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Ducey: A splash of color is just what my porch needed this summer

Ducey: A splash of color is just what my porch needed this summer

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Inspired Living's Marjie Ducey wanted to brighten up her porch. She made pillows and a quilt and painted some flower boxes.

I spent the winter mulling a way to bring more personality and cheer to my front porch.

I wanted to make people feel happy as they walked by, which is especially important now.

To me, that meant more color. I had already made some lively throw pillows and a lap quilt, so painting my window boxes seemed like the easiest and cheapest next step.

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Marjie painted her window boxes, but the pink was too pink. "I had some white paint on hand, so I carefully added it to the pink, one dollop at a time. Soon, the eye-popping Pepto-Bismol shade faded to a more acceptable rosy pink hue."

I decided on pink, yellow, purple and mint green. And then had second thoughts on the pink after the paint dried on the first box.

It was so, so pink.

But then I remembered the words of Stacy Worlie of Stella Maris Designs. She’s not afraid to paint anything.

“You can always go back,” she told me.

I wasn’t going to go back to my trim-matching blue just yet. Instead, her advice gave me the courage to experiment. I had some white paint on hand, so I carefully added it to the pink, one dollop at a time. Soon, the eye-popping Pepto-Bismol shade faded to a more acceptable rosy pink hue.

After painting all five window boxes, it was just a matter of adding plants. My favorite part!

Colorful (Easter egg!) window boxes might not be your style, but that’s OK. Two pros have more ideas to brighten your world:

Bryan Frost

Owner-designer, Black Awning

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» Rugs aren’t just for inside. Exterior rugs help ground spaces, too. Consider a fun geometric or stripe design to add interest to a traditional entry. The featured look, from Target, cost less than $35.

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» Select planters with character. Planters are decor for your exterior space and should reflect your personality.

» Always include a garden stool or small table for afternoon tea or cocktails. A grapefruit “Quaran-tini” on the porch is what we all need right now!

» Add softness to your patio furniture with exterior pillows. Mix prints and sizes to add variety. And include a throw for chilly days and evenings.

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» Select plants with blooms that complement your porch or home exterior. Be thoughtful in your flower selection, especially in terms of the light your space gets each day. Consider plants that bloom all summer for constant color, and include a pot of succulents for a fun mix of texture.

Michele Minnick

Owner, The Garden Gallery, Elkhorn

» Create a cheerful path to your front door with colorfully painted landscape pavers or borders. Find concrete pavers at the hardware store and then prime, paint and seal them for the outdoors. What a fun project for you and the kids!

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» Combine unique hanging baskets with art to transform your porch into a welcoming outdoor living space. Be sure to place your art in a protected area to avoid damage from the elements. A beautiful hanging basket filled with greenery is a nice complement to any piece of art.

» Think outside the box when it comes to containers. Re-purpose an old metal wash bucket or watering can as a planter. Drill drainage holes in the bottom of the containers and you’re good to go!

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» Plant colorful annuals and low-growing perennials for you to enjoy while sitting on your porch and others to enjoy from a distance. Green leaf begonias, impatiens and ferns are good annual choices for shade. Bronze leaf begonias, sun coleus and sunpatiens are great annuals for sunny areas. An attractive ground cover for both sun and shade is ajuga.

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» For porch containers, opt for plants that bloom all summer. Consider Dragon Wing Begonias, impatiens and unique trailers such as basket grass. Succulents are great for added texture. And who doesn’t love a big fern or shady foliage in a hanging basket to cozy up the porch?

Omaha World-Herald: Inspired Living

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Marjie is a writer for The World-Herald’s special sections and specialty publications, including Inspired Living Omaha, Wedding Essentials and Momaha Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @mduceyOWH. Phone: 402-444-1034.

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