Pancakes On The Front Porch With Grace Of A Storied Style

Posted by: on April 29th, 2013 | 73 Comments
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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 ingenius 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 Woodbury 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 mildew preventer 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 garage basement 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 my 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. 

To create her outdoor dining area, Grace used the Hampton Bay Woodbury 7-Piece Dining Set from The Home Depot.

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


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  1. [...] When we finished our porch makeover last year, it felt like gaining an extra room, and we have enjoyed it through all seasons. I am happy to say our Woodbury dining set literally still looks as beautiful as the day we got it, and it can survive lots of little hands and meals and projects with ease. [...]

  2. [...] calming yet colorful dining space created by Grace of A Storied Style, warms our hearts and gets us ready to warm our bellies. [...]

  3. [...] to the space, plus covers protect your furniture from the elements. There’s nothing like dining al fresco on a beautifully set and styled [...]

  4. Shavonda says:

    I absolutely LOVE that you used your front porch as a dining area! I think it’s fabulous and wonderful. The entire space is so beautiful and warm and inviting. I totally wish I was your neighbor! Wonderful job:)

  5. [...] Grace Mitchell says that when she’s not thinking about caring for her husband and four children, she’s thinking about all things home. You can often find her on the hunt for incredible antique and vintage furniture, always debating whether to keep or sell her treasures.  A Storied Style is where she writes about the renovation of her vintage home in Texas, and other design and DIY projects. She’s written previously here on The Home Depot Blog about styling her beautiful front porch.  [...]

  6. Grace, this is filled with life, joy and beauty, so much like you.
    I enjoyed our visit today, and look forward to dreaming together.

  7. [...] In the photo above, Grace of A Storied Style added slipcovers to her Woodbury 7-Piece Dining Set. Her mix of turquoise and yellow cabana stripe fabrics created a cheery front porch dining spot that her whole family loved! [...]

  8. Guy who wrote this says:

    This is really very cool. Great use of outdoor space.

  9. [...] of A Storied Style created a beautiful space on her front porch where she and her family can enjoy a big family meal. She used both the Martha Stewart Living Wales [...]

  10. Lauren says:

    I just found this series of posts and am having fun finding inspiration from all of you in the Style Challenge. I love what you did with your porch. What a great space for outdoor dining – any time of day.;)

  11. [...] will be closer to the house, and I think I will take better care of it.  When I was working on my Home Depot Style Challenge, I saw these raised garden bed kits in the store, and thought they could be so great for our [...]

  12. [...]  Grace of A Storied Style – see her my Style Challenge post here – Why I love it:  I just like staring at the hunk in the [...]

  13. [...] have so many great photos from my porch makeover, thanks to the lovely Kat of  Since I couldn’t put all of them in my [...]

  14. [...] mentioned in my Home Depot Style Challenge article, the pallet for my planter was a free gift from HD after they left it underneath the box my dining [...]

  15. Grace,
    Outstanding transformation. You have gained a gorgeous outdoor room. I am so blessed to live across the street from your beautiful porch and pancake eating family!


  16. [...] of the design blog A Storied Style was one of the  participants in Home Depot’s Patio Style Challenge.  She chose the Woodbury Dining set available at Home Depot and infused the space with a color [...]

  17. [...] have wanted to try my hand at block printing for a few years now, and my Home Depot Style Challenge gave me that opportunity.  There’s something so appealing about washed linen covered in [...]

  18. She did a great job! Love the personalization through accessories and fabrics.

    • Kim, thank you so much! I do love to make designs personal, for you to hear the owners story or at least part of it when you are looking at the space. So glad you enjoyed it!

  19. I love it all! I also love that we both used the same amazing dining set, don’t you just love it?! And man, those pancakes look delish, I think i’m going to have to plan a breakfast bash next :) Great work!

  20. Beautiful!! I love the layout and all the colors! the X-shaped table looks great! And your porch is a fabulous palette for the new look!

  21. [...] you so much for all of the kind comments on my Home Depot Style Challenge reveal yesterday!  If you are new here, welcome!  Would you like to receive my daily post in your inbox? [...]

  22. Thanks Grace, very nice ! Pancakes look good too. I can’t wait for the weekend to begin ^^

  23. Shalene says:

    GRACE, love it!!! You did such an awesome job. It’s beautiful! I actually have to go to Home Depot to pick up a few extra shades for our dining room chandelier, and I may have to snag the sunburst mirror and garden stool. I’ve been looking for BOTH, but I wanted an economical choice. Now I’ve found it!

  24. I would love to eat some pancakes or drink some tea on that beautiful new porch! Grace – I’m convinced you are the real deal Wonder Woman! Great job!

  25. Meno T says:

    This is very nice design. I really like the Home Depot set. It looks sturdy. I also really like the curtain rods and rod holders. Great job!

    –Meno T.

  26. Elizabeth says:

    Gracie! I love it! So fresh and beautiful – just like you! Love seeing those sweet babies. Great, great job!!

  27. Ginger M says:

    Your “room” is awesome because it pulls together: fun colors/fabrics, stylish accessories, and the richness of a perfect setting for family togetherness. Great job, Grace!

  28. Grace! Your space is amazing!!!! Beautifully done, lady. I’m taking notes for additions to ours… ox

  29. Kelly says:

    WOW … So fresh, bright and magnetic. The table and chairs look beautiful! As the weather & sunshine draw us all outside again, I am encouraged to create a lovely outdoor space of my own. Thanks, Grace!

  30. Byron Hendrix says:

    Looks great. We love outdoor patio living too, and are in the process of something similar.

  31. amber says:

    Wow! It looks so beautiful! I love all the details.

  32. Christina says:

    Wow, Can’t wait to see all the tutorials especially the one with curtain rod and copper pluming bracket. Love the carpet idea too. I am wondering how well it will hold with outside weather so it will be appreciated if you could update us with the rug sometime later. I’ve been a frequent visitor of your blog and has been shy about leaving comments but this time i got to say it’s great!

    • Hi Christina, I will have the rod tutorial up on my site,, tomorrow! I have actually had that rug over a year now, and it has held up great! I’m sure you can get the appropriate carpet tape at Home Depot! Also, I LOVE comments so thank you so much for leaving one. I really appreciate you taking the time to do it!

  33. Heather Vann says:

    Wow Grace!! So, so cute! When Elliott stops making us move around every other year, will you come decorate my house?! I’ll even make pancakes too!

  34. Kelly L. Stern says:

    Beautifully done. I am inspired to spruce up my back porch. I don’t have a large front porch like Grace, but I can apply a lot of her ideas on our back deck. I love the wooden palette planter. I think I’ll try one.


  35. Tiffany says:

    Wow, Grace has done it again! An absolutely gorgeous transformation and a beautiful place to make memories with her lovely family. The whole space feels bright, summery, relaxing and inviting. Can I come over for pancakes?

  36. Andrew R. says:

    Mitchell family front porch pow wow…. looks awesome! Pancakes look good too.

  37. Neil says:

    This is very inspiring. As of today there is no excuse for having a tired front (or back) porch. It makes you happy just to look at it.

  38. Cathy says:

    Just fabulous! Love the dining set, bet am crazy about the bright and happy way you pulled this porch together! Every little detail makes the space work, great job!
    Cathy @ Room Rx

  39. Esther says:

    Grace, so beautiful! I feel inspired and excited to create “a room outside our door” on our porch.

  40. Sharon says:

    Love it! What a fun space that looks like it was collected over time. I love all of the fantastic details like the stamped outdoor curtains. Great job Grace!

  41. Kent (husband) says:

    The pancakes were pretty good too!

    • Hi Husband, I’m just going to go ahead and admit to everyone that we were putting those curtain rods up at two in the morning the night before we had this photographed. :) You were a trooper, and everything looks great! Maybe I’ll make you some pancakes tonight. :)

  42. muffet michlitsch says:

    So AWESOME Grace! Love it! Way to go. My favorite parts are the curtain and the pallet planter!

  43. Sarah Wolfe says:

    It all looks so warm and inviting. Great job, Grace!