Wednesday, August 3, 2011
I live in an ugly house on a beautiful Edwardian street. As a mere studio tenant, there is little I can do about a paint color that can only be described as a "puce-yellow" that covers even the intricately carved architectural panels and extends to the wrought iron railing. The landscaping consists of "giant generic bush."
But as you can see, the house does have a tiny front porch with an interesting wedge-shaped alcove. Back in June I noticed that a local thrift store selling a glass-topped outdoor table and was suddenly inspired. So I bought it along with a vintage hand-stitched tablecloth. I am usually not one for fake flowers, but this vase and small bouquet matched the tablecloth and seemed to complete the look.
At the time, the porch was adorned solely with three pitiful red plastic chairs that had been out there all winter. These sufficed for a few days before the same thrift store acquired a pair of old wrought iron chairs! I sanded and then spray-painted them a bright cherry red and was thus able to retire two of the ugly plastic ones to the basement. The finishing touches were an Italian pot full of bamboo sticks I bought from a Mid-Century Modern antique store and a hanging flower basket.
Total cost was around $50. I believe I saved the most money buying all secondhand, which is generally how I prefer to get "new" stuff. Buying used/vintage is basically a form of recycling and is much better for the environment than buying a brand-new item when hundreds of versions are already floating around in places like Craigslist and garage sales. I have also found that the little setup replicates that book-friendly relaxing vibe I get at independent coffeehouses, of which there are many within walking distance. I now have a nice reading place that doesn't demand a $3 latte for use.
There is also this little side garden that was begun by my apartment's previous tenant, who planted some mint, daisies, and these little yellow flowers and added a stone dog statue. I added another yellow flower plant I got through my workplace's annual "free plant exchange" and bought the big iron flower from a local store that sells original American handicrafts. This photo was taken back in June. The garden has since grown enormously and is blooming all over the place. Although I still sincerely wish the landlords would at least paint the trimming already, I am very pleased with what I was to do on a limited budget to increase my home's curb appeal. I may not own the property but I do live in it.
This post was prompted by Emily's sharing of her new "reading + knitting space."