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exterior & outdoor living: Replacing the Front Door & Decorating the Porch for Fall

After sharing this makeover in real time on IG stories, I know lots of you have been patiently waiting for this detailed blog post. I’m happy to finally share the process behind replacing the front door and decorating the porch for fall! Our house looks a hundred times better, in terms of curb appeal, and I was so happy to get rid of the existing 90’s style entry into our home. With a few renovations under our belt, Emmett and I have always ordered custom interior & exterior doors from Lowe’s. It’s the easiest way to get a designer look (and exactly what we want), while saving time and money. While we typically install our own interior doors, we’ve had all of our exterior doors professionally installed (it’s 100% worth it). Trust me when I say it’s so much faster and will turn out better if you hire a pro vetted by Lowe’s. Click through for a peek into the process, a fun timelapse, sources, and plenty of before & after images! I’m also happy to answer any questions you might have regarding doors in the comment section… 

*This post is sponsored by Lowe’s. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow us to create unique content while featuring products we actually use & enjoy!

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As a reminder, this is what our front door looked like before…

Obviously it wasn’t in the best shape. Between the dents & dings, and the dated transom & sidelights, this entire front entry situation had seen better days (circa 1995). I knew I wanted to replace the door itself, as well as take advantage of the entire opening with a double front door, in an effort to match the scale of the house and let more natural light into our entryway.

I opted for beautiful, black double doors with glass that fills the upper two thirds of each door. They’re timeless, classic, and make far better use of the space. It’s amazing how much larger it feels inside too, thanks to the added natural light! In terms of privacy, the glass is slightly tinted / reflective- so it’s very difficult to see in, but we live in a fairly secluded area, so that wasn’t a major concern for us. The doors open into the side of the staircase, so it’s not like there is anything to see anyway… since it isn’t a main living space or high traffic area.

So how exactly did I get from Point A to Point B? It was actually pretty easy! Check out the video below for a fast explanation and peek at the process…

As I mentioned in the video, this is something we’ve done for every single home we’ve renovated, so at this point- we’re pretty familiar with the process. If you’re interested to replace doors in your own home, I’m breaking it down, step-by-step below:

  1. Take measurements of your existing door, print the hardware specs you plan to use, and gather up some ideas / inspiration.
  2. Visit your nearest Lowe’s, head to the Millwork, Windows & Doors department, and get the ball rolling.
  3. They have TONS of options to choose from and you can browse through their brand books. I prefer Pella or Therma-Tru.
  4. The specialist will enter your dimensions and begin setting up the door in the computer software, which will give you a wireframe visual (super helpful).
  5. You can specify all sorts of things- the door swing, door color, material, exact size, panel style, window style, mullion style, hinge color, etc.
  6. Put down an installation deposit- which will be credited toward the install when the contractor comes to take final measurements, then wait for Lowe’s to call to schedule your contractor meeting.
  7. After setting up your appointment, the contractor will come to your home and take precise measurements and give a detailed install estimate.
  8. If everything looks good, you can then place your order at Lowe’s. I just did mine over the phone, so I didn’t have to go back into the store.
  9. The doors typically have a 4-6 week lead-time, depending on what you order. Once the door arrives at your local store, Lowe’s will call you back to schedule the installation.
  10. The contractor will deliver the door, remove your old door (and haul it away), and install the new. My installation took just over a day, but it was a big project. The front door at our previous home only took a few hours.

If you’re specifically interested in my interior door selection process, check out this post! It contains additional helpful information.

In addition to the door replacement, you’ll also notice some other updates to our front porch. We replaced the sconces and house numbers- which also made a BIG difference.

Again, I opted for classic options. I found these budget-friendly black, traditional Baldwin house numbers that paired really well with my sconce selection… these Millennium lantern style porch lights. I love the intricate X detail and seeded glass. They’re gorgeous in person and come in multiple sizes! I’ll probably order some more for the back patio.

In terms of decorating for fall, I like to keep it simple. I grabbed a few pumpkins & gourds from the Lowe’s garden center, as well as a couple mums. I keep these allen+roth urn planters (which are on clearance right now!) on our front porch year round, and just replace the plants within them. This is how they looked over the spring and summer. This is what they looked like last holiday season.

I’m going to link all of the sources for you below! Use the numbered links at the bottom of the collage to shop or be redirected…

01: custom pella exterior doors // 02: millenium porch light // 03: baldwin house numbers // 04: orange mums // 05: allen + roth urn planter // 06: lantern

I have to say, I’m really happy with the way things turned out! It’s so nice pulling into our driveway to see this gorgeous front entryway. It’s making me want to tackle our staircase and interior entry soon. Our porch definitely feels more welcoming now. Not to mention, the benefits we’re gaining in terms of energy efficiency and heat savings that will roll in this winter! Want to see the before and after, side-by-side?

It’s fun to watch how everything unfolded over the course of 2-3 days! I’m thankful Lowe’s was able to help me bring my fall vision to life, so we can enjoy the season and focus on other pressing projects (like the One Room Challenge).

Lastly, I want to share our front door from last fall. This is when we still lived in our previous home! It’s funny to look back and think this was only a year ago. Things feel similar, yet very different. I definitely have a door type and color palette, don’t I? It’s just on a different scale this time around. I have to say- I miss our old vintage door knocker.

If you’re curious about all of my home sources (anything and everything I’ve used) they’re all linked on this page for our current home, and this page for our previous home. As promised, leave me any questions or thoughts in the comment section below! I love hearing from you.

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