porch project: the vision

Up until a week ago, this is how our front porch looked:

It’s looked like that for the last couple years, and has seen minimal use since we moved into the house.  It’s an enclosed, non-heated space, so it’s only usable when temperatures are bearable.  Basically, it’s a pass-through from our ‘front’ door (on the driveway side of the porch) into the house, and a space for me to have coffee on summer mornings. 

It’s been my dream since moving into the house to actually MOVE the driveway door from the side to the front of the porch.  Our house has about ZERO curb-appeal (don’t get me wrong, I love our house), and I’m somewhat dissatisfied with the outside appearance of the house every. time. I. see. it.  It’s in need of a paint job and/or new siding, and there is a distinct lack of landscaping (instead, there is a row of giant, unruly evergreen bushes that I hate with all my being).  Both Andrew and I really like a good front door–you know, something big and wooden and commanding–and I’d love a platform at the top of the steps leading up to it for some potted plants and such.  It just makes such a difference!

Current porch door location (i.e. no curb appeal):

Also, by moving the door to the front, I believe we will create a more effective way to use the space.  Putting the door on the front will cut the space in half, instead of having to maintain an aisle from the door to the entrance into the hours.  So far, it’s been crowded with furniture and largely unused.  My goals for the space are 1.) create a seating ‘nook’ where the current door is located, 2.) create an ‘entry’ space with room for shoes, coats, etc (where the white console table is in the first photo, above).  This space wouldn’t replace our coat closet, but would include a chest in which I can store my yoga mats and other workout items (and provide seating for putting on shoes), and one of those cute cubbies with hooks that hang from the wall.  Additionally, I’d like to maintain as much open floor space as possible so I can stretch/do yoga (impossible with the current set-up), and perhaps find room for a small table/bar on which I could eat breakfast or work on my computer.

Additionally, by adding a door to the front, we can then turn the existing doors (there is one on the other side of the porch, too–too many doors!) into windows to help get a breeze on those warmer days.

Here’s an idea of what I’m thinking of for the cubby to hang above the chest:

PB’s version is MORE than perfect (it even matches the chest we already own), but we’ll have to see how the budget shakes out for the project.  I’m just hoping to FINISH it all this year; furnishing and decorating will likely happen later.

In addition to moving the front door, the porch needs a new ceiling (related to some water damage) and a new floor (related to the carpet being in really bad shape). I’m envisioning a honey-colored wood beadboard ceiling and floor to match (photo below), with light-colored walls.  I’m a huge fan of bright white ceilings and cannot get on board with the recent trend to paint ceilings anything other than white, but for a porch I really like the wood look.

My good friend, Stacy, (she helped me build that table while Andrew was gone) has said she’d help me with the ceiling and floor.  She’s an experienced DIY-er, and I’m looking forward to learning and doing on this project.  Andrew will have to spearhead the moving of the door, and we’ll likely need to hire out some of the masonry work involved.

Below, the porch is (almost) cleared.  Look at all that space!  (And that dirty carpet–gross.)

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