May 16, 2014

Sometimes a Porch is More Than a Porch


We kicked Mother's Day weekend off with a porch demo! After our stove died and ruined our plans to have our contractor build us a new porch, my Sweet Hubby decided he would tackle it himself instead. There may have been, and may even continue to be, a bit of nervousness on my part as I remember some of his diy failures in previous houses (bad drywall repair, cough cough. badly done crown molding cough, cough) I am encouraged by the way his skills have improved over the years and most rapidly since we bought this house. We have a bit of back and forth as I am a perfectionist and even though he is an engineer, he is not a perfectionist. He is an architectural buff and I am a design fanatic and so sometimes there is a bit of a give and take there. I think we are both learning to give in a little and to trust the other's opinions. Luckily we are almost always on the same page.

The before:

I've spent my whole life dreaming of owning a house with a front porch. I grew up moving constantly, usually living in rentals, sometimes with relatives, or in apartments, one year a trailer and even a motel for awhile, never living anywhere that felt like home. I don't have a home town, or house to go back to that represents my childhood. I'm creating that now. For me and for my family. And in my mind, nothing says cozy home quite like a front porch!


We didn't use the enclosed porch much. The cats loved it but the layout was awkward with the entrance being on the driveway side so we are moving the entrance off the sidewalk so it will line up with the front door, making the space much more usable.


We already feel so much more connected to the street and everyone is loving the change. It truly feels like this is what the house wanted. Last night my hardworking guy spent 5 hours breaking up the tile and smoothing out the concrete to prepare the porch for the wood flooring we are going to put down. The guy has hardly sat this week.


This is similar to what we have in mind. Bam! Hello charm!!


It hasn't all been back breaking work though. We did take a break on Saturday to watch Emma's ballet performance of Let it Go from Frozen. I fear I may never get that song out of my head. She was amazing! I cried. Maddie Cried. Daddy didn't but obviously he has a heart of stone.


On Sunday we had brunch out on my favorite courtyard on Main St. where all three of my girls were welcome to eat. Fried biscuits and mimosas. What more could a Momma want on her special day? After a trip to the nursery, thoughtful gifts and cards and a dinner of grilled pear, carmelized onion, blue cheese and walnut pizza, my day was complete and my heart was full. I really can't believe how blessed I am to go through life calling these people my family. This life is truly better than anything that little girl without a real home could have imagined.

22 comments:

  1. I agree, the porch looks much better and opens up the house to the street. Can't wait to see the finished results. Hubby is doing an excellent job.

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  2. Oh the porch makes all the difference! It looks so cute. Your mother's day sounds wonderful!

    Blessings,
    Amy Jo

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  3. Wow! Opening up the porch changes the whole look of the house! I liked it before, but this is so much better. I hope you enjoy it this summer and for many years to come.

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  4. The porch really does look fabulous already! How exciting!!! Sounds like you had a wonderful Mother's Day. Yay!!!

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  5. It sounds like you had a wonderful Mothers Day, just right, and I like seeing the progress on your porch, can't wait to see the finished product.

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  6. That is going to be perfect Jennifer. So charming. A place so sit and dream the day away.

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  7. Always a pleasure to read your words. Your home is lovely and like you, I am nuts for the bowls and cups found at Anthro. We have just bought a house in a nice little country village here in Quebec and are excited to move there with our young kids. I might steal a few ideas from you. hope you don't mind!!

    Oh! and thanks for the Hart of Dixie reference. I was curious and I watched season 1 and 2 and fund it charming and quite relaxing after a day of work and playing with a two and a half and a four year old!

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  8. What a huge difference already! It is going to be a wonderful porch!

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  9. Your home is so charming and pretty! What a wonderful guy your husband is for doing the porch himself. It's going to look fabulous. Is that you with your daughter in the last photo?

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    1. The porch is beautiful! I have always dreamed of having a house with a front porch too! I want to hear more about those fried biscuits though. How are these made and served? Dying to know..

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  10. Beautifully done! I just love covered porches, too. They give a charm like no awning or plain stoop can do. And a DIY? Bonus! Can't wait to see the entire transformation. I'm sure it will be magazine cover worthy :-)

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  11. I am so happy you are getting YOUR porch! I love that your hubby is able to do that. We have similar problems here. Mz Perfectionist and Mr. Can't-Quite-Get-It-Right-It's-Good-Enough. oh yeah----I hear you! xoDiana

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  12. Jen I love your new porch and your door oh my! I know you will enjoy summer nights sitting out on the porch. I always love when I get to take a peak into your beautiful home. Wish I could take a tour in person.

    I am off to the store later this afternoon because on the menu tonight was homemade pizza. Your Mother's Day pizza sounds wonderful. I wonder if I could recreate the same one. Did you use any kind of sauce?

    Have a beautiful weekend!

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  13. We opened up an old enclosed porch on our house long ago and I have never regretted it. Yours is looking great already, what a sweet man to work so hard to give you something you will love :>)

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  14. it's coming along perfectly!!! your house is so charming... i so wish i was closer so we could sit on your new porch and enjoy some of that pizza you spoke about... yum! it sounds like you had a wonderful mother's day spending time with those you love! you are definitely doing a beautiful job creating a home that's bursting with great memories... hugs, friend! {also, i would have been crying right there along you and Maddie... i bet Emma's performance was so sweet!}

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  15. You are now an honorary Southern gal... complete with a front porch and maybe a rocking chair or two! Loving your remodel, Jen! So happy you had a wonderful Mother's Day with all of your lovely girls and your sweetheart hubby.

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  16. You are sooooo brave...And it looks amazing! It totally opened-up and CHARMED-UP the front of your house. What a smart and hardworking man you have.

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  17. Hi Jen, I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

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  18. Dear Jen, every time I visit your blog I feel so blessed! It´s wonderful the way you always try to see the positive aspect of everything and how you feel blessed with it too. It´s contagious. Thanks for sharing your story and teach us such beautiful lessons. I also love your photos not only because they are beautiful but mainly because they speak for yourself and tell us your story. All this to say that I love visiting you and to wish that God bless all your life and family. Hugs from Portugal. Margarida.

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  19. i am SO excited about your front porch. :) was it originally open? i can't wait to see the "after". you are so good about documenting the stages of making this cottage home. i think that porch will be the perfect place to chat…i'll bring the sweet tea! ;)

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  20. The new front porch looks fantastic. I love my front porch, and vow to always have one if possible :). I definitely think it's what your adorable home was calling out for, maybe that's how it started out....good decision. Blessings, Carrie

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  21. Jen, your new front porch looks ever so much more welcoming than the enclosed porch ever could!

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