Earlier this week I finally showed my beloved screened porch. Now personally, I love, love, love it just for being its sweet, comfy little self. (And maybe if we are kindred spirits you do too).
But once you see the porch before, you will have a whole new appreciation. When we moved in this fabulous porch was sporting bright green indoor/outdoor carpet, the walls were all painted peach, and worst of all, there were peach window boxes under the windows full of fake peachy flowers. Not one bit pretty or relaxing. I don’t have a really great before picture and as you can see the flower boxes had already been removed but you get the idea.
Let me tell you, it took a fair amount of work to get from that to what we have now. The biggest and most important factor was paint. Paint really can completely transform a room.
Painted Diamond Checkerboard Floors
We knew right away the stained green carpet had to go. Underneath was plain old plywood. Many of you have seen the painted plywood floors in our living and dining room but you may not realize that was not actually my first painted floor. This porch was. I decided to go for a diamond pattern using porch and floor paint. And I LOVE it. I love how classic and pretty the pattern is and I love the soft colors. I definitely have lots more to say about the making of this floor and how it has held up over the past five years so look for a post about that soon.
The walls received a fresh coat of outdoor white paint. As in off the shelf bright white paint. Not everything has to be the perfectly mixed paint color all the time. The shutters also received a nice new coat of paint.
Table and chairs
The table and chairs started out a nasty flat pea green and they were one of the very first pieces of furniture I ever painted. We bought them with a matching buffet and china cabinet at the Habitat Restore. (You can see the buffet here and the china cabinet ended up in our yard sale). And let me tell you I had no idea what I was doing when I painted these…but it still turned out ok anyway. I painted these with white latex paint and then distressed them. (My distressing skills have come a long way since then.)
My absolute favorite part of this transformation is the fabric on the chairs. I wasn’t finding any outdoor fabric that was really thrilling me. But one day at TJMaxx, I came across a shower curtain that I absolutely loved for something like $15. I don’t know if you have ever really thought about it, but a shower curtain involves some major yardage. Plus, I figured if it was a shower curtain it had to be able to withstand a little moisture now and then. So the shower curtain became the fabric I used to recover the chairs. (By the way, there is a fourth chair around here somewhere. And I still have plenty of fabric left over so eventually I would love to get a bench and make a matching cushion so the table can seat six.)
We were lucky enough to be given the wicker couch, trunk, and one of the rockers from some friends who were moving away. Love free stuff! The other rocker I picked up at a yard sale for $20 and I found the metal table at Big Lots several years ago for $15. Some white spray paint and a couple of cushions really unified everything.
You know I am all about handmade and vintage stuff. This spring I gathered a few things I had laying around the house and used them to jazz things up a bit.
One of my vintage aqua fans. A collection of blue Ball jars (with some river rocks in the bottom just in case the wind picks up out there). An adorable chippy child’s chair. (One of my obsessions).
And on the handmade side: A summery canvas. And my happy pillows.
So there you have it. Lots of paint and a few accessories completely transformed our screened porch. And finished or not, I pretty much love it.
What about you? Have you ever transformed an outdoor space with paint and second hand furniture? Or do you have the perfect ‘before’ space just waiting to be reborn?