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Porch Update + Low Budget-Big Impact Projects

Our back porch is one of the coziest places in our whole house and we can use it most of the year. Over the last year or so, I’ve added a few extra layers to get us even more time our there than ever…

adding curatins to your porch and other simple, budget friendly updates


I love my back porch. We know this. It’s not news but there is a point to bringing it up now. I added something that makes me love it even more and might even give us a bit more time out here. You may find this the most boring DIY story ever but stick with me because there is a moral to it that I think you’ll agree with it’s just going to take a minute to get there.

Here is where I am. I want to do a lot to our house. I’ve had a spreadsheet since we’ve been under contract that I revisit and update regularly. Some projects are simple (i.e. paint and changing light fixtures) some need a pro and a hefty budget (i.e painting the 14 foot ceilings and an outdoor fireplace) and some are really quick fixes like this one.

back porch curtains black and white stripe vintage finds

It really is as simple as hanging some curtains on my back porch. This is not a new, life altering idea but it adds so much for not much money or effort. My Chief Picker (my Mama) just so happened to find the perfect size and stripe at the Old Feed Store for a whopping $15 for all 4 panels so when I got an Amazon gift card for Christmas (thank you, Brother-in-Law!) I ordered my rod and the rest is history. It was immediate impact.

 back decor lamp

I took things just a little further by adding an extra lamp, and some accessories. I’ve always been an advocate of using real decor in outside spaces so a candle and extra throws to keep it cozy finished off the look. Now we can close the curtains to help seal in some of the heat from the fire table and in a few short months it will block the summer sun when it’s most intense… and year round it will make me smile every time I look out the window (or walk by 97 times a day to take Hazel out)

Listen up, friends. Here comes the important part. Don’t let anything take away from your little wins at home. It would be really easy to think, “these are just some second hand curtains and so and so just added a wing on their house. It’s not important,” but let me tell you, not every day can be adding wings and pools and total transformations. Some days we need to celebrate that we cleaned the toilet and emptied the dishwasher. In the everyday busyness and messiness of life hanging some curtains can be downright monumental. I’m personally tired of everything being so extreme. I love to DIY and I wish I could do some of these big projects but time and budget are not on my side right now...but I can hang some curtains and feel a little extra happy every time I walk by.

porch curtains black and white stripe saint berdoodle puppy

I lucked out and found these for a great price. Curtains my be totally out of scope for you right now but don’t let that discourage you from doing something. It could be a simple as cleaning out one drawer, swapping some pillows or lamps around, taking a trip to your favorite antique store and seeing what you can get for $15 that inspires you. Here are a few ideas of some projects that can have a huge impact without too much money or effort.

Breakdown of projects for cheapish

  • Paint a room: Depending on how many supplies you have and what type of paint you prefer this could be a $50 or less DIY. If you can luck out and find a great color in the correct sheen on the oops rack, then you can really do this one on a budget!
  • Fresh Flowers: Shop the sale rack if you must but even if you don’t this could be $20 or less. Go for something that you love the smell of for even more impact. If you want to make it look more less grocery store and more special, skip the premixed bouquets and stick to a selections of the same color family. Or using hydrangeas as a base and mixing in one other wow items goes a long way too. 
  • Printable Art: Tired of your old art work? There are so many options for art you can download and print for an instant upload. Etsy, Juniper Print Shop, BFF Print Shop and more have the most beautiful options to add some new life. Depending on the size and how you print it (i.e. at home printer vs custom canvas) this could be $5-$100. And just so you know, I used this option for a multi-million dollar house. I got frames from Hobby Lobby but had them custom cut the mats to elevate them a bit, but they were gorgeous for a small investment.
  • Rearrange your furniture: Move it around, swap chairs,  side tables or lamps from other rooms. Worst case scenario, it doesn’t work and you love your old set-up even more (ask me how I know this)   The cost here is just a little muscle work.
  • Popping Tags: (who can forget that song?) Head to your favorite antique store, vintage shop, second hand store, goodwill or even Home Goods. Give yourself a budget and find something that inspires you. $20 can go a long way but you can find something or even less that inspires you.  This isn’t about taking home added clutter, it’s about finding something truly inspiring that will bring a little life into your home. Maybe it’s a plate you set a candle and some pretty matches on, or for your jewelry on your nightstand.  Or some vintage art you can place on your bathroom counter. Or a hook you can hang by the door for your coat. Little things can have a huge impact.

It was $15 curtains for me, but I hope you find a little update that makes you love your home even more too. We’ll do our big updates someday, but the little joys are where the true magi happens.

(If you are someone who is adding a pool house with a two story library and swim up bar, please don’t be offended. I highly doubt you’re reading this but I mean no harm just as you are not adding these extravagant things to make me feel like my curtains are not important. I think you get where I’m coming from and I can’t wait to pick a book from you pool house library)

 PS I know screening it in would be a really great way to get even more use, but I’m just not sure I want to block of the flow like that, you know? I love how it just opens up and steps down to the patio.

 PSA Fabric and fire do not mix so we are very careful about closing these and having the fire on when it’s really windy. I just felt like I needed to say this. Let’s all use common sense!

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