out to me as lacking creativity. It’s a place I walk through multiple times a day but completely ignore. In fact, everyone who visits our home gets a good look at it in all its sad glory. Any guesses?


(an older picture from before the shutters & door were painted. The porch itself hasn’t changed)

It’s really rather pathetic. The ceiling needs to be painted (although it is a cute beadboard. You know how much I love beadboard!), the porch paint is starting to peel off, our wrought iron porch posts and railings are rusted and ugly, and bugs congregate around our outdoor light (one of those motion sensor ones that turns on every 5 minutes whether someone’s out there or not!). Other than a wreath on the door there is zero decoration.

I’m thinking total makeover! I started gathering ideas of the web and compiled a “wishful thinking” list of what I’d love to have done.

Hannah’s Front Porch Wishful Thinking List:

  • Build wood columns around wrought iron posts, replace iron railing with wood railing
  • Paint floor with outdoor paint in a “checkerboard” pattern
  • Paint ceiling with pale blue (“haint blue”)
  • Add artwork/visual interest to side of house on the left-side of the front door
  • Replace wreath
  • Replace doormat
  • Add hanging flower baskets & windchime
  • Add solar string lights for ambience
  • Add outdoor bistro table set + DIY citronella candle centerpiece
  • Add planters + flowers

Any guesses how much this whole project would run? Yeah, a lot, which is why I’m calling it my “wishful thinking” list! Over the course of the summer I’ll be snapping up deals when they present themselves- hopefully by this Fall I’ll have a space that Mark & I can enjoy together during the cooler evening hours.

(The reNOUNed Nest)

I just love everything about this porch! The white wood columns could be easily built around our existing wrought iron columns. Did you notice- the yellow siding and bright blue shutters are almost exactly the same shade as ours?? The blue ceiling goes perfectly with the sapphire and butter colors! According to southern superstition evil spirits & ghosts can’t cross water. Since putting moats around everything isn’t practical (ha, ha), the next-best-thing is to paint your entryway a watery blue, or “haint (spirit) blue.”

(Checkerboard floor tutorial at PNP Craftsmen)

This picture shows the style of checkerboard floor I’d like to try for our porch. The checkers are set at a diagonal to give them additional interest. I like that they are painted in gray instead of black- I’m going for a soft & scuffed look, not kitchen linoleum. Picture this checkerboarded front porch with a haint blue ceiling, sapphire shutters & creamy yellow siding… that will by our porch!


This little bistro table is super-cute. The website details how the set was originally found- rusted, sad & white- and how it was transformed into this adorable pink set. While I’m not planning on introducing pink to our front porch, spray-painting a thrift store find into something one-of-a-kind is definitely up my alley!

I can’t make up my mind! Look at this lovely little wood bistro set. I enjoy the colors and textures of natural wood, so this type of set could very well take precedence over a metal set. However, metal would be easier to clean and keep free of mildew. Hmmm!


Look at this WALL of beautiful, lush plants! Maybe the accent I add to the left-side wall of our porch could be something like this! It looks simple enough- a series of long, narrow planters mounted at varying heights, planted with what looks like trailing Ivy. This porch also has a haint blue ceiling.


This would be a simple accent wall as well! I see these pallets on Craigslist all the time. I could plant pretty herbs and not even have to go into the sun to snip them=P I like the pretty pots of succulents as well. Succulents are super-easy (so I’ve heard) to plant & maintain, and they’re cheap at places like Lowes and Walmart.


Pinterest is just full of good ideas today! I’m in love with this fabulous DIY candle chandelier! An old egg basket is filled with moss (Is that real moss or faux? I can’t tell) and then piled with candles. Those could easily be citronella candles- Pier 1 has a collection of pure white citronella candles in different sizes for piling. The hydrangeas in an old watering can are cute as well. I love this rustic style!


This is exactly what I’m thinking of when I say I want solar lights outside. Draped here and there they create a lovely, romantic atmosphere. Our home doesn’t have any exterior electrical sockets so using solar-powered lighting outside is a must, otherwise we’d be running ugly extension cords through the windows!


I would never do this but it is a fabulous look! What a beautiful presentation of outdoor lights. It really softens the porch and makes it friendly, perfect for dining al fresco, or curling up with iced tea and a good book. That is exactly the feeling I want for our front porch! (I wonder, David Kleinberg, is that too creative for you??)

( &

Look at these precious planters! The one on the left is just a cheap, galvanized metal tub. It probably has drainage holes drilled in the bottom, and it looks like it is on some type of feet, most likely to keep the drainage holes off the ground. The planter on the right is one that I can definitely replicate any time! I found an old chair at a garage sale for $5, tore the old fabric off (intending to reupholster) and repainted the wood frame a glossy white. And that’s where I stopped! Fabric intimidates me. It would be simple to measure the seat and find a corresponding tub to plop down into it. (I know, no posts on reupholstering any time soon… So sad! Haha)

What do you think of these porch ideas? Would they go well with the space I’m working with? Don’t expect any “before and after” shots for quite some time, this porch project is going to trickle along for a while=) But I’m okay with that. I’ve got my creative juices flowing and David Kleinberg had better watch out!



3 thoughts on “Being “too creative”

  1. Pingback: Dreaming is free « Cozy Crooked Cottage

  2. Pingback: Quick (and cheap) Spring decorating ideas | Cozy Crooked Cottage

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