I’ve had no less than five comments on my front porch this summer. Not flattering comments, mind you. When June’s heat turned the outdoors into an oppressive sauna, I simply abandoned any notion of sprucing up the porch, which had been neglected since winter. As Elizabeth Fox, co-founder of StyleBlueprint, said, “Your porch is the first thing people see, and many times the only thing people see!” She’s right. And I realized my house was wearing the equivalent of an odd-fitting, out-of-style winter coat, which, interestingly, is also often the first and only thing people see.
With the help of COLOR, a local store specializing in accessories for the home, my porch is now giving everyone a proper hello. Almost every item used was under $70, and the end result, as you’ll see in the following photographs, is a breath of new life for my formerly neglected porch.
COLOR’s owner, Susie Gianikas, and designer/buyer, Jason Grant, can help you with any of your home decor needs, too. All you have to do is take a photo of the room, coffee table, bookcase or whatever area is needing a boost, as well as some measurements, and go to their store. Susie, Jason or any of the other design specialists will gladly help you out. Walk-ins and appointments are both welcome. You will leave with a plan and items to complete it that very day!
My porch before:
My porch after:
COLOR opened seven years ago, following owner Susie Gianikas’ desire to change gears from running her successful catering business, Cornucopia. “I wanted to do something else after my catering business. I love being an entrepreneur and taking an idea and a blank slate and turning nothing into something.”
The philosophy of COLOR evolved out of a bad economy. A few years ago, when the bottom fell out, Susie began offering accessories at much lower price points to encourage sales. Customers were attracted this new direction as the merchandise offered was also beautifully designed and really good quality. Susie has made it her mission to treasure hunt until the right mix of pieces are found and credits Jason’s relentless pursuit for perfection and keen eye for great design as the reason behind the store’s firm foothold in the Nashville market. “It’s much easier to buy beautiful, expensive things” she says. “Our process at market is meticulous, often like finding a needle in a haystack. But our customers really value the work we do on the front end to make it possible for them to come in often and leave with a few items to make their homes feel fresh.”
Jason says,“You shouldn’t feel that you have to buy everything new, every season. It’s great to start with a blank slate and freshen up your home with objects that last, and then add something seasonal to update the look at feel throughout the year. For Liza’s porch, we started out with a full-on fall look and feel. Together, the mix of all of the accessories and floral arrangements read ‘autumn.’ But remove the leaves, pumpkins and owls and she’s left with a porch that is season-less because of the basic base layer we started with – simple brown and kilim pillows, timeless side tables, lamps and lanterns, a rug that softens the space and works year round. For winter, adding in metallics and burnished bronze accessories and pillows and perhaps some greenery to the wreath and hydrangeas would turn this into a more winter-friendly feeling place. I’d also add a throw on the sofa and some of our winter deer we’ve just gotten in at the store to complete the look.”
Jason and Susie travel to market multiple times throughout the year to find the right seasonal mix of merchandise for their Nashville clientele. COLOR is eclectic in the truest sense of the word, full of rustic, contemporary, glam and traditional pieces that all work together.
This is also a great place to buy unique gifts – like scarves, earrings, bags, jewelry and candles - that, again, are intentionally purchased to be a great price point for customers, but are also well-designed, quality pieces.
At the end of this shoot, COLOR did pack up all the goodies to take back to their shop. But, I did buy a few things: the wreath, some pillows, the rug, the hanging lanterns, the split tray hanging on the brick above, the cute owl (my kids insisted) and the iron candle holder for the coffee table. Our porch looks fabulous, and I’m so glad it’s now as welcoming as the inside of our home!
For more information about Color, visit their website at: www.colorathome.com. Since I know you’ll read this and head right over, their store hours are: Mon – Sat, 10 – 6; Sun 1 – 4; extended hours during the holidays.
Thank you to Bridgett Ezzard for today’s photos! www.bridgettezzard.com