Before and After: Porch Makeover
Hey Guys! Sorry for the late post. Time management issues abound for me lately. You’d think that since Kristen is planning a wedding, Kim has started a new job and is relocating to NYC, and Jessie is a mostly-self-employed hustler, I’d be the last one not being able to post. Those ladies are machines.
Anyway, I wanted to (finally) update you on where things stand with my porch. It’s definitely the place where I’ve been spending most of my time lately. When Conor and I originally bought the house, we had noted how nice it was to have a screened-in porch but never considered how a few updates would transform it into one of our favorite rooms!
Here’s a picture from the original listing:
Clearly, it was fine but lacking some character. The other side is just as big, but it’s impossible to capture to whole space in one photo. I did a post a few
weeks months back where I shared some ideas about what I wanted the finished space to look like:
And here’s where we ended up:
A few notes on my philosophy when it came to tackling this project…I had lots of grand ambitions about scraping down all the woodwork and giving the porch a fresh coat of paint before we did anything. I also wanted to repair some of the screens and possibly replace the screen door. However, Conor was anxious to get started on building the bench before his Saturdays were consumed by work. Also, remember how every day was 1000 degrees from mid-June to mid-July? The last thing I wanted to do was pass out in a heap on the porch covered in paint chips.
Ambition is a great thing. However, we knew we wanted the porch to be in usable condition by the time Conor’s parents arrived for a visit on July 4th and sometimes, function has to prevail so you can get on with enjoying the summer before it’s over. Hopefully I’ll get back to the painting someday but for now, I couldn’t be happier with how things look.
Conor built the bench with standard lumber from Home Depot. I think it was about $200 for everything. This thing is probably bomb-proof has supported up to 4 adults with nary a squeak. It’s currently sporting a couple of coats of primer but hopefully I’ll get a couple of coats of exterior paint on before the winter. The eaves protect the porch from getting wet during rainstorms so we’re not worried about rot right now.
After building it to my specifications (I wanted it deep enough for the two of us to be able to stretch out side by side) I realized that standard foam sizes weren’t going to cut it. I ordered a piece from DIY Upholstery Supply using their custom cut foam option and highly recommend them. They wrap the foam in a layer of batting for no extra charge and it arrived on time, with no issues. It also didn’t smell like gasoline like some of the foam in fabric stores can. Bonus! It cost me $145 including shipping and while that’s pricey, it was about the same as what I would have had to pay had I pieced smaller foam together and wrapped it myself.
I followed this tutorial from Pretty Handy Girl for sewing the cover. Her step-by-step instructions made everything a lot less intimidating. This was definitely the most complicated sewing project I’ve done to-date but any wonky results are totally my fault for cutting the side pieces too narrow. I just couldn’t stomach another trip to the fabric store and I needed this project d.o.n.e. My crooked seams have not impacted the nap-ability of this cushion one bit though so I’m calling it a win.
The rest was all cosmetic. I layered on my outdoor pillows, arranged my bamboo chairs with my spray-painted side table, threw down a rug, added some plants, and called it a day. The plants look really nice when I remember to water and dead-head them. So there you go! Now, who’s coming over for a cocktail?
Cushion fabric, pillow fabric, and pillow inserts: Jo-Ann Fabrics (discussed in this post)
Cushion Foam: DIY Upholstery Supply
Bamboo Chairs: Marshalls
Seat Cushions: HomeGoods
White Planter, plant stand, and Blue Striped Planter: Ikea
Plants: Folly Hill Farm, Danvers, MA
Cast Iron Flamingo: Todd Farm Flea Market