Decorative welcome mat

Photo: © 2014 by Janae Hardy

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Make a Delightful First Impression

What You Wish You Could Do: Repaint the outside of your house—if only you could find colors that you'll still like a year from now and a spare weekend to do it all in.

You Settle for: Hanging a for-all-seasons boxwood wreath on the door and calling it a day.

Next Time, Try: Decorating your own doormat. You can test out the colors you're considering for your house and create a cheerful entrance in less than an hour. Be sure to use porch paint or latex paint, since it tends to be the most durable, says Chapman. For extra protection, coat it with a waterproofing spray. (You can also do this to create your own kitchen rugs, like the one pictured here.)

Photos courtesy of A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home, copyright © 2014 by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman. Photographs copyright © 2014 by Janae Hardy. Published by Potter Style, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.