28 June 2011

Back to the Screened Porch

Saturday was our house's one-year anniversary. And of the 368 days we have now lived here, we've spent exactly zero minutes enjoying outdoor living on our screened porch. Not that we haven't wanted to. It's just that it has always looked like some variation of this:



The sad part is that we actually do have patio furniture. We bought a table, bench, and chairs during construction, but we have been needing to buy and apply teak oil to keep them from turning grey, so we haven't put them into use yet. The pieces are all still sitting in the garage where we put them the day we moved in last year (along with a little shelf we bought slightly more recently from World Market):



The series of events that need to -- or logically should -- take place in a particular order before we can get the space set up has been part of the delay. But with our energy for landscaping waning, we're finally turning our focus to the porch so we can alternate between hot days in the sun working on the yard and hot days in the shade working on the porch.

After a year and a bunch of tilling and earth-moving (two undeniably dusty activities), there was a layer of dust covering everything, but after clearing out a bunch of stuff and going over the space with the Shop-Vac, we have ourselves a clean slate. (A clean slate with a few errant bunnies...not that bunnies can ever really be errant.)



Another task we need to get on is refinishing the natural wood of the window screen frames and door (a year of direct afternoon sun has taken its toll). But before that, the trim desperately needed a deep clean. My apologies if you're eating lunch as you check out this before:



And here's the more appetizing (or at least less unappetizing) after:



Now I just need to get my hands on the finish product, and we'll be in business. (I thought I had found it at a paint store down the street, but they no longer carry it. Then I located another shop, had the good sense to call ahead to confirm that they had it, and went...only to find the store closed (like forever). Apparently the closed store forwarded its calls to another store waaaaay across town and didn't feel the need to make that clear when I called. So the quest continues.)

In a fit of optimism that we'll actually get it done, we've also been shopping for accessories. The guest bed has become the staging area.



Why all of the cushions? With the furniture still in boxes, I'm not 100% sure of the exact dimensions of the seats, so I've been buying every cushion that catches my attention (and passes the comfort test, which a surprising number of cushions don't.) Whichever ones fit the chairs will be the keepers. (That's another part of the urgency. One set is from Marshalls, which has a 30-day return policy, so we need to get this figured out in the next few weeks.) I love love love the green paisley ones, but I know that tan will be easier to accessorize (throw pillows, tablescapes, etc.), so I'll be happy whichever way it works out -- as long as something fits. (I'll probably have to make something for the bench, which is extra-long.)

Then there are our ongoing plans for the walls, floor, and ceiling. More on those as they develop.

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