From the beginning, our front porch was one of those issues that divided the sexes.
Men are from Mars and women are from the Deco planet, right?
I didn't want to mess with the original design. A little paint, and we'd
be good to go.
My husband wanted to put a huge For Sale sign in the yard (a long story, and some chapters can be found in the cobwebbed corners of this blog). He especially loathed the porch and cast a skeptical eye at my paint swatches. (Actually, he said I was trying to put lipstick on a possum.) "Add some bling," he said, and then we'll re-evaluate the situation." He was referring to that For Sale sign, of course.
My husband has zero interest in design. He knows what he likes in a house but hates to spend money. The last thing he'd do is to encourage me to dip into the coffers on a design project. But for some reason he was stuck on this porch and could not see beyond it. Actually, it wasn't the porch; nor was it an architectural clash--it was about the house in his mind's eye, the sum of all his dreams, but I digress. We'd been down this road many years ago when we renovated a 100 year old house, and we'd compromised.
In this case, my compromise was to add a little trim along the ceiling of the porch.
My heart sank when Will didn't love it. What to do?
When you are looking at a house from two different hilltops, you must find common ground.
Where was it? Will wanted a little bling. I wanted a relaxed country house. In my opinion, we had already gone in the wrong direction, but this was Will's house, too.
I approached the matter cautiously (or so I thought). I tried to see bling through my husband's eyes. I added corbels. Okay, bad idea. They were horrible. Will just shook his head. "Now who's going in the wrong direction, Miss Sugarbaker?" he teased.
But then I saw a photo of Mary Carol Garrity's famous porch.
What if I added a façade? What about some wood trim? It could partially cover the brick
columns. I sketched a design and showed it to Will. "It's worth a shot," he said and warned me not to spend too many Benjamins.
My GC, Mike Cox, was a little worried that wood trim wouldn't stand up to Father Time, and he
didn't think that I'd like PVC or similar products. He was absolutely right. But I told him that I was sixty years old, looking down the barrel at seventy. Chances are, I'd be in the ground before
termites took down the porch.
"You've got a point," Mike said, then he took measurements.
Last week, with the arrival of spring-like weather, the Bling Project began.
My carpenter, Joel, is going to find an old horseshoe (aka Mary Carol's porch) and put it over the front door. It's un-blingy and absolutely perfect.An invisible compromise.
To help with the "Benjamin Franklin" edict, Mike and Joel built just about everything from leftover trim and wooden pieces.
After it's painted (SW Shoji White), I think it will be lovely. The trim will add some dimension and a bit of old fashioned charm. I couldn't have been more wrong about this porch, and I'm glad that Will stood his ground.
An "at a glance" look:
Just a little reminder: The Novel Bakers will return
Monday, April 7th
with Beatrix Potter Week. Hope you'll join us!