Archives For The Great Outdoors

When we first bought our house the porch was a blank canvas. I made curtains for the french doors, hung a swing that my grandfather built, moved the mailbox up from the yard, and got some comfy chairs.

Over time I added plants and decor, painted the doors blue, and stripped the paint from the original brass hardware.

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I was never really sold on the teal doors. Even as I painted them I felt insecure about it. It seemed like a sort of juvenile choice for such an old house. But there wasn’t a doubt in my mind as I rolled on the navy paint. It’s perfect.

navy french doors

I feel like it adds so much more character than the white doors we inherited but is more sophisticated than the teal. And put together with the ferns I have yet to kill, the colorful rug, the old-fashioned mailbox and the wall decor (a thrift store find that I painted white) the whole effect is like a little microcosm of my decorating style and a preview of what lies inside.

bungalow porch with navy front door

It’s funny how such a small change can be so refreshing! And at the same time, it feels like it was always this color. The craziest thing is that I have always, always, always wanted to repaint the porch floor. Ever since we bought this house I have hated the green and wanted to paint it gray instead. But now with the navy door the green is growing on me. It helps that I gave it a good cleaning recently, but I also think that the traditional colors just complement each other nicely. I’m still not ruling out that I’ll paint it someday, but it’s not the glaring eyesore that it once was.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Ours was the kind that felt like it lasted forever but was full of ups and downs. On Saturday we visited family, including my grandfather on my mom’s side who is really not well (put that in the “downs” column). On Sunday Nick took Jack to the zoo while I studied for my LCSW. And today my Pawpaw Gulley (who’s been staying with us for two weeks) is moving into his new apartment! There’s been so much going on with us lately but I’m not ready for summer to end. I hope August lasts forever.

Remember the other day when I told you I’d been inspired by this image:

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On Sutton Place

Well inbetween cooking and studying and baby wrangling I’ve been working little by little on this:

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I spent Wednesday cleaning and taping it (not in that order because where’s the fun in doing things logically?) and yesterday painting whenever I could. Gone are the days of Jack playing peacefully on a blanket while I work so I’ve been limited to when he is sleeping or happily occupied by my Pawpaw. I need to do another coat with a brush, roll probably two coats onto all the flat areas, and then finally tackle the transom up top. We’ve got a busy weekend planned but I’m hoping to get it finished before Monday rolls around.

As for the paint, I’m using some leftover semi-gloss from Jack’s dresser (Olympic Victory Blue). It’s formulated for interiors but since this door is pretty well-protected from the elements by the large covered porch I decided to risk it instead of venturing out to Lowe’s for exterior paint. And since I’m painting over teal instead of a lighter color I think it’ll only take two coats. Isn’t it crazy how green the old color looks next to the navy? I never would have described it as green at all before now. Here’s a before shot for comparison:

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I love it so far even with the crazy blue painter’s tape throwing off my perception of color. I just think navy is so classic and clean. Could it be that my design sensibilities are maturing as I age? Next thing you know I’ll be shopping at Restoration Hardware instead of thrift shops with my fancy self!

When we first bought our house the front doors were painted white like the rest of the trim. On a bit of a whim I painted them blue two years ago.

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I’ve been perfectly content with my muted blue doors for two years now. But last week I spotted this image on pinterest and be still my beating heart I think I need a navy door.

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on sutton place

I love the way it looks with the green ferns and white trim in the photo above (I have those too) and I think it would look even more amazing with the muted yellow of my house. Should I go for it? I’ve got half a quart of high-gloss navy paint left over from painting Jack’s dresser last year and if I hate it I’ve still got some of the original blue paint in my stash as well. It’s just paint, right? The only thing I’ve got to lose is hours of valuable time that I could be doing other things! I think the navy would be a more classic and authentic look for this old-enough-to-be-my-grandparent house. If somebody would come over and tape off all those panes of glass I’d paint it in a heartbeat.

We’ve had this little wicker coffee table on our front porch for as long as we’ve lived in this house. It belonged to Nick’s mom and he co-opted it to serve as a media stand in his room at the frat house. It was one of the few things that came with him when we moved in together and it’s served us well, but I’ve known for a while that I wanted to replace it.

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I’ve had my eye out for something modern. I was thinking maybe metal and glass, but when I saw this orange parsons-style table on the curb I thought it had potential. Once I had it on my porch I thought the proportions were just perfect! The size and scale are a really good match to the space, and the modern lines are a nice juxtaposition with the more traditional swing and wicker chairs

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Unfortunately, upon closer inspection, this table had definitely seen better days. That’s particle board you see poking through the surface.

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But never fear! Being the internet home decor junkie that I am, I recognized that little table as the infamous $10 Lack side table from Ikea. And I just so happened to be planning a trip to Atlanta this weekend. But, ya know, I’m kind of over the Ikea experience. We were coming to town to visit with friends and I really didn’t want to spend half a day being herded like cattle through Ikea’s showroom. I was telling my lovely hostess, Lauren, about my plan to leave Nick and Jack in the car while I ran in to pluck a flat-packed box of side table parts from the warehouse, when she told me she actually had two Lack side tables she wasn’t using. I was planning to get white and she only had birch effect, but I figured I could try my hand at painting it and it would make an informative blog post. Behold: Lack in birch effect on my porch.

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I actually kind of love the birch! It warms things up a bit. There is a little bit of damage on one of the legs where the paper veneer is peeling up. This furniture is not really meant to be outside or stand up to a lot of wear and tear (that’s why it’s only $10). I may coat it with some sort of poly to make it a little more weather-resistant, but even if it only lasts a year I’ll be happy.

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Next I’d love to get some new cushions for the two chairs, but dang if those things aren’t crazy expensive! I’m not sure they’d be cheaper to DIY, what with the cost of foam and all. We shall see what happens.

We had such a great time in Atlanta. We mostly laid low and hung out with BFF”s from high school, drinking Trader Joe’s wine and playing this hilarious game, but we also did a little shopping (HomeGoods! H&M!), had a delicious dinner at Nuevo Laredo, and visited the Grant Park Farmer’s Market. It was the perfect weekend trip.