Before & After: Putting Some Pretty on a Porch
Kayla and Kyle’s porch felt like a missed opportunity. Dark, outdated and very much not their style, they weren’t spending a ton of time out there. Kayla finally had enough and set out to punch up the porch, turning it into a perfect spot for relaxing or hosting.
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From Kayla: My husband, Kyle, and I moved into his childhood home almost three years ago when his parents moved to the country. After living in three states in four years, we were finally moving back to our home state of West Virginia. We love the house, and of course it is full of memories for him, but we wanted to make it feel like ours.
The porch had a lot of potential, but I felt that it was too dark. With the dark red floor and the exposed brick, plus the plain wooden swing, everything just felt dim. I wanted to brighten up the place! Plus, because it didn’t feel like us, we didn’t want to spend much time out there. I let my houseplants get some sunshine on the porch during the summer months and would go out to water them through the week, but that was the extent of our time in the space. This was a shame, because it is enclosed, which means you can escape the dreadful mosquitos of this area! With summer approaching, we finally tackled the porch renovation, with dreams of having drinks with our friends during the long summer evenings.
Because the porch didn’t feel like us or fit our needs, we didn’t want to spend much time out there. I let my houseplants get some sunshine on the porch during the summer months and would go out to water them through the week, but that was the extent of our time on the porch. This was a shame, because it is enclosed, which means you can escape the dreadful mosquitos of this area! With summer approaching, we finally tackled the porch for renovation.
They always say that projects take twice as long and cost twice as much as you imagined. Try three times as long and three times as much! I naively thought we could tackle this porch and be finished in a weekend. I was so wrong. From start to finish, it took about three weeks. Of course, we both work full-time jobs, so we only had a couple of hours in the evenings to devote to working on the porch, so it took a little longer than it might take someone who has the time to devote to it. I would estimate we spent about $300 on everything we needed for the renovation, including paint, seat cushions, pillows and the new rugs.
We did the majority of the work ourselves, with a little help from friends and family along the way.
The biggest setback we had was the front door. While we ended up going with a cream and gold color block design for both doors, we originally planned to paint them both a dark green. Once we swiped the first swatch of the green on the front door, we knew it wasn’t right. My husband went ahead and applied one coat of the green, and we slept on it. The next morning, we both hated it, and felt it didn’t match the bright, airiness of the room. So I spent the next day priming and repainting the door light cream. This was annoying and time-consuming, but in the end, the effort to get rid of the green was worth it.
I was also surprised by how much I ended up loving the porch swing with the updated pink and gold paint. Originally, it had a board on the top with a heart cutout in the wood. It was a primitive look that didn’t really fit our taste, so I just never liked it very much. My father helped us replace the board with a plain one. It was actually Kyle’s idea to do the gold swatch on the top with a very light pink. This color combination reminds me so much of our wedding day, too, which makes me incredibly happy.
I absolutely love our porch now, and want to spend every spare minute there. I’m even typing this on my laptop as I sit in one of the wicker chairs by the window! I love that it feels bright and alive now, but most of all, I love that it suits the both of us. Our friends and family also love it, and can comfortably enjoy sitting with us for a beer or glass of wine in the evenings. There’s also nothing better than sipping my first cup of coffee in the morning while I get some Vitamin D on the porch swing.
If we ever renovate the porch again, I would take some time to repair some of the trim and boards in the floor. Our awesome rugs cover some of the imperfections, but in the long run, we will likely have to repair some of those. Also, I learned that you really need to do a tester swatch before committing to a color! That would have prevented our green door fiasco, for sure.
Kayla’s words of wisdom: My biggest advice would be to be patient. If you are doing a project yourself, it is definitely going to take longer than you anticipated, and you will likely change your mind a hundred times in the process. So be patient with yourself and with the project.
Also, keep in mind a room that will fit what you want for your life. Kyle and I knew that we wanted to create a space in which to enjoy each other’s company, as well as our friends and family. Of course we wanted it to fit our style, but also we wanted it to be a place our loved ones would want to hang out. So make sure you think of how you want the room or project to function in the end. The memories you make in your home are what’s most important, anyway!
Thank you, Kayla! You can see more on Kayla’s blog.