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Over the past week, I created new vignettes throughout the house, celebrating the arrival of spring. I love the creative process of decorating with what I have, combined in fresh new ways.
The front porch patiently waited its turn for a new look. This afternoon, on a balmy, breezy day, I completed a front porch reset, using vintage metals.
I knew I desired a very different look on the covered front porch. The spring décor I’d used for several years no longer “sparked joy”. A collection of vintage metal pieces DID spark joy and piqued my interest as well. My daughter Elissa gifted me recently with a vintage metal tray and two old toolboxes, that she no longer wanted. These new-to-me items became the focus of the front porch reset.
Start with a Blank Canvas
Here is my step by step process, for creating an interesting new look on the front porch. I did not purchase any new items, preferring instead to use what I already own. It’s a game I play, a creative form of having fun while accomplishing a necessary task.
Play along with me!
I cleared the entry way table near the front door. Greg brought home this table from a job site. The owner no longer wanted it and the table sat forlornly, waiting for trash pickup. Greg added a brace at the bottom, for stability. This free piece began as a red table, moved to my daughter’s house for a time, then returned to me, and became yellow.
This afternoon I wiped it down and added a woven table runner, to break up the surface. Above the table I hung a gardening sign painted in the colors I wanted to feature.
Create Central Vignette
Here’s how the creative process works for me. I look at the item I’m working with, and allow ideas to pop up. It’s actually more of a mental download. I “see” what the finished project looks like, then move step by step toward the outcome I desire.
The metal tray, with bits of scruffy blue paint still intact, became the focal point.
In my mental image, I could see the tray filled with a variety of metal and glass containers, suitable for holding tealight candles. After gathering containers and playing with arrangement, I wrapped a rusty metal star garland around the tray.
Add Additional Elements
Once I completed the central vignette, I looked through my vintage metals for additional elements to add. Typically I use the “rule of three” for groupings. In this case, I added an old blue toolbox at one end of the table and partnered it with a stone bird candle holder.
On the other end of the table, I grouped three metal items together: a vintage gas can, a small decorative bucket and a mesh candle holder. These items anchored either end of the table and completed the table top.
Let There Be Light
Pleased with this unconventional display, I stepped back to get the overall effect. I realized opening the lid of the blue toolbox would allow me to accomplish two things: the open box created height at that end of the table, and I could drop candles inside the interior.
Light is an important element in all of my vignettes. I find ways to include unscented tealights primarily. Lighting the candles as twilight falls brings a coziness to my home. That’s the hygge element that I love. Read about the Scandinavian custom of hygge here. And get spring hygge ideas here.
My daughter also gave me a rustic wooden bench. I’m excited to cluster potted plants on it and around it, in a couple of weeks. This afternoon I created simple vignettes on either end of the bench.
The old copper container, repurposed into a flower pot, is empty now. Soon it will cradle flowering plants. I drilled a hole in the bottom of the pot, so water can drain. The old southwestern style flower pot, a special piece from my childhood, came out onto the porch today. I placed it near the bench, in a sheltered spot to protect it.
The metal scoop belonged to Greg’s grandparents. Grandma Ruby painted it, making it perfect for this grouping. And next to the old green toolbox is an antique bulb planter that I still use.
Steps to Creating with What You Have
To create your own unique vignettes follow these simple steps:
- Make creation a playful game. Whatever you create is perfect and an expression of who you are.
- If you so desire, only use items that you already own. I find this challenge to be fun. The process causes me to think outside the box, and use pieces in fresh new ways. There’s nothing wrong with buying items. Watch for after season sales, flea market finds or visit yard sales to pick up amazing pieces at low prices. Here’s a great buy on Bell mason jars, which I use for many purposes.
- Pick a theme based on colors, elements such as wood, metal or glass, or a season such as spring. I typically start with color. Every item I choose, as I add pieces, supports the theme or complements it.
- Look through all your items and collections, with the theme in mind. I wander around my house, thinking. I have a closet full of small items that I rotate in my décor. However, I’m not limited to using those pieces. I may “borrow” a piece from the living room, the creative studio or even the backyard garden. Think big!
- Gather all items that might work and play with arrangements. Let your imagination guide you. What you create is an extension of your wonderful creativity. No vignette is wrong. All that matters is that you enjoy it!
- Once items are placed to your satisfaction, congratulate yourself, take a photo of your creation, and enjoy the fruits of your efforts!
Front Porch Reset Using Vintage Metals
I’m happy with this front porch reset. As darkness fell, I lit the candles and smiled.
My front porch looks fresh, whimsical and fun. This is a totally different look, one I’ve never done before. And doing something new, as often as I can, is one of my things.
I love going beyond the ordinary. How about you?
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