The Front Porch. 97.3% finished.

I can’t say that it’s totally finished, but here are some pics of our new(er) front porch. It was so fantastic to have this space during the holiday season. It made for a very welcoming entrance and storage space for our guests and their coats and boots! You might remember that this space was originally an exterior porch that we enclosed by adding windows and door with sidelights. We also added new stairs.

Here’s a reminder of  we started with…


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Here’s what we have now.


Here’s the view from the living room looking out towards the porch. We decided to leave the floor a natural finish, like the ceiling. The indoor/outdoor rug is from Crate and Barrel.


We added a bench and baskets for a convenient place to take off and store shoes. The little galvanized can holds sidewalk salt.IMG_4393

I love the ceiling fixture. The lights reflects of the wood ceiling and is so warm and inviting.


Painting all the gorgeous beadboard took a while – and several coats, but I love it way it looks. The color is Behr Ivory Mist, the same as our living room, but in semi-gloss instead of flat.

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The window looks into the office/playroom. It’s actually nice to get a little extra light in that room and to see who’s at the door so we elected to leave it in place (even though covering it would’ve meant room for more hooks.)

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I added a bunch of double coat hooks from Home Depot. I screwed them right into the beadboard so they can hold  a ton of heavy winter coats. Two boot trays from Target hold the shoes we wear the most often, and the two baskets under the bench hold pairs we wear less often. True confessions, I’m not crazy about the bench – it’s a little more rustic than I like. I suppose I could paint it to match the door, but I wouldn’t be opposed to finding something else to fit the space (maybe a vintage church pew?)



I took a chance and painted the door a dark charcoal grey. I originally wanted to paint it a true black, but the guys at the paint counter accidentally mixed the color one up on the paint chip I handed them. I think it’s a happy accident because I’ve grown to love the color – Behr Beluga in high gloss. This door was a great salvage find and I’m just waiting for Sean to install the brass door hardware, and a threshold.


In addition to being a welcoming space, adding much needed coat storage, and improving our curb appeal – the newly enclosed porch means our house is much much warmer since it acts as a windscreen for the living room. The porch isn’t heated, but on the coldest winter days we have a little fan heater out there to give it a boost and help dry out coats and boots.

I love this space, and I love that there is a space to put on coats and shoes thats not right in the living room. It really makes our first floor feel so much more spacious and organized.

What do you guys think?


Just do it.

I vastly underestimated how much time and effort it was going to take to paint the inside porch.

So far all I’ve done is one coat of primer with a brush, to make sure I got primer in all the little nooks and crannies, I’ll use a roller for the second coat. I fantasized that I could get it done this weekend while Pk watched Lucy, but it was much more fun to just lounge around with my favorite pair and enjoy the freakishly warm weather. I’m trying to motivate myself to whip out the brush again. I stumbled on this image… maybe a potential diy for us?

via country living Feb 2012

I think it would be fun to make a bench with some of the reclaimed barn wood we have in our storage space. Baskets underneath could solve our shoe storage issue, too. We don’t have a coat closet (a tragedy in these chilly parts) so hooks for coat storage are a must. Maybe from here?

I hope you all had a lovely weekend.


I can’t avoid it…


I have to paint the inside porch! The knotty pine is starting to make me crazy. I’ll be up to my eyeballs in spackle and primer today. Wish me luck! And wish Lucy a long, long nap.

xo – H

ps.Did you stay up to watch the election results last night? We didn’t. This mama likes to sleep.

Porch update #6,732

Just before Halloween Sean finished painting the exterior of the new enclosed porch. You might remember that we started this project in February nope January. It feels so good to have it nearly done.

So obviously we have to replace the walkway to no where, and the fence, put up new house numbers and install lattice under the stairs, but for now the steps are at least finished, and more importantly, protected from the weather. We used oil based paint and stain for this project and even though it was sooooo stinky I’m glad we did because it will be extra durable in the long run. Here’s a little reminder of what we started with. This picture is from the original listing for our house (so it’s a bit small.)

Roughly the same view today-

I know, the brick looks horrible, we have to replace the rest of our windows and do a ton of landscaping, but I really think that the porch has seriously improved the view. The long term plan is to paint the front red brick of our house, probably a medium toned gray to contrast with the yellow brick sides. I wouldn’t ever consider painting brick that’s in good condition, but ours obviously is not. The off-set window on the second floor is a huge eyesore and is covered with drywall from the inside. Ideally we will enlarge the opening and replace it with two windows to give the facade some symmetry and benefit from having another window in our bedroom. Just in case that list isn’t long enough, we also need a new roof. But a least our new entrance is pretty!

Sigh. Baby steps.

Hope you had a good weekend!


Go drywall, go!

Over the weekend Pk and I took Lucy on her first trip “behind the cheddar curtain” to the Road America Racetrack in Elkhart Lake, Wisonsin.

She may have screamed  CAR, VROOM VROOM! every. time. a. car. went. by. Which, when you’re at a racing event, happens a lot. It was really fun. Unfortunately the car that Pk’s company sponsors crashed, but luckily the driver wasn’t badly hurt. I think that car racing is possibly the most expensive and dangerous hobby a person could have, but it’s hard not to feel the thrill when the cars go roaring by at 150 mph. It’s loud!

When we got home, this is what we found.

Sean, our contractor, decided that since the house was empty it was a good time to level our living room walls. If you can’t tell from the picture, the main wall in the living room was diving toward the front of the house. That wall divides the office/sunroom from the rest of the living room, so both sides had to be shimmed and drywalled. The crooked wall was making hanging our new front door really difficult, so rather than hang a crooked door in a crooked wall, Sean took one for the team and shimmed the entire wall and added new drywall.

There wasn’t really anything wrong with our old door, in fact, we installed it when we moved into the house (our house was a foreclosure and essentially had boarded up doors when we moved in.) We decided to put in a new (well, new to us) door with glass to take advantage of the great light from the new porch.

Maya loves the almost finished porch. It looks great- trim is almost done, we just need to paint the walls, and clearcoat the floors and ceiling.

Here’s the view of the new door from the porch. We bought our door from our local rebuilding warehouse. It’s probably at least a hundred years old and was salvaged from an old house in a nearby suburb. It’s also solid wood (and two inches thick!) The glass is original too; full of waves and imperfections. It definitely fits the character and age of this house and fits in with the kind of cottage-y vibe of the porch.I think we’ll paint the door rather than stain it. I’m thinking white for the interior, but maybe something more bold for the view looking in from the porch? Not sure yet.

I was feeling really good about the porch progress until it extended into re-drywalling part of the living room and sunroom. Now we need to repaint both those rooms because the original paint is no longer available. I guess I should just look at it as an opportunity to redecorate, but it seems like a daunting task right now. At least the beautiful weather makes it easy to get away from the mess!

Hope you all are well


bits and pieces…

Here’s a little bit of what’s been going on around here the last few days…

Windows and a new door got installed on the porch…

A certain someone is learning how to feed herself with a spoon…

The thrift gods have smiled upon us! A new wool blazer for me and two spring coats for the the little miss for less than $25 (!)

Best of all, a pair of 99 cent rain boots. She has been wearing them constantly in the house even though they are a size too big. hilarious.

That huge pile of boxes in the background is our new kitchen cabinets. I would love nothing more than to unwrap every single one and just admire them, but until we are ready to go ahead and install them, they will stay safe and snug in their cardboard cozies.

We don’t have a calendar date for our install yet. We’re mostly just waiting for the porch to wrap up so we can focus on the kitchen. More pics to come!

xo – H



Porch Progress

It’s coming together folks…

New footings were poured and new stringers were cut…

Gorgeous cedar treads were laid (then covered with plywood for protection during the rest of the construction)

Sean is amazing. He works in the cold with a smile on his face!

Down came the old beadboard ceiling. You can catch a glimpse of the new header above Sean’s head.

I love the new posts!

Sean added a box for a ceiling fixture.

Fresh new bead-board!

After some thought, we decided that this little brick bump out wasn’t doing us any favors. Installing the new door will be a lot easier without it and I think Pk had a good time getting rid of it. Once the ledge was out of the way, the boys got busy pulling up the old floor.

There was zero insulation under the porch. Just tar paper. No wonder our basement is so cold!

The subfloor wasn’t too bad so Sean cut new sleepers (why are they called that? Anybody know?) and added insulation.

He started laying the new floor, but took a break so Lucy could nap. I’m grateful. I’m gonna go look at flushmount porch ceiling fixtures now. Hope you all are well!

xx – H


So I went to Home Depot…

to return a rented jackhammer and buy a new air filter for our furnace. Instead, or rather, in addition too, I bought a new fridge! We got a sweet deal on an LG french door  floor model that we actually have in the kitchen of our old house. It was to good to pass up.

Here’s what we had before..

We bought this fridge when we first moved in  and weren’t ready to splurge on a higher end model. It will move out to the garage for now or maybe end up in the basement.

Here she is!

Sorry it’s a bit grainy – I’m not really up to the task of shooting a reflective surface  in low light. There are a few dings, but we got a GREAT price ( about half off) and in this house, nothing is too precious.  It’s quite likely to get a few more dings here.

In other project related news, our friend/contractor extraordinaire Sean has been slaving away on the new porch, pouring footings for the stairs

and as I type he’s demolishing a couple courses of brick to make room for the new door and window on the west side of the porch.


Hope you all are well, xx-H

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