It’s spring in the Midwest where I live and the weather is so gorgeous I can’t seem to stay inside. I’m thankful I have a wonderful outdoor area where I can go to read, eat lunch or just sit and relax. You might have guessed that my favorite spot in our house is the screened porch!
We didn’t always have a screened porch. When we purchased our current residence eight years ago, the outdoor area was a boring, ugly patio. I was never tempted to sit out there to do anything. Then my husband, David, worked his magic and we went from this:
I really wanted the inside of the porch to look like one of those outdoor living rooms you see in the magazines. But in the end, it didn’t fit our budget or our lifestyle. So here’s how we decorated:
A customer gave us an old metal table that was missing the glass top. David put an old oak tabletop on the metal base. Then we put bases and padding on the chairs and covered them with inexpensive upholstery fabric. The whole project ended up being very inexpensive.
We like to sit outside so we found two plastic Adirondackchairs for about $15 each at Home Depot. David had an old piece of metal in his shop so he used it and some scrap wood to make the side table.
For additional seating, he whipped up a bench out of scrap lumber. We’ve used that bench for all kinds of things including extra seating at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
We picked up some multi-colored lights at Target for about $10 a strand (we needed three strands). Everybody loves the lights, especially the grandkids. But if I was doing it over, I would skip the multi-colored and just get one color so they didn’t look like Christmas lights.
We also left the ceiling beams exposed and whitewashed them so the porch would be brighter.
We splurged on an indoor/outdoor rug for about $50. It’s a nice surface for the grandkids to play on, and if someone wants to sit on the floor, they don’t have to sit on the hard concrete. Not only is the rug practical, but it adds atmosphere and gets me closer to that living room look I want.
Oh, and you’ll notice in the picture that the concrete floor is rough. We considered putting a skim coat of concrete over it to smooth it out, but in the end, we didn’t think it was that important. We did paint the floor to make it look better.
And what screened porch would be complete without a ceiling fan (but in all honesty, we never use ours). If you put one on your porch, be sure to get plastic blades. Wooden blades will eventually get soft and hang like a wilted flower.
We also did quite a bit of landscaping around the porch, including planting a fast growing tree for shade (another splurge), large flat stones at the base of the steps, a beautiful walkway and decorative plants.
All in all, the screened porch is our favorite part of the house, and I hope this little tour of our porch will give you ideas for your outdoor areas. And, as always, if you have any questions, please share them in the comments section below.