We have lived in our house for nearly eleven years, blimey time does fly. When we bought it I cried, actually cried, but not tears of joy but with fear, we had bought the ugliest house on the street. It was the only one we could afford at the time. Mind you, I was 7 months pregnant with Charlie, so it might have had something to do with my hormones!
But oh, it was ugly! Think; brown pebble dash, dried out Conifers in the front sat in horrible orange plastic pots, and window frames painted in a flaky green paint. God it was horrible. Over the years we have made attempts to make the front look prettier, by painting the pebble dash white, installed new windows and front door. But it still is looking a little shabby, it could look a lot better.
After our huge efforts with transforming our backyard into a flourishing oasis of green, B&Q challenged us to give the front of the house some ‘Kerb Appeal’ and to #makeanentrance. Oh yes please. Mission accepted! Be prepared for the ugly before pictures!
I say ‘front garden’ but in reality it is a small strip of land between the house and the pavement, a place where we store our bins and little else. It could be something more than that, a space that gives joy every time we return home. I’ve tried to make the best use of the space. I always have a window box with flowers, changing the planting to suit the season, and many years ago Dan bought me a crab apple tree, which has floundered in a pot far too small for it, for too long.
We are lucky to have the original terracotta Victorian tiles in the path leading to the front door, but like most of the houses on our street, only this feature remains. The rest of the floor has been covered with scrappy concrete. The previous owners had a love affair with the stuff, but not in a good way. In a way that can only be described as ‘slap-dash’ and put there purely to cover the ground – no style!
In search of inspiration I have been wandering the local streets to see what other people have done and also have trawled Pinterest looking at Victorian terraced houses – and here is what I am thinking…
- Bin shed
- Block paving
- Grey paint for the door
- Large taupe coloured plant pot
- Door number – classic font and black
- Brass letter box
As you can see, the products I’ve chosen to give the house are minimal, classic and simple in design, which means hopefully I won’t get bored of it in a couple of years time.
Our front door is looking OK. We had smartened it up before Christmas, so I wouldn’t do much to change it other than a lick of paint on the surrounding frame to really smarten it up. I’d love to get a climber to climb up the side of the house, perhaps a rambling rose or a clematis. As our house is white, I am thinking peachy pink shades will look nice.
To cover the concrete, I’d like to lay a brick style of paving. Something that will compliment the age of the house and its Victorian heritage, but also be practical and hard wearing enough to have the bins dragged over it on bin day.
Speaking of bins, I’d love to incorporate a bin shed to hide away all the unsightly recycling and the dirty black bin. Next door have one, and it’s looks really smart. I may have to paint it grey to tie in with the front door.
I can’t wait to get started on this. Dan and I have two weeks to get the space to go from zero to hero! First that concrete has to go! Wish us luck.
Collaboration Note: This post was written in collaboration with B&Q, as part of their #makeanentrance campaign. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.
Lou Archell, a writer, photographer, stylist and founder of Littlegreenshed. A UK lifestyle & travel blog
Lou is also a busy mum of two amazing boys and the founder of Sisterhood Camp – an annual creative retreat for recharging and empowering brilliant ladies, Lou is passionate about supporting and inspiring others whether through her workshops, writing, photography or lifestyle hacks.