Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New front porch


One of my favorite features of our house is our front porch.  It's an alcove tucked into the space to the right of our front door, just outside our dining room.  Its inset location makes it protected and serene, and I've worked to make it into an outdoor living room.  But the look of it was growing dated, so this spring I redid it.  I'm excited to share photos of our new space!

The seating area:


The whole porch, from front door to seating area.  The front door opens to the foyer; the side door opens to the back hall that connects the garage, laundry room, pantry, and kitchen.  In older homes I think this was called the "service entrance."  Here it would be a "serve yourself" entrance!



The seating area from the other side:



In the late afternoon, ready for a cold drink:



In the early evening, lit with lamps and candles:


If you look closely, you can see the dining room through the windows.  I like the way the new porch colors work with the French blue of the dining room.


Now for some details. The all-weather wicker furniture is from the "Camino Real" collection made by Lane Venture.  I have no affiliation with Lane Venture, but I couldn't recommend this furniture more--it's been out here year-round for six years and is still going strong. We've been very glad we invested in good seating pieces. Of course, that meant we had to get creative to fill in the rest of the porch, but that's okay!

The rug is an outdoor rug from Target. Inexpensive, good-looking, easy to clean, and practically indestructible.   The wooden lamp table is an antique desk given to me years ago by my parents; the other table is a Goodwill find that I keep re-doing with paint.  The lamps were purchased several years ago from Target.  They're specially made for outdoor use.  The iron piece resting in the left windowsill was a TJMaxx find, as were the finial and the "Welcome" sign on the table.  The candle holder hanging above the couch is from Target.  I love inexpensive accessories, especially for an outdoor space.



The ottoman I made myself from an Omaha Steaks cooler; click here for a tutorial.  For this update, I simply removed the old fabric and stapled the new striped fabric in place.


With the addition of a tray, the ottoman does double-duty as a coffee table. The tray was a $1.00 Goodwill find; I updated it with a coat of Rustoleum's Heirloom White.



The corner by the side entry door is a good spot to add a little cheer. I place a Christmas tree here every December. For now, I added some plants beside the obelisks in the corner. These plants get almost no sunlight, so I chose hostas. I don't think they'll grow a lot, but they seem very happy in this shady spot.


For the wall, I hung a couple of antique ceiling tiles at the top. Oh, wait--these aren't antiques. They were copper pieces I bought at Ross for $5.99 each. Painted with Heirloom White and sanded to reveal some of the copper, I think they look like antiques!




The large chalkboard started life as this rooster painting I found at Goodwill for a few dollars:


I simply painted over the rooster with chalkboard paint, gave the frame a coat of Heirloom White, and turned it on its side for this space.  There's chalk and an eraser in the little bucket beside the plants--perfect for me to write a message for family or guests or for them to leave me a note!



Sometimes even a dedicated DIY enthusiast needs some help.  I knew that making zippered, fitted covers for the loveseat and chairs was beyond my elementary sewing skills, so I had a local seamstress do that part for me.  The throw pillows I made myself using the "sew easy" technique described here. As you can see, the fabrics don't exactly "match."  I'm more of a cross-your-eyes-and-see-if-the-colors-blend-well kind of decorator.



These fabric all came from Not Just Linens in Durham, North Carolina, where most of the fabrics are just $7.99 per yard.  The green I used for the upholstery is an outdoor fabric, so it cost a little more--it was $10.00 per yard.  The store manager, Diane Tattreau, made the new seat and sofa cushions for me.  I could have ordered new cushion covers directly from LaneVenture or from a replacement cushion company, but I liked the idea of employing someone in my community for the work. Diane copied the existing cushion covers exactly, so these fit perfectly.  Her prices were were very reasonable and I was happy that I got to choose exactly the fabric I wanted.

Now, just for fun, here's a peek at how the porch looked before:



And now:



Now all I need are friends to relax with me on the porch. The weather is warm and the drinks are cold!  Won't you come on over? 
I'm proud to be joining these wonderful blog parties:


70 comments:

Traci@ Beneath My Heart said...

Richella!
That space is absolutely gorgeous! I am so jealous! I wish I could sit there with you and catch up on life. :)
Maybe someday....

It looks amazing. I'm gonna give a shout out on my fb page.

Love you!

Centsational Girl said...

Gorgeous porch Richella, I want to hang out with you there! I adore that Ikat fabric so much, wish we lived closer!
xo
Kate

Kari at A Grace Full Life said...

This looks like something from out of a catalog! Gorgeous! :)

Amy @ Positively Splendid said...

Oh my word, Richella! This is absolutely stunning! Truly just like from the pages of a magazine!

{darlene} @ fieldstonehill said...

I am So coming over, k? Today is our first "cool drink" day of the season... we are still drinking warm drinks up this way! But I surely could use sittin and sippin with you!

{darlene} @ fieldstonehill said...

neglected to say THE most important thing: GIRL, your porch look amazing! inviting! and the PERFECT place to "set awhile." perfect. great job!

Kellie M said...

What a great space!

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

I love your porch. It looks beautiful and relaxing!

Savvy Seasons said...

Richella~
Oh my goodness...now that's a porch! What an amazing space you've created. I love, love, love it! =) xo ~Liz

Maria at inredningsvis.se said...

LOVELY PICS:) I really like your blog and I will happily follow.

If you want some swedish decor inspiration, you can check out my blog:)
Have a great week.

LOVE Maria at inredningsvis.se
(Sweden)

Susie said...

Richella, Your porch is so beautiful. I love the furniture, it's so comfy looking. Smiles, Susie(She Junks)

Stacey said...

That is one beautiful and welcoming space. :)

Pam@OurAdventuresInHomeImprovement said...

Your porch is absolutely gorgeous! I love the front of your house too. Beautiful!

Pam

Courtenay@Creek Line House said...

So welcoming! Don't be surprised if you go out your front door one day and find that some passer-by just made themselves right at home. OK, be a little surprised. :)

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Richella, I have always loved your porch and the new changes are beautiful! Thank you in advance for linking to the Open House party.
xo, Sherry

Erin~Just*Grand said...

Your porch is heavenly! Love the spring green and the accessories. Visiting from Wow Us Wednesdays and now I am your newest follower!

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

Absolutely gorgeous Richella!! You created such a cozy outdoor living room!

Linda said...

This is a great porch! I am going to get myself a cool drink right now and imagine I am there visiting with you Richella!

Love, Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

Shelly W. said...

Why I don't mind if I do! . . . come share a cold drink with you, that is. This is a beautiful, restful spot. I love it!

Notes from the Homestead said...

Your front porch rocks girl ! I just love all the fresh fabrics you used and the darling accessories! Very inviting!
Kim

the worstest mommy said...

Beautiful! I had to pin the ideas to my Pinterest House board! http://pinterest.com/meredith_mull/house/

Jen (Balancing Beauty and Bedlam) said...

SO SO gorgeous. We are getting quotes now for our dream wrap around porch and I can only pray, I can decorate it as cozily as you did. Love it!!

meg said...

Inviting!

Erin said...

Love, love, love the porch, Richella - you have such a gift of using your materials wisely and in unique ways. Thanks for the seamstress info, too - I can imagine needing it in the future for Lil' Miss when she makes her First Communion next year.

Let me know when the Mint Juleps are ready and I'll be right over!

XO

Erin

Barbara said...

It's lovely, but I have to ask, where are the spider webs, wasp and bird nests, dirtdobbers, night moths, oak tree pollen, dust, leaves,etc? I don't see how you guys do it!

Richella said...

Oh, Barbara, you know I swept just before I took these photos! We've had lots of bird's nests, wasp's nests, and dirt dobber's homes. The pollen, thank God, is pretty much over for this season, but the critters are certainly around! But we use this porch so much that I just keep sweeping and dusting; it's worth it! :)

Robin said...

What a beautiful welcoming porch. I love your furniture with the new cushions in that fun color. I have those same tins I bought a Ross and I spray painted 2 of 3 I bought and they hang in my office. All your details really finish the space perfectly.

Robin
Robin Flies South

Tardevil said...

Your porch looks great! Love the green cushions and fabric choices. I'm from the Triangle and wondering why I never knew about that fabric store. Hmmmm...

Kelly @ Talk of the House said...

What a very pretty porch! It looks like a place you could really relax in. Love the furniture.

Sharing Shadymont said...

Your porch is beautiful!! Love the green. Thanks for sharing!

At The Picket Fence said...

It is sooooo beautiful Richella!! I love the new color palette and those pillows are fantastic. Just wish I could come sit there with you and have a good chat! :-)
Vanessa

Krystle @ Color Transformed Family said...

I love your front porch. My husband and I would love to have a place like that to relax. It looks so inviting!

Lauren said...

Absolutely love your porch! It looks so inviting. It definitely would be a great place to catch up with friends or spend an evening with your husband or a great book. Beautiful!

Donna said...

Richella,
What an amazing space! Gorgeous! I clicked on to you ottoman tutorial - love it! A great idea. I have one of those coolers in the garage. Thank you for sharing.
Donna

NanaDiana said...

Richella- It looks absolutely beautiful! I love it. It is homey feeling and yet fresh,too. Perfect. I could sit there and soak it up and enjoy myself! xo Diana

Nadir@StitchSense said...

LOVE it! With a porch that cozy, you might not be able to get me to leave! :-D Beautiful job decorating!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Jealous! Your porch is the perfect place to curl up with a nice drink and a good book!

Kelli @ RTSM said...

Your front porch is amazing! I love that it is basically an extra room! I love all the fabrics and how inviting the whole space feels. Our front porch has two sad chairs and a little table. Maybe I need to put "redo front porch" on my to do list for this summer:)

Becky said...

Oh my goodness, that is stunning beautiful. It makes me want to grab a pitcher of sweet tea and invite myself over for a chat. Beautiful and peaceful. Love it.

Anonymous said...

You are so talented. I wish I could do that. My question is about keeping it so clean. Do you have to clean it a lot due to dirt and pollen since it is outside? Do you go turn on the lights each night for example those little candles on the wall?
Sheila P.

Dawn said...

one day i hope to find myself sitting on that porch with you!

Anonymous said...

I love, love, LOVE your outdoor porch space. Very welcoming. The Lord was good to give you a special, quiet place to sit and ponder. Enjoy it. :)

Deanna said...

I've found that really ministry is creating environments/space for God to show up - physically, emotionally and spiritually. Your patio area looks like a beautiful "God-space". Would love to read some stories of how He uses it one day. Glad to have found you in the blogosphere.

Swede Dreamer said...

I love your combination of colors~very summery! Angie

Richella said...

It would be dishonest of me to say that it's always this clean. It's not. But we DO use it a lot, so that helps me to keep it swept. As for the lights, I keep low-wattage fluorescent bulbs in the lamps and I leave them burning all the time. They don't use much power, and they add so much warmth and cheer to the front of the house! However, I don't light the candles very often; that's more of a special occasion kind of thing. I probably should light them more often--I heard somewhere that candles were made to be burned, not dusted! And these are very cheap votives and tealights, so the expense would be minimal. Candlelight is so romantic!

Richella said...

Deanna, I absolutely agree with you. So much of ministry is simply intentionally creating and allowing space for God to work. This porch has been a place of great connection and healing. Somehow, a porch is a place that's just made for relaxing and waiting rather than doing, doing, doing. I need to write up some of the stories about what goes out here; thanks for the reminder!

Patti said...

What a cozy spot! I love the fabrics you chose - the colors are beautiful - I am sure you will enjoy this sitting area!!

Jen said...

I would never leave the porch!
Its beautiful!

Chase the Star said...

Richella, this is amazing! I love the fabric and the lamps, just everything! Very inviting!

Barbara @ Chase the Star
http://chase-thestar.blogspot.com/

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

Richella, you have done an amazing job with your porch! Everything looks so warm and inviting! What a lovely way to welcome guests or simply spend an afternoon! Very pretty!

Kim B. said...

Wow!! You are VERY blessed to have an amazing inviting front porch AND sunroom!! I could live in either room :)

cheapcraftymama said...

That just looks amazing and so inviting! I want to sit there and read! I hope you will share this (and any other rooms) at my new "May House Par-tay" at www.cheapcraftymama.com!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Beautiful, Richella! What a great welcoming area to your home and I love that you can sit out there during the day or at night and be comfy. Love the lamps. Your furniture does look really comfortable, too. I'll be right over! : )

Linda @ it all started with paint said...

What a fabulous and inviting space! Love the updated fabric and feel. And that ottoman? Genius! My mother always sends my husband Omaha steaks for his b-day and the holidays ...

... I think there may be an ottoman in my future!

:)

Linda

Erin @ Two Story Cottage said...

Wow, it is just beautiful! And so inviting. We have a screened porch in this house that I would love to look like that. Right now it has a Little Tikes picnic table and a plant stand. Working on furniture & such but I want to be sure b/c patio stuff is not cheap! :) :)

Dixie Delights said...

That porch is amazing! I can imagine relaxing there all times of the day while observing goings on in the neighborhood!

FABBY'S LIVING said...

Oh pretty Richella, your front porch is gorgeous, as is your house!! Everything is beautiful, the furniture in the great ikat upholstery fabric, what a great place to hang out with some tea and enjoy the warm weather! Lots of hugs,
FABBY

Designs By Pinky said...

OMGoodness, your porch is outstanding! Just gorgeous. I love that it is a little (well not so little) nook off to the side! Perfect!!!! We are building a new home and I wanted a porch but too much $$$. I am hoping we can add it later. I love all the fabrics and that it is a real ROOM, lamps and all. I would LOVE to come sit with you. I wouldn't want to leave though:):) XO, Pinky

Paula said...

What a beautiful space for you to enjoy. I love your new fabric choices and the new accessories that you've added to change your look to summer. I'm sure every guest that arrives at your house will compliment your new look.

Jenna said...

So gorgeous!!

Jenny said...

I'm in love with your front porch! It's so welcoming and beautiful! You just don't see porches like this very often! Job well done!

Shauna@Satori Design for Living said...

Love it! I bet it looks stunning at night.

Recreate and Decorate said...

Love the porch! It is very pretty!

Anonymous said...

LOVE the lamps! I bet it looks so cozy and charming during the evenings!

My2Gs said...

What area of the country do you live in? Just wondering how your gorgeous porch holds up to the elements. I'm in Ohio where our seasons can be pretty extreme :(

Joeylee said...

Wow your front porch area is beautiful. I love it

Maria Elena said...

Just gorgeous! What am amazing outdoor space you have created!

Tennille said...

LOVE your space!

Lauren said...

I love, love, love your porch! So inviting and relaxing!

Kay K said...

Your porch is lovely , colors are great and the lighting I am sure you enjoy many hours here relaxing

~~Enjoy~~

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