Sweet Seasons

The decor surrounding your front door should provide an introduction to your interior style and extend a warm welcome to guests. This area affords a unique opportunity to combine indoor and outdoor goods in displays that reflect certain holidays or the time of year. Longtime Country Sampler reader Jody Bolton of Burlington Flats, New York, shares how she uses some foundational pieces, along with seasonally appropriate accessories and a bounty of naturals, to make her front porch a grand entrance. “One of my favorite places to decorate is my front porch,” says Jody, who is a special education teacher with a passion for primitive decorating. “I tend to use a lot of antiques and things from nature, even weeds, because I like the texture they add. I keep clippers with me just in case I’m driving past a field and see something I think will work.” Here are four of Jody’s seasonal setups for her front porch: Click here for larger image
Fall
Fall provides Jody with the most inspiration for front-porch decor. From pumpkins of all sizes to dried flowers, vines and stalks, harvest abundance informs her design, which she alters annually. A large red wheelbarrow and a pair of weathered milk cans are year-round staples in her display. For the fall, the wheelbarrow might brim with an assortment of mums or an enormous pumpkin draped in rose hips. The milk cans are stuffed with cornstalks and reddish birch branches for a pleasing contrast. Handpainted signs adorn planter boxes and lean beside the door, and an antique cider press (a gift from Jody’s father) serves as an autumnally appropriate plant stand.
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Winter
For winter, Jody fills her antique wheelbarrow with greens and her milk cans with a mix of pine branches and dried field thistle, which pair nicely with a backdrop of vintage snowshoes. A plaid ribbon around the neck of the can ties the look together. An old sled decked with a matching ribbon and a snowflake cutout and a galvanized container with a snowflake design (plasma-cut by Jody’s husband and lined in white fabric) continue the wintry theme. The greens in the container are punctuated by the red tones of staghorn sumac clippings.
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Spring
Come springtime, the milk cans are brightened with pussy willow branches and faux forsythia, which Jody also fashions into a front-door wreath. “I really wanted the brightness of yellow and something that would be long lasting,” she explains. Fresh flowers spill from the wheelbarrow, and seasonally appropriate signs and figures, like a bloom-toting bunny, round out the display. Jody uses an old chair to provide height variation, and closer to Memorial Day, she begins adding flag-waving touches, such as a tea-dyed pillow, to her groupings.
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Summer
When spring turns to summer, the pussy willow and silk forsythia remain in place, but more Americana and garden-related items make an appearance. On one side of the door, an old lobster crate elevates a birdhouse, a copper planter, and a worn watering can overflowing with greens. A wood shovel (a $2 auction find!) leans nearby, and a washing-machine barrel boosts a patriotic planter, providing it with a bit more prominence.
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