Pancakes On The Front Porch With Grace Of A Storied Style

Article Posted By: Grace Mitchell

of A Storied Life

In our Style Challenge series, we ask some of our favorite bloggers from around the web to surprise us with their ideas for creating a stylish and functional space using Home Depot products as a starting point.

Browse Grace Mitchell’s blog A Storied Style for a few minutes, and you’ll immediately see that she has infused her home with beautiful colors and ingenious DIY projects, and she clearly has a killer eye for design. We knew Grace would create a gorgeous space for our Style Challenge, so we were thrilled when she agreed to take on our Patio Style Challenge. Take a look at her awesome front porch decorating ideas, including links to the DIY projects she mentions.

I am so thrilled to be part of the Style Challenge this year, and I have been busting at the seams to share my space with you! We live in a 1921 home with our four children, who are all a year apart. Needless to say, we need to squeeze all of the space out of our home we can! One of the things that initially drew us to the house we live in now was the big front porch. “Front porch living” and the community feel of really knowing our neighbors was very appealing to us. Sadly, with all of the other projects we have been working on (old home = lots of work), our big front porch had been neglected.

A drab front porch before it gets a total makeover

I envisioned this being a space we could enjoy as a family and with friends. It needed to be inviting, cozy, and have a sense of privacy. I wanted it to feel like a room outside our door. After looking through all of the beautiful patio sets Home Depot has to offer, I fell in love with the Hampton Bay Woodbury 7-piece Patio Dining Set. At one glance of its x-base dining table, I was sold. You can order cushion covers in several colors, but I chose the bare cushion set so I could tailor the fabric choices to my taste and have a little fun.

The Woodbury Outdoor Dining Set

Woodbury Dining Set – Bare Cushions

I have to tell you, I gasped when my husband took the set out of the box. It is pretty in the pictures on Home Depot’s website, but wow, it is gorgeous in real life. We were so impressed with the quality and sturdiness for the price! And did I mention we have four little ones five and under? Yeah, we definitely need sturdy.

The exterior of the house is a cream brick with aqua blue shutters, charcoal trim, and a sunshine yellow door, so I knew I wanted to coordinate those colors for my new outdoor dining set. Of course, putting a patio together like this is so much work, but my goodness, it is such a GREAT feeling in the end! In our house, breakfast is our favorite meal so we decided to celebrate all of our effort (the kids helped, too!) with pancakes on the porch. Welcome!

A front porch decorated with sunburst mirrors, vintage tole chandeliers and a Hampton Bay Woodbury patio dining set

A front porch decorated in yellows and blues, with tole chandeliers, a vertical garden and an outdoor dining set

Something I really love about my Woodbury Dining Set is the rich, deep chocolate color. The fact that the chairs and table are different gives it a more collected, unique feel.

A patio dining set decorated in blue and yellow is set for al fresco dining on a beautifully decorated front porch

Customizing this set is as easy as choosing your favorite color combinations and adding some special touches. Making what my husband calls “half-shirts” for the chair backs, and hand stamping them using vintage Indian textile stamps, really gives a one-of-a-kind-look. (Stay tuned for the tutorial on!)

A beautifully decorated front porch with an outdoor dining table set for al fresco dining and a porch swing in the background

Did I mention how much I adore the x-base? It adds such sophistication to the outdoor dining experience.

A X-base patio dining set sits on a DIY outdoor rug on a beautifully decorated front porch

If you are wondering about the rug, I made it last summer, and you can get the DIY tutorial here.

Since I first saw Martha Stewart’s for Home Depot Wales (aka sunburst) Mirror, I knew I had to have it somewhere. At $35, it is a steal, especially considering the 30 x 30 size! A pair of them worked beautifully on either side of my awesome painting by Kristen Dowd. (Tip: you can spray your painting with a polyurethane protectant to make it outdoor friendly. To prevent mold or mildew on the backside, use a mold prevention spray.)

A front porch decorated with an original painting by Kristen Dowd, sunburst mirrors by Martha Stewart Living and a Hampton Bay patio dining set

Having the table and chairs on the porch inspired me so much to get the space together, which is exactly what I needed. Once that was in place, I kept finding things around my house to enhance the homey feel I was wanting, like the vintage tole chandeliers. The pallet planter you spy in the photo below was an accidental gift from The Home Depot! When they delivered the large box containing my dining set, they rested it on top of that pallet, and I knew just what I wanted to do with it! The detailed tutorial will be up soon on my site, so keep your eye out!

A beautiful front porch decorated with a  DIY vertical garden made from a shipping pallet

A beautiful front porch decorated with a painting by Kristen Dowd, tole chandeliers and a DIY vertical garden

On either side of my front door, I placed these 29-inch charcoal finish urns. The detail on them is so pretty, and they look very heavy, like real cast stone. (Tip: you do have to drill your own holes in the bottom of these for drainage). I wanted to do something a little outside the box for greenery, so I placed a bundle of forsythia in a large water-filled vase, and put the vase in the bottom of the urn. I made sure the vase was stable by placing mulch around it from an extra bag we had. Wrapping some burlap and aqua blue fabric completed the look, and I’m super happy with it. The forsythia won’t last forever, but I can continue to cut branches from my yard throughout the spring and summer as needed.

A DIY vertical garden made from a shipping pallet and a wicker rocker decorate a front porch

We have had a porch swing in every home we have ever lived in. I have such fond memories of swinging on it with my husband and sweet babies, so I knew I wanted to make this area comfy and inviting. A new cushion, pretty pillow, and this awesome looking garden stool from The Home Depot (it is only $59.98!!) created the feel I was wanting. The stool is not only pretty to look at (I also wrote about it here), it is so functional for resting your favorite book or drink.

Books and a cold drinks sit atop a garden stool on a beautifully decorated front porch

A beautifully decorated dining area on a front porch

I really wanted to give my porch a sense of privacy so I installed curtain rods on either end. The curtains were sewn and hand stamped using my vintage textile stamps, and I revamped my DIY Acrylic Rod tutorial and gave the rods a more industrial chic look by using galvanized steel piping from the plumbing section at The Home Depot. I am posting this tutorial on April 30, 2013 so hop on over to and check it out! The sun coming through the acrylic is so pretty, and I am very happy with how the rods turned out.

DIY Outdoor curtain made from acrylic rods and brass plumbing parts decorate a front porch

When my husband and I finished all of the projects and put everything together, we lined the kids up at the door, and had them run out to explore our “new room”. I’d say they were pretty excited! (not to mention hungry – we love pancakes at the Mitchell house!)

Children excited about enjoying a pancake breakfast on the front porch

After taking in the newness of it, they were ready to eat! There might have been some cheering that ensued when I brought the pancakes out.

Grace of A Storied Style serves her family pancakes on the porch

Taking time to gather our family and enjoy our home is so important! Having this space and our new dining set is really helping us enjoy our outdoor area together.

A dad cuts pancakes for his son during an al fresco breakfast on the front porch

The men in my life are serious pancake eaters! I have to quintuple (yes, this is a word meaning times five) my recipe every time I make them! (By the way, I use the Pioneer Woman’s Sour Cream Pancake recipe, and it is FAB! I add more vanilla, FYI.)

Princesses love pancakes, too.

A mom pours syrup for her daughter during a pancake breakfast on the front porch

I hope you enjoyed the tour of our new porch! It has been such a wonderful experience working with The Home Depot, and I am beyond thrilled with my Woodbury Dining Set and the other items from The Home Depot I utilized in my space! Our porch feels like an extra room now, and we are really enjoying it! I truly hope you gathered some ideas for your own outdoor space, and I would love to hear from you on “A Storied Style”!

A beautiful front porch decorated in blues and yellows with tole chandeliers, sunburst mirrors and a DIY vertical garden

Many thanks to the very talented Kat Phillips of for the beautiful images featured in this post!

[Since this was published, Grace made a few changes to her front porch decor. Take a look at her front porch makeover redux here on The Home Depot Blog. -ed.]

Grace Mitchell blogs daily at A Storied Style, an interior design and DIY blog. When she’s not thinking about caring for her husband and four children, she’s thinking about all things home. She says she loves creating interiors that evoke a story — a history of sorts — of the owners. You can often find her on the hunt for incredible antique and vintage furniture, always debating whether to keep or sell her treasures. Grace lives in Texas, in a 1921 Foursquare, which has become what she calls, “a design lab of sorts.” Don’t miss the gorgeous Christmas decorating ideas for the family room that she shared with us, too.

For more ideas for your front porch or patio, see other Patio Style Challenges as well as our Style Challenge board on Pinterest.

Style Challenge is a series of posts from guest contributors who aim to bring you fresh inspiration and ideas for your home and garden using a single Home Depot product as a starting point. Grace received the Hampton Bay dining set from The Home Depot and a gift card. The opinions and ideas Grace expressed are her own.