Porch and Deck Plans: the Fun Part is Here!

It’s blissfully cool here in Georgia right now; I am, in fact, wearing a jacket as I type this, and my air conditioner hasn’t cut on all day. It’s still August, and I’m sure there’ll be at least one more stretch of hot weather to endure before fall settles in for good, but it’s reminding me that it’s time to get moving on our covered porch/deck project so we can enjoy it before it gets too cold to be out there.

As a reminder, we rebuilt our falling apart deck last spring and then promptly went out of town all summer.

Everything is (knock on wood) structurally sound now, but it’s still not very pretty. And it’s high time we did something about that!

Here’s what we’ve done so far (hint: not much):

We bought this rug at Target:

So funny thing about this rug. The label on the package at Target called it an indoor/outdoor rug and said it could be cleaned with a garden hose. I just went to look it up online so I could link to it, and the description on the website didn’t say anything about indoor/outdoor. And one of the questions someone asked was about just this (the label says one thing; the web description says another), and the Target employee who answered said it is, indeed, an indoor rug (he did not address the fact that the label says otherwise).


Well, at any rate, we have this rug now, and I guess we’ll see how it holds up. It’s got a roof over it, so perhaps that will help.

And we bought this chair at the thrift store:

Inspiration pieces? Sure, let’s go with that!

Because until I found that rug, I was thinking that there was going to be a lot of green out here. I was, in fact, considering an opaque green stain for all the woodwork.

But now I’m not.

It’s been a long evolution to me letting go of the idea of a colored stain, in fact. We added a screen porch to our old house and stained it all green, and I was remembering that fondly and thinking of trying to recreate it here:

I’m quite smitten with green lately, but every time I think I’m going to use it somewhere, some other idea comes along to knock it out. Well, I guess Abe’s room is pretty darn green.

Anyway, though, that rug bulldozed right over my green stain idea. So it better not be a rug that’s not supposed to be outside after all and falls apart in a week.

Here’s what we’re thinking now. Well, first a reminder of where we’re starting. Here’s the covered part:

Maybe a medium dark stain on all the wood except for the ceiling. I’m still planning on a little color there, but probably some shade of blue instead of green. A big, rustic table for the covered area of the porch, with that wicker chair on one end, maybe another wicker chair on the other end, and then some mismatched wooden chairs on the sides. Or maybe a bench on one side and chairs on the other.

A new ceiling fan (which involves getting an electrician out here; that current ceiling fan doesn’t work at all) and string lights.

In theory I’d love plants everywhere out here. In reality, I’m not awesome at keeping plants alive. But I am thinking a few tables or shelves with some plants; in particular I had some success growing greens in containers last spring, so I might start small and focus on a container salad garden. And maybe a lemon tree! That I can move inside when I need to? I don’t know much about lemon trees. I will look into this.

I’m wondering, and would love to hear from anyone with covered porch experience, if it’s reasonable to buy some kind of cabinet for out here to keep dishes in. Would things still just get super dusty even with something with doors? I’d love to be able to keep a porch specific set of dishes out here instead of trying to find room for it in the kitchen.

I’m also on the lookout for a big hanging rattan chair for out here. Although sometimes I worry that that will make things too crowded (the covered porch is how we all (including the dogs, about 800 times a day) get down into the backyard, so it needs to not be too cluttered to walk through easily).

And the uncovered deck:

This isn’t a huge area, and I’m not planning on putting much out here. I want to get rid of that green table set and move the one that’s currently on the covered porch out here instead (after it gets a paint job). And then Abe’s water tables are out here and our grill, and….that’s probably about it.

Except, oh! Dave wants to put a horizontal board along the top of the railing to make it look nicer. So I guess we’ll do that. And then maybe some more plants if I don’t kill the ones in the covered area first.

So that’s it! It’s actually not a huge project; it’s just a matter of diving in and getting it done. It should seem easy compared to the part where we actually had to create a functional deck! We’re hoping to get started on staining very soon, but the cool weather I spoke of so excitedly has come with a forecast full of rain, so we’ll have to be patient.




Porch and Deck Plans: the Fun Part is Here! — 5 Comments

  1. If the rug falls apart quickly you can always go with green stain. As far as the ceiling, my grandmother’s porch ceiling was always blue (south Alabama). The sky is blue. (My Kentucky grandparents’ porch ceiling was green–dark green. On a north facing porch with a very dark brick wall and dark brick posts and (would you call them?) railings. It was, shall we say, deeply shady out there.)

    • I’m kind of going for cave like, I think–that sounds cooler to me :). I’ve always loved the light blue ceiling look on covered porches, but now that’s it actually time to do my own, I’m not sure I’m feeling it out here.

  2. Cave-like is good. I have to admit that my Alabama grandmother’s porch, which faced east, was blistering hot most of the summer. I would read out there in the porch swing anyway.

  3. Love that rug and it actually wouldn’t be all that hard to keep plants alive out there. You could use one of this automated watering systems. They work great.

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