Cottage Dreams

I love living in a condo.  Really…I do.  It’s someone else’s responsibility to maintain the outside of the building.  Other people take care of the landscaping.  I have no responsibilities beyond my front door.

With my schedule as busy and jam packed as it is, that’s quite comforting to me.  I can’t even imagine what I’d do if I had to add yardwork and exterior maintenance to my schedule.

But every year around this time, I find myself dreaming of having a cute little front porch space to decorate—a place to sit, relax, enjoy the spring breezes, and enjoy a glass of iced tea.


via Rate My Space

When I dream of outdoor spaces and front porches, my mind always wanders to picturesque little cottages full of charm.

front porch 1

via Rate My Space

I dream of flowering shrubs, pretty carriage lights, and charming shutters…

via HGTV

I’d love to be able to add my own style and personality to the front of my home, so that people can get a preview of what to expect inside the front door.

via HGTV

And I’d love to be able to paint my front door any color my heart desires…perhaps turquoise this year, yellow next year, green the year after.

schoolhouse turned cottage

Schoolhouse Turned Cottage, via Country Living

Yes, I dream of potted plants, climbing vines, and cobblestone pathways.

cottage 2

via Country Living

Doesn’t that all sound lovely?  It does to me.

cottage 3

via Ribbonwood Cottage

But when you live in a condo…especially an older condo like mine…you seldom get any of that.  Nope, I can’t choose my front door color.  Brick red it is.  I don’t have room for a comfy seating area.  No, I have about 3 1/2 feet of walkway that can’t be blocked.  I can’t have cobblestone, or shutters, or pretty little carriage lights.

But perhaps there are a few things I can do.  Maybe this will be the year that I’ll add some personality and charm to the miniscule outdoor space I can call my own.  (Convincing the Homeowner’s Association to get rid of those box shrubs would go a LONG way, right?)

condo exterior

One thing’s for sure.  If I’m going to do something, I need to do it now.  Because in about a month, the temperature will be hot, the humidity will be high, and spending lots of time outdoors will be the last thing on my mind.

Have you decorated your outdoor space(s)?  Do you go all out in the spring to make your front porch inviting?  If you’ve got pictures of your own, or ideas on how I can make my small area more inviting, let me know!  (By the way, I live on the bottom floor.)




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  1. Are both those windows yours? You could add window boxes full of geraniums. I've always wanted to do that, but my windows are almost to the ground.

  2. We have recently moved into a house, and so for the first time, we do have a front yard and a back yard! I love it. But, we have nooo idea how to take care of the front garden area. All we know to do is mow the lawn and edge it! But as for the bushes, flowers, trees…they are looking pretty shabby compared to our neighbors' yards! I did buy a black rocking bench for the front porch and some potted flowers (although I won't say whether or not they are still alive!) Oh well, we'll get there someday I guess!

  3. You should make a porch hanger!! I saw these on deja*vu crafts & LOVED them! Here is the link. They are super simple & you can change out the sign/decorations with the season or just have one to brighten up your outdoors. I wouldn't think it would be "outlawed" since it doesn't take up much space & wouldn't block the walk way…

  4. All those pictures are great! I am fortunate to live in a house that although not "small" by cottage standards (it's 2,400 sf), would probably fit into a neighborhood full of cottages.

    All the homes in my neighborhood have front porches – mine is a little smaller than many, but I have a bistro table and two chairs on my front porch. I have a small amount of landscaping in front of the front porch, but other than that, that's about it. I will try to blog about my front porch, and maybe take some pictures of houses in the neighborhood – that might be fun!

  5. I'm just starting to work on my outdoor space. Yea, I've lived here 4 years now and am only just starting to really care. Thank you for posting these photos — they give me something to think of when I go to the garden supply this eveing for some new plants.

  6. How about one of those old ladders leaning against the wall under your outdoor light and then you could hang "stuff" like a pot of flowers, a sign, a birdhouse, just a nice vignette of things.

  7. I just moved to a condo, have been blogging a bit about the decorating dilemmas. I'm happy to meet another "condo blogger."

  8. sont toutes les grandes et nombreuses représentent le rêve américain, une belle maison indépendante sur l'extérieur et avec une magnifique décoration intérieure.

  9. OH I so agree with you on the condo living. But with a tiny little patio, I have been searching for small space patio ideas and even started a pin board on Pinterest.

  10. Since you cannot change your front door, you can add potted flowering plants with vibrant colors or herbs as well as hanging flower baskets that complement the color of your door.