Dec 15, 2011

Porch Pampering

Short, sweet, and to the point: our porch is in dire need of a rehab. I dream of the day that I walk onto my porch that has fantastic railings, a wooden banister, and wood floors that are weathered and worn because that is my faux-finish, not because it is the real deal.

This project of tearing down our porch and building a new one has been a year-long, non-event. Last winter was wet and very cold.  Spring was constant rain, wind and about 200 tornadoes (seriously, 200) through our area, and the summer was heat from hell with triple digits that even this Texan couldn't take.

So, this Christmas, I decided that my pitiful porch needed some pampering, even if only cosmetic, to get through the cold winter. It was sort of like dressing a wet, old, smelly rat in a fur coat and trying to call it a cute little mink. It only works from a distance...and luckily our porch is tiny, and our stoop is up high from the street some, so passerby's can only look up and see only some of our sad little porch. But with one afternoon of grunting, hauling, and setting out some goodies that I found with my shopping buddies (Little Debbie and Renee), I think I will convince most people (if they drive by fast enough) that I just might have a little mink up here after all...

Here is the before...I almost forgot to take the before photos...I was so excited to get out my new-found goodies and dig out my trusty old favorites...





What a difference a little paint on the mailbox and light fixture can make! And I grabbed the little matt from the inside and tossed it outside and put the black one down at the bottom of the steps. I just lifted my shade up a bit to show my Belgium curtain from the inside and it has a whole new look...


I didn't get out the ladder and stood on the sidewalk and just pointed my camera up quickly, as I was excited to just get started...


Now, I got out a ladder to stand on to take the photo...I was in my sweats and as you can see the sun is getting lower in the reflection on the door and neighbors are now driving by as they come home from work. They slow down to see...but I think they are more curious about the woman on the tall ladder, leaning over, with her butt sticking out, wearing slippers, and an apron tied around her neck, as it was in the way as I climbed up and I took it off and tied it around my neck as I didn't want it on the wet grass....what a spectacle! 

Now for the details....

The tiny porch got its make-over in one afternoon.  The lanterns are hung by string and I got them from Ikea...for less than $4 each!

I had white branches in storage as well as this old Swedish chair that "someday" I would re-cane. So in the meantime, it makes a wonderful "stick stand" and I wrapped white lights inside as well. 

I had this little cheapie table from a local craft store for about $22 and it is worn wood. Never really liked it. It isn't functional and so it works perfectly outside with all the other worn wood pieces! My old heavy crock holds it place.

These scrim curtains are from Ikea and are a steal! $1.49 a pair...yes a PAIR. Can you believe it? My girlfriends have them on their porch and I just fell in love with the look...detracts a little from how much my tiny porch is screaming to be torn down.

Is this a great baby bed/bench or what? Got this at the Three French Hens market in Morris IL with my gal pals. It was the perfect size for our little window. The linen pillows are from Ikea...the linen covers with ties are about $14 each and the inserts are $6. They fit perfect. My "Dream" pillow and "Joy" pillow are beautiful gifts from beautiful gal pals as well. The Christmas basket hanging on the window, as well as the glass garland, are from Whismy and Traci is the owner. I love her store! Sort of reminds me of some store I used to know.....hmmmm...wonder why I love it so much??? :-) I added some extra picks to the basket to make it a bit fuller and to match my decor...but don't you just love it?

Had this lantern a very long time...another gift!

Love this coal bucket...another goodie I snatched up at the Three Frenchs Hens market.

I had these old crates for years. The wood is perfect and we pull them out and put our feet up on them.

Remember I said I collected pinecones this year? Well, I played around with them and decided to make a few swags. Here is the one I made for the front door....

I hope you liked my little "faux mink" of a porch. It will have to do for now until the hammer gets to it and the real deal is done. I love it when I can actually complete something in one afternoon. 

I know how I am and just in case I lose track of time and I don't get back to you before Christmas....I am going to wish you a wonderful one now. I hope to get back...but you know how things go...

May your spirit be filled with peace. May your days be filled with joy. But mostly, may your heart be glad to know that you aren't the one in charge of the timing. Like the little pitiful just wasn't the right time this past year...and so we wait patiently. 

from my house to your house,



mama c said...

It's adorable, as always!

girl on a bicycle said...

your porch is really beautiful...I have the same baby roof on the cannot use it there...but you have definitely inspired me to do something to my little porch on my 1866 Gothic Revival cottage. I have been very bah humbug this year -until seeing your porch. Thank you and God Bless you,Elizabeth.

Anne Lorys said...

Oh Elizabeth, your porch is just perfection to me! I know it's wrong to have porch envy, but dadgumit, I think I do right now! ;-)

Every post, every photo from you is like a little tutorial for me on how to be a better stylist, so thank you!


Garden Antqs Vintage said...

OMG Elizabeth, you have so inspired me with this redo. Now I want to go and redo my porch. Or better yet, how long would it take you to drive to Texas and help me! Merry Christmas.

Beth said...

Wow, just gorgeous and very wintry.

LizlovesVintage said...

I couldn't wait to see, what project you were working. I love pine cones myself. What a lovely and festive porch. I've longed for one.. Maybe, in my next house.
Thanks for sharing your creativity.
xxx Liz

toves sammensurium said...

I think your porch looks just fine:)
So cosy,the bed is beautiful and I love How you've decorated for x-mas!I am dying to decorated outside as well,we have started a project wich didn't finish this year,I am making a loggia But right now it's just a big whole the ground...and now you're pictures made me Long for spring and finnishing what will be such a Nice addition to our house.But first it's x-mas,Looking forward to Enjoy the holidays.Want to know a secret?On mywishlist most of the things are for my loggia;)
I also like having a project to plan,and dram about.Visiting blogg like yours is such a inspiration:)
Wishing you a Merry X-Mas all the way from Norway!

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs said...

I think I am in love with your porch!! Can you be in love with a porch? ❤
Thank you for sharing where you got everything too!!

Tina said...

Absolutely Beautiful. Looks like a full length mink to me!

Claudia said...

I've used those scrim panels from Ikea many times - the first time was to cover up ugly vertical blinds in my apartment in San Diego. They are so inexpensive and such life savers!

It looks just lovely out there - no one would think it was temporary - it looks like the real deal. Well, I know it's the real deal, but I mean no one would know you porch needs work!

Excellent job, my friend.

I'm saving my pennies for a better camera. I'd love your recommendations some day when you have time. I remember holding yours, as well as Tiffany's, when we met up in NYC last December. I quickly had a case of camera envy.

Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Richard Cottrell said...

Looks so inviting and so very much like you. Richard from My Old Historic House.

Monica said...

It looks so Cozy and inviting! Beautiful!

Miss Gracie's House said...

This is so makes me cry!
The beauty just touches my gives me some ideas for my iron's sitting empty on my porch right now...not for long now.
Thanks so much for showing us your creative heart!
Merry Christmas...

Legacy of a Single Girl said...

Beautiful!!! I SO covet that iron bed...I've been dreaming of one for EVER. It's on my list of "need to haves". Beautiful shots too! Now, I'm going out to do mine!!

Sue said...

Totally over the top BEAUTIFUL! Great job, I love it all.

Take care,

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Oh, it is late, but I had to just say, thank you all for the lovely comments! I really am surprised at the nice reaction - really. I like it of course, but you all made me go outside and take a second look...and I like it even more now because of your nice thoughts.

Thanks for taking time to take a peek. If you really do your porch over, I would LOVE to see them! We could have a Porch Party...I have two gal pals that I would love to show your their THEY have the REAL DEAL FAB SUPER DUPER porches!!!

big hugs to you all

cathypentonatelier said...

WOW!!!!!! I just love everything about it...You are just amazing !!! Love c xo

LP Vintage said...

"It was sort of like dressing a wet, old, smelly rat in a fur coat and trying to call it a cute little mink." This comparison made me laugh! Your finished porch looks absolutely lovely; you worked your magic! Peace and Joy of the season to you! said...

I love it!!!!!! You really know how to make things look so elegant, even pinecones! What a truly welcoming little porch. I would have been taking pictures of you taking pictures of your creation in your pj.s lol. Wishing you and your hubby a wonderful, blessed Christmas!!!
~Debra xxx
Capers of the vintage vixens

Curtains in My Tree said...

As always wonderful home made treasures

you porch looks great and I love the curtains on one end , my kind of thing putting curtains outside

Merry Christmas

Kathy Kupferschmid said...

It is wonderful! If I was walking or driving by I would have to get a closer look!
The 3 French Hens is right in our neighborhood...a really great market!
Thanks always for the inspiration!

Rhonda said...

Elizabeth, now I've got porch did that porch proud!
Now, I've got to go back to Ikea to find the scrim curtains...I did not see those last time. The pillow covers are wonderful, too.

I love it all, all, I said!

Merry Christmas to a beautiful soul.

House Things said...

Oh my...I just love it!
Merry Christmas.

sadie said...

just perfect. a beautiful makeover.

Merry Christmas to you and your family x

Boxwood Cottage said...

Gosh Elizabeth I think your porch is a real little jewel!
I would give my first born (well almost) for a roofed porch and the way you decorated yours is to die for gorgeous! I just had to pin it right away!
Love the rusty iron crib and the basket above ~ it looks awesome! Your swag with the snowy pinecones hanging from it came out really great too ~ so festive!
I also like how quick it was all done!

Thank you for sharing your porch redo with us dear E!

Sending you warmest wishes for very merry holidays from cold, wet, grey and stormy Germany
Carola xoxo~

Burlap Luxe said...

Elizabeth it is truly not fair that you get to surrond yourself with this much beauty :)

I will sleep on the porch if I am every able to visit you my friend :)

It is an array of holiday beauty over here. You are inspiration and you inspire me to the depths of my soul being.

Burlap Luxe said...

Elizabeth, I am always moved by your visits and you really do make someones simple seem so grand :)
I am in a small home as you are, and in my opinion small is best, there is just the right amount of cozy and a whole lot of charm.

I could move my pieces right in on your pieces and they would work as if it were planned to be exactly how it looks :)

Thank you my friend for all the beautiful visits and all that I take with me after my visits to you :)


June said...

Such a beautiful festive porch you created here Elizabeth. I love every inch of it.

trash talk said...

You really should charge admission for drive-bys.
A rat in a mink coat? Ha...smoke and mirrors my dear...smoke and mirrors! You're just like you pull a rabbit outta your hat. It's fabulous!
P.S. Is Ikea your own personal playground? Got to get me over there PDQ!!!
P.P.S. I'm picturing that apron as a super hero cape!

jeanne@juNxtaposition said...

i have no words...beautiful from every angle.

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Well, I am sure happy to have so many people stopping by for "a visit," as my New Yorker friend, Bob, loves to tease me about. He loves that I say "let's have a visit" when I call him, or when I tell him I am going to a girlfriend's house to "have a visit." He thinks that is a southern saying: "have a visit"...I think he has been in NY too long...hahahah...I know they "have visits" up there too!

I just love ya'lls visits and I really hope you are all having a great week. Super duper busy, just like I know you all are too. But, my wish for you is that you really enjoy each day.

Love and big hugs,

Debra@CommonGround said...

Hey there, Elizabeth, well you made a wonderful transformation. Aside from the baby bed/crib, I think the hanging lanterns make the most impact. Love it! Have a wonderful Christmas! xoxo

The Country Nest said...

I love your porch and you just made it even better. I would love to curl up blanket and hot cocoa in hand on the bed. You can't quite make something new looks as perfect as the natural patina that comes with age.
Merry Christmas!

Gretchen said...

You my dear Elizabeth are always such an inspiration...and with Ikea only 30 miles away, I am in need of a trip come early February. Love the look of the scrim on the porch. And, since I have a lovely porch that could use some updated beauty, you've inspired me to do so b4 my daughter's graduation this June. It won't be like a mink, but will have it's own beauty with some sprucing up. BTW, I have that same faux painting at my house on my porch floors as well. :) I am now considering keeping mine, as I love the fact that it tells a story of people living in the house and the feet that tread to the front door. lol
I adore your Mink makeover and think it was just perfect... The crib, the side table, the crock through the chair with white sticks, the linen pillows and scrim, ahhhh the beauty of it all.
So enjoyed your descriptive paragraph about your photographing it and enjoyed the chuckle that gave me as well. So funny...
Would you share what you found best to use for hanging your curtains from above, as in what hardware you used. Thanks!
I hope you're holidays were great and wish you blessings for a wonderful 2012.

Gretchen from Minnesota :)

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Gretchen!

I am so happy to hear from you!! You know, I have to say, in my head, I always call you Mimi. I am always surprised, after all these years even, when you sign your name, "Gretchen" because in my head, when I see your blog, I say to myself, "I wonder what Mimi is up to?" Isn't that funny how we name others in our head?

Anyway, thank you for such nice words and so glad my porch inspired you...wish I lived closer to Ikea myself!

What a FUNNY question you asked about how I hung up my scrim curtains! A tale in of itself. I started out with a tension rod, which worked just fine until strong winds hit our porch. We get the strong north winds whipping right across our front porch and that didn't work very well. It was a battle with the wind vs rod about four times before I gave up and decided I needed to screw the damn rod up some how.

Our house is metal siding and only metal was at the top and VERY hard to screw into and I just happened to have this tension rod and didn't want to invest in another rod, so I went to the basement and found two metal mirror rings (the kind you put on the back of mirrors and then twist wire around one ring and string across the back and twist wire through the other ring so you can hang the mirror).

I screwed in one ring on the right, hanging down, and slipped the rod through, and screwed a ring on the left side of the house ....but my rod didn't fit through. The tension spring in the rod at that end made the rod too big to fit through! I was so mad at this point, I really wanted this porch done, and so, I went back down to the basement and got plumber's tools and started to squeeze the end of the rod to "smash" it to make it smaller. Not working. I then go down and find a wrench and "smash it." Not working. I then go down and get more and more tools. I am very determined at this point. During all this, I get a call from barber husband who cheerfully asks what I am doing and I am telling him that I am trying to put up the %$#@! rod and I can't figure out how....

I finally resort to getting a huge hammer and I am now hammering and smashing my end of the rod over and over again, like a metal worker, until the tip is just small enough to slip through the ring...about this time, hubby drives up, and as he slowly opens his truck door, he looks up the sidewalk and sees his wife, on her knees, bent over, on the floor of the porch, in her pj's, beating something, with a hammer, grunting, cursing under her breath, and just as he walks up, I finally got the rod to fit! I hold it up and show him with pride and say, "that will take care of it!"

And he just looks at me, not sure what to say, as I climb the ladder to hang my rod and play with my curtain happily. And he sees tons of tools scattered all over the floor and says carefully, "Looks like you have it under control here....?" I think he was afraid to say anything else.

So, long answer to your question: A rod, screwed into the porch. The rod hasn't come down once!

Thanks for checking in with me. I am much better now!

Big hug

Barbara Jean said...

It is all wonderful!!!!

Found you on FB page...

blessings and off to see more of your blog.


Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this porch! I am definitely doing this to mine. I have a Jenny Lind baby bed. I will search for the metal one because I love the rustic metal & aged wood look.
Thanks so much for sharing this!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the porch idea. I love it & definitely going to do this to mine. Can't wait to get started!!
Marie Bass

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