Here’s the current back door.

I sent home its progress report to its mother and this is what it said.

Personality?  A+.

Potential?  A+.

Listening in class?  A+.

Behavior?  B.

It’s a little sassy and I caught it inviting the leaves over for a party.

Want to see where we’ve been and the changes we’ve made and the future of the back door?

Oh good, me too. 🙂

Before we go forward can we visit the way back time machine for a second?

This picture.


These tiny faces that I love so much.

My brother just found this and sent it to me.  These are my kids when they were littles.  Just sitting on the back porch hanging out waiting for mom.  Can you see Westleigh (the twin on the right) giving me the side eye?

Here’s the back porch now.

It’s been a journey.

We had a new door installed.  One day I’ll take a big picture of the entire back of the house and you can see all the squares.  You can see the before door in the picture with a half moon shape.  The silhouette looked a little out of place with all the windows.

I love the new style.  It offers a little privacy and keeps the square theme going.

We added porch swings on either side.

I might move them a little closer to the door.  Let me know what you think.

They were super inexpensive and raw wood.  I painted them black and added two of these outdoor pillows on each swing.

You can see the porch swings I ordered here.

You can see the pillows here (the price is for two).

These are NOT affiliate links.  None of the links in this post are.  The links are there just because I adore you and thought you might be looking for your back door, too.

These metal urns came with me from the farmhouse.

They used to be on either side of the fireplace in the master bedroom.

The urns are hard to add a plant to because they are see-through, I added the metal spheres on the top.

I added two boxwood wreaths on either side of the door.

Here’s the best wreath hanging tip.

I took ribbon (the ribbon came from Hobby Lobby) and used fabric glue to glue it around a brass ring I bought in the sewing section of Hobby Lobby.

You can see a close-up here.

A small nail holds the brass ring in place.

The wreaths always hang in place and the ribbon always looks straight.


Here’s a side view of the porch.

We painted the brick and I love how fresh it makes the space look.

The mailbox is original to the house, I just spray painted it black and hung it next to the house’s birthday sign.


You’ve seen where we’ve been.

You’ve seen what has been changed.

And now?

Let’s look to the future.

Here’s the additional changes I want to make:

1. Add a row of bricks at the bottom of the painted step to pull in the bricks wrapped around the house.

2. Add boxwoods on either side of the front step and redo the landscaping on either side of the porch.

3. Maybe move in the swings a little?  Not sure about that one.

4. Wrap the metal columns that hold up the porch with wood (you can see the metal columns two pictures back).  Paint the columns white and add molding and change out the light fixture on the porch to a flush mount black one like this one.

5. Add a wreath.  I know that should be easy, but I’m stumped.  I was going with a boxwood, but it just looked too matchy.

Here are some options that I found.

A modified boxwood.

I love this wreath.

It looks like a party waiting to happen.

A cotton wreath.

This is kind of a modified cotton wreath.

It has gold elements which make it a little different.

This Eucalyptus wreath from Magnolia Market.

I’m not sure about the color with the brightness of the boxwoods, but I love the over all look of it.

What do you think?

Do you have a favorite?

Or any porch advice?

The back door really wants to get its grade up. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Love it ALL. Leave the swings~ so if you get extra exuberant swingers, they won't kick anything closer to the door (like your stands)!! (I may or may not have experience...wink) While I love the wreaths you picked, have you considered a SQUARE version??? I see lots of round objects when I look at the picture~ a nice square wreath could break it up a bit, and mimic the door. Just ideas!

  2. Image for Barb B Barb B

    Kids grow up so fast. Not sure about the wreaths but I think I’d paint the urns and spheres. Love them but they get lost.

  3. Image for Suzy Suzy

    Hi, the porch is coming along. My suggestion is to leave the door bare and add to the area between each urn and the swing. Seasonal plants and items may make the swing placement feel more "right," It is a treat to watch your family home transform for a new generation.

  4. Image for Birgit Birgit

    Instead of a another wreath I would go with a beautiful door knocker in brass to match the door hardware. It would add lots of style against the black of the door. Love the update to the porch so far.

    1. Image for Kris Kris

      Ooh, good idea. Classy touch. But if you love a wreath .... wouldn't it be more fun to switch it out seasonally? Anyway, love your door and love the darling little faces. Time is a bittersweet thing.

    2. Image for Anna Anna

      Love the door knocker idea instead of another wreath. Also love the idea of painting the urns and spheres... maybe a boxwood green? I vote to keep swings where they are. And I must confess the white painted brick (which looks beautiful) instantly made me worry about dirt tracks... will you have to mop out there?? Less mopping is a major priority for me!

  5. Image for Peg Peg

    How about your beautiful Wood family monogram on the door (painted in either the house or trim color)? Then switch out the locks, door handle (I don't see one!) and doorbell for something in bright, shiny brass. : )

    1. Image for Beverly O Beverly O

      Love the idea of the monogram on the door! That is what I was going to suggest. I would simply swap it out seasonally with something like a basket or umbrella full of forsythia twigs for spring, a bright seasonal crafted one like these: I've also seen urns similar to this where they are lined in burlap with a nice fern or green plant plopped inside. You could also search for a pot that fits and paint it the same color as the door and put it inside the urns so that they contrast with the black pot inside the urn for seasonal plants. Are the swings under cover of the porch roof? If not, I'd move them in a bit. If so, leave them. That leaves room for season plants beside the door or some other cute seasonal porch decor and nobody kicks it when they are swinging. I love the look you have now with no changes but your ideas probably will enhance the look! Wish I had a back porch like this for double swingers. Looks like fun!

  6. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Wow! What a difference a door makes! I like the boxwood wreath but then I am the one who told my Grandmother that when I grew up all of my dishes were going to match. (Not so much now!) Your children are so adorable. You should do one of those photos where the children are in the same position just older. Your grading scale of the porch is funny...this coming from a former teacher. I want to see the metal posts updated too. You are awesome!

    1. Image for Carrie Carrie

      Oh good idea about the picture with the kids in the same positions. That would be great!! Love the porch and wish for one swing and you have two!! Leave them where they are. I also love the idea of a big knocker rather than a wreath!

  7. Image for Pam Kaufman Pam Kaufman

    I think the swings need to come in a just a bit. Not sure about the wreath. I like the eucalyptus or cotton but its hard to tell from a picture. What about one that brings in the wood and metal elements on the porch with maybe some greenery to tie it all together?

  8. Image for Cindy Cindy

    I think that’s just so many wreaths, and if they aren’t all going to be boxwood, then why not a basket or (metal flat back) bucket thingy) with greenery in it instead?

  9. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    I like the Eucalyptus wreath. As far as moving the swings in -- if the mail box is where you receive your mail I would not. I think it would get in the way. I also think a square wreath might work on the door and break up the matchy -matchy. Although I am a balance type person - I still think that would work.

  10. Image for Sheri Lynn Sheri Lynn

    I love what you have done! Here are some possible ideas. A flat basket filled with floral and greenery hung on the front door would be fun and break things up. You could add holiday pics into it. Eggs for Easter. Maybe paint the urns black to match the swings. Possibly black coach lanterns on either side of the door to tie into the swings. Blessings! Sheri

  11. Image for Beverly Beverly

    It has definitely raised it's grade. I like your idea about wrapping the columns. Initially I agreed that the porch swings might need to be moved in, but I think adding some landscaping will fix that. I agree with Michelle that a forsythia wreath would look great and add a pop of color. Have you thought about a black and white outdoor rug. I think it would "cozy up" the look, and pull everything together. I am in love with that picture of your babies.♥

  12. Image for Judy Judy

    Awwwwwwww....the babies.......I...can't....even....... That one almost made me cry :) Do you have a source for the door? I think my house might need his twin!!!! Thanks

  13. Image for Diane | An Extraordinary Day Diane | An Extraordinary Day

    Because you asked... As I was looking at things I think you need a graphic element rather than another wreath. And then it dawned on me... with all the white your door needs something white so how about a monogram? Simple or fancy, but I think it would be perfect, sweet friend! p.s. the door color is stunning, the swings might not swing right if they were moved forward of the beam but they do seem a little off there... just a teeny tiny smidge. The photo of the kiddos... wouldn't it be fun to have a larger version just inside as a reminder of the blessings of the past, too? What a happy home you're creating KA.!!! xoxo

  14. Image for DeAnna DeAnna

    What if the urns were the same color as the back door? Everyone has thoughtful ideas...why don't you all come to my house!

  15. Image for JoyceG JoyceG

    If you want those planters to "pop" more you could use a plastic planter inside and pack around it with moss or use coir basket lining material. That would allow for you to plant and also create some contrast. I plant a vintage wire locker basket every year for the vintage chair on my front steps and I line the basket with coir first, then plant directly in it (after adding potting soil).

  16. Image for Darcie Darcie

    Question - I know I can get boxwood wreaths just about anywhere, but where did you get yours? They almost look real.

  17. Image for Barbara Barbara

    How about a nice brass door knocker instead of a wreath? You could use a wreath just on special occasions if the boxwoods are feeling lonely.

  18. Image for Terri Terri

    So pretty.... love the changes you are making.... If you are dead set on a wreath for the door... use one with color... maybe like someone else commented.. forsythia?? Orrrrrrr..... I am going to step out on a limb and say ... make a really bold statement with the "party" wreath .. add some color to it like a burlap bow or something?? and ... dare I suggest it ?? re-think the wreaths on the side windows??? Just a thought.... what ever you decide.... it will be "Thistlewood" gorgeous!!! Of this I am sure !!!!!! That picture of the kiddos...???? I can't even !!!!!! XOXOXOXOXO

  19. Image for Martha Martha

    It already looks great, and your future plans are terrific. Love the door, it looks so much better with the repeating square windows. I agree with other comments about not having a wreath on the door, I think you can come up with a better idea. I am so enjoying your new (old) house and seeing your artistic skills turn it into a masterpiece!

  20. Image for Anna Anna

    Super fun to read all of the suggestions here = they all sound great! I might try to add some green moss to the urns so that the pattern and color of the urn is more noticeable. Regarding the door, I like a pop of color, red being my favorite... would be lovely to add a red wreath in a shape other than round...maybe a garland of roses hanging down the center? My initial thought on the swings was to move them in some, but, I read someone's comment about the mailbox and have to agree that moving them in would make that a little awkward. Have you considered an outdoor rug to add a little pizzazz to the porch? Just a thought...

  21. Image for Alice Alice

    The back door is gorgeous. I think it’s time to employ Chanel’s rule about accessories (re: wreath for door). She always said put on everything (paraphrasing here) and then remove one thing. I think that’s the wreath on the door. Cheers Karianne! My favorite read each day!

  22. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    I love that picture of the kiddos! So adorable. You should get them to pose again. Maybe you'd get the same side eye. :) I feel like the swings should move in a touch. I love them! As for the wreath, go for the cotton one...I love, love the contrast! I seriously want to tear our back porch off and rebuild it so it looks more like part of the house instead an add on. It's on my dream, someday list!

  23. Image for Sue Sue

    Looks like Spring is just around the corner. We got snow yesterday. My thoughts would be to line the urns with burlap and then you could line that with plastic and plant something in them. Just a thought.

  24. Image for Sasha Sasha

    I second what an above commenter suggested - A square wreath. Then it could even be boxwood, but it wouldn't be too matchy because of the different shape. I also agree that, while beautiful, your urns and spheres aren't making the statement they could be making if they contrasted against all those lovely, light siding and trim colors.

  25. Image for Elizabeth Elizabeth

    It looks beautiful! I love the photo of your kids! I like the ideas above and I agree maybe skip the wreath on the door put one on the door and skip the little ones. I love the idea of painting the planters. I have black planters with folding orbs that I put a large glass fishing float in and they look great! I have seen urn like you have with wreaths set on top and mercury garden globes set on top and they are gorgeous.

  26. Image for Amy Stark Amy Stark

    Love your very welcoming back porch. I agree with many of us groupies, something other than a standard wreath would be fun. How about a large letter done in either boxwood or some other fun element. Keep us all in the loop. We groupies need our Thistlewood fix.

  27. Image for Dianne Dianne

    Love your porch! I agree with some of the suggestions.....not another wreath, something else instead. A large flat ‘busy’ rug under your doormat. Seasonal flowers, pumpkins, sled, lanterns in groups between urns and swings. Urns need to stand out better. You’re almost there!

  28. Image for amy amy

    I Would put moss in the urns, then plants in them that are kind of tallish, remove the wreaths that are now behind the new plants, and put any sort of wreath on the door. I think the placement of the swings is great, they look like you could actually use them to sit and swing and not plow in to something. And Yes to updating the columns to something chunkier. So much fun!

    1. Image for Jenni Ahokas Jenni Ahokas

      Amy, I agree with you. Tall plants and no side wreaths would add nice green element and then you could add your favorite wreath on the door, which looks awesome. Wintery greetings from Finland!

  29. Image for Nan, Odessa, DE Nan, Odessa, DE

    Don't move the swings until you use them for a while. LET US not get TOO into appearance that the swings can not be enjoyed. Perfect place for swings! I bet you will hear some young voices singing while they swing. Also this will be the perfect place to tell secrets or share a "good night" in the future. These swings may JUST BE the most important part of your makeover. I had a little girl that always would sing I like the door knocker or initial suggestion. You can always add wreaths. Enjoy!

  30. Image for Marty Oravetz Marty Oravetz

    Love the porch, so pretty. How about a basket instead of a wreath. The different shape just seems like it would be better with the two round wreaths.

  31. Image for Deborah Deborah

    I love the door, it’s perfect. You have great style so I know your finished porch will be fabulous. Since you asked though the swings do look a little off in the photos anyway. They appear to be hanging over the the edge of the brick. I think if you move them inside the beams they would have a better balance, just not sure if that would impact their ability to swing properly. Another option, a bit more work, would be to extend the brick porch on either side so that it extends completely under the swings. While I love wreaths I think to add a door wreath, with the boxwood wreaths on both sidelight windows, is just one too many. I would add a basket with flowers you could change seasonally. If that’s not appealing to you, I would at least use a square wreath on the door. One last suggestion-unsolicited I would spray paint the urns the color of the door. They are great but painted white they just blend with the trim..

  32. Image for Rosemary Rosemary

    As with probably 100% of your readers, I scroll through my emails first thing to find your post. Always uplifting! Love the new door, but I’m confused, What happened to the wonderful Dutch door? I totally agree with all the suggestions about a truly gorgeous brass door knocker. However, if you really want a wreath on the door, I think Terri is right about possibly rethinking the wreaths on the sidelights. Might get a little too busy?

  33. Image for JC at the uncommon pearl JC at the uncommon pearl

    Love the old and new comparison. The kiddo picture is just too sweet. It definitely needs to be printed and hung somewhere right inside this door....maybe even gather several "door shots" over the years and make a gallery just inside. Just thinking.... I love all your future plans. My little two cents...since you asked😉....i wouldn't go with a round wreath on the door, but something totally different....a basket with tulips, monogram plaque, or something totally cute and creative I know you can think up. If you absolutely have to have a wreath...maybe try a floral square one and see how that looks. You never know until you try. ☺. As far as the swings go, if you want to move them inward, maybe just a smidgen. Make sure to leave enough room for curious and energetic legs to swing out and not surprise someone coming out the back door. Blessings to your day!

  34. Image for Jere Jere

    So many ideas but that calls for another one. Several have said to leave the door as is nothing added, a good idea. After all it did receive A+ so it needs to be appreciated (as in the Honor Roll seat) There are already several several areas to catch the eye...sometimes (just sometimes) more is not the answer. . live with it awhile then you might decide differently. and with a new season the wreath choices will be better. Just a thought from a Texan who misses her Texas. Jere

  35. Image for Colleen@LilacDriveDesigns Colleen@LilacDriveDesigns

    Looks great! I like all the updates you've made! I think I would either leave the two boxwood wreaths and nothing on the door, Or take off the boxwoods and put a wreath on the door only. I think 3 is too much competition for the eye. The swings are cute!

  36. Image for Jan Fusco Jan Fusco

    It is looking so wonderful. Lots of good comments above. What color is the door? From what I can tell it looks like a shade of navy blue. I like it. I wouldn't move the swings in because I like where they're hanging from. Just wish the brick extended out past them. I would either leave the door plain or add something other than a wreath. Or as someone mentioned above, if you add a wreath to the door remove the ones on either side. I love the idea of a forsythia wreath. The yellow would look great. I might try painting the white metal urns black to make them pop. It would look nice with the black mailbox, house number plate and the swings. I can't wait to see what you decide to do you precious little rock star.

  37. Image for Cindy Cindy

    I agree with some of the others. I would paint the urns or at least line them so you can have seasonal plants in them. I can just see some yellow pansies in them right now! I would eliminate the two small wreaths & just have one on the door. The twins really look like you! Like someone else said, you should do another pic just like that now that they are older!

  38. Image for Linda Linda

    Love the picture of your kids when little! My vote is move the swings in a little ,they look like they are falling off the step. Your door is gorgeous I don’t think it needs anything but a knocker. You’ve got a lot going on in that small space and each thing is awesome on its own.

  39. Image for Janice Byrd Janice Byrd

    I'd suggest something else on the door besides another wreath. What about a banner or a basket? I like to change the door decor at least four times a year with the seasons. I also agree that the urns would look good in black.

  40. Image for Sue Sue

    Have you ever been in swing on a back porch in the rain? Heavenly! If you moved the swings in a bit, you could enjoy this experience without getting wet. As it is, it seems that you would get wet while swinging. They look okay now but would like well moved in AND would be more functional.

  41. Image for jillian jillian

    So cute, love the babies pictures. Wish they didn't grow up so fast. All the wreaths look nice, you can change out whenever you feel like...and we know you will :) I would like to buy the top wreath, where to buy? and I wonder where that sidewalk goes to. I personally would like the swings to come in for balance but I am weird that way. If there is room. Oh, and a big indoor outdoor rug (black and white stripe?) from edge to edge where those white side window panels are, to pull the whole grouping together. We are just full of opinions out here.

  42. Image for Katie Heidinger Katie Heidinger

    I love all of these ideas!! So many ideas, so hard to decide, right? I also think 3 wreaths may be to much. As others have said, maybe a basket or plaque or .... would be nice. You definitely rocked this porch, my friend! So beautiful, I want those swings!!

  43. Image for jillian jillian

    P.S. I agree with the suggestion to paint the planters black. There is no law that says you can't put faux little spruce trees in them either, the height of that would look nice in front of the windows and add another level,/ layer.

  44. Image for Deb Wostmann Deb Wostmann

    Your littles were and still are adorable. Love the backdoor makeover. I agree with not another wreath though. I didn't read through all the comments, but perhaps one of those creel like baskets (Ballard Designs) filled with branches or seasonal flora/fauna? You always capture my heart!

  45. Image for Suzanne Churchwell Suzanne Churchwell

    I love the box woods! And the color of the door! But since you have wreaths flanking the door, what about an amazing door knocker? And potentially a brass plate at the bottom of the door? And regarding moving the swings, I would wait until you have everything else complete before making that decision. I think you may be able to fill up the space without movement. Have a great day!

  46. Image for Shawn Shawn

    Well it all looks sooo lovely now! Love your idea of adding a row of bricks on the bottom. I think a wreath, any wreath, might be too matchy and probably overkill with the window wreaths and the urns; and besides the lovely door already looks just perfect without. (just my humble opinion)

  47. Image for Mary Reeves Mary Reeves

    Hi Karianne! Here’s my two cents. Go with the boxwood wreath that wants to party. (I want one! Where is it from?). Lose the wreaths on windows. Exchange white metal planters and spheres for back wood, square Chippendale planters with boxwood bushes that are cone shaped. Leave room for impatiens around boxwood in summer and maybe pansies in winter. Right now I think it’s too busy. But that’s just me😏. I’ve been reading your blog for years and love, lobe your chipper attitude! I live in OKC and I’m going to come see you sometime!!! Road trip!!

  48. Image for karen karen

    If someone already made this request , sorry , I didnt have time to read 61 comments. How about a current pix of the kids for those of us with inquiring minds?

  49. Image for Lisa Lisa

    I'm fine with whatever wreath you choose, but save me a spot on one of those swings so we can talk about all-the-things!

  50. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    Your door is fine; just needs a better door knob and handle. Your wreaths are fine but are obscured by the orbs. Your swings are fine. Your urns need to be painted the same color as the door and have colorful flowers put in them. You need the brick on the bottom of the brick as you suggested. A few low lying shrubs would look nice with some mulch. ...But that's just my opinion!!! Lol

  51. Image for Julie Julie

    I love the idea of bricks around the perimeter and the boxwoods! Perfect! The eucalyptus wreath! Perfection! And don't worry about the swings - if closer they might fight with what's going on around the door. You've got this...LOOKS AMAZING!!. <3 Love everything you've done!!

  52. Image for Mary S Mary S

    I think the position of the swings is fine... looks like a pretty large space.... and I like the boxwood wreath on the door - stands out a little better than the other. Yes, wrap the metal posts. And some LOW landscaping.... boxwoods might obstruct the view. Those little kiddos!!! How cute is THAT???? :) :)

  53. Image for Carole Carole

    Decor for the Back Porch door...Instead of a wreath, what about a rectangular, or square. organic basket that holds an arrangement? This would give you the opportunity to change out the arrangement seasonally. That way another circle shaped wreath won't be competing with the beautiful boxwood wreaths you already have. I love the navy blue door and the porch swings!

  54. Image for Sue Sue

    Hi Karianne, I also like the big “W” on the door. How about some low benches in front of swings for feet and drinks? That would be a filler between the swings and make a walkway to the door. A trailing vine in pots would not compete with the box woods. I feel so pumped giving Karianne advice.

  55. Image for Denise Cox Denise Cox

    Love your improvements!!! And I prefer your modified Boxwood wreath.. That being said, I think Sue nailed it when she said a pop of color would look great for summer. Of course, I'm a color gal anyway! Her suggestion of forsythia would be wonderful against the black door. But, so would any bright spring color for that matter. Especially a shade of pink or fuchsia. Perhaps you could use that pretty Boxwood inside your home..?? It's sooooo pretty, surely you could find a home for it 🤔

  56. Image for Calypso in the Country Calypso in the Country

    What a great porch! I love the swings - actually, all the updates and I think the first wreath choice is my favorite. I wish it would get warm here so I can start thinking about some outside projects. At least it's almost February! Enjoy your day! Shelley

  57. Image for Charley Charley

    What a fantastic back entry! I love the new door, it's beautiful all by itself. Please do not add a wreath,, you will be 'overwreathed'. I love everything exactly as it is. Before I saw a closeup of the swings, I thought you should move them in. But after the closeup, I think they need the space to swing and not encumber people coming and going on the porch. The porch is to die for & the envy of all who enter.

  58. Image for bethb bethb

    Kari, I've been for some time, meaning to invite or send you on a hunt in Fort Worth. Go to Old Home Store. Look them up on web. They have 4 old buildings full of stuff. You will need a few hours to browse, hunt, sift, and go hmmm. I'll go with you if you need a scavenger buddy. . Anyway, they have old doorknockers that were removed from old biuldings, demolished homes, etc along with a whole lot of other "finds"!! Glass door knobs (the real ones), old doors, windows, hinges, lighting, cool bathtubs, you name it. Yes, even an antique confessional! I think a very cool door knocker with a story of its own wants to make a visit to the new-old home. Perfect weather this week for an Adventure

  59. Image for Betty Betty

    Howdy! Just a note to say I am so impressed with this and all the comments/suggestions! Agree with several ideas . . so here are my suggestions O Either a wreath for the door OR windows, not both (prefer something on door, as window wreaths seem to compete with the urns) O Add a large area rug for scale/grounding O Leave the swings where they are (maybe a throw for chilly evenings?) O Paint the urns so they no loner disappear into the trim O Line the urns with moss and put in the largest plastic pots that will fit filled with seasonal live plants - could be pops of color or succulents or ornamental shrub . . Or even faux . . Plastic pots will require less frequent watering and you can change out seasonally O Foundation planting will make a TON of difference in how you feel about the porch. Many garden centers provide free consultations! Alternatively, walk or drive thru town to see what you like and what does well in your area. O A bit confused about where posts are . . But what about some “faux floor length stationary drapes” if the posts are on the front edge of the porch . . . Gathered at the top . . . . supports the idea of the porch as a room . . Think I am doing a crummy job describing . . And might be distracting . . But who knows? You have a great eye and it will be FANTASTIC, whatever you decide to do . .so have fun!

  60. Image for Judi Judi

    Karianne - love the porch and the new door. My thought would be to bring the swings in closer to the door - for better balance - however, the balance may change when you beef up your columns. Would you mind sharing where one might find a boxwood wreath that doesn’t break the bank but looks like you did? Thank you!

  61. Image for Gina Gina

    I love everything you do. Best porch decoration...the kiddos! Must recreate with similar color clothing as current teens. Can you even imagine the rendition with your older kids and THEIR kids !!???!! Then the version where each set of their kids has a picture taken of them waiting on grandma's porch for their mom or dad !!??!! I myself have been fearful to hang my amazing preserved boxwood on my door bc of potential mold, moisture, fading, etc. I have seen some plastic versions. But yesterday while in Target, fell in love with the Koboo wreath from Smith and Hawkin which is way better in person then their web picture. Very sculptural. Also love the eucalyptus and forsythia. :)

  62. Image for Karen Karen

    Very nice! I like either the cotton or Eucalyptus wreath. Kinda loving the cotton since this very day I bought some faux cotton stems at Hobby Lobby for 50% off! :)

  63. Image for Teddee Grace Teddee Grace

    Porch swings in. Not a door wreath. Something higher, to bring the eye up, even above the door. Sure would like to see something in those urns. What could you use as filler? Moss balls?


    KariAnne, you get an A++ for the beautiful job you have done! I love the two boxwood wreaths hung in the windows! Thanks for the added tip with the ring. I am going to do this, too! For your door, I would like to see a flat basket filled with seasonal flowers -- I do this on both our front and back doors and always get lots of comments! Can't you just see your basket filled with those gorgeous Blue Bonnets in the Spring? They are such a beautiful flower. I managed to find some faux ones in Texas at Hobby Lobby to bring back to Canada with me. The swings are just fine where you have hung them. I would love to see a black and white carpet that runs from your door to the step. Thanks for letting us share our personal opinions with you! You get another A++ for that! Love your posts! Have a blessed day!

  65. Image for Diane Diane

    Keri You sure do have a following!! Lots of suggestions. I would not put another wreath I like the idea of the door knocker and maybe a brass kick plate or the initial If you want a wreath, I would remove the boxwood wreaths on the windows. I think three is a little busy

  66. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    I like all of your ideas - but I'd leave the swings where they are. How about a square boxwood wreath on the door??

  67. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Oh, I love it! Porch swings, door and those wreaths! I’d do something different for the door...perhaps a bucket with boxwood, cotton or something seasonal...or you could go all Farmhouse and add a tobacco basket tie in the urn colors. I think another round wreath might take away from those adorable boxwood ones. Just a thought!

  68. Image for Botanic Bleu Botanic Bleu

    KariAnne, Your back porch looks good enough to be a front porch. One thought about cotton wreaths... Outdoor wreaths get dirty from all the dust and weather they endure. I think cotton balls would get dirty pretty quickly and are not easy to clean like some of the other possibilities. YES, your readers are the best with all their fantastic suggestions. Each new idea sounds wonderful. I've been to the Old Home Store in Fort Worth, and it definitely is worth a visit. I may have to copy your idea of a year plaque on my back porch. Judith

  69. Image for Carla Hanson Carla Hanson

    I think a vertical welcome sign on the door would be good instead of a wreath. To me adding a 3rd wreath makes it kind of busy. Just my two cents.

  70. Image for ART ART

    Looks great! Since you asked, no to wreath #3....add a really cool door Knocker..;)...just my opinion...for something different...<3

  71. Image for Sandi Sandi

    I like the look of your door with no wreath, since you have one on each side already. I like the idea of a neat door knocker like ART mentioned. All your other ideas sound wonderful. Your door is beautiful! Hugs,

  72. Image for Hope Hope

    Oh my goodness... I have opinions on the questions of the day and I need to share, ( I have never dared to before!) 1. Swings: what if you want to have some small tables in front of them? For drinks, books and cellphones. If you can see that happening the swings are perfect where they are. 2. Wreath; Don't overthink it and change it up according to the seasons/holidays. THe boxwoods are like the "little black dress" of wreaths and most everythings works with them. Can't wait for it to be warm enough for you to take your coffee out there and reflectively meditate on day ahead! You are doing so well on this house!

  73. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Time for sweet tea yet? :) Love what you are doing. Think 3 round shaped wreaths in a row would be too much. Like the ideas of different shapes, flat basket etc. Also like the idea of adding seasonal color pots between the swings and existing urns. But then I LOVE Flowers!!!! Everything is beautiful and very welcoming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  74. Image for Sue Sue

    What if you didn't put a wreath on your door and instead added a really nice door knocker, say in a pineapple shape? Sign of welcome, right? Anyway you can leave the porch swings where they are now and extend the porch a little farther out underneath the swings? If you are adding brick in front of the porch maybe a little more on either side? Picture of your "littles", cuteness x4!

  75. Image for Debbie Debbie

    My two cents' worth.....what about a door "bucket" with seasonal twigs (forsythia for spring)? Not another wreath, matching or not.

  76. Image for NormaJean NormaJean

    Love the back porch! Fun seeing the before and after photos. Just wondering if it would look better to just add a metal kick plate to decorate the door, instead of another wreath, since you already have wreaths on the windows (which look terrific, by the way!).

  77. Image for Linda K. Linda K.

    How about a monogram in a square.?We just bought a NOH too. We had a door made ,similar to this one ,for our front door,,, am painting it SW new favorite color!

  78. Image for kathleen kathleen

    Such a great back porch! First, I love the idea of a monogram for the door rather than another wreath. But if it is a wreath, maybe a square of Boxwood? (Other colors/styles just don't work for me.) Next, casing the metal posts with wood sounds great ~ if not painted the door color at least? I'd try the swings first, before moving. And last opinion ~ I think painting the "urns" the same door color, and filling with a pot (painted white) and fairly low, same shade of green, plants ~ might really look great! But most important: that picture of the kiddos caused a few happy tears here ~ the cute little "mini-me" twins, and already handsome young boys! You simply MUST do an update pic now, and even another in a few years (college time, maybe?)!!! Love being able to see all the changes you're accomplishing so quickly! I cannot believe how fast you move, lady! ("I want some of what SHE's having, please!" ) Big hug ...!!!

  79. Image for Jeanne Jeanne

    I LOVE it! How about a basket of flowers on the door? The kind that has one flat side... And I'd leave the swings right where they are- then if you add other seasonal items near the urns (like pumpkins in the fall or lanterns) there will be plenty of room-

  80. Image for Jane Perry Jane Perry

    Your porch is off to a great start. Perhaps you would be happier if the swings came in so the front edge of the swings met up with the outside edge of the side windows. It might seem more cozy. Painting the urns black would be nice. That would show them off more. The cotton wreath against the black door would be fun. Please get a photo of your dear children soon matching the darling one you shared. Maybe the two photos could be hung near the porch indoors!

  81. Image for Julie Julie

    Hi Karianne! I'd add a big W...skip the 3rd wreath! I love your plans and love watching you put this home together!!

  82. Image for The Art of Being Holly The Art of Being Holly

    Adore the look of your new front porch, the square windows make such a difference & the colour of the door is such an amazing shade and you are giving me all the inspiration. Ohh, by the way I love the middle wreath - it is different enough from the other ones to look great! Holly xo

  83. Image for mdn mdn

    How nice your changes are! Love the wreaths on the sidelights. As others have noted: would wait to decide whether to move swings - new columns and bricks will change how things look; and also, concur that three wreaths would be overkill. Also agree with many others' comments that the door needs a nice knocker...that's....wait for the shape of a thistle!!! Just checked and there are lots of them available on the net in varying prices. (Otherwise, concur about having a door basket with seasonably changeable décor.) Do concur with commenters, too, that the planters should be painted to match the door. Also agree that either moss or coir should fill them and (if with door knocker and no door basket) with seasonal flowers or décor (e.g., Easter baskets/bunnies; flag display, pumpkins....) Thinking the brass door kicker would be nice, too, but would wait until other changes are made. May eventually want to amp up the door hardware. (Future) Pls. show us what you end up doing! (Love pic of kiddos!)

  84. Image for April Saylor April Saylor

    Love the new door! It’s like lipstick for the back porch! Did you paint the brick on the floor of the porch? I love that seasmless look of how it appears white in the picture - wasn’t sure if that was lightning or you did paint the brick? I’m in the middle of a porch redo to sell our house so this is inspiring me!

  85. Image for Mary in VA Mary in VA

    I'm in love with that door! I think you're onto all great ideas, the boxwoods, yes. Bringing the swings in a little closer, yes. Adding the brick, yes. Wood wrap the metal columns, yes. The cotton wreath looks really great on the dark door. Can't wait to see all this when you've completed the projects!

  86. Image for Ellicia Ellicia

    I think the cotton wreath would be a nice connection with your home's history. At the time your home was built, McKinney was surrounded by cotton fields and was one of the foundations of its economy. Kind of a wink to the past.

  87. Image for Michele (Finch Rest) Michele (Finch Rest)

    OK I am just now reading this - and I am not even reading the comments above - just giving my nickel's worth of ideas. I had similar urns. And what I did was get my bolt of heavy duty burlap, some industrial strength clear garbage bags- the really thick plastic kind - and make a planter liner. Line with with two layers of , burlap. First layer is shown through the holes in planter. Then do second layer, but this one you will double fold the plastic on top of it LOWER THAN THE TOP and staple it all around to make a water-tight planter. Fill with tiny stones on bottom for good drainage. Fill with 1/2 potting soil, 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 peat moss. I'd do a tall spiky plant in middle to draw your eyes up. Believe it or not one of my favorite and long lasting (hard to kill) spiky plants are edible - CHIVE plants! Then surround them with a nice healthy trailing ivy to drip down in fabulousness. I used 4-6 small ivy pots to make sure it's nice and filled in. It takes a little while for it to fill in so use some sphagnum moss or dried moss on top for green interest and to help keep moisure locked in better for the Texas heat you will be having. And paint urns black - use the globe ball things somewhere else or sell. As for the wreath on door - double up your current boxwoods on top of one another in a clever way and use THAT on your door - they will work perfectly with the living plants on either side in your urns. And you won't have to spend money on a new wreath that will look odd with your boxwoods. Oh, and I wouldn't move your swings - may interfere with people coming and going near the door - set away gives a much needed safety area. It won't looks half as far away once you redo the urns and fill them in visually taking up the space with your eyes. : - ) OK, that was a dime's worth, sorry. I got on a roll. Hugs and love. ♥

  88. Image for Gina B Gina B

    That is the sweetest photo. You MUST recreate the same photograph of the children together on the porch at their ages now. Keep it for your family if you like. But recreate it. That is just so darling. Also, may I thank you for my next hundred Christmases for solving, in the most simple and elegant way, hanging wreaths over windows?! The D-ring solution is my answer! THANK YOU! I just enjoy reading about your decorating adventures so much. Can't wait to see what happens to the pretty rug!

  89. Image for Patty Patty

    Those urns are cool, but I would put either a basket, moss or something that hold moisture and add real plants with some color (like flowers) and maybe vines that hang down over the urn.

  90. Image for Lorie Lorie

    I have not read through all the comments - apologies for any duplicating: No wreath on the door, go with a door knocker and a brass kick plate. If that is too formal, a flower basket (the kind with a flat back) would break up too many wreaths. It would look just fine with nothing on the door also. Most of all, the door mat is out of scale for the area. An large outdoor rug, wide enough to go a bit beyond the side lights would anchor the space and all the individual items on the porch. If you absolutely need a door mat, put it on top of the rug.

  91. Image for debianne debianne

    You need one of the lavender wreaths from Lavender Hill Farms in Gainesville for your door. They are beautiful. They have spring activities and a sweet gift shop and cafe. Fun day trip, and not toooo far from "home".

  92. Image for Barbara Barbara

    If you decide to do a wreath on the darling door, a bright yellow forsythia wreath would be lovely for Spring!

  93. Image for Cindy Jones Cindy Jones

    I think three wreaths is one too many. Maybe use a basket with changing greenery/flowers and gives you another texture. If you moved the swings closer to the door, the chain will swing back and hit your beam. Maybe leave the swings on the beams but "pull" them closer with a rug. Definitely wrap/replace the metal columns with wood. Love the new light fixture. Looking really awesome!

  94. Image for Paula Jones Paula Jones

    Hi KariAnne! I like the door bare, or with something other than a wreath. The porch looks great! Loved the picture of the kids when they were younger! Hugs!

  95. Image for Meryll Meryll

    Love the direction you're going with the porch! Several ideas - if you want a seasonal wreath on the front door, hang the 2 boxwood wreaths inside on those 2 windows. You won't have to worry about dueling wreaths outside, plus - seeing the boxwoods through the windows draws you in and adds to the decor of the mudroom. Otherwise - leave the boxwoods and add a big monogrammed brass door knocker. I would move the swings so they're not hanging off the edges of the porch, better for conversation and they'll be framed by the beautiful new columns when you add them. Paint the urns black, fill with birch sticks or tall seasonal greenery. It's going to be beautiful!

  96. Image for Judy Judy

    I agree with a beautiful door knocker. Sometimes too many wreaths is simply... too many. We put the same door in a house reno we did in 1998. Sadly, that was 3 moves ago. I’ve just discovered your blog and instead of looking for another book to put on my kindle I’m going to spend my time reading your past posts. Love your colour schemes and your writing is wonderful. Looking forward to reading about your projects.

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