Our first home was tiny, but that never bothered me. I love cottage living, small rooms full of character and old world charm. What really prompted us to move, was the yard. It was a 40 x 100 foot lot and most of the free space was driveway and a small patch of grass in the front. It was cute, but not really conducive to relaxing in your pjs on a Sunday morning.
The house across the street had a dream lot. Not huge, a corner quarter of an acre, but enough for a pool, some grass for the kids to run on and a little bit of privacy. I grew up in a house that was bordered by woods. No one was peering in our windows and if I wanted to, I could wear my sweats and a bun and read a book for hours without the world knowing where I was. That was the dream yard I was looking for.
Lucky for us, that property across the street went up for sale and we bought it. I adored the house from the get go, but just like Katie Scarlett, I was really more in love with the land. We've been here for over a decade and, honestly, unless it was perched directly on the ocean, I couldn't be any happier.
Besides, it's only a few short blocks to the beach, so close enough!
The yard wraps around the house in a U shape. On one side, off the kitchen, we put in a pool. It's a fabulous place to play and for us to relax and barbecue. When the kids were little, we lived primarily on that side of the yard.
The other side of the house just had a run down covered porch. We sat in folding chairs over there to watch kids on the swing set, but other than that, we never used it.
Then one day, my husband decided that he wanted to screen it in. The kids were getting older and the teens really didn't want us hovering and frankly, we didn't want to listen to their music and splashing.
The pool area wasn't nearly as relaxing as it used to be.
So the construction began.
The covered porch was an original structure. When we moved in, it had an old slate base, that was worn, chipped and uneven from water and age. My husband ripped that up first. We decided on a basic brick floor in keeping with the home's simple 1920's style.
The steps leading up to the porch were offset. We decided that it would be better to move them to the center to create a more useable layout for furniture and a more functional traffic flow. We investigated a lot of different screening options, but honestly, the best one came right off the shelf at Home Depot.
My husband is a very handy guy, and while he could be a contractor, he is not. This was a weekend warrior job. It was pretty self explanatory and the product came with instructions. Measuring carefully and mapping out the door placement was the most important part.
This is our third summer enjoying the space and we totally love it. The screens have held up perfectly, no sagging or separation. We essentially added a room to our house. We use it from April to October, rain or shine, day or night. We are insect free and when you're by the beach, that is a major issue.
Plus, we have turned an unused portion of our yard into a truly relaxing place to hang out. We just walk outside and it's like being on vacation.
It's not a fancy space and it certainly isn't a large porch, but it is cozy and sweet like the rest of the house.
It just fits, which is always my goal when we do something around here. I want to make sure we respect the original integrity of this old house.
The furniture is basic and from a box store. We purchased it on sale, at the end of the season that first year. I know I could do more decorating, add a table between those chairs or maybe a lamp, all of which are in the works, but once I am out here, I find it hard to get motivated. Besides, sometimes less is more.
These are the pillows that came with the set and one day I will get around to recovering them for some extra fluff.
I would prefer something in a red tone.
For now, however, I'm just going to hang out and relax.
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