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Last summer, redoing the porch was the bane of our existence. And while we knew it would be worth it, we didn’t realize how worth it the project would be.
Now that we’ve been stuck at home for more than five months, it’s been amazing to have a nice, relaxing space to spend time in.
During the last update, there honestly weren’t many differences, other than the fact that the structure was entirely rebuilt.
The ceiling was taller, meaning we could add in a ceiling fan, and it went from painted white boards to stained wood tones.
We also painted the walls light grey to match the rest of the house, instead of plain white.
Plus, the windows. Holy cow the windows. The previous ones didn’t open (we literally broke one of the windows trying to open it because the glass gave way before the aluminum frame did), and now you can open them 75% of the height of the window with one hand.
But there was still a lot that needed to be done! First up: furniture.
We knew we wanted something that felt outdoorsy but was still nice enough to have inside year-round. Back in February we found this collection from Target and ordered both the loveseat and the bistro set.
It’s funny, we originally intended to only keep one. Target has an amazing return policy, so we figured we could buy both and return the one we didn’t like as much.
Lo and behold, we kept both. Whoops.
We figured either the loveseat or the bistro set would go on the far wall underneath the windows to the sunroom.
The bistro set arrived first, and fun fact: it actually arrived the same day Sean and I started quarantining! It arrived on a Wednesday in March around lunchtime, and as I was setting it up, I got a text from Sean that his company sent everyone home, effective immediately. I had everything assembled and on the porch when he arrived home around 1 pm!
Unfortunately the bistro set was just a smidge too large for the space under the sunroom windows. To be honest, I was heartbroken, because I really wanted a space where we could have coffee or eat on the porch.
The loveseat came a few days later, and it was perfect. We both loved it. We added two small picture ledges to the wall on either side of the loveseat for drinks, and now we spend most of our time out there.
But we also loved the bistro set, so we decided to keep it and use the pieces elsewhere in the house.
We put one of the seats in the corner of the porch (where it ended up), and the other went in the office. We put the table along the wall of windows, straight in front of the french doors, as a place to set keys or groceries when coming inside. It wasn’t perfect, but we realized the cost of the 3-piece set was the exact same cost as the set of just the two chairs. No sense returning the bistro set in exchange for just the chairs, then!
Throughout the spring, I would move the bistro table out from the wall and bring dining room chairs out so Sean and I could have lunch together on the porch. After a while, we realized we really wanted to make the seating area work on the porch, so we put it in the corner and it worked better than expected!
Clearly Val loves it too. She spends most of her time on the porch, sleeping in either of the two chairs.
Sean picked up a pothos to put in one of the pots I made in my ceramics class (which I thankfully picked up the day everything started shutting down!), and now we have coffee out there every single morning before work.
Then of course, there’s the floors. When we moved in, it was a worn-down red paint over stamped concrete. It was… fine. But once everything else started taking shape, it was really bringing down the feel of the space.
We originally wanted to do marble tile on the porch, but knew cost and time would prevent us from doing it for a while. Instead, Sean researched how to repaint the floor, and we picked out a beautiful dark blue color.
It was a multi-day process to strip the flaking red paint off the floor, and while it was just as miserable as rebuilding the porch itself, we’re so glad we did it. It looks way better, and we’re confident the paint will last a long time without flaking.
In fact, we’re good with keeping the floor this way for the foreseeable future, so we don’t even feel the need to do marble tile any more!
The porch definitely isn’t done but we’re close! Sean is going to add baseboards within the next month, and we’re waiting for a light pink pouf to arrive. The pouf will likely take the place of the table in front of the loveseat, which isn’t as functional as we’d hoped and takes up too much room.
We definitely see the porch as a hang-out room once we can have guests over again. It’s come a long way from the mudroom it was when we moved in, and I’m so excited to continue improving it as we live here.