One Room Challenge Spring 2022: Week Two – The Plan for Our Front Yard and Porch Transformation

Hi! I’m Katie, and over the past five years, I’ve been slowly renovating #hartwoodranch, our 1970s ranch-style house on half an acre outside of Atlanta, Georgia. If you’re into interior design, gardening, and thrifting, we’ll get along just fine.

Welcome back for week two of the One Room Challenge! Over the next several weeks, I’m transforming our front yard and porch from desolate to ~*dreamy*~. Last week, I shared the before photos of the space, and today, we’re going over my goals, plan, and budget for the project.

As a quick refresher, here’s where we are now:

Let’s Talk Goals

Here are my major goals for the project broken down by section:

Front Yard:

  1. Support pollinators and other wildlife. 
  2. Create a lush garden using native plants that are well-suited for the site conditions.
  3. Make strategic decisions for the long-term health and maintenance of the garden. What will the garden look like three years from now? 10 years from now?


  1. Make friends and family feel welcome at our home.
  2. Set up a covered seating area for at least one person (morning coffee nook!).
  3. Experiment with container gardening.
  4. Create a designated spot for package deliveries.

So, how will we achieve all of these lofty goals? Time, hard work, and seeking out loads of inspiration! Here are some photos from a recent trip to Charleston that really encapsulate the *vibes* that I’m after:

While my home is certainly no 1800s Charleston single house with stunning piazzas and courtyards, my hope is that some of the individual components can be translated in a way that makes sense for my setting. For example, I plan to add loads of terra cotta pots, porch curtains, lanterns, and ornate metal chairs. I also like a touch of formality in the garden.

Project Plan

Here’s my list of action items for the project:

Front Yard:

  • Pressure wash pathway
  • Remove landscape fabric from garden bed
  • Transplant weeping Spruce tree to backyard
  • Test and amend soil
  • Design garden bed planting
  • Select, purchase, and plant native and pollinator-friendly plants
  • Mulch the garden bed
  • Add swath of pebbles between house and mulched area
  • Install lighting along the path
  • Install lighting on stair risers


  • Clean windows, railings, door, and floor
  • Paint ceiling haint blue
  • Paint pattern on floor
  • Source seating, plant stands, and planters
  • Plant containers with flowers and herbs
  • Hang stained glass window as a privacy screen
  • Install lighting for atmosphere
  • Add hanging baskets

Lots of work and fun ahead!


Ah budgets – everyone’s favorite topic! It’s my philosophy to be as transparent as possible so that you can have a realistic idea of what a project like this costs. Please keep in mind that prices are obviously dependent upon where you live, and I’m fortunate to live in a relatively affordable metro area.

That said, our budget for the front yard and porch transformation is $600. Here’s how I plan to allocate that money:

  • Plants, Soil Amendments, & Mulch – $350
  • Decor – $100
  • Lighting – $75
  • Paint & Supplies – $60
  • Soil Test – $15

The big line item that’s missing from the above list is labor. Thankfully, there’s nothing too technical or physically challenging about this project, so we’re able to do all of the work ourselves.

I’m hopeful to come in under budget at the end of the challenge. To help with that, I’ll be sourcing plants from local native plants sales and nurseries (and maybe even a sanctioned plant rescue from a development site!). For decor, I plan to find most things second-hand, specifically from estate sales and architectural salvage. Also, my local Buy Nothing group may come through for some things. Wish me luck!

Next Week

Come on back next week to see our progress in the front garden bed, as well as some sweet, sweet pressure-washing content for any Daniel Kanter fans out there. See you then!

If you’d like to see more behind the scenes, join me on Instagram. You can also subscribe to the blog to receive email updates on the ORC and beyond.

Want even more design goodness? You can spread some love to the Spring 2022 ORC featured designers and fellow guest designers here.

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