Several weeks ago my friend Maggie posted a photo of her front porch on Facebook.  I could NOT stop thinking about it!  She wrote “And just like that, the best room in the house is once again open. Lemonade, good books, cocktails, and sweet dreams all happen on the porch!”  Look what she did. It’s so simple and relaxed:

Inspirational image of porch with day bed, rug, 2 chairs and a samll chandelier

Maggie’s Summer Porch

I begged her to be a guest blogger here and share what she did, but I couldn’t persuade her. So I copied her (in theory) and will write about it myself!  LOL!

So, first I had to analyze what was calling to me in this photo.  What was the essence I wanted to capture on my own front porch?  What calls to me is:  the privacy, the coziness and the inside-comes-outside feel of it.

I decided I needed to copy:  the curtains, the bed, the rug and the soft chair–the chandelier might be a bonus.

We do have an extra twin bed in our house. However it is currently located on the third floor in our walk-up attic and I was pretty sure I could not convince anyone in my home to bring it down for me for a few months and then bring it back up.  Our dusty old swing would have to suffice.

porch before with a table, chair and bench swing

Our porch–before

The curtains?  That was easy!  I found sheers at IKEA for $3.99 a pair!!!  Our porch has a very high ceiling, so I was worried about finding something long enough.  These are 98″ and I figured we could always cheat them down a little.  The sheers are 100% polyester, so they should last outdoors for a few summers.  Not a bad $8 investment!  We own property elsewhere that is loaded with bamboo, so we got a few long stalks of that to use as curtain rods= free!

My middle son helped me cut the bamboo to the right length and hang the curtains.

Son cutting the bamboo with a hand saw

Cutting the bamboo

Once we hung the curtains they began to blow in the breeze and they either blew up and out eliminating the privacy they were supposed to provide, or they blew in and buried anyone sitting on the porch.  I was going to try sewing washers to the bottom, but the only ones that were heavy enough to fight the breeze were going to put a whole in the curtain.  So… I sewed them down to the porch railing!  I sewed them only in the middle and on the end of each panel, so they still flutter in the breeze- just not into your face!

before shot-curtains blowing: after shot- curtains sewn down

Before and after shots of the curtains

Then we discovered the power washer!!! Oh, what fun that was!  We had never used a power washer before.  We borrowed it from my mom and everyone wanted a turn.  I wanted to get the dirt off the floor and take some of the gunk off the swing.  Wow!  The swing went back to it’s original wood tone.

A little trip to HomeGoods netted me a cute orange side table, 5 pillows and a small rug–all for under $135!

Score! A rug, 5 pillows and some kind of vessel that I will use as a table.

Score! A rug, 5 pillows and some kind of vessel that I will use as a table.

Next, I  needed chairs.  I decided to take an old, old one from my bedroom and make it an outdoor chair. (At least for the summer on the covered porch.)  Then driving home from work, I noticed a neighbor had a chair out on the curb.  It looked like an office chair that had been left in the rain so long, the finish wore off the wood and the fabric was a very dirty blue. I transformed them both, but we’ll talk about that in an upcoming post.

I think I will do a chandelier of some sort.  I’m not sure what yet, but here is how everything turned out so far…

The finished product.

The finished product.

And from the other direction...

And from the other direction…

Oh- what do you think of my out door art?  It was less than $20 for both pieces!  I’ll talk about that in an upcoming post, too!

_0031Happy summer!