A Front Porch Makeover Featuring A Cinder Block Bench

Right now I’m excited to share the benefits of my front porch makeover! My hubby and I moved into our house final June, and for the past 10 months, we’ve been tackling project soon after venture a tiny bit at a time. Possibly it’s all of the spring outdoor DIY posts I’ve been writing recently for Decoist, but for the final month, I’ve focused on practically nothing but my side, back and front yards. My front porch was in fantastic need of a revamp. Here are the ahead of and soon after pics:

Front porch makeover before and after photos

Front porch makeover just before and right after

These days’s patio makeover was inspired by a cinder block task I featured in this post. Here’s a near-up sneak peek at a couple of specifics. Be sure to read through on for total venture coverage…

Details from a front porch makeover

Specifics from a front porch makeover

Cinder Block Bench Alternatives

I knew that the centerpiece of my front porch makeover would be a cinder block bench. The question: how to design and build it?! I headed to Home Depot and picked up 16 cinder blocks, along with 2 pieces of lumber. I had a vague notion of what I desired, but I produced sure to get further materials. Just in situation!

Choice #1: A Cinder Block Throne

I at first determined to ditch the lumber and build a tiny cinder block bench, which genuinely turned into a plant stand/”throne” of kinds. Although we ended up opting for another bench style (which I’ll cover later in the post), I believed I’d share the specifics of this model:

Building the cinder block throne

Developing the cinder block throne

I started by placing 2 rows of 4 cinder blocks on the ground. I then turned the 2 end blocks so they opened to the front. Subsequent I stacked 6 blocks on the top degree, 2 in the upright place so they could hold plants. See them in the back row on the second degree? Check out out the pics over, which display the “throne” from several different angles.

Gravel with help with drainage when the greenery is planted

Gravel to aid with drainage when the greenery is planted

I knew I wished to add plant lifestyle to this mini-bench, so I positioned some gravel in the open cinder blocks on the prime row of my design and style–gravel is best for filling the bottom of the open block/supplying a barrier/offering drainage. Beneath we see mondo grass and a variety of colorful pots.

Plants will embellish the cinder block throne

Plants to embellish the cinder block throne

Right here’s a see of the gravel in the bottom of the cinder block–this basalt gravel is left over from an earlier backyard landscaping undertaking:

Gravel in the bottom of a cinder block

Gravel in the bottom of a cinder block

When all was mentioned and accomplished, I added 4 much more blocks to the prime of the mini-bench–I liked the sculptural search that resulted. I topped it all off with a cushion, then positioned some little plants in lime green pots in the nook on every single side of the bench. You can see the throne/planter/sculpture beneath:

Cinder block throne with plants and a cushion

Cinder block throne with plants and a cushion

Here’s a view from the front! Yet another choice: Forgoing the cushion and incorporating a huge plant at the leading of this piece. The cinder block construction then gets to be a decorative wall that doubles as a plant stand that adds curiosity to your patio!

Front view of the cinder block throne

Front see of the cinder block throne

Choice #2: A Cinder Block Bench

Although I loved the seem of the throne above, I ultimately needed a construction that greater resembled a bench! The bench I created was inspired by the DIY outside bench created by Kayla of The Basement. It’s simple to create, it’s a wonderful no-hassle thought, and you can read through all about it right here. Taking my cues from that venture, I opted for a smaller version that would in the end involve pavers and created-in planters. I give my husband total credit score for coming up with the final design–the pavers produced all the distinction! Right here are a few supplies that got me started out:

Gathering supplies for the cinder block bench

Gathering supplies for the cinder block bench


  • One particular 8-foot piece of lumber reduce in half (I opted for wood that had been cured and treated for the aspects – the cost was about $ twelve). Truly feel free of charge to go with a longer piece of lumber if you want your bench to be a greater size.)
  • sixteen single cinder blocks (doubles can also operate for the primary framework of the bench)
  • 3 concrete pavers (12 in. x 12 in.)
  • plants (I employed mondo grass, which does effectively in shady spots)
  • gravel for drainage
  • potting soil
Wood, cinder blocks and pavers form a sturdy bench

Wood, cinder blocks and pavers type a sturdy bench


  1. Stack the cinder blocks in 3 rows of 2, ensuring that they are the proper distance apart to support the wooden beams and accommodate 3 pavers in amongst (a trial run on the ground level helps here).
  2. Spot the 2 wooden beams via the holes, connecting the prime rows of the blocks. The wooden beams may not attain the quite end of the holes after settled, but they ought to be rather close to make certain excellent assistance.
  3. Stack the pavers on top of the wooden beams.
Plants at the base of a cinder block bench

Plants at the base of a cinder block bench

And for some exciting “extras,” add 2 cinder blocks near the base of each side of the bench–one with the hole facing the front, and one particular in the upright place (to hold a plant). Fill the top cinder block one/3 of the way with gravel, then comply with with soil and a plant. Top it off with limestone gravel for a decorative effect if you wish. Even though it’s difficult to tell in the image under, there are plants on each and every side of the bench.

The front porch makeover is not yet complete

The front porch makeover is not however total

Don’t hesitate to add cushions or pillows! We get a great deal of squirrels on our front porch, so rather than leaving the pillows out, I’ve made a decision to shop a couple of them in my entryway closet and carry them out when I’m enjoying an evening drink on the bench.

DIY cinder block bench

DIY cinder block bench

Want to know a small secret? Initially the bench looked like this (see beneath)! The further cinder blocks and plants had been stacked on leading of the bench, rather than at the base. Whilst this is a fantastic choice, I in the long run needed a a lot more clean-lined appear and instead chose the design and style above.

An additional bench option

An further bench option

I was content with the finish consequence, but I still felt like the patio looked a bit bare…

Add pillows to the cinder block bench to soften the look

Include pillows to the cinder block bench to soften the seem

An Outdoor DIY Wall Ar2rk Venture

…which is why I made the decision to do a minor DIY outside ar2rk task! In reality, earlier this week I blogged about outdoor wall ar2rk and came across an wonderful task from Amy of Positively Splendid. You can go through all about it here. Amy framed sections of rolled moss (the variety you buy at a craft shop). I loved the concept, and I adapted it a bit to resemble the appear of a freshly lower, manicured lawn with metal edging.

Moss and sheet metal are the supplies of choice for this outdoor DIY wall art

Moss and sheet metal are the supplies of decision for this outside DIY wall art

Years ago, my hubby purchased some customized-cut sheet metal and drilled holes for nails. He utilized tiny magnets to show posters on the metal, which was the perfect option for someone who enjoyed switching out his ar2rk on a normal basis. The metal produced a modern day frame for the art. For my undertaking, the metal produced a “frame” for a sheet of moss!

Cutting the moss

Cutting the moss

I simply measured and reduce the moss, then hot glued it to the sheet metal. I adore the clean seem that resulted–very Zen!

Modern moss and metal DIY outdoor wall art

Modern moss and metal DIY outside wall art

Final Touches

Below we see the end outcome of the undertaking. I additional a potted fern by the door, as effectively as a red metal doormat and 2 aloe plants in little pots painted a soothing shade of blue.

The final front porch makeover

The final front porch makeover

Often it’s the small particulars that make a big variation! Thank you for joining me for today’s front porch makeover. As you can see, there’s still space for far more shade on this porch. I guess I’ll just have to carry on my DIY marathon and come up with some other outdoor tasks for the exterior of my home–as usually, I promise to keep you posted!

Limestone gravel covers the soil of this potted aloe plant

Limestone gravel covers the soil of this potted aloe plant

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