Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Back Porch

When we first bought the house the porch looked like this:

I wanted a more clean look so we, by we, I mean the handyman, removed all the diagonal wood slats and the spindles, and of course the cutest old refrigerator I've ever seen but it was completely broken and not self defrosting (remember we bought the house to resell, I'll chip ice in the name of cuteness all day long but we had to have a modern fridge to sell the house).  We also switched out the flimsy screened door for a vinyl one.  I don't usually go vinyl but it was so cheap and easy to clean.

Then it looked like:

Clean Slate.  It was such a clean slate you can see the air condition is missing from the concrete pad.  It was stolen.  The yellow house's air conditioning was stolen and then a couple days later the blue house air conditioner was stolen.  We weren't concerned about the blue house's a/c because it was mammoth.  I didn't think it would be possible to move without a forklift.  And who steals an HVAC unit and then a couple days later comes back to steal the one next door.  But somebody stole it.  And that's when the privacy fence went up.

I decided to go with a red theme.  I bought a Dash & Albert outdoor rug and this cute little wire red table.  The Pier One wicker chair was a big purchase for us.  The swing came from the old house and the checkered black and white cover was originally my mom's.  The floor looks so rich compared to now, it's worn away a bit, I thought I liked it because it has the appearance of slate or chalkboard but I don't know I might think about painting the porch floor again.

My mom's checkered cover literally ripped one day so I pulled out the old sewing maching and went to the discount fabric place and you tubed how to make a zipper and viola, new slip cover.  You can also see here that the swing is changing.  From the day we moved the swing it started to fall apart.  And then one day I bleached it.  Probably right before the last photo where it looks so freaking white.  Bleaching it, because it's a plastic wicker put all these tiny cracks in the wicker and not only did it start getting dirty right away in those little cracks but it started breaking off completely.  Every day I pick up little pieces of plastic wicker off the floor.  The cats love them, they play with them like toys.  The red ribbon was my way of trying to secure the wicker to the frame because it was separating from the frame and the swing was on it's way to falling completely apart.  My mom said no to the red ribbons.  I changed them to white so now you can't see them.

You can also tell a little big how the rug is changing colors to orange.  I think I washed it too much.  I also accidentally vacuumed the corner with the Dyson, what you don't vacuum your porch, and it sucked in the rug and messed it up.  After I thew it out I haven't replaced it.  It didn't even last a year and wasn't cheap and I found the room to be easier to clean without a rug.  I have my eye on one from Ballard Design but it's too expensive.

The chair got a slip cover too.

Slowly I filled up the porch with items I liked.  You can kind of see it in the background.  This picture is kind of depressing for me because that lush shade grass lasted about one week, maybe two and then it completely died.  I watered it constantly to no avail.  And then of course the heat came.  Also the variegated hydrangea in the foreground is now almost completely dead, I have no idea what happened.  My azaleas bloomed the first year I planted them and then never again.  The bushes got very leggy and unattractive.  I only have one left because I'm still working on that area of the year on the right side.  But this isn't about the yard, that's another day.

One day I was in Joanne's looking for something and they had 50% outdoor fabrics.  I found this aqua Dwell Studio fabric with birds on it and I had to get it.  So I redid the porch cushions.  I also made this pillow from left over fabric when I was making pillows for inside.  I really like the combination of patterns and the softer blue look so that's the direction I'm going in: aqua and texture.  Playing with fabrics.

Also you can see here that on the lower portion of the screened porch we had lattice installed.  This is not for looks, well this option was the most attractive (and expensive), but Fox had figured out he could bite the screen and pull on it and get the screen hole big enough that he could escape.  We thought of like pet wire and chicken wire and just slapping some lattice on the outside of the porch (he still might eat the screen and it would not look as attractive) so this is what we went with.  I was very worried about losing the view of the yard, I like to lounge on the porch and read or watch stray cats in the yard or admire my garden, but the view is still okay.

Here's the porch swing about a year after the last slip covers.  It's still there but now the arm is almost completely worn on one side and it's really become an eyesore of the porch.  My idea, which is another post, is to remove the swing and have a day bed built into this nook. Because I'm eventually, hopefully soon, losing the swing, this opens space up for a coffee table.  My mom found this one in her alley and spray painted it.  I saw it and fell in love.  She didn't want to give it to me and I looked everywhere for something similar with no luck.  Eventually we traded enough stuff that she let me have it.  I love it!

You can see in this photo how losing the red and adding the blue is not really working with the sheer curtains I put up.  Here's a close up of the patter in the curtain.

They are super neat curtains but there's no blue in them and I seriously want all red gone, I'm so over red right now.  I just ordered some sheers from Overstock today.  They'll probably get here while we're on vacation.

Other parts of the porch.  This is the area right beside the house door, it would be to the right.  On the left would be the screened door to go outside.  This table used to be in my mom's bathroom.  I've always really liked it, the way the curtains highlight the intricate cutouts.  She had her bathroom remodeled all white and marble so she gave the table to me.  I made these curtains from Amy Butler fabric and attached velcro so I can pull them right off and wash them.  I also added knobs from Anthropologie.  I wanted to use this table in our bathroom but there's just no room.  I fits perfectly in this nook of the porch so I keep spray paint and some quarts of paint inside.  The cat food is for the outdoor cats, I feed the neighborhood strays, the yellow can is Raid, it's Orb spider season and if I don't keep up with spraying the spiders in the yard as soon I see them they'll grow about 4" wide and scare the bajeebus out of me.  I put all my garden tools in the bucket I found at Home Goods and the pink thing is a cat toy I use to lure stray kittens on the porch.

There is really a lot of stuff on the wall.  I've actually toned this down.  I want to get rid of that bird house.  The photo is really cute I have to wait to take a photo, it's giving me a lot of glare.  I local artist draws sayings in the beach sand and photographs them.  This one says, of course, "Happily Ever After."  I love the plant holder.  I've killed countless ferns and shade plants.  This spring I gave up and bought a fake fern on clearance at Potterybarn.  I have no idea what to do with that white thing on the window so it's just sitting there.  The aqua birds are from my mom.

I painted the cute little red table aqua, it's actually a darker aqua from Lowes but it works well on the table.  I bought some aqua Ball jars on ebay (or etsy, I can't remember).  I was hoping the big one would hold all our really big shells but it's not quite big enough.  The cement bunny is a housewarming gift from Brian's parents. I'm no fun to shop for, I picked out my own housewarming present, but the thought was there.  They were with us walking around the garden store looking for a stone bunny.  The little Moroccan lantern is from Paper Source.  It started rusting but I recently repainted it with spray paint and it looks good as new.  I still need a little work with accessorizing this table.

I've always wanted a chandelier on a porch so when we moved into this house I budgeted aside money to replace the $15 standard outdoor fixture for a simple cottagey chandelier, it wasn't very expensive but made the room look extra special.  The thing about chandeliers as I've found out from this one and the one in our living room is if they are not on dimmers having them float above you as a light fixture and not eye level like the one in the dining room, it gives off a harsh light.  I think especially outside you want mood lighting.  Brian and I were talking about it and what we both really want is a ceiling fan.  I've been searching high and low for a small ceiling fan, the room's width is like 64 inches with a light that's not ugly or doesn't look granny.  This is very hard to find.  You'll have to wait for my post on plans for the porch to see which one I decided to order.


  1. I want a chandelier hanging from every fixture. Seriously. It's a bit of a problem.

  2. I'm so glad I found your blog again after all these years!! We just moved from Central New York to Northern GA. I really wish we had a screened in/covered porch, but we have a pretty nice deck. GREAT HOUSE, so I can't nit pick. I've been following you on Flickr for years, so if you want to go and see pictures of my new house, please do! PS, I still have your wedding cd!!! (I commented on your first post, but I don't think it took, I have been following you since your diet blog!)

    1. Aww, thanks Shel. I wish I posted more, it's been kind of getting away from me. I do enjoy Instagram though. I'll check your house out.

  3. I didn't put many pics on instagram, didn't want my friends to think I was bragging. Honestly, we bought a house we can't afford! My husband travels all week and I haven't found a job. I really haven't looked. The deal was with this new job of his is I wouldn't have to work. But then we bought a lot of furniture on credit. Like, every room has new furniture in it. I should look harder to find a job, but I don't wanna. I don't want to dress up and all the dress clothes in my PLUS size are so not flattering. I was lucky with my old office job, once I started piling on the weight I just started wearing jeans, comfy, stretchy jeans. We'll make it work until I find a job. If you use Flickr still, I have a ton more pics on there because the Flickr account is just for me, friends and family don't know about it. Still have lots to catch up on with your blog!!!