Two Inspiring Porches: Better Homes and Gardens Contest

Two Inspiring Porches: Better Homes and Gardens Contest

Susie Nadler
May 5, 2009

Nicole and Brandon's pretty new porch

Oh, how I've always wanted an honest-to-goodness porch. Someplace to sit on a swing and perch my feet on a rail and sip lemonade (or bourbon). And fireflies, too—fireflies in the yard would help. But since I've never lived in a place with fireflies, nor a porch, I'm always striving to replicate that relaxed summertime feel with whatever outdoor space I've got. That's why I got so giddy looking over the projects from the Better Homes and Gardens 48-Hour Challenge. The magazine gave five bloggers $500 each to implement an outdoor project over the course of a weekend, and among the results are a couple of prime porches, and plenty of great ideas for your own outdoor space...

Three of the competing bloggers, Nicole Balch of Making it Lovely (above) and Sherry and John of This Young House (below), revamped their porches for the 48-Hour Challenge, and the results are straight out of my best porch fantasies.

At nine months pregnant, Nicole (with her husband's help!) revamped their porch in pink and green, adding lots of DIY touches to personalize the design. They spray-painted some blah outdoor furniture, made a curtain from metal squares to divide the space, and painted a "rug" on the porch (freehand!!). Adorable.

Sherry and John also found creative DIY solutions for decorating their porch. They painted the wooden slats of the floor in subtle beige stripes, cut up a lounge chair cushion to make floor pillows, and transformed the glass shades from a light fixture into hanging lanterns. Their dog, Burger, even has his own little outdoor food and water station, complete with a hook for clipping his leash. Love the planter used as a side table too!

Be sure to check out the other amazing projects from the 48-Hour Challenge: a clever potting-bench-slash-outdoor-buffet; a lovely, dreamy garden arbor; and an awesome multipurpose BBQ station. It's really fun to read through all the descriptions of how the projects came about. You can vote for your favorite until June 12!

(Images: Nicole Balch; Sherry & John Petersik )

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