Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fall Housecleaning: The Screen Porch

This Saturday I got sidetracked on to a housecleaning chore that had been long overdue: the screen porch. 

There's part of me that's in love with the idea of a screen porch. Just not the screen porch that I happen to have. To give you an idea, the guy who did the inspections during the purchase transaction told me that I had a "well-built sturdy little Cape Cod." However, the screen porch was not included in that glowing praise. Of that he said, "well, it's not going to burn down or fall down, but that's about all I can say." 

Cruel, but true. 

I thank my lucky stars this wart of a screen porch is at the back of the house. On the positive side, it matches the unkempt back yard and patio (two other things on my 800-item list of things to do).

It's got ugly outdoor carpet (glued to the concrete), ugly color on the walls (mauve) and ugly carpentry everywhere. 

Since I lack any respect for this space, and because it was one step up storage wise from shoving stuff in the garage, it was easy to see how it became a clearing house for orphaned furniture, beer empties, and crap I didn't know what else to do with. 

Though this is a photo taken in September, we were still at this point this morning: 

Once I started painting my kitchen, I tore down the ratty looking curtain rod and limp, skimpy beige curtains that covered the sliding glass door. I hated them. 

But with them gone, I was treated to that view above, with a few extra-special vestiges of the '80s thrown in: 

Yep. Plastic ivy. PLASTIC. Calling it "silk flowers" would be too kind. And inaccurate. Just shoot me now. 

So this morning I found new places for the old dining chairs, (they are another post for the future), moved my childhood sled to the garage, and unrolled the rug from, still in its package in the photo above. 

After two hours of concerted effort I got to this: 

Now I still have a few random objects (and ivy leaves) on the left of this photo and need to put the painting ladder on the right back in the garage, but at least it looks like a living space rather than a storage room. I dream of barkcloth curtains, a bar cart, and I have a swanky looking green glass hanging lamp for this space. 

Feel free to riff on ideas for this space in the comments below. I think I'm going to need them. 


  1. Hey! My vase got to stay. ;) I know Noah is creative musically, but are any of your kids artists? Maybe prime over that ucky mauve and have them paint palm trees and tiki huts around the room. It won't be perfect, but at least it will make you smile (which is more than I can say for the current walls... unless you've taken up some serious marijuana smoking).

    1. That vase will come back into the kitchen once the painting project in there is done. I love that color green, because no matter what kind of flowers you put in the vase, they look awesome!

  2. Wow, it looks SO great already! Mad props to you for all of the cleaning and organizing you accomplished!!!

    I think your space would look FAB as a tiki-ish area. Definitely think about some tropical barkcloth curtains and maybe you could pick a paint color from one of the colors in the fabric then. If you didn't want fabric curtains you could get some bamboo shades at Home Depot or Lowes, we got Mom one for her retro condo and that looks really nice too.

    Can't wait to see what you do with the space!

  3. Looks ready for drinks on the porch...but maybe not until spring. :)

  4. The porch looks great! I didn't know what barkcloth is, so I googled it. Barkcloth curtains would be perfect.

  5. Wow! It looks like it could be a really nice space, especially spring-fall. For the biggest impact with the least work/expense, I'd paint the walls. We had a horrible little cave of a family room, and painting the walls changed the whole feel of it. That room also has horrible carpet glued to the concrete, so I feel your pain.