Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Show Them the Back Door: By Guest Poster Meredith from "Like Merchant Ships"

Today I'm welcoming guest poster Meredith from Like Merchant Ships whose wonderful blog is full of helpful tips and support for frugal, economic living. We're swapping blogs for the day: she's posting here and I'm over at her place posting my own thoughts about creative frugal living . . . come on by and say hi!

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Nothing makes me want to splurge more than spring nurseries full of gorgeous green plants! Luckily, it doesn't cost much to spruce up the back door using things we already own.

Spring Decorating Our back entrance looks so cold and sterile without color. (Speaking of which, why haven't I painted these doors yet?)

This fall, I budgeted half an hour for a fast-and-dirty transformation. I bought two mums ($8 total), washed the doormats, swept, and consolidated the half-dead plants from around the house.

Spring Decorating I moved the cherry tomato from the yard so it could anchor the group of smaller pots. I also angled the grill to break up the straight line of the house.

Spring Decorating I consolidated the outdoor toys in two Chippendale planters. Unlike the old plastic tub, these have holes to drain the rainwater.

Spring Decorating I used two "free from the trash" chairs for color. Eventually, I'd like to find a wooden bistro set for this spot.

Spring Decorating The spindly potted plants are much improved after grouping them together and adding a bright mum to the mix. Now, to find a can of paint for those doors!

What do you do to make your back door inviting as the seasons change?

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I haven't got a winner for this weekend's giveaway yet, I'll post a little later when I've got it firmed up.

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26 comments:

Erica Douglas said...

I've just done something similar out the front. I've planted a nice hanging basket, some salad leaves in a trough, a strawberry plant, and I bought a mature rosemary bush which is flowering already - makes me feel so much better coming down the path!

Lightening said...

Fabulous!!! I have one pot by the back door and that's it.

Katherine said...

Looks great - reminds me that I need to work on my deck.

Your link to "like merchant ships" doesn't seem to be taking me anywhere.

Mod Girl said...

I try to keep the glass in my back door smudge-free -- no small task! It's amazing what a big difference this makes. Considering that it's the door that is used most often by nearly everyone coming to our house, making an effort to keep it presentable (and clean and welcoming) is important.

Christie O. said...

that is the greatest idea! using planters for toys!!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Like Merchant Ships link isn't working!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

www.likemerchantships.blogspot.com

Beth said...

Wow! Those inexpensive changes make a wonderful difference!

MommyTime said...

I moved into a house with lots of flower beds in place -- and lots of horrible ivy growing over everything. So, I've spent every summer removing the ivy from one more bed -- and reclaiming all sorts of wonderful perennials that were buried all those years. Many I've transplanted. The labor takes a while, but the plants are free!

Anonymous said...


link to Like Merchant Ships blog

Mrs. Annie said...

It's amazing what we can do when we look around at what we already have and rearrange things!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh you're giving me some good inspiration! My favorite thing about my yard is still my amazing steal of a swing I got for myself. It's my escape!

Steph

Pieces said...

What a great way to warm up that area. Who would have thought such easy changes would make such a big difference?

Amy said...

Awesome job, Meredith! You are so creative!

Crys said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crys said...

I look forward to spring every year because the front of my house looks so inviting once the houseplants are outside. But I get a bit sad when I go back in and the greenery is missing. I get used to the cats pawing long trailers and the bright green leaves up against my yellow walls.

Keri said...

great blogger 'switcheroo' idea. i'm looking forward to the day when i'm financially stable enough to BUY a house... renting just doesn't quite lend the same fix-it-up attitude and motivation!

Beck said...

Okay, you know what? You have just inspired me. I WILL fix up our back door - enough making excuses!

Gena said...

My back door is a deck door. No one uses it unless we're outside barbecueing or gardening. I do plant all of my herbs outside of that door and I always hang a seasonal wreath beside it. Our grill is there and also the frying table (I don't fry inside, but set my fryer on the little table). I am trying to be better about keeping it swept completely clean and keeping pretty cloths or placemats on my regular table out there. I also have birdfeeders and chimes hanging. I guess it looks pretty nice!

Meredith - I visit your blog daily and I love this post. You are truly a creative woman and oh, so thrifty!

MiaKatia said...

I love the idea of the planters for toy storage. We have toys strewn across the lawn all the time, a place to put them would be nice.

elena jane said...

love the planters for toys idea....we used a huge rubbermaid container (comes with holes) for pool toys...but it's not nearly as attractive!!

Flea said...

The back yard? Not so much. Surrounded by a privacy fence and our vegetable gardens. Now the front yard ... we just painted our doors barn red and added planters which someone gave us, complete with seeds for pretty flowers soon.
http://thegoodflea.com/2008/04/at-least-door-is-done.html
(that's my red door post)

all over the map said...

Good, simple and doable for most. Just cleaning up makes a huge difference. In this case, a big difference.

Sal said...

Love your pictures! I made my back yard "summer ready" at the weekend by cleaning up chicken poo and fencing off my chickens in their own area. They have their space, I have mine!

Daisy said...

My planters are sitting empty, except for the one that still has old potting soil in it and last fall's leaves on top. Must get to work. Digging in the dirt helps me relax.

croatiagals said...

what a wonderful house. Lovely backyard and the door is excellent. Love everything.