Earlier in the summer, my favorite mother-in-law Beth offered to come up for a couple of days to help me with any “projects” I might have going on around the house. Now, Steve and I are not really known for projecting around the house. I feel like we’re not even really in our house that much to make it worth the time and effort. However, upon further reflection, I realized that there indeed were many things that could make for a nice day and a half project. (translation= things that desperately needed to be done) 🙂
Beth came up last Tuesday around lunctime and we plotted our course (Thank you Manuela for getting me hooked on “Greek Fiesta”…) Our plan was to attack the back porch/screened in porch area. The screened in porch used to be referred to as the “Zen Room,” b/c when it looks nice, it is a very relaxing and peaceful place to hang out and have breakfast, read, nap, etc. But when it does NOT look nice….it feels about as “zen” as lying down for a nap in a fire ant nest! The problems start by the fact that the screen goes from floor to ceiling. For many months out of year, the white tile floor is tinged an ugly shade of yellow-green from the pollen that is blown in to the room, but unfortuantely b/c of the screens, cannot be blown back out. It’s really hard to keep it clean, and its easier to just ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist until the one time of year that we actually use it – my birthday party in August…
After surveying the porch and getting a vision for what we wanted the end product to look like, it was time to go get some furniture. I didn’t realize this, but evidently August is the best time of year to get patio furniture, b/c everything is on sale! We checked out Target, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Pier 1, World Market, and Home Depot, but ended up getting some fantabulous deals at Lowe’s. I found 4 wrought iron chairs as well as a table, and 4 tan patio chairs (they were only $12.50!!!)
After Beth helped me figure out the things I liked and didn’t like about the porch area, and we decided to make some drastic changes. For starters, we took all the screens OFF completely. It is now merely a “covered” porch. Secondly, we totally destroyed the bar area, which used to have a cute screen that flipped up with the idea that folks on the screened-in side could hi-five folks on the back porch side, but functionally, it wasn’t much more than a bunch of rotten wood. And for anyone reading this, all of this would require a good junk disposal service like Southern Rubbish Junk Removal to effectively clear the rubble and make the place presentable. That took a lot of hard work, let me tell you. I would bet my paycheck that we took out close to 100 screws a piece – ALL by hand, many of them being bent or rusty. When we finished, we had a nice open space, connecting both porches, making if feel like one giant porch!
At this point we began putting furniture together and hosing off the 3 inch layer of pollen from the tile floor. We managed to make a mess of catastrophic proportions that I’m still trying to figure out the best way to get to the dump – but at least we moved it all to the side of the house so its not in plain view anymore! Our grand finale was the most brilliant idea of all – we took the vertical rail pieces from the demolished bar area and fit them in to the empty slots where the two doors used to be – unless you knew otherwise, it would look like it was made that way!
I think the new set up will be a lot easier to keep clean and will be a lot more practical and functional. I can’t wait to have folks over for my birthday party in a couple of weeks to test it out – we’re doing a cookout of course to encourage everyone to linger outside 🙂 Beth and I both worked really hard and were completely wiped out when we were finished – we may not have been the most efficient Demolition Divas, but we certainly got the job done! I realized later that the only thing we forgot was to take an after picture of how WE looked after working all day! Beth – thanks so much for your wonderful ideas and for being in charge of the saw 🙂 Everyone else – feel free to stop in and have some tea on the back porch!