When it comes to homes, what counts is on the inside AND the outside which is why curb appeal is such a vital component of selling a home. A lackluster front yard can mean the difference between a quick sale or your home lingering on the market. Ask, Ashley Brooke of Ashley Brooke Designs and she readily admits that the red front door of her adorable Florida home is what cinched the deal. Seriously. According to Ashley, “As soon as the Realtor showed me a photo of the house, in my brain, I had already moved in! It didn’t matter to me what the inside looked like because it had a red door and all was right with the world.”
While the red door was a deal closer, it did bring it’s own set of unique challenges. The obvious being the door’s bold hue but also the fact that the Ashley and her husband live in Central Florida. Between the balmy Florida heat and humidity and the flower-eating deer that roam her neighborhood, many plants do not stand a chance! So when Ashley reached out to us about her plan, we were excited to see how she would flex her design muscles to create a front yard that was cottage worthy and Florida-ready.
The first order of business: accessorize! Before thinking about plants Ashley knew she needed new planters. Their existing planters were falling apart, charcoal black and not really giving the front of the house that Southern charm she was looking for. She relocated red Adirondack chairs to the front porch from the back yard and chose striped blue and white pillows to soften the look and coordinate with the door.
As Ashley puts it,”I have a “green-ish” thumb and can keep things alive, but I needed some advice on what in the world to plant in our gorgeous new pots.” Enter her friends from local landscape nursery Porch Therapy. The ladies from Porch Therapy recommended all kinds of plants and came up with the ”Preppy-Meets-Southern-Tropical” theme for the arrangements. Thinking outside the box, the Porch Therapy experts filled the planters with a myriad of plants and trees including Silver Buttonwood, Caladiums, Diamond Frost Euphoria, Echinacea, Alocacia, Canna Lily, and Blue Daze. The trees are Weeping Podocarpus.
So while it may seem like alot of work, Ashley has outlined three steps to help you get started.
Step 1. Assess your space.
What do you have room for? A wreath? A pot or two? Chairs? Map it out and decide what the space can handle and what you could do that really would make an impact. In Ashley’s case, she already had the chairs and knew she wanted to incorporate them, so she just added pillows and pots.
Step 2. Find your colors/know your climate.
Ashley’s red front door dictated a particular color scheme which she fought against in the past. After realizing that she needed to stick to primary colors, everything got a lot easier. This also helped a ton when it came to plant selection! Ashley had to come to grips that she didn’t live in North Carolina where she could have hydrangeas galore. So once she came to grips with that, the plant selection made more sense. Also, it’s comforting to know that she didn’t just pot a whole bunch of deer food.
Step 3. Get outside of your box!
This was hard for Ashley. After talking to professionals she came to realize the myriad of options available to her for plantings. Additionally, Ashley is a big of moving things around. If you have a perfectly symmetric front porch or entry way like she does, don’t just stack pots up on your steps. Get a little asymmetrical, add some interest! You’ll be so proud of yourself when you do!
See, not so hard! Just get yourself some new pots, talk to your local nursery about what really works in your climate, and play around with it!
Whether you are in an apartment or house, you want your guests’ first experiences in your home to be special. So why not start with the front door?!