The Front Porch is (Mostly) Complete!

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After tackling the more tedious tasks of painting the front porch railings and staining the floor, planting our garden and wishing our grass to grow (it’s starting to look so good!), we were finally to the point of pulling everything together. With new lights installed and an over-sized swing to swing in (with only minor heartache along the way), our front porch is – for the most part – complete!

For the last couple of months, we’ve been pulling the trigger on some of the larger purchases – the coffee table, an outdoor rug and our flea market chairs – and over the weekend, we pulled everything out of hiding. We fussed with placement, we bent out the rug kinks and we toasted many, many beverages in our outdoor living room:

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We picked up a handful of succulents from a local nursery, Adams & Son Gardens, and I potted a small terrarium (fully equipped with our favorite – dinosaurs!) for the table. By the front door, we picked up a large planter from Ikea and filled it with colorful purple Coleus, Setcreasea (aka Wandering Jew) and asparagus plants from Sprout. Last year we missed out on adding plant life to our outdoors (I suppose we were a bit busy tearing down ceilings, you know), and man, have we missed it! All furniture aside, plants make the whole porch feel a thousand times more beautiful, more welcoming.

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I picked up this rug during Lulu & Georgia’s Memorial Day sale, and the black Greek key pattern snowballed the rest of the furniture decisions – a black aluminum coffee table (it’s so light! And durable!), our black painted swing, and now that we’re seeing the space as a whole, we are definitely keeping those Elkhorn chair in their original wrought iron state. With our lightly stained porch floor and white railings, the black accents lend a feel of subtle sophistication.

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I think we’re still on the hunt for an extra deep swing cushion, but the non-standard size (2’d x 5’w) isn’t easy to find in stores or online, and a handful of emails to various Etsy sellers have left us empty handed – either they’re simply not responding or they’re not taking on custom orders. In the meantime, we’ve stuffed it full with outdoor pillows, giving the low back some oomph! (Are any of you sewing enthusiasts accepting cushion orders? We’d love to work with you!)

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We are so, so in love with our front porch, and I guarantee that if you’re ever looking for us, there we’ll be. Every meal has since been consumed al fresco, we’ve been indulging in naps on the swing, and we’ve turned into those people that constantly water our grass and comment on the growth – like, in our actual dinnertime conversations. (What?!)

And as for what’s left?

Paint/Stain the porch floor
Finish the staircase hand rail
Top the downstairs cinder blocks with caps
Garden!
Install a path from the pavement to the side of our home, alongside the garden (NOPE)
Porch swing!
Paint the front door
Paint the staircase – that is, once the pressure treated wood has dried (boo)

I actually had high hopes to paint the front door this past weekend, but the morning of, we got sidetracked by a trip to the far away Chicago ‘burbs for a new studio desk (which I love, but it needs work). And since painting our porch stairs can’t likely happen this season, it seems that the front door is the only thing left! (Yeah!)

In other news, a new fence was also installed (and I’m going to grab photos later this week or early next), which – while not directly related to front-porch-fixins – technically leads us to one more to-do (this year anyway) for the home’s exterior:

Make a “pee pit” for Jack + CC

We are weirdly excited about that one.

Source round-up: Lulu & Georgia Hanolo rug, flea market chairs, Strathwood Rhodes coffee table (bought from Amazon), DIY porch swing, pink + orange pillows from Little House Pillow Co., black + white polka dot pillows from Society6, striped pillow was self-made, TROSSÖ Ikea planter, Home Depot watering can, flea market lantern, thrifted terrarium dish.

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  • Hannah - July 15, 2014 - 7:19 AM

    Looks fantastic! I’m jealous of your “al fresco” option. When I had an awkward-sized bench in the past, I made a cushion for it after visiting a local foam store to get high-density foam cut down to size. Then I made a simple cover, which since it was for a trapezoidal cushion, definitely caused some tears in my non-sewing-expert life. But it did only take an afternoon, and transformed our bench into a viable snooze/read/hang spot! (see this bench here: http://bonafideclyde.wordpress.com/2013/02/05/outdoor-bench-revamp/)

    I’m sure someone who is actually competent will get back to you with a cushion offer — or try it yourselves! Sewing a cushion cover is not so bad, and if you find a helpful foam guy, he’ll cut it perfectly for you. :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 15, 2014 - 9:03 AM

      Thanks for the link, Hannah! I can sew… but not well. I took a class and was all for it, then my machine broke and I’ve yet to take it in for repair. UGH. This is one of those things that I’d love to have made by someone who knows what they’re doing!ReplyCancel

  • Jodi - July 15, 2014 - 7:20 AM

    it looks fantastic!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - July 15, 2014 - 8:11 AM

    Ob. Sessed. You guys hit it out of the park! And, is it weird that I am excited about this pee pit too? Teach me!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 15, 2014 - 9:03 AM

      We think it will be pretty easy! (Famous last words?) We hope to get it done sooner than later!ReplyCancel

    • Hannah@Eriesistibull - July 15, 2014 - 9:15 AM

      So are we! Can’t wait for details!ReplyCancel

  • Marie - July 15, 2014 - 8:39 AM

    I love how it turned out, you guys are really talented to mix things up. Where is the rug from ? Did you mix various plants in that big white gorgeous pot ? As for the cushion, didn’t you learn how to sew one ? I bet this is a new challenge you are ready to accept, aren’t you ? ;-) Enough questions for today.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 15, 2014 - 9:04 AM

      Hey Marie! Check out the source links at the bottom of the post, and it’ll take you right to where we purchased everything. As much as I love a challenge, I think we’ll leave the cushion to someone with much higher sewing skills than I have…ReplyCancel

      • Marie - July 15, 2014 - 12:35 PM

        Sorry for asking what was written at the bottom, and sorry I can’t sew. Btw, I’m all into choosing a rug pad by now, if you or any reader has any tips or advice, that would be really nice. My new flat made of wool Alvine Ruta from Ikea is slipping on my tiles all the time, should I buy the Stopp Filt from Ikea or anything of a superior quality ? Never used a rug pad before.ReplyCancel

  • alexk - July 15, 2014 - 8:40 AM

    …but what is a pee pit?

    Love watching you guys build your home here. We are in a condo in Uptown that we purchased a few months ago, and we are going through a lot of these same projects. So fun to see what you guys have come up with!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 15, 2014 - 9:05 AM

      Thanks, Alexk! We’ll share the run down on the pee pit soon!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - July 15, 2014 - 8:40 AM

    hey Kim, send me an e-mail about dimensions and I can help you out with the pillow cushion if you’d like. The down side is i’m in Richmond, VA, but I’ve got a few ideas if you’d like to listen.ReplyCancel

  • Heather - July 15, 2014 - 9:18 AM

    I love it, Kim!! It is such a cheerful spot…a great spot to watch the world go by.ReplyCancel

  • ann - July 15, 2014 - 9:26 AM

    Your lucky neighbors have such a nice view now. I can’t wait to see how the fence turned out.ReplyCancel

  • I’m getting in my car right now and driving to Chi-town just so I can take a nap on that swing! The whole space looks amazing. I love the addition of the plants. They really do make the space feel alive. Great job, guys!ReplyCancel

  • Brooke - July 15, 2014 - 9:38 AM

    The porch looks so great. We have a patio space with much potential (could be a pergola in our future) but the porch swing you have is so sweet and makes me think of lazy summer days with a book and glass of lemonade at my parents’ house. I’m totally intrigued by the pee pit–details please! (That’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 15, 2014 - 11:27 AM

      Hahaha, we’ll absolutely share it!ReplyCancel

  • jenn aka the picky girl - July 15, 2014 - 9:53 AM

    This looks awesome! Love it! But oh my gosh, those chairs. They are an unbelievable find! That’s one thing I really miss in my podunk town – the availability of such cool finds. Chicago and LA seem to be where it’s at for MCM furniture of any sort. You can find some cool pieces here (after lots and LOTS of digging), but they usually aren’t in good shape.ReplyCancel

  • Kiira - July 15, 2014 - 10:13 AM

    looks so clean and crisp. I love the porch space! As for the pee pit– a total necessity. I learrned that the hard way. Nothing kills boxwood and grass faster than that first morning pee!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 15, 2014 - 11:27 AM

      Do you have one in your backyard? I don’t think I noticed it!ReplyCancel

  • Ramona - July 15, 2014 - 10:58 AM

    So fresh and cheery. Great colors!

    Have you picked a color for the front door? Looking forward to that. So amazing what a difference it makes.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 15, 2014 - 11:26 AM

      We do have a color already! Can’t wait to find a day to do it. SOON, we hope!ReplyCancel

  • Shelby - July 15, 2014 - 11:27 AM

    It’s looking SO good! Can’t wait to see the door painted as well. I’ve been trying to decide what color to paint ours. I’m thinking a navy blue.

    Also, what exactly is a “pee pit”…because I think I need to create one in my yard for my pups! :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 15, 2014 - 11:30 AM

      It’s truly what it sounds like – a place to pee! For the dogs, OF COURSE.ReplyCancel

      • Shelby - July 15, 2014 - 12:17 PM

        But is it a completely blocked off part of the yard? We’ve been debating fencing in the entire yard, or only a portion that the dogs can do their business in. I think we should do the entire yard, but maybe also have a separate portion for them as well. Is that weird? :)ReplyCancel

        • Kim - July 15, 2014 - 12:27 PM

          Oh, it’s definitely not going to take over the whole yard! A very small part of it, actually. We’re thinking it will go along our new fence, which is to the left of our house. We don’t have a lot of space for it in the front, but only a small area is needed. Once we get to the backyard renovation, we’ll section off a larger pee pit – maybe equivalent to the size of 2 kiddie pools?ReplyCancel

  • Staci @ My Friend Staci - July 15, 2014 - 11:29 AM

    I’m loving this! I can’t wait to spend more time focusing on our patio and come up with a cohesive look like this.ReplyCancel

  • Erin Haslag - July 15, 2014 - 11:32 AM

    Loved watching this transformation! We’re working to screen in our porch (so we can enjoy it sans mosquitos in the evening hours) and hoping to catch a few end-of-summer sales on patio furniture. Do you have any recommendations of when to shop the end-of-season sales?

    Cheers! and enjoy the beautiful outdoor living space you’ve created!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 15, 2014 - 11:35 AM

      This is the first time we’ve been able to buy substantial furniture, so I’m not entirely sure… however! I’ve noticed that World Market is having a mega sale right now, as are a lot of the big retailers: West Elm, Home Decorators, Crate & Barrel, CB2, etc. I think this is the perfect time to hop on a sale, since most places are already thinking ahead to fall/holiday!ReplyCancel

  • Jenna - July 15, 2014 - 12:47 PM

    Hey guys! Loving your porch!
    My friend sent me a link to your post looking for a custom cushion for your swing. I’ve sewn just about everything from kids’ clothes & accessories to home decor and cushions. I’d love to hear what you have in mind – thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 15, 2014 - 3:10 PM

      Thanks, Jenna! We already got some feedback, but we’ll keep you in mind for anything else! Always good to know someone who can sew – especially for this girl.ReplyCancel

  • Alexis - July 15, 2014 - 3:04 PM

    I have some pretty great sewing skills, but being all the way out in LA its probably not worth the shipping…
    The porch looks amazing and beautiful!!!
    Do your porch lights give off enough light in the evening for the seating area? Or do you have light from the front windows too?
    PS- Where did you get that watering can???ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 15, 2014 - 3:10 PM

      Thank you! The porch lights actually give off a LOT of light – we’ll likely have to switch out the wattage to something lower. And if we have the living room lights on dim, it’s the perfect amount of light.

      The watering can is from Home Depot a few years ago!ReplyCancel

  • Jill - July 16, 2014 - 9:20 AM

    I love you kept the chairs black. Good contrast to the white porch rail! It’s really pretty!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 16, 2014 - 9:35 AM

      Now you’ve got to make it up here to see it all in person! Miss you!ReplyCancel

  • Trude - July 16, 2014 - 1:36 PM

    Absolutely beautiful! I wanna come over. :) Porches are pretty uncommon here in SoCal except in old town areas. But this gives me load of inspiration for my patio!ReplyCancel

  • Life on Hill Street - July 16, 2014 - 3:48 PM

    Your front porch looks amazing, omg! And you got it done in time to still use it while the weather is nice, yay! We’re hoping to get started on ours soon, but the back deck took so much longer than expected…ugh. Anyway – it looks beautiful and I hope you’re loving it!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - July 17, 2014 - 9:01 AM

    I’ve been a little MIA on blog reading lately and I’m finally catching up on yours! EVERYTHING you’ve been doing to your home is absolutely amazing! I love this swing, love the fan ceilings, love love love everything. :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 17, 2014 - 10:05 AM

      Amanda! Thank you so much!ReplyCancel

  • Emma - July 18, 2014 - 6:35 AM

    Dreamy!!ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design - July 20, 2014 - 7:18 AM

    Looks so so good. What a nice place to hang out.ReplyCancel

  • Monika & Sam - July 23, 2014 - 10:45 AM

    F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S job and outcome…and those chairs are killer!ReplyCancel

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