I think just a paint job will go really far. And actually, when the painters were here a few weeks ago, they offered to paint the front door. It's so bright and shiny now that the rest of the house looks extra old and dingy! :) It's got me excited to get the whole house painted and cleaned up in the next couple months.
To help the pretty rough-looking space look a little more put together, I picked up these chalky black planters at Home Depot and these Meyer lemon trees from Lowe's. I can't even begin to describe to you how heavenly these blossoms smell!
I've tried keeping citrus trees indoors before and I think I just didn't have enough sunlight to keep the plants happy and they've always died. The guy in the Lowe's nursery recommended using cactus soil with rocks at the bottom of the planters for drainage, and he suggested letting the soil dry out so much in between waterings that the leaves begin to droop. So far, so good.
I love the little trees! And I love the new bright color of the doors, but, admittedly, I was a little sad to drive up for the first time and see that the jamb was painted red too.
It was my fault for not telling the painters specifically to paint the jamb white and I wasn't here on the day they painted the door. Since they threw in the labor on the door for free, I felt like it wouldn't be at all fair to ask them to fix it. I'll just have it changed when we have the rest of the house painted. It's not that big of a deal. (It just looks so Christmas-y right now with the old green and yellow trim still exposed. Ha!) I've since got the creamy white siding color-matched and now I just need to find an hour to paint it out. I'm know that will be a huge improvement and the red jamb will be less annoying to me. :)
I feel like we're getting there! Slowly but surely this house is starting to feel more and more like ours. It makes me excited to think about all the changes I hope we'll have done by next Christmas.