Renovating: Grandma’s porch gets a face lift

I just spent the summer in New York helping refurbish my parents old carriage house, which is kind of like a very ornate bird house but much MUCH bigger. This house, my mom and dad’s and my daughter’s grandma and grandpa’s; is a very special place.  Here it is from the outside, after a little TLC take a look at the beauty it beholds!

Here is grandma’s porch before the face lift.  This screened in space had not been accessible for the past ten years.  It had become a storage area for everything but the kitchen sink.  These two photos show a semi-cleaned out space, when I started the project the porch was filled to the brim with just a narrow walkway between the front and back entrances.


Take a good look at the natural wood wicker chair on the left in the foreground, that chair was on its way out until grandpa forbid me to throw it away; I had no choice but to refurbish it…

There’s that chair again, this time on the right side of the picture.  Aside from the round wood table partially seen here on the left, the rest of the furniture in this photo found new homes.   I was able to donate most of it to local thrift shops and the rest went to “furniture heaven”. 

*One of the most important steps in any renovation is the preparation of the space.  Gathering the necessary materials and products is the first step to an easy and successful finished product.

After washing away spots of mildew with water and vinegar, tall ladders were used to reach and paint the tongue and groove ceiling and detailed window trim.  Next, the bottom walls were  painted in a light sage grey and lastly the floor in a grey two shades lighter than the original floor color .  I gave the floor three healthy coats of porch and patio paint to protect and preserve the old wood.

And here is grandma’s porch after the face lift! 


The white wicker chair and settee were the first new purchases. After finding ”ready made” seat cushions for these two items, the hunt for additional fabrics began.  All of the other seat cushions seen here were “recycled” from old cushions and hand sewn using coordinating fabrics.  On the left is the old wood table covered in a bamboo print cloth. 

Here’s grandpa’s chair… it never looked this good even when it was new!  The coordinating striped fabric used here works to update an old style and the hand covered buttons give the piece a homey feel.  To subtly tie this chair into the decor, I painted the natural wicker wood in a soft sulfur yellow instead of white. 

Guess what?  This is the most comfortable chair on the porch and it swivels too. 

How about another before and after,  this antique rocker was living underneath a pile of chain saws in the basement until I rescued it.  I glued it, sanded it and painted it with the same sulfur yellow as the patriarch chair above. 


I purposely gave this cushion extra attention. The addition of nine small mother of pearl buttons sewn into place give the cushion an artistic flair.  This rocker is small, something that is categorized as a “lady’s chair” in furniture design.  This small chair and other ones like it are just big enough for a lady to sit comfortably.


It is good to have a chair for both the man and the woman of the house, these are the small touches that make a house a home.

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