Sunday, March 30, 2014

Renovation Diary: The Front Porch Bling Project

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!





Pin It

Social Bookmarking

23 comments:

  1. Now that is looking like some porch!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I almost fell off my chair, lipstick on a possum. LOL. I like the bling you are adding to the porch, it is looking great and I can hardly wait to see it.
    Have a great week.
    Mary

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, it is fabulous, ML. Can't wait to see this all complete. I see the ceiling is a nice sky blue. Keeping those bugs away! ;-)
    Beatrix Potter Week………..oh, goodie! Rabbits and eggs have been showing up in a few vignettes around here this week. A few little Beatrix Potter things too. Can't wait to see what you girls have for us this round!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Last summer, wasps wouldn't go near the blue--they nested in the porch railing and elsewhere. So there just may be something to Haint Blue!

      Delete
  4. Looking good, lady! So exciting! Crossing my fingers for you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Michael Lee, I am following your house transformation and love seeing your latest developments. I have a very similar front entrance, with the same roof, railings and four columns. After 30 years it is not termites, but water which has done it in! The flat roof lets the water collect a bit and it trickles over the edges (no gutters there!), into the columns and onto the brick landing. The columns are split and the brick and grout etched. And yet with all this I am still replacing it with the same design this summer because it is so classic and appealing and I love it. And speaking of love I am so excited about Beatrix Potter week!!! The Lake District is probably my favorite part of England, and I am looking forward to seeing the creative posts from the Novel Bakers! Linda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Linda. I was worried about that, too. My GC put a 1 degree pitch to the roof...but I have bad roof Karma. Like you, we just couldn't dare put gutters on the step down (Susan from BNOTP gave me that idea--I didn't show the true "before" pics of the porch, but they are on her blog). The next time it rains, I need to grab an umbrella and see what's going on with the porch. I love the Lake District also. My mom and I went there many years ago, and she can't wait for Beatrix Potter week.

      Delete
  6. Wow....guess hubby's can be right once in a while I admit it, I was on your side at first....but seeing it now? It looks beautiful and I love the light blue porch color.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love your comment, Christine. I was the same...I thought, Gee, he's a guy. He can't know about porches. lol
      However, when he saw the Haint Blue ceiling, he asked if that was "normal." :-) When I explained the lore, he was cool with it, though.

      Delete
  7. Wow Michael...and to think it all started with the corbels and bloomed from there...stunning!...I love it...and love the blue ceiling!!..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those corbels have been chasing me from the kitchen to the front door. :-)

      Delete
  8. Wow, what a transformation. Looks like a plantation entrance. Love all that trim work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband would absolutely hug you for saying that! I hope to see you next Wednesday if the creek don't rise.

      Delete
  9. Gorgeous!! You came up with a great plan!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow! Fantastic transformation with all of that lovely trim! My husband and I have similar conversations all the time...I always have to remember it's his house too. The painted brick exterior is such a fresh look. The façade and corbels add just the right bling! Very well done! Catherine (newest follower of your blogging adventures!) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Catherine. Welcome to the farm!

      Delete
  11. I'll bet he'll be tickled pink when he sees the entrance now! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. He'll be tickled pink when he sees that entrance now! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow! I can't wait to see it finished. I can appreciate the challenge this brought but you've done an awesome job!

    When you're done, you'll have to do a whole house tour.

    - Alma, The Tablescaper

    ReplyDelete