DIY Merry Sign + Holiday Porch with Lowe’s & Habitat for Humanity

By Kate Riley December 6, 2016

Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas! That’s what I got to say two weeks ago when Lowe’s asked me to cheer up a porch for a family that’s benefited from a new house through their partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

Decent and affordable house is a challenge for many families so I was honored to be asked to bring some holiday cheer to one of the families in this new neighborhood in Las Vegas. This is such a great program and I was excited to add some festive touches to the porch for this family!


I opted for a classic red, green, and white palette which always looks cheerful this time of year. I brought them a bench and plant stand that the homeowners can use as a side table throughout the year. Some azalea plants now live next to the front door and will look fresh all year round. For Christmas, I layered the new additions with a few holiday themed decorations to welcome them to their new home.





This neighborhood building project was a partnership between Lowe’s and Habitat for Humanity. They joined joined forces to work together with families to build or repair their homes in 2016 so they could move in before the holidays, what an amazing Christmas present right? They’ve built and remodeled 1,009 new homes in 2016, incredible!


Many families will celebrate the holiday season from the comfort of a safe and stable home for the very first time. Here is the before and after shot of the porch, I was so happy to be able to add some holiday cheer!





sources for porch decor: bench / plant stand / deer silhouette pillow / wreath


Lowe’s asked me to include a DIY project as well so I made the family a “Merry” sign that could be displayed year after year. It’s simple. 6 x 24” poplar board painted with small paint samples from Lowes and a template I made.





To recreate it you’ll need to download the template, then pick up a 6 x 24” poplar board, 2 paint samples, painter’s tape, small art brushes, a disposable sponge brush, all purchased at Lowes. You’ll also need a sharp pencil (or utensil) and a ruler to etch the letters into the wood (see below).


I decided on a white background with red letters, so first paint your board the background color with the disposable sponge brush and allow it to dry. Next clip the letters from the template and space them evenly across the painted poplar board, securing them with painter’s tape.


Using a sharp pencil or utensil, push down along the edges of each letter. Use a ruler as your guide (I used a book since I couldn’t find my ruler!)


The etched edges form the letters on the painted wood, use those ridges as your guide to fill in the letters with a second color of paint. I found two Valspar display paint samples that worked perfectly. I also painted the edges of the poplar board with red paint too.



With a steady hand and two coats of paint you’ll end up with some nice modern letters that spell out “Merry” !





Lowe’s has partnered with Habitat for Humanity for over a decade because they believe that safe, stable homes are a source of strength, pride and security for families. Thanks so much to Lowe’s for the opportunity to dress the porch of a deserving family on behalf of this Habitat for Humanity project!



*This post is sponsored by Lowe’s in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog! If you’d like to learn more about Lowe’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity or how you can help, visit Lowes/Habitat for more information.

Minimalist Greenery

By Kate Riley December 5, 2016

I spent Friday tiling a backsplash for a kitchen at a transitional housing project for my local Committee on the Shelterless (COTS). Long time readers know I offer my services to that organization every year. Friday I had an assistant to help me. We had to tile around a window (like I did here) which is a challenge so it was important to have someone to help me line up the mosaic properly around the window before the adhesive dried. (I’ll be sharing that kitchen makeover later in the month.)

My assistant who helped me tile around the window was a recovering drug addict, and someone who is currently going through the stages of the program offered by COTS. He’s the kind of guy that had a rough upbringing, made a bunch of bad choices, ended up on drugs and in jail, but is now making his life better by staying clean and working odd jobs. I liked him. I liked his attitude of gratitude for just having a bed to sleep in at night. Then yesterday I spent an hour with another man who works as a janitor, currently he lives in a shack (no kidding) behind a restaurant because he can’t afford decent housing. Talking with people who live in those conditions really puts things in perspective, especially this time of year.

I love Christmas, it’s my favorite holiday but the focus on material goods can be overwhelming. All the stuff doesn’t really seem to matter so much when you spend time with those in real need of a decent roof over their head. I had plans to deck the halls around my own beautiful home but then found I wasn’t feeling it as much as in previous years. All I want now are a few evergreens around the house, just enough so it feels and smells like Christmas. These images of more minimalist holiday decor, simple evergreens and greenery placed here and there, feel just right today.


my scandinavian home


burke décor


odessa may society

 evergreens glass jars

free people blog


via liv sandvik Jacobsen




dreamy whites


west elm




12th and white


burke decor