Back Porch Tour

While I shared my honest report on our shed last week, I thought I’d snap a few pictures of our back porch to share, as well.

This post is less of a reveal and more of a “state of the porch” address… plus a call to action advice. 😉  I’ve been laughing for the past month as blogland is erupting with porch makeovers and outdoor space decor, usually coupled with comments like, “I’m so glad we can finally be outdoors!” or “Yay for some warm weather!”  Ha. ha.  Anyone else from Houston can confirm with me that just as the rest of the US was coming out of doors, we were moving in.

Our outdoor time is from about October to April… assuming it’s not raining during those months.  We even get to use the little fire pit you see above 2 or 3 times if we’re lucky. :)  It’s just a different world here in the tropics.  However, the reality is that I have two young boys, so I do actually still sit outside on my porch a lot.  While we have yet to do anything really but arrange the furniture (we’ve been too busy painting the outside and the inside of our house, leveling and replacing the floor in the office, hosting weddings and baby showers, redesigning our closets, and more), we have been brainstorming in preparation for our next real outdoor season (aka winter) and what we’d like to do with our porch.

A few things I’m thankful for about it:

  1. We can fit a dining table.
  2. We can actually fit all the outdoor furniture we already had… nice not to start over.
  3. It’s well covered.
  4. It’s open enough to grill out there without smoking us out.
  5. It faces the backyard so I can watch the boys play.
  6. It has giant windows into the dining room so when we have big parties and some eat outside and some inside, they don’t feel so separated.
Now for the cons:

  1. I’ve killed most of my potted plants (ok, that’s not really the porch’s fault, I guess…)
  2. It’s very shallow… it’s easy to bump into the posts when you’re trying to back your chair out from the table.
  3. The boards are not really flat or secure (it won’t break through or anything, but it does rattle the lanterns when you walk around).
  4. The old electrical box is still on the wall (though I think I have a great idea about disguising that).
  5. It has to function as storage and workshop (since we have no garage or basement), and it’s not really set up well for that right now.
  6. It needs some circulation (since the house wraps it in an L shape, it doesn’t get much cross breeze).
  7. We really want to use it for our grill and kids’ toys.  Without a garage, there’s nowhere else to store them, really, and Houston gets so much rain that the grill really needs to be covered (though we are considering a smaller gas grill since this propane one may be about to die… we’re pricing repair currently).
So, in light of those cons, here are some ideas we’re throwing around:
  1. Ceiling fans (I’ve been delaying in an idealistic dream of chandeliers, but the reality is that this is Houston and we NEED those fans… hopefully that will happen soon.  It’s just a matter of picking some out that will work with the steep incline of the ceiling.)
  2. Stamped concrete (This one will probably not be any time soon, but we’d love to replace the wood deck with a larger stamped concrete one.  That would reopen the exterior access to the crawl space, which is currently blocked by the deck, and be obviously sturdier.  Our next step is to investigate how that may affect drainage in our backyard.)
  3. Expanding the size/shape (Maybe something that curves out?  Not sure what to do with the posts…)
  4. French doors from the dining room (The current access is through the kitchen.  Ok, but not ideal. Those huge windows into the dining room would be easy to replace with French doors… hopefully soon.)
Now it’s your turn.  Any suggestions?  How do you arrange furniture on a long skinny deck?  We’ve considered putting banisters between some of the posts to offer a “wall” so-to-speak for arranging furniture.  It would close it off, but at least we could back furniture against it.  We’ve also discussed trying to make the 4 skinny posts into 3 more substantial ones, giving us only 1 post to worry about in the middle…  I don’t know!  I’d love your thoughts.
Oh, and for anyone wondering, that is my fabulous (and free!) old door still leaning up against the wall… I have yet to make a decision on how to use it, but for now it’s making for nice wall art on the porch! :)

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