Transforming an Oakland Neighbor’s Curb Appeal

Our team here at Orchard is excited to be in the full swing of spring. As we’ve seen all the new outdoor living offerings we’ve selected for the season hit stores and felt the energy coming through our lawn and garden sections, we’ve been excited to get in on the action, too—not just in our own yards, but yours as well.

This neighborly spirit recently inspired our fabulous photo team to get out of the studio and into a neighborhood here in California—particularly the Glenview neighborhood in Oakland, where the team left flyers asking some neighborhood residents whether they might be interested in the team transforming their front yard with a curb appeal makeover. 

“We decided to find a house that was in need of a refresh and give it an Orchard Supply-style makeover,” said Sean, who heads our photo studio. “Within 30 minutes, our phones started to ring from interested homeowners. The first step was to find just the right house.” 

After hearing from quite a few interested neighborhood residents, the team decided to transform the front yard of Wade and Jan Hufford.

The Huffords had recently painted and remodeled their house, but they had not yet gotten around to giving the same transformation to their front yard. So, with a $1,200 budget in hand, Orchard’s team set to work.

Our team took pictures and studied the front yard. From there, they worked with the fantastic team in our Berkeley Orchard store to find the right mix of plants and products that would transform the curb appeal of the Huffords’ home to match the work they’d done to their house. Then, our team of six showed up to get to work.

“Wade was there on the day to meet us and kindly make us coffee and share cake as we set to work on the yard,” our producer David told us.

The team set to work cleaning the yard of debris, cutting the grass, pulling weeds, and removing older planters. They also had gardeners on their photo crew who brought their personal passions into the project—but they made sure to respect the Huffords’ style.

“We did this project for them, but we asked what they were sensitive to and what they didn’t want to be disturbed,” Sean said. “Wade said the rose bushes were Jan’s pride and joy; ‘You probably can’t touch those.’”

As the team worked, they made plans to transplant the existing plants to work within the new design. They were going to be sure to keep the rose bushes prominent in the front yard, within the new design. However, the homeowner loved their vision.

“Jan told us, ‘No,’ and had us put the bushes in the back of the house,” Sean said. “She said, ‘Leave it just like it is. I love it!’”

The Orchard team’s makeover included:

Installing and painting cedar planter boxes

Adding hanging plants

Adding house numbers

Replacing old, weathered outdoor furniture with Orchard-exclusive furniture

Adding solar pathway lighting

In the process of transforming the curb appeal of this house, many of the neighbors ended up swinging by to chat with our team.

“We were inundated with curious neighbors wanting to know what we were up to; ‘Is this a TV show?’” Sean said, echoing one of the most common questions he received.

He was especially happy that the neighbors seemed as excited as Huffords not only to see the way the products Orchard’s merchandising team carefully selects came alive in a neighbor’s yard, but also to see how his team was going the extra mile to help the Huffords think through how to transform their yard.

Sean’s team goal with this special project was to echo the spirit of going the extra mile that our colleagues have within our stores every day. If you’re thinking about transforming your front yard, swing on by. The teams at our stores will be happy to help you think it through.

Weekend Paint Project: Color Block Barmoire

Turn a drab cab into a piece you’ll show off at all your Spring and Summer gatherings to come. With some creative taping and a splash of paint, you’ll be surprised how easy it can be to brighten up ordinary pieces with fresh colors and a few hours on the weekend.

What you'll need:

Step 1: Prep

Lay out your drop cloth on a flat surface where you'll be placing your furniture to protect any surface you don’t want to stain. For your safety, be sure you’re in a well-ventilated area.

If necessary, sand your furniture to create an even painting surface.

For color blocks, use masking tape to create straight-edge designs on the furniture. Tip: simple is best when it comes to color blocking, but there are no set rules – play around with the tape, angles, and colors if you’re feeling creative. For best results, use contrasting or complementary paint colors.

Step 2: Paint

Paint the armoire, doors and drawers with your color of choice. Start with the lightest color first. Don’t forget to paint the inside of the piece as well as the inside of the doors.

Step 3: Update your hardware

A simple cabinet hardware update can make a big difference to the final look. Give it a try! We recommend spray paint for an even finish. Use any color, but as we like to say ­- when in doubt, spray it gold. Here we’re using Montana GOLD Chrome Effect Colors spray paint.

For an even coat and to avoid dripping, keep the can 6-8 inches from the handles and spray in a light sweeping motion. Allow to dry for at least 15 minutes before applying a second coat.

Step 4: The waiting game

For best results, allow one paint color to dry fully before removing the tape and applying a new coat or color. Repeat for however many colors you’re using.

After all colors have been applied, allow the furniture to dry for a full 24 hours before fitting back in the shelves, doors, and hardware.

Quick tip: Use decorative adhesive shelf liners to add easy and fun details on the inside.

And voila! With just a few supplies from your neighborhood Orchard, you can create a one-of-a-kind barmoire that’ll be the talk of any party.

Patio Theme Spotlight: Fiesta

It’s about time to get ready for spring, and nothing says fun in the sun like throwing a fiesta. But what if you could keep the party going all summer long? With our Fiesta Themed Patio Collection, you can do just that and so much more. Here’s a look at the pieces that make up this festive set.

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