DIY Screened In Porch~ Our Bug Free Sanctuary

July 10, 2015




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. Go figure.

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. Surprise


For now, however, I'm just going to hang out and relax. 



Lemonade anyone? 






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124 comments:

  1. I think it's a perfect spot Kim and I too, if lucky enough to have a porch, would want it screened!

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    1. Screening was the key, Vel, even if I didn't know it at the time! I love it now!

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  2. I love your house, it looks so pretty, and your porch is a wonderful place to relax....the screening is such a great idea. Happy weekend!
    Helen xox

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    1. Thank you, Helen. You are so kind. I hope you have a happy weekend, too! :)

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  3. I love it! I've always always always wanted a screened-in porch. Since childhood. Pinned!
    Brenda

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    1. Maybe your next home will have one, Brenda. Here's hoping! I can picture it full of your gorgeous blooms and two pretty pups on the couch! ;)

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  4. Jealous! Your screened in porch is wonderful. I would love to sit out there and drink tea and read a good book. When you get hot you can just go jump in!

    I read once that Texas is the only state where having a pool is advantageous for your home value. Can't talk my husband into it and I want one!

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    1. And thanks for your sweet comment about my porch. It really is a great space, I didn’t grow up with one, but I am hooked now. I have to say I do love that pool...come swim anytime!

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  5. We live on a tiny lot like the one you first lived in. The only private spot we have is on the south side of the house where our patio is right up against the house. It's bordered on the other side by our neighbor's privacy fence and big trees. Unfortunately, it's not a screened-in area though - and we have a ton of mosquitoes here. So the only time we can really enjoy spending outdoors is early spring and late fall. Love your screened-in porch!

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    1. I totally get it Melanie. In our first house, our neighbors would sneeze and we would say bless you. I kid you not! It was cozy though and we really did like our neighbors!

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  6. Ahh ... a cup of coffee, a chocolate or two, and fresh air. I can feel the breeze on my face! So give those "other" pillows away, or cover them with your flashy reds and it'll be perfect. Won't be hard because it almost is, already!

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    1. Give them away...brilliant, Cheryl, as always! It never even crossed my mind. Maybe I will!

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  7. Your screened porch is wonderful! And how blessed that your handy man husband was able to do the work. Bug free. Woohoo! Thank you for sharing. :)

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    1. Bug free is the best part, Kathy! Thanks for popping by to take a peek.

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  8. I am so envious. Lovely! Enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Thank you, Kim. It's a very tiny space, but enough to put your feet up! ;)

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  9. Kim, when we were shopping for a home, we really hoped for a pool and a screened in porch with a ceiling fan! We were thrilled when the agent took me out to see the one we've enjoyed for 26 years! It's the one I told my husband I would call him to HURRY to see and he knew immediately when I simply said, "my socks just fell off! No other explanation way required! We've loved it nearly 3 decades! Your pool caught my eye the first time I saw it! Love your home and setting! Great post! Thanks for sharing! Helen @ www.helensdecor.com

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    1. It’s wonderful to love a house that much, Helen. I wish you three more decades of happiness there! Thanks for your kind words, I always appreciate them.

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  10. Your screened-in porch is adorable! I just love it and you guys did such a great job! We have one and there is no way I would live anywhere without the porch being screened in. That porch has been the biggest issue in house-hunting! I cannot believe those pillows are not red!!

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    1. Good luck on that house hunt! Fingers crossed that you find your own cover dream porch…and pillows in the color of your choice! ;)

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  11. I love screened porches. We had one when I was a kid. In fact I think most of the houses in our neighborhood had a screen back porch. Like everything, I guess screened porches went out of style at some point. But I think there is nothing better than watching the world from a screened porch, listening to the outside sounds and watching the sun come up or go down. I wish I were lucky enough to have a screened porch.

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    1. I did not grow up with a screened porch, Barbara, in fact no one I know had one. I think they are awesome though and now, I can't imagine not having it!

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  12. Wow what a great room. I love your idea and your decorating. You sure have a great sense of style. You really should advertise your services. Seriously, I love every room I have seen via your blog!
    Tracy S

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    1. Thanks Tracy! Decorating services, huh? Maybe someday!

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  13. Wow, love your screened in porch! Mine has mismatched furnishings, but we enjoy it nonetheless! They are wonderful to have.

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    1. Mismatched is just fine, Kathy, adds character to a place and besides, I agree, it's all about the relaxing!

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  14. Kim,

    There is nothing better than a screened in porch for those of us who like to be outside. You guys did a fantastic job and I think it has just the right amount of charm. I love every bit of it and am a little envious. I get bit up every evening!!!

    Jane xx

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    1. Thanks so much, Jane! I find myself forsaking my pool view for that porch couch a lot lately. How did that happen??

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  15. Love your porch Kim. I would love a screened in porch too. It must be so nice to sit out there and not be eaten alive!
    Kris

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    1. It is nice, Kris, especially since I seem to be a mosquito magnet! ;)

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  16. I love screen porches!! And it is a dream of mine to have one someday. :-)
    I love it!
    Looking forward to the pillow make over too. Lady in Red :-)) that could be your song. ;-))
    Carla

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    1. My own song? Cool!! I like it! :)

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  17. Hi Kim, Love your screened in porch and the story behind getting it completed. Everything is charming and I can see you spending lots of relaxing time here.
    Just wonderful! Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend. Hugs,cm

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    1. Thanks, CelestinaMarie, it is a great place to relax...when I am not carpooling!! ;)

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  18. Love your cute screened porch Kim. What a great spot to relax. We had a screened in pool when we lived in Florida and it was the best thing we ever did. We were able to use the pool day and night and not worry about the mosquitoes...and they were killer. Hope you have a great weekend!

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    1. I do really like the screened area. I have never had one before and now I am so grateful for that space.

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  19. It's a wonderful space, Kim, and it does fit in perfectly with your home. I really love cozy spaces too. A screened in porch is on my wish list!

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    1. Thanks JoAnne. I didn't really get the need at first, now I can't imagine the house without it!

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  20. PERFECT . . .
    We too have a screened in porch. We spend many a moment relaxing there. I have read more books than I can count and cozied up for some naps too.
    Great post Kim . . .

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    1. Lynne, I am a covered porch convert. I love it, I bet yours is amazing!! Enjoy it and happy Saturday! :)

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  21. Oh be still my heart!!!!!!! A perfectly delightful screened in porch!!!!! Lucky, lucky, lucky you!

    And lucky to have a handy husband. I have one toooo, and they are wonderful.

    Oh-that-screened-in-porch!!! Did I tell you, I love it? ,-)

    Plus, I am a mosquito magnet. Screens were invented, just for me!!!!! ,-))))

    Tessa

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    1. A handy husband is the key to all of my decorating magic, Tessa! Lucky indeed! ;)

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  22. What a great space. No screened porch here and we have lots of bugs so I am a teeny bit jealous.

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    1. I am jealous of your lovely farm, Lorri! Maybe one day you'll screen something in and I'll grow a tomato and have goat babies and we'll both be happy! ;)

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    2. I am game if you are. :)

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  23. I love your porch! I especially love the brick floor.

    We built a screened porch onto our house a little over a year ago. After living here 25 yrs & growing into the empty nest, we were ready to do some work on our house. We hired a contractor because it was such a big job. It's elevated(we drive under it to get into our garage), has an open grill porch to the side, a large pass through window into my kitchen with a serving ledge & we had it wired for electricity. We love it! We entertain often there. It has room for an eating area on one side & a sitting area on the other - all facing the lake behind our house. We use it almost every day year round no matter the weather.

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    1. It sounds positively splendid, Jenny and very big! Our space is teeny tiny. You must really love it out there, especially when entertaining with a view of that lake. Swoon.

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  24. Wow Kim, I love your porch and I love that your husband made it! You saved so much with him doing it. It's so nice to have a handy husband and he cooks too! LOL! Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

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    1. Julie, I can even imagine how much money we would've spent on everything we have done around here if we paid a pro to do it. He has saved us a fortune in labor. I am very lucky!! Thanks so much for the comment!

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  25. I love the space. Its always great to crave a space for yourself. The kids can take the very the house. LoL

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    1. Yes! I can hide on the porch and be very happy, Vanessa!

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  26. How nice the porch looks, Kim! Going to be a great summer.
    Amalia
    xo

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  27. Looks wonderful, Kim. I'm sure you and your family enjoy spending time in this lovely space. I adore your screen door. Hugs, Nancy

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    1. We really do, Nancy, thank you!

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  28. Oh I could just curl up here with a cup of tea! Love the yellow--very cheery. Nice that you have a hubby who can do that sort of work. It is a blessing(I have a guy like that as well). Blessings!

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    1. Thank you, Kim! I really am lucky that my hubby can make my renovation dreams come true...you too! :) Thanks for the visit!

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  29. Love your porch! I am a huge fan of them. We have 2 - one is enclosed, one open. I always say it's like having additional rooms during the nice weather!
    Ann
    http://theapplestreetcottage.blogspot.com/

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    1. I totally agree with you, Ann! In summer, it’s actually the best “room” of the house!

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  30. Yes I would enjoy some lemonade and I don't need extra fluff....:) Things that last / things that work...they are enough.

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    1. Come on over, Deb! No extra fluff, I promise! ;)

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  31. I've always wanted a screened in porch and yours is just lovely - I can see why you enjoy spending time out there. We have a covered deck out back and we just have two chairs and a small table but it's the perfect spot for morning coffee and an iced tea in the afternoon.

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    1. It sounds just perfect, Susan! :) Thanks for sharing and leaving such sweet words!

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  32. Kim it's wonderful. I love a screened porch. Yours is gorgeous. I enjoyed learning about your house too. Years ago we bought a house built in 1920 and it was an adventure restoring it. We had considered adding a screen porch to the back of the house. But instead we sold it and built a home with a wonderful backyard perfect for gardening and a cottage style garden shed. Hugs!

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    1. It has certainly been an adventuring restoring the house, Katherine. That is for sure, hope you are enjoying your garden this summer. :)

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  33. Wow Kim I LOVE your screened porch as it's perfect to read a book or magazine! Thanks for sharing this at our Cooking & Crafting with J & J! Enjoy your week.
    Julie xo

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  34. Love Love Love it!!! Fantastic job my friend!!

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  35. We have a large back porch that I would love to get screened in. Maybe this year.

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    1. I say go for it, Jeannie. It was time and money well spent! Good luck!

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  36. You'll be glad to know, I don't know where you live.
    Otherwise you'd find me on your porch from morning to night!

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    1. There's plenty of lemonade, Christine! ;)

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  37. I think it is absolutely perfect! We have a screened in back porch that we love, and we use it pretty much all year round except for when it gets really cold. This is the first house I have had with a screened porch, and I don't now how I lived without one. Haha!

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    1. I feel the same way, Teri! It would be hard to move to a house without.

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  38. Your porch is lovely! It looks so warm and inviting I just want to hang out there! Oh, and I LOVE the furniture!!!!

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    1. Thanks Mandee! It's a budget job, like everything else around here, but it's pretty cozy!

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  39. Yes!! I want lemonade!! That is a beautiful porch Kim enjoy your quiet time out there :)

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    1. Come on over, Susan! We can chat and relax!

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    1. Thanks Jen! That's just what I was going for!

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  41. I love your porch! That's a great way to enjoy the seasons without all the bugs. We have them and they always find a spot you didn't cover in bug spray.

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    1. Agreed, Janet, they are sneaky little critters, aren't they? ;)

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  42. I can taste the lemonade from here ...

    Your porch looks lovely and more importantly bug free.

    Have a lovely week - make good use of your porch.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks Jan! Bug free is important around here...anywhere I guess! ;)

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  43. Kim...your porch is fabulous. Simple is so perfect for summer. I don't think we need to decorate to the degree we do in the house. There's more cleaning and effort on the porch (it's still outdoors!) so keeping the decor simple is the way to go. Plus, your coffee table is styled in the most lovely way. :)

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    1. Thank you, Diane! Yes, I agree, simple is better, especially outside! Thanks for the visit.

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  44. What a wonderful space to spend an afternoon. So cozy looking. Love when you can reclaim a space.

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    1. It was space I really didn't even know I had, Cathy and now it's my favorite summer sanctuary! :)

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  45. Wow, Kim!! What an amazing transformation! I would luuuuv to sit out on that porch every evening! Your hubby did a great job! I'm with you, I love cozy, and this porch is cozy and inviting!

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    1. He is a really talented builder/ creator Kimberly, thanks. I guess being a starving college student, working construction has its benefits and payoff!

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  46. So pretty, cozy and very relaxing!...Christine

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  47. I think your porch is perfect just the way it is, especially if you love it and can relax there. We have a side screened porch and recently installed a door similar to yours. I feel like a queen now when I go out there to lounge. It is so nice to have it for 3 seasons and to overlook my gardens.

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    1. What a lovely way to put it, AnnMarie, it is luxurious out there, despite its simplicity! :) Enjoy your garden view!

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  48. Oh wow...this turned out really cute! I would hang out here all day! :)

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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    1. Thanks Jess. Always fun to link up with you and Julie!

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  49. Oh my word, Kim! Your porch is just perfect! My husband is planning to build a screened in porch on our new little home, so we can sit outside and watch the wildlife, without the bugs! I did not know Home Depot sold screened in porch kits, so now that is on my to-do list! You have totally inspired me to do this as soon as possible! As always, your posts are amazing, and such a warm cozy feeling your home has from your creative touch! Many hugs to you today :)

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    1. They do! It was right there on the floor, the framing pieces and the screening material and a poster of how to do it mounted above. There were tweaks to be made, because our house is old an imperfect, but if your husband is handy, he can make it work! Good luck...I bet you'll love it! Thank you for your kind words, as always! :)

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  50. Love this. So jealous, would love to go out without bugs. I would live out there. It is so inviting.

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    1. Thanks Brooke! I do find myself out there a lot…even in the rain! Thanks so much for the visit and the comment.

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  51. What a great porch, Kim! I'd love to sit out there and smell the ocean breeze :)

    xo

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  52. Lovely Kim....and yes, it needs red pillows ;^)
    I could just imagine spending an afternoon lounging by the pool....bug free!!! Get hot....dip.......back to porch...repeat!
    Blessings,
    J

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    1. Bug free is awesome, J ~ and yes, red pillows for sure! ;)

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  53. I think it's all very lovely and sounds like you have wonderful memories of the project too. We have very few bugs here - maybe because the wind is blowing them away. It sounds very practical and based on all the comments sounds like you've inspired a lot of other people to create this enjoyable space for themselves!

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    1. Thank you, Ronda. I really do enjoy the space, we are out here right now, watching the fireflies and listening to the crickets and the frogs. I hope that others have found inspiration here, that's what it's all about! :)

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  54. It is a fabulous place Kim and I love the cheery colors you have used! Always thought it would be fabulous to have a screened in porch. And to have a pool, now that's just heaven! Tried to talk hubby into having one here, but he didn't think it would get used enough. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Thanks and thanks for the party, Jann, I say go for the pool! The grands would love it!

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  55. Hi Kim, can't help but feature you again at SYC my friend. Love your porch!
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Jann, you are super sweet, thanks for the feature!! :)

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  56. I've always wanted a sunroom or screened in patio like this. The only problem for us is that it's so hot here that we'd have to have an a/c window unit to be able to enjoy it. Our humidity is so terrible here. I've even had dreams that I all of a sudden discovered a "hidden" extra room in our house. Lol! I guess that's how badly I long for a room like this. It would be so nice to have extra space to filter out to after holiday dinners, etc. Maybe one day. :) Oh, and what's funny is that we live about 40 minutes from the beach (Galveston) but I can't stand the beach. Ha! I know that's just because it's so hot here and the sand sticks to you, etc. I do however love California beaches. Go figure. ;) Anyway, y'all did a wonderful job and I bet you get hours of enjoyment out of it.

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    1. Lisa, we have only lived in the tiniest houses, so extra room has always been coveted. I never, ever thought I would have a place like this. It really is a sanctuary. It does get very hot and humid here, but nothing like your heat. I couldn’t do that without AC either!!

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  57. Oh to have a screened in porch in TX would be so dreamy!!!!

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  58. What a great way to be outdoors and be protected from the those pesky bugs! Your space looks super homey!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Sam! We really do love the space!

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  59. Omg!! love your screened in porch, I've been reading through all of the comments, all I can do is add to all of them, it's beautiful, and a wonderful space to get away from all of the other noise, I would love to do something like this on my place, I have the room to put a small covered porch on, just have to remember that I live in Idaho, so the winters are not so much fun, and there is more winter weather than sunshine weather, but a covered porch would be a great thing to have in our winters, to walk into a covered place, out of the snow before entering the house would be a dream. Thanks so much for sharing and for the terrific idea, now I just need to get my handy husband to build me one.

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    1. Holly, I am so glad you were able to find some inspiration here!! We have longer winters here too, and while we can't sit out there when the big snow comes, we do enjoy the space deep into the fall. We were even thinking of adding a small electric fireplace out there this fall...I hope you get your covered porch and I am so glad you popped in!! :)

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  60. Hi Kim,
    I somehow stumbled upon your blog and I'm so glad I did! Your screened in porch is beautiful. My husband and I just relocated to Florida from New Hamphire and I told him we were not buying any house without a sitting area and pool. We're closing on a home on the 11th...it has a caged in sitting area and pool! I won this one....lol

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    1. Congratulations, Tracy!! That is awesome. I had to fight for my pool, too and I am so glad I did. The screened in area is another favorite. You are so lucky to have them all in one!! Enjoy your new home and your new outdoor space! And thanks for the visit!! :)

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  61. What an awesome job on the screen in patio-very nicely done and lucky you to have such a handy husband!

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    1. Thank you, Patti! I am a lucky gal, indeed!!

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