Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Last Summer's Porch Makeover

The bedroom reveals have been delayed since Nick the Floor Guy advised that we wait a week before we put any furniture on the floors.  They look great, and I can't wait, but I will. 

In the meantime, I've turned my focus outside, looking ahead to summer days, blooming flowers, and relaxing on the porch.  When we got home from Vermont on Sunday afternoon, it was a beautiful day, and we spent the rest of it out in the yard, doing a little clean up, and a little planting.  I transplanted some irises from random spots around the yard to the rock wall in the front of our house, and planted some dahlia and gladiola bulbs in another perennial bed next to our shed.  This weekend we're planning to dig the rest of our vegetable garden, and plant the potatoes, shallots, spinach and arugula.

I thought this would be a good time to share last summer's porch makeover, and the finishing touches we have planned for this summer.  It all started with this $15 settee on Craigslist:
I used a little Restore-a-Finish to clean it up, and threw out the cushions.  I entertained the idea of sewing my own replacement cushions for about 20 seconds (I don't own a sewing machine and my experience is only a semester of seventh grade sewing), and then went on a hunt for cushions, which led to an entire porch makeover.  I selected a Sunbrella fabric (Heather Beige) that was available in multiple places.  For the settee, I ordered custom cushions from CushionSource.com because they seemed to offer the most flexibility in terms of shape.  An added bonus is that the cushion covers have a zipper, so you can take them off and throw them in the wash.
And then I moved on to making over the rest of the furniture to match.  I had this white aluminum furniture with vinyl straps from my parents' porch in the '80s. 
I wish I had a picture of that porch in its glory to share with you.  Back then, it was a nice looking porch, but it was starting to feel a little dated.  I wanted to bring it into the 21st Century, so I introduced the furniture to this:

I was inspired by AnNicole over at Our Suburban Cottage.  She tried out a bunch of different oil-rubbed bronze spray paints, but I ultimately chose the Rustoleum Universal, since I was trying to spray paint metal and vinyl.  I used something like 12 cans of the stuff, to cover a sofa, 6 chairs, an ottoman, a dining table, end table and coffee table, and a few more random things that got in the way.

I bought standard-size outdoor cushions from HomeDecorators.com for the sofa and side chairs, and more custom cushions from CustomCushions.com for the dining chairs.  I was even able to replace some of the sagging and/or missing straps for a few dollars from ChairCarePatio.com.  I picked up the throw pillows at Target and Christmas Tree Shops. 

Much better, right?  I can't wait to pull it all out of storage and set it up again.  Now I'm on the hunt for an outdoor rug to complete the space.  I'm going to ask for your help in picking one tomorrow.