2016 Fall Porch Makeover

By | Room Makeovers, Wallace Woods House | 14 Comments

So every year for Fall, I have all of these grand dreams of decorating my front porch and I rarely succeed. I usually get as far as a pumpkin or two, which then I quickly neglect, let rot and then finally scrape off the porch floor sometime in February.


I went all out. I may have over did it. With the addition of the striped porch floor in June, I felt this was a perfect opportunity to flex my Fall muscles. And so I did. Mostly because of all the pumpkin lifting.

2016 Fall Porch Makeover

Here’s how the porch looked before this all went down:

DIY Striped Front Porch

YEESH. (Also, the swinging baby chairs are still there. We don’t need a toddler riot around here.)

Before I get into the nitty gritty of all this, I just wanted to give a little shout out to AllModern, who helped supply many of the goodies for this makeover. I’ll point them out as I go, but as one of my special blogger privileges, a shout out something to the tune of, “Hey AllModern! I really like your stuff and I order from you all of the time! Can you help me with this makeover?” often results in some super-fun mail days. So THANK YOU AllModern.

Alright, so let’s get down to it.

The porch is divided into four areas: the front door/entry, the main seating area,  the “garden level” seating area and the porch steps. I treated these areas as four separate things, choosing items particularly for those areas.

Area One – The Front Door/Entry


The entry is always a game of height—and varying, tiered heights at that. I have very tall, 33″ planters (they were made using this tutorial), so I needed additional, somewhat-tall items to create my tiers. I almost went the planter route for the second tallest tier, but a 20″ planter these days is nearly $70 (UM NO) so a $5 mum was the answer. That combined with a few shorter pumpkins and gourds gave me the three heights I wanted for this area. Do I wish the mums are a little taller? Sure, but it was a tradeoff I was willing to make with price.

I also added this striped outdoor ottoman to the left of the front door. It’s a perfect little spot to set a bamboo tray with a pitcher and a drink. And with limited seating out here, the boys loving using it as a place to lounge.

2016 Fall Porch Makeover


Area Two – The Main Sitting Area

Just to the right of the entryway is a little seating area.



I had to get creative with seating, because while a couch would be the more obvious choice, we are desperate for outdoor storage. I ordered this GIANT outdoor storage box/seat from AllModern. It’s reinforced to act as a seat, and it’s big enough to sit drinks and snacks in between two adults. Right now it’s holding our gardening supplies, a water table, a bubble machine, some shovels and more.




Area Three – The “Garden Level” Seating Area

These vintage, metal patio chairs have been with me forever, and they live what I’m very fancily calling the “garden level” seating area. All that really means is that they are on our sidewalk leading up to our house.


I loved the geometric, almost art deco-like pattern on this garden stool—another AllModern find!—which makes a good drink or plant holder in between. In the cooler months I can bring it inside and use it more like a side table, too.


Area Four – Porch Steps/Any Entry Points

I feel like steps are such a big part of porch decorating, so I wanted to really trick those out too. This part is really easy. Lots of mums, pumpkins and lanterns, all in varying heights. (Varying heights is basically my one-trick pony—no shame here.)

Here are the front porch steps. First on the left.
2016 Fall Porch Makeover


And then on the right. I love this side the most mainly due to these white ceramic containers. They aren’t any holes for drainage, but as long as you don’t overwater, it should be just fine.


On the other side of the porch, which is where we typically enter, I placed some solar lanterns I found on Target clearance. I think I got both for about $15? They charge during the day, then automatically turn on at dusk. Love ’em.

2016 Fall Porch Makeover


So that’s it! That’s my 2016 Fall porch. Again, a huge thanks to AllModern. (If you’re new to AllModern, they’re with a family of other great companies like Wayfair, DwellStudio, Birch Lane and Joss & Main.) If you’ve done a design project with me, you’re very familiar LOL! They tend to be my go-to resource.

This fall tour is a part of a HUGE fall blog tour this week. There are 33 homes participating, mine included, so check out the list below!


Green With Decor | Craft and Tell | Little Bits of Home | Love & Renovations | Newly Woodwards | Simple Nature Decor | Our Crafty Mom


My Life From Home | House by Hoff | Wife in Progress | Knock it off Kim | Average But Inspired | Lehman Lane | Pocketful of Posies


My Creative Days | Sharon Joyce Interiors | 2 Bees in a Pod – Vicki’s house | Iris Nacole | Up to Date Interiors | Seeking Lavender Lane | Casa Watkins Living


The DIY Mommy | The Honeycomb Home | Two Purple Couches | 2 Bees in a Pod – Jenn’s house | Go Haus Go | Love Your Abode | Live the Fancy Life


Pretty Real Blog | This is Our Bliss | Designing Vibes | Shabby Grace Blog | Southern State of Mind | Our House now a home

My Interview on The Upload Podcast

By | Random | One Comment

Emily Using Power Tools

I did an interview with Mike Groesser of The Upload Podcast a few weeks ago and it went live yesterday! If you’re new to The Upload Podcast, here’s the synopsis on iTunes:

A podcast conversation with creative entrepreneurs, freelancers and side hustlers. Host Mike Groesser interviews passionate doers and discusses how learning from their stories can help you move from dreaming to doing. 

You can listen to my interview at this link or just search for “The Upload Podcast” on iTunes in Podcasts. I’m episode #23.

This was one of those interviews where afterwards I was like, “Oh crap. I said too much, didn’t I?” There’s always that cringe moment after hanging up the phone where you wonder if it went OK. But listening now, besides my cringing at my weird grunt laugh all the way through, it isn’t too bad.

Mike had EXCELLENT questions for me. Why I bought my first house on a whim, how I fund the constant stream of projects, my advice for rookie bloggers, how having kids has affected the blog, what blogging success means to me and so much more. It felt like a therapy session! Oh yea, and you’ll learn why I’m a pink flamingo yard ornament. Plastic and fantastic of course. :)

Go listen! And let me know what you think!



More Entryway Dramz

By | Room Makeovers, Wallace Woods House | 6 Comments

Why in the world has the smallest space in the house taken the longest to finish? So much dramz. I think it’s the pressure. The pressure to say, “Welcome to our home! This is what we’re about! This is our taste!” when in reality all my entryway really says is “These are all the shoes we wear!” and “Check out our stack of old mail!” Well… I am happy to say we are getting closer and closer to what we want.

So, let’s talk the entryway furniture situation. I had been wanting the classic bench + round mirror set up for a long time, so when this 40″ monster of a mirror became available, I jumped like a dog to a bone. It’s ginormous, weighs a ton and had to be nearly triple bolted to the wall but WORTH IT.

Storage in the Entryway

The reason I chose this mirror was because I needed something wood-driven to tie into the wood elements happening around the house, specifically the new wood feature wall in this same space as well as the orange-y oak blinds around the entire first floor. This angle in particular below gives me all the feels, because my design eye is spotting all of the wood synergies throughout the main floor. The mirror and the wood wall in the foreground paired with the oak blinds in the background (the kitchen) – I just love it! 

Storage in the Entryway

When I see this angle, as much as I love the wood, I am cringing a bit at the couch and the placement of that black and white painting. The painting is too high (needs to intersect with the white line). And the couch… oh my that couch. It’s huge and cuts off all the sight lines into the dining room but bless its heart, it’s excellent at hiding stains and is a veritable fortress against the antics of two 17-month olds and one rambunctious Boston Terrier. Thank you sectional. You may stay for a bit longer. 

Ok, so back to the entryway. We now have this very sleek bench plus mirror set-up. 

Storage in the Entryway

But this set-up is missing one very HUGELY important thing: storage for all of our entryway crap! Mainly shoes and backpacks, which seem to accumulate at alarming rates as the week passes. So while this looks very slick (minus some much-needed styling), I had a very naughty secret lurking just behind that wall. You see, I had to put all of that crap somewhere. 

Storage in the Entryway

Here’s what you see: a set of dog stairs, a permanent Goodwill donation bag, two umbrella strollers, two portable cribs, a Sportbrella, two backpacks and four sets of shoes. Completely necessary, right? Closed, clean storage was very much needed as well as a relocation of many of these items to the appropriate areas of the house. Relocation was done and IKEA was visited. We picked up the white STALL cabinet from IKEA, which is essentially a super narrow cabinet with pull-out tilted drawers. (For you traditionalists out there, there is a more traditional version that mirrors their HEMNES line.) 


Entryway Progress

This cabinet came with legs, but I was hoping I could install the cabinet without because I wanted that more modern, “fauxdenza” look. Plus, we have super tall floor trim on the first floor and the legs themselves are short, so off they went! Luckily, the legs aren’t a necessary piece of the structure at all and it was just a matter of simply skipping that step. Here’s a screenshot from my Snapchat (@emilykmay1). 

Storage in the Entryway

Here’s the view now of the entryway from the living room. 

Entryway Progress

My next and my LAST project for this space is to put some family photos on the far wall, above the white stripe along the stairs. I’m thinking three huge white frames—I just need to figure out what exactly to put in them. Frames are here and I’m thinking of hanging them blank until I figure it all out. 

Storage in the Entryway

So that’s where we are! I’m getting to the point in this house where I’ve made enough progress to feel settled, yet excited about the future projects ahead. I had been feeling overwhelmed for so long, but of course, chipping away at projects little by little has helped to overcome that feeling. Baby steps!

Here are all of the previous entryway projects if you’d like to follow along:

Installing a new light and striping the wall

Painting the interior front door black

“Building” the Stikwood wall

Finding a new rug