My favorite room

When I last wrote about the side porch, it was close-but-not-quite finished. (If you missed them, read previous posts about demolition prep, demolition, framing, and porch decking.)

A large, uncovered porch with a white wood railing but without siding

The porch in June

Eric still had to trim out the square corner posts and apply the shingle siding. That sounds like it should go pretty quickly—it would only take about seven minutes on a home improvement show. In real life, it takes two months of weekends and 86 trips to building supply stores.

The caps on the posts did go quickly. We assumed our gender-specific roles: Eric cut the wood and screwed it in place, then filled the holes with stinky two-part epoxy filler that dries hard as rock.

Click on any photo to enlarge it.

Then I took over with the sander and paint, with the help of my assistant, Tara, who specializes in testing painted surfaces for dryness. Here are her results:

Shingling took a lot longer, and was occasionally interrupted by a trip to the store for more shingles (it took almost twice what Eric had originally bought). Tacking up the alternating 3-inch and 6-inch courses on the straight sections of wall went quickly, but when it came to the square corners, that was another story.

Eric had to do a lot of painstaking cutting and fitting, overlapping the corner shingles in alternating directions (one right, the next left), and fitting the shingles around the railings.

Detail of corner shingles overlapping on alternate courses

Corner shingles overlap in opposite courses

I really should say “painsgiving.” Eric essentially was doing squats as he fitted and applied the shingles, which caused a lot of muscle soreness, accompanied by moaning and groaning. But his thighs and the corner posts look great.

Inspired by some neon-bright plant arrangements I saw at our local Ace Hardware, I got excited about refilling the urns that I’ve always kept on the side porch. I managed to snag enough bright annuals to fill them before the fall mums and ornamental kale took over Lowe’s garden department. There’s an urn on each post, although the west one is obscured by the weeping birch tree. I’m hoping the flowers spill over the sides before the season is over.

Urn planted with pink petunias, lotus vine, marigolds, and small blue and white flowers

An urn tops each corner post

I had to have this plant! I’d never seen a spilanthes (acmella oleracea) before. It’s a Brazilian medicinal herb whose floral buttons are known as “buzz buttons,” “Szechuan buttons,” or “electric buttons.” According to Wikipedia, they produce a tingling, numbing, or effervescent sensation in the mouth, accompanied by excessive salivation. I think I’ll pass, thank you.

Green plant with blooms of yellow buttons with red centers

I drooled over this cute plant.

At another garden store, I found Senorita Kitty and a matching pot. Couldn’t resist.

Colorful Mexican pottery cat and pot with cactus

A Mexican pottery kitty seems appropriate for our porch

Then I went a little wild with throw pillows for the bistro set, and a couple of small turquoise and green planters that go with a red one I already had. I succumbed to some trendy colors that complemented Senorita Kitty, but these are colors that I’ve always liked, anyway. Now our side porch has a summery, south-of-the-border vibe.

A brass lantern and three small colorful planters holding succulents

Colorful pots hold succulents

I still need to decide what kind of foundation plantings I want in front of the porch. Something low and evergreen as a base, punctuated with some taller color. But, I will wait until fall to plant anything. It’s so hot and dry this summer, new plants wouldn’t stand the stress.

At last, we could check off this project as DONE!! It was time for our celebration dinner. Duke supervised the table setting.

Dinner for two on the new porch

Dinner al fresco

Boxer looks over tabale set for dinner for two on the porch

Gonna eat that?

Unfortunately, yellowjackets drove us inside not long after we sat down … but that didn’t diminish our celebratory mood. I wander out onto our reborn porch daily just to admire it. Eric did an incredible job, as usual, and I just did a little polishing … as usual.

It’s hard to look at the “before” photos. We took it from this eyesore …

To this beautiful relaxation spot…

It really is my favorite room!

Green ginkgo leaf with 1913 - 2013 below it




13 thoughts on “My favorite room

  1. Karen B.

    This turned out so well! I love the details of the wood work and those urns…they are wonderful with the bright colored plants you selected. The Brazilian plants looks like it grows pimento stuffed olives. 🙂 That is a favorite room, since I believe outdoor rooms count as rooms! Does Eric hire out? 🙂
    Enjoy your weekend, I hope you gave Eric and yourself the weekend off—relaxing required.

  2. Jo

    I can see why you love this space. Well done, Eric. You also, D’Arcy. Your floral details are perfect. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  3. Tom & Judy

    Your new favorite room exhibits the usual expert work that you and Eric always produce. I love bright colors too and your choice in plants, urns, pillows, etc. are wonderful. Good job, guys.

    1. D'Arcy H Post author

      Thanks, T&J! Tonight it’s only 63 degrees and raining! First sustained rain in months … but the porch still looks pretty when it’s wet (from inside, of course)!

  4. Jessica@CapeofDreams

    That would be my favorite room. It is stunning. I like how you stayed true to the original design of the railings and posts, and you decorated it beautifully, especially like señorita kitty. It’s “nice” that you had so much “help” from your pets.

    1. D'Arcy H Post author

      Cats are always so helpful, aren’t they?? Most of this stuff will have to come inside for the winter, but it’ll be fun to decorate this porch for the seasons. Tonight it’s raining and the Seahawks are playing. It already feels like winter!

  5. Angela M. de Grillet

    Love, love, looove it! Congrats on a work well done and exhibiting lots of good taste, too! What a happy, pretty corner! Isn’t it a perfect place to drink the first cup of coffee or tea in the morning???

  6. Nine Dark Moons

    What a gorgeous porch/deck! I love the railing and the shingles and the decor and the plants – amazing!!! All that work was totally worth it – that’s always a great feeling! did you leave Tara’s white paw prints? love senorita kitty too 🙂


Don't be shy! Leave a comment--I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s