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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Front Porch Pick-Me-Up

My front porch has been looking pretty blah and I've been telling my husband for-eva that I want our outdoor spaces to be more room-like. I already have big plans for our backyard but they require some big bucks so that had to wait.

Since I was on a shoestring budget I decided to start with the front porch where we actually spend a fair amount of time since our kids like to play out front so the neighbor kids will come over and join them.

To begin, I took issue with these gray metal chairs (above) which were a carry-over from our last house. I had updated the cushions a year or so ago but they were still reading pretty gray for our brown toned home. And then there were just these lonely planters that recently got some fall mums and two oddly placed outdoor rugs. Weird.

Here's a riveting side view. What a snooze fest.

So say goodbye to gray because these got a coat of brown walnut spray paint that I had been using on a project I did yesterday (a.k.a. disaster-ville, more on that another day). While those were drying I contemplated what to do with the table and the rest of the space.

I decided to make my way down to our basement where I have a stash of things I've bought but have yet to use. A number of these were finds from a place we stumbled on in Door County a year ago. I liked them but had no idea what to do with them so they've been collecting dust.

First I took the little wicker contraption and thought it might make a good replacement for a table. So I tried that with a worn old crate. Emm, too short.

Then I thought to flip the crate over so I could actually set stuff inside and I could get a little added height.
Better. Granted I wasn't entirely sold but there was maybe an ounce of potential. So, little wicker guy went off for a coat of white spray paint and when it was done, I tried placing it between the two chairs. Umm, not quite right. So ... I needed to spray paint the table brown too but I couldn't get the glass out. Plan B: Cover it.

While everything in my spray paint shop was drying, I was surfing around for some inspiration and stumbled across this blog: Our Vintage Home Love. AMAZING. I love her style and found a great idea for a porch curtain; you can get the instructions on her blog, super easy to follow. So I packed up the babe and headed to Home Depot for supplies. (And I really, really want to try those stripes on my porch too ... ooooh, maybe next summer!)

I came home with a 4 foot section of 1/2" PVC pipe, two connectors, two 90 degree elbows and two flange. Flange? Yes, flange. I think...

Anyhow, they all got a coat of the same brown spray paint and when they were done, they looked like this. Cool curtain rod, no? I think it's a super cool idea for an outdoor space.  Thank you Vintage Home Love!

Oh, and the whole way to the store I had been wondering what to do about my cushions. I didn't want to buy new ones but I tried the blue with the brown painted chairs and they weren't working. BUT, as luck would have it, I was heading to the checkout at Home Depot and I spotted two of these cushions. The only two left. They were $10. Used to be $30.  Uh-huh and I was like "HEL-LO ladies"--and then they came home with me.

There weren't any back cushions but oddly enough I had just recovered two indoor pillows for another project (below). That flower pattern was the original cover, and I had selected a soft blue. Then I sewed an envelope style cover that my friend, Rebecca, taught me how to do. I decided I'm going to borrow those from the living room and will simply add an outdoor fabric protectant spray this weekend to waterproof the fabric. Easy enough.

Oh, and I might have also bought this. I don't know why. He just spoke to me. *sigh*
Alright, so then it was time to put it all together. Here's what I did:

1. Move longer rug from front door to chair area. Move smaller rug hanging out before the porch to door. The front door area is now clean and simple (with some mums that need to fill out just a tad).

2. Move wicker/tray table behind chair area. Looked a little odd at first but with a bit of styling, I like it.

3. Ask hubby to hang curtain rod, add curtains and hook with a scrap of burlap to pull them back.
Now they highlight the view...

4. Add a few accessories, cushions and enjoy!

Here's a final before and after.