From Blah Landscape to Perfect Curb Appeal in One Day

We're going to transform Amy's lackluster front landscape and porch into a space bursting with curb appeal, all in a single day!


Amy, a longtime resident of Mobile's Midtown with two children, had renovated her house's interior but neglected the exterior. She craved a welcoming porch for herself and her neighbors. Upon arrival, the first thing that struck us was the undeniable lack of curb appeal. This charming house deserved better!

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"At the moment, our porch, which is wonderful, we do sit out there occasionally, but it always tends to be a clutter magnet for scooters and bicycles and toys," Amy explained.

"I know we have so much potential; it's a beautiful home on a beautiful street. We have wonderful neighbors, everybody knows everybody, all the kids play out in the front yards in the afternoons, but my porch is not really a place that people who want to congregate because it's always such a wreck."

Amy's vision was for her porch to reflect her and her children, not just an afterthought attached to the house. However, she wasn't sure where to begin.


The front landscape faces west, receiving shade in the mornings and scorching afternoon sun. Choosing the right plants to thrive in these conditions was crucial.

"I kill every plant that I touch," Amy admitted. "Every plant that I've tried to put in my yard burns up. The hot sunny conditions on the front of this house are something that I needed a little bit of help with."

Seeking expert advice, we visited Tony Seymour at his garden center. Tony offered plants specifically chosen to withstand Mobile's intense heat. "Many customers have the exact same situation as this home facing west," Tony said. "Everything is burning up."

Selecting compatible plants with similar water needs was paramount, especially for the afternoon sun. The advantage of shopping at a local garden center like Tony’s is that everything he grows there and buys to have in his garden center grows here in Mobile, ensuring the plants thrive in the local environment.

Drift roses were chosen to provide color throughout most of the year, while evergreen corner shrubs would add permanent structure.

For the roses, we made sure that we chose light colors, such as yellow-white and apricot, rather than red, as the front of Amy’s house is quite dark. Then we’ll layer white angelonia in front of those for height.


Back at Amy's house, the transformation began. The existing landscape was removed, replaced with the new plants, and the fresh seasonal color filled the containers. The focus then shifted to styling the porch.


While the initial plan involved refurbishing the existing planters, Tony pointed out their limitations for plant care. Larger, more manageable planters were chosen instead.

Rain chain

Addressing another challenge, Amy's porch suffered from poor rain runoff. Tony devised a creative solution – installing a rain chain, a first for him!

The conventional method involves a gutter system, but in the absence of gutters, this innovative approach provided both functionality and visual appeal.


Rugs were the foundation of the porch design, their colors guiding the overall aesthetic.


Amy's existing furniture, previously painted a dark, heat-absorbing color, was given a lighter refresh. The furniture was then placed back in its original position, now more inviting than ever.


The final touches involved accessorizing the space. Drawing from the rug's colors – navy blue, gray, and cream – throw pillows, natural wood elements, greenery, lanterns, and bowls were incorporated.

These elements not only offered visual interest but also created a cohesive and inviting atmosphere.

By the end of the day, the transformation was complete. Amy's once-blah porch was now a beautiful and functional space, a true reflection of her personality. It was the perfect spot to relax, entertain loved ones, and enjoy the outdoors.

Join the conversation
4 of 9 comments
  • Kacey C Kacey C on Jul 07, 2024
    Nicely done! The rug, furniture, and accessories tie together nicely, and your gardening center was a big help with hardy, sun living plants that only require regular watering. I'm looking forward to seeing your front porch featured in future articles with fun seasonal decor.
    • Susan Susan on Jul 07, 2024
      Great thought, Kacey C., for future unfolding-story-continues articles about the upgraded and now delightful-looking porch in Mobile, Alabama as the seasons come-&-go. This series could also address RobertC’s comment of where did all the bicycles and toys go to?? Some bottom-line realities were not addressed with that important omission. I think we’re all looking forward with “More To Come” for the now-lovely porch in Mobile, Alabama👍😊!!
  • Jane Jane on Jul 08, 2024
    I’m surprised there was no sunscreen type of treatment put up to block the sun. The article mentions how all the plants get burned due to the western exposure. That may be what is keeping her from using her front porch.
    • RobertC RobertC on Jul 09, 2024
      That’s a very good point. While the porch is nice and big, it would still bake in the hot afternoon sun with a west facing house. Even a couple of retractable or roll-up shades attached to the front of the porch would help. That’s something the owner could easily accomplish on her own, but it’s surprising that it wasn’t included as part of the makeover. Sometimes aesthetic considerations seem to take precedence over practical ones.