by Contributing Writer CJ
So… as you may have heard, I live in the suburbs now. And what that means is that people do not only decorate the inside of their homes, but there is a fun expectation that you should dress up the outside as well. I lived in NYC for years and never once did I “decorate” my front door. No wonder I’m so tired out here! And people ask me, “What do you do all day?” Really?
Truth be told, sometimes I love it and sometimes I hate it. Like last spring when I finally got the custom-built window boxes I longed for, I was IN IT. I planted a beautifully coordinated color scheme of blossoms in all 8 boxes that beautifully coordinated with the 8 ceramic pots I also planted. It was glorious. They grew and flourished all spring. I smiled like child every time I arrived home. Then the heat of summer came. I had to stand there with the hose watering them 24/7 or they would instantly combust. My project enthusiasm was fading. But a lot of time and money had been invested in the curb appeal of our home so I soldiered on. Another “to do” added to the daily list.
Then September came. My vibrant garden of Versailles had transformed into an overgrown, half-dead mess. The sun had set on my beautiful garden and that meant a lot of yard clean-up. Tossing, pulling, cutting down - it was the worst. So, is there a moral to this story? Not really, except that this summer my neighbors can enjoy looking at my naked house because I’m not doing that again.
Oh, actually, there is a moral. Sprucing up the outside of your home can be a fun (and often inexpensive) way to add personality - and great design - to your domain. And the front door is a good place to start - so if you’re in an apartment, you can get in on this too. (Not every idea that comes from the suburbs is bad guys!)
I've seen a lot of really simple, modern door decor ideas out there lately. Not just rustic, kitschy, over-the-top stuff, but chic, clean, witty additions that will set your door apart. (See some of my favorite inspiration below). Whether it's door decorations, (rental-friendly) removable decals or even just a stylish door mat, there are opportunities to greet your guests with style - before they walk into your space.
Personally, I like to put something out there that hints (or flat out says) what season it is or what style vibe I’m feeling at the moment. A wreath is nice, particularly in the winter - but there are many other options. Chic typography used for numbers or initials, picture frames, baskets, signs, the list is endless. If you can put a hook on it, it’s fair game. Always keep in mind size and proportion, color, visibility and upcycling opportunities. Also - the bang factor. (Will it be banging and clanging every time you dart out the door in a rush?)
Get creative. And let me know what you try! I'd love to hear your questions or see pictures along the way. But don’t over-do it. I know your “to do” list is already full.
A former city girl with a degree in graphic design from Parsons, Cynthia Jordan is now based in a suburb of Philadelphia where she is CEO of her household and a contributing writer for Spruce + Furn. She shares tips and tricks for setting up your home, hosting etiquette and her advice for dealing with common domestic challenges - the Right way. Have a question for CJ? Email her at: AskCJ@spruceandfurn.com and she’ll answer your question in an upcoming post!