Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Vintage DIY: Picture Perfect Porches, Part 2

What's better than breakfast on the back porch on a beautiful Friday morning?
A few weeks ago I shared some of my favorite porch decorating ideas and inspirations.  I promised to share some pictures of my latest porch project upon finishing.  After a few days of hard work, my porch is newly refreshed for the summer!  The best part is that I hardly had to buy a thing!  I used a lot of items I found around the house, or had stored away in the garage or attic.  Here's how to decorate a cozy outdoor space on a budget: 

This year, I wanted to create a larger dining area for entertaining.  I bought this 6 X 8 remnant of  black and white checked vinyl flooring at Home Depot last year for under $20! I wasted $50 last year on an outdoor rug that ended up just getting dirty and ruined from traffic and pets, and this is a MUCH better option for outdoor flooring.  It is easy to spray off and clean with your watering hose, and it adds a great pop of pattern to the porch.  I also painted the porch floor using black concrete porch paint that you can get at Lowe's or Home Depot.  You can get concrete paint tinted to a variety of colors as well, if you want a lighter look.  I looked and looked for a long, farm style table for my eating area, and just couldn't find one the right size anywhere, so i got creative.  I had this long, skinny metal and glass outdoor table that was the perfect length, but too skinny to have people sit on both sides and eat on.  I went up to my attic to see if I could find anything big and flat to lay on top of the table to create more room.  I found an old door that we had taken off a closet and thrown up there a few years ago.  I took all the hardware off and painted it green to match the decor.  Next, I just carefully placed it on top of the skinny table, topped with a blue gingham tablecloth (from Street Scene), and it created just the look I wanted! I purchased mismatched dining chairs for $5 each at Habitat for Humanity Restore and spray painted them black. I had the candle chandelier left over from my wedding, and I spray painted it blue to match the decor, and filled it with citronella tea lights.


I always have a bunch of old mirrors on hand- you never know where you can use them!  I topped this one with a vintage napkin holder, and vintage green dishes filled with citronella candles
Mirrors look just as great hanging on the walls outside!
I love having outdoor curtains to add a little privacy.  Last year I purchased two black and white striped shower curtains from Target to use as curtains.  They were inexpensive, waterproof, and can easily be washed.  Also since they are so wide you can easily make 2 panels out of one shower curtain!  To hang the curtains, I got two extra-long curtain rods at Jo-Ann fabrics on clearance for less than $10!
Any type of long table or bar is great serving space for entertaining outdoors! I purchased this bar at a yard sale a few years ago for $8 and painted it white.  I have used it all over my house ever since!
Create cozy areas on your porch by dividing up the space into separate dining and sitting areas.
Furniture cushions were the most expensive part of my porch.  Usually I have to make my own pillows and cushions for just about all furniture inside and outside my house, because I can never find anything that I really like within my budget.  I decided to invest in some good cushions last year, in a solid color that I knew I would be able to mix and match with different patterns and styles.  I got my chair cushions at Garden Ridge last year, and they are super easy to clean because they are outdoor fabric; if anything gets on them, you can just wipe it off with a damp cloth.  Garden Ridge has the absolute best selection of cushions in town from different colors and prints, to every size and style imaginable (they literally take up over 20 aisles of the store!), and they also have the best prices. I purchased the fabric to make my pillows off of Etsy.  I love how it has many different shades of blue and green, and even touches of black.  My patio furniture was a hand-me-down set from a friend, and I just spray painted it black to freshen it up.  The side tables are all garage sale finds for $1-2 that I also spray painted to fit the color scheme.  Plug-in pendant lights work perfectly for covered porches and I always purchase them when I can find them.  Wicker ones are great because you can paint them different colors, and they are also super light and easy to hang or move!
My husband has been working on building a tobacco stake fence around our porch to help keep our crazy dog off of the porch (she thinks this furniture is just for her to lounge on!)  I am probably going to either white wash the fence when we are done or paint it black.

I made this vintage fabric into a removable pillow cover that I could take off and wash when needed.
You can always find unique items to use as planters at your local thrift stores from old galvanized buckets, wicker planters, to baskets.

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