Back porch rehab: a mood board and a plan

Spaces

We have a wonderful covered back porch, but it’s a bit lacking in decor and comfort.

The space itself is great, but it’s bland and underused.

It could be really nice, with the right comforts and features.

We live in Central North Carolina, and it’s so hot here in the summer we can’t stand to sit on the porch. Even if it’s covered. Even if it has a ceiling fan- which ours doesn’t.

I’d love to make this a cozy little sitting space, kind of like an outdoor living room. I’ve got so many good ideas of what I’d like to do. Take a look at my ideas and the inspiration I’ve pulled from  Pinterest!  Here’s what I think our porch really needs:

  1. A ceiling fan
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The porch in this photo reminds me of a nicer version of my own porch. The spaces are similar. I love that ceiling fan because it’s decorative, and because I definitely don’t love our hot, humid weather.

2. Porch rug and a coffee table

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I just love the porch furniture, the colors, and the general coziness of Suzy’s porch over at Worthing Court. It’s lovely- I just wanna sit there and drink my coffee.

3. Pillows or cushions

See the picture above. Cushions and pillows make any porch seem cozy and inviting.

4. Soft lighting for fun and for evenings

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I realize this is a Christmas photo, but I love the soft lighting from the string lights. String lights are also just a very cool look.

5. citronella candles

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The mosquitoes in North Carolina are world-famous. They’re mean and they will get you. And since you’re well aware of my fondness for mason jars, I thought I’d try my hand at making a few of these citronella candle jars.

6. a new porch lantern

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Our puny, builder grade light fixture was broken in one of the hurricanes last year and we haven’t replaced it yet. I’d love this barn light lantern on our back porch. It’s such a cool look.

7. different wreaths

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There is nothing wrong with the wreaths I made, but I think they’re a little puny. This wreath is fuller and the colors are better and I think it’d look great on my doors.

We are actively working on making the porch cozier and better right now. I can’t wait to share it with you in the next few months!

“Spring” cleaning: a newly organized shed

Due to my work schedule, I don’t get to deep clean as often as I want. Don’t get me wrong, I keep a clean house, but I don’t have tons of time to do some of the deep cleaning tasks that require a little more elbow grease.

Most people do spring cleaning, however, I do winter break cleaning and summer cleaning…because I’m a teacher and that’s when I have the most time.

Certain areas of my home have been in need of a good clean out and organizing. My shed, where I keep home decorations and home improvement supplies, (we don’t have an attic), had gotten pretty out of hand.

OK, it got really out of hand. So out of hand I was waiting on some squatters to walk out. I am ashamed of myself for letting it get this bad.

I tackled my ridiculously messy she-shed the best way I knew how: by dragging everything out of it and cleaning out the shed.

This isn’t even close to everything.

I did just that, and almost immediately a large cloud developed and I was sure a downpour was coming. Thankfully, the rain waited until I’d finished.

I want two of these, but I have other things I need to buy more. So I’m adding them to my list.

I had three shelves in the garage from where I recently replaced the girls’ bookshelves, so I repurposed them in the shed.

I still need a better way to store my totes though.

My shed is certainly not complete, but it’s definitely a 1000 times better than it was! Stay tuned- this project is definitely still in the making.

What projects are you currently working on?

Room refresher: refresh your living room

When you saw it last, our living room looked a little like this.

In desperate need of new furniture and with a focal wall that was a big, blank slate.

I tried to liven it up with this gallery wall, but it still felt a little bare. I knew we wanted to make that focal wall a real focal wall, so I convinced my husband to help me build a faux fireplace from an antique mantle we bought.

And once that was finished and it established the focal wall I wanted, we started shopping for living room furniture.

I found these adorable chairs on Wayfair. They were very affordable and were delivered within a few days. We had to put the legs on the chairs but that was all.

We also bought a couch, an area rug and a matching rug runner.

Our couch arrived and while there was nothing wrong with it, the color wasn’t what we imagined it’d be.

We called Wayfair and arranged a pickup. They even loaded it back up and carried it out of the house for us. Wayfair has awesome customer service.

We ended up picking this couch up from a furniture store in the Raleigh area. It goes perfectly with our rug and chairs we got from Wayfair.

It matches so well it’s like we bought them as a set. We then arranged the furniture to face the fireplace.

We still need to find a new coffee table, new end tables and two new lamps. All in all, I am so excited about all of the changes we have made. I can’t wait to show you the finished room.

Have a great week!! We have some Valentine’s Day goodies headed your way.

Upgrade your builder grade bathroom

Our hall bath needed a little help. It was the poster child for bland and boring. Plate glass mirror? Check. Builder grade vanity light? Yup. Boring and plain vanity? Yep.

My pipe shelves helped a little but ultimately we knew those lights and that mirror had to go. So a shopping we went. My brother-in-law put up the new light fixture and Michael and I put up the new mirror.

We are far from done with this bathroom. We still need to put down new flooring, get a new vanity and put in a new tub. But doesn’t it look so much better already?

Let’s see that before again.

And now after:

So much better!

I can’t wait until it’s completely finished.

21-day challenge: entry way organization

21-day challenge: entry way organization

Our entry way looked like this:

It wasn’t bad, but it did need some help.

I’m going to show you my before and after shots, but I also want to share some of my tips for a more organized entry.

1. Have a place to stash shoes.

See those big baskets under the table? I use those to corral shoes. Without the baskets, shoes were always all over the floor.

2. Have a designated place to stash incoming mail and other items.

Those two baskets corral items like mail, keys and school papers, which keeps them out of sight and off the counter tops.

I gave both baskets a little straightening up, simply by going through everything in them and throwing away what didn’t need to be there any longer.

We also thinned out some of the coats and extra things hanging up in our entry way. These hooks corral our book bags, purses and the dog leash.

Our entry is still not decorated the way I want it to be, but it’s certainly more functional and neat.

Let’s see that before:

And after:

Isn’t this a lot better?

Don’t forget to show me your organizing progress on Instagram with the hashtag #ons21daychallenge ?