Dressing Up the Screened Porch for Fall

I posted the other day with photos of my front porch, so of course I couldn’t leave the screened porch out.  I grew up with a screened porch, and we ate dinner out there almost every night when the weather permitted.  I also spent many an hour curled up out there with a good book.  Small wonder that a screened porch has always been at the top of my “wish list” whenever we’re moving and searching for a new house.

Our North Carolina house, that we left this summer, had an awesome screened porch (I’ll show it to you below, just for fun).  The high ceilings of that era made it feel so airy, and we had a fountain just off in the side yard, so when we sat out there we got to enjoy the sound of running water, too.

This is the view from the kitchen; there are actually two other doors onto this porch, from the front entry hall and the library.

The steps leading up to the formal English garden and the fountain.

I love to include pictures of our old house because that house was pure eye candy, and even though it makes me nostalgic for it, I think all of us house-lovers really enjoy looking at gorgeous old houses.

I’ve mentioned it before, but our current house is about 90 years newer, so it’s completely different.  The screened porch is right off our kitchen and has a great view of the green space (that’s the fancy realtor-name for woods!) which defines our back property line.  There’s a little stream down there, somewhere, and the kids are forever coming in muddy and needing to be checked for ticks because it draws them like a magnet!

The wicker furniture is from K-mart.  I honestly abhor Kmart, but their Martha Stewart outdoor furniture is usually a pretty good deal.  It took me about two hours and a chat with the manager to get this furniture purchased and loaded into my car back when we lived in Virginia, but it was worth the trouble.  The seagrass rug is from Pier 1 and the side tables are actually plant stands from Hobby Lobby.  I just flipped the rug over because there’s a big black spot on it from where my son decided to spray paint his Nerf gun black.  Really, why mess up perfectly good newspaper when you can use an expensive rug as a dropcloth?!

The table and chairs are a must in my opinion, because we also like to eat on the screened porch whenever we can.  In fact, it’s about the only way that my sweet-blooded husband can be outdoors in the spring and summer without getting eaten, and the mosquitoes still sometimes find their way in to him!  The table was a curbside find in our old neighborhood in Virginia Beach.  It was a dark forest green when I found it and I spray painted it white.  The glass table top was intact, which was very lucky–someone’s trash was definitely my treasure!  I looked for the longest time to find chairs that matched and finally found them at the Cameron Antique Show in Cameron, North Carolina.  I recovered the seats with fabric that I already had and I think the table and chairs look like they belong together.

The centerpiece on the table is perfect for fall–hedgeapples from the woods out back and grapevine balls in a bowl that I bought at a yardsale and–you guessed it–spray painted white!  Hedgeapples (aka Osage apples) are supposed to be nature’s DEET and repel bugs and spiders, but we haven’t tested it out on hubby yet.  They do, however, smell great–kind of citrusy.

This isn’t the greatest shot of the chandelier–it really isn’t crooked even though it kind of looks that way in the picture, but I had to show it off.  I scored it on Craigslist for $20.  It was a rusty red color, so I taped everything off and gave it a coat of white paint.  I was tempted to make it a funky bright color, but since we’ll sell or rent this house when we move on in a couple of years, I stuck with a color that would please most everybody.  I had another lighting nightmare, like in my laundry room, when I pulled down the old, rusty ceiling fan, because once again, there was no electrical box in the ceiling.  I figured it out, but it took WAY longer than the 30 minutes I had planned!

I’m on the lookout for a piece to fit in the corner by the sliding door, right under my white “B”.  I’d like something that’s more indoor furniture than out, like an old dresser or some wooden shelves.  Something to watch for at the next flea market!

I used some more hedgeapples and some sprigs of purple berries (also from the back yard) in a basket to bring in some fall decor.

Long matches for the outside firepit and votive candles in mason jars sit on top of the mini-fridge.  The wine bottle filled with twinkle lights was a gift from my neighbor last Christmas–too cute!

As always, I’ve got a couple more things to do out here.  First, in my messy corner (there’s always one in each room–trust me!) I have an old antique hanging basket that I need Chris to hang for me.  I think I’m going to have him put it on the side of the house.  I usually fill it with seasonal flowers, pine cones, grapevine balls, etc.  Also, I am dying to paint or stain black harlequin diamonds on the floor, which is just pressure-treated wood decking.  Not sure if that will happen before the holidays or if it will be a spring project, but I’ll be sure to share it when it does!

Stay tuned; we’re about to do our first giveaway in the next few days!  (Update:  click here for the giveaway that runs 11/21-11/27).

As always, thanks for stopping by, and have a happy fall, y’all!

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