For as long as I can remember, way before I ever had a place to call home, I dreamed of owning a house with a front porch and white picket fence. Growing up I lived in apartments, a mobile home, rented houses, several times with relatives and for one particularly traumatic period, a motel. There was never a sense of security or a real place to call home. It's pretty easy to see why my home, why making a home for my family, is so important to me now.
Before and during:
Those brick steps that used to lead to the door were crumbling due to age and severe winters. In true Kershner fashion, we thought instead of replacing the steps, why don't we just rip out the porch and open it up?! I'm not sure what's wrong with us but thank goodness we don't have any sense. A year later and I still cannot quite figure out how my Sweet Man performed this porch magic and I'm so impressed with his hard work and attention to detail. This was a back breaking job. Demo-ing, tile scraping, jack hammering, more jack hammering, hauling, lifting, measuring, cutting, dragging, digging, nailing, metal roof installing. My guy did almost all of it on his own with only occasional help and tools from friends, neighbors and a brother. I was more the help where I can, clean up, paint and design girl. And let me be honest. Not all of this project went smoothly. There were some disagreements on design and when I feel strongly about a design element, I CANNOT back down. Luckily those things I fought for, he eventually agreed to and now admits that they are important parts of the overall look.
The gardens are slowly coming along. We relocated all of the boxwood to this bed under the window. That's my studio there and I love looking out here now. There used to be a big tree in this bed but one day I sweet talked my guy into chopping it down so I could have more natural light in the studio. No regrets!
This bed is filled with Green Velvet boxwood (my favorite), phlox, agastache, lambs ear, astilbe and obedient plant.
The bed in front of the porch actually wraps around the entire driveway side of the house. The porch part is filled with Agastache, sedum, phlox and coneflowers as well as several plants that didn't survive the winter. I don't know about you but I get very upset when I lose a perennial. I'm a learn as I go girl with all things and I still have much to learn about gardening. There is still a lot of planting that needs to be done but since we have a lot of flower beds and I have ripped out almost everything we started with, it's a slow, expensive process. Luckily I'm very patient.
For some reason the outside of the house on the front porch is finished with hardie plank siding, whereas the rest of the house has vinyl siding in a light greyish green. We tried and failed to get the porch paint color matched to the siding and ended up just painting the house the same color white that we used for all of the trim. I could not find a single picture of a house finished this way but my instincts insisted this was the route to go. I'm quite happy with the way it turned out and it gives us a little glimpse into what the house will look like one day (fingers crossed) when we side the entire thing in white hardie plank!
Of course I was crazy excited to decorate the front porch. I started the planning before he even took down a wall. I couldn't be happier with the way it came together. You can see it's not a very big space but it makes up for it in cozy charm. We have already enjoyed countless meals here. Even when our girl is gone and we have a prime opportunity for a date night, we find ourselves having drinks and dinner on the porch. Why leave? I feel like I'm on vacation every day. Well, you know, except for that pesky cooking and cleaning thing.
Time passes differently on the porch and I learned really quickly that I need a clock out there. I'd happily sit and swing, read and relax right through dinner time.
I love that I can see these fresh flowers through the family room window but they are safe from nosy kitties.
I get a lot of comments about these plates. Not all of them positive! ;) I absolutely LOVE them and think they add just the right amount of whimsy. Or weirdness. Your pick. Either way, I'm decorating for me!
The other thing that gets the most comments is probably our aqua door. I think everybody in the Village knows the house with the aqua door. I remember when I first painted it, I wasn't quite sure about it and I clearly remember that Emma did not approve of it one.little.bit. Now we all love it and can't imagine it any other way. And our fun little crank doorbell where before there was just a hole, completes the look. We still need to paint the floor grey, put a second coat of paint on the rails and get a new door knob. Actually that doorknob situation wasn't bothering me at all until I saw these pictures! I'll eventually get around to the rest of it but it sure is hard to get motivated when all you want to do is lay on the glider, read and drink lemonade.
I showed you what it looked like before and during opening up the porch, but now let's get in the way back machine and see what it looked like when we first moved in.
Shudder. Who thought any of that was a good idea? Also, how many shades of green do we need on one house?
Thank goodness for vision and talented husbands. He really didn't love this house when we first moved in. Well, honestly I didn't either but I knew I could make it what we wanted. Four+ years later we all love it so much and can't imagine living anywhere else. I'm so grateful for my Sweet Man's unending patience, skill and confidence in my crazy ideas. That guy. He's a keeper. A man of many talents!
A little peek so that you can see that the ceiling is haint blue because no southern girl (even a transplanted one) worth her salt, would have it any other way!
And one last look because I still get a thrill every single time I see it. Whenever I come home or walk out the door it gives me joy. We love all the positive feedback we've gotten from friends, neighbors and strangers. Not only have we improved our curb appeal, we've improved our quality of life! I love the idea that years from now our grandchildren and great grandchildren will look at this porch and know that their grandfather built it.
Now feel free to visit the other ladies on the tour! I'm excited to get inspired from them.
Brenda at Cozy Little House
Kris at Junk Chic Cottage
Carolyn at Aiken House and Gardens
Carol at Art and sand
Rue at An Old-Fashioned World
Su at Butterfly & Bungalow
Cathy at My 1929 Charmer
Courtney at Golden Boys and Me
Jane at Blondie's Journals