It’s the end of August, and while I try to use our screened porch from March to November (seriously!), it’s just starting to cool off enough that I can enjoy being out there during the daytime. In the heat of the summer, I tend to utilize it in the morning, with a cup of coffee and my Bible, and in the evening, with a glass of wine and whatever book I’m currently loving, because it’s just too HOT to sit out there during the day.
A screened porch is always at the top of my wish-list when we’re moving to a new house, and while we don’t always get one, I love it when we do. My husband is one of those sweet-blooded people who will get a thousand mosquito bites every time he ventures outdoors in the evening, and a screened porch gives me a chance to actually see him outside every once in awhile. The porch here is great–we back up to woods and so there are lots of trees and birds–but while we really like our next-door neighbors, our porch is situated pretty close to their deck. I’ll confess that I sit on the porch in the morning in my bathrobe, so I’ve been mulling over ideas that would give us a bit more privacy, and look pretty to boot.
Our neighbor in North Carolina had a gorgeous side porch on her big old historic house, and she hung huge white sheer curtains that just looked amazing. I always thought I needed an open porch to achieve a similar look, but a few weeks ago when Amy and I were in Ikea, I found these sheer panels that were $5 (for TWO!):
They’re the same panels I used in our master bedroom and sitting room, but for some reason I thought they were on clearance or being discontinued. How great to know I can pick up a set or two anytime I need them!
I bought two sets for a rocking grand total of $10, and then let them sit in the corner for a week or two while I thought about whether I wanted to hang them on tension rods or with a staple gun. They are machine washable, and I’ll likely need to pull them down once or twice a year to wash them and maybe even bleach them. Obviously a tension rod would make that easier, but a staple gun would ensure that they hung exactly the way I wanted them–plus it would be cheaper. The staple gun won.
I stapled each side up and then folded the panel to find the center. I stapled the center in place and then continued to fold the panel, find the center, staple, and so on. In the end I had about nine staples per panel and the panels hung in loose pleats, like this:
Then I tied them with a scrap of burlap feed sack…I didn’t spend too much time on making sure they were hung “just so” as I knew I’d take the ties off and just let the drapes hang from time to time.
Here’s what I started out with (be sure to note our neighbor’s deck–as if you could miss it!):
And here’s how it looks with the sheer panels:
Of course the curtains are sheer–I wanted them to let light and air through, and because they’ll probably get a little wet when it rains, they’ll dry faster than heavier panels. They add a bit of privacy without blocking our view, and the price was right!
I hung a couple of ferns in the corners; they were on sale for $4 each since it’s so late in the season. Our wrought iron table and chairs are great for al fresco meals.
It might say “Martini Time,” but it’s really a beer (and juice box) fridge! I snagged it at the thrift store a few years ago.
The fridge holds long matches for the firepit on the patio, a candle, and a wine bottle stuffed with twinkle lights that my clever neighbor gave me for Christmas a few years ago. It looks so pretty at night!
Here’s my “boring corner.” I’ve thought about adding a bookshelf, a big basket with blankets and magazines, or even an outdoor bar area, but right now it’s the catchall corner for rain boots and garden gloves (and I see the muzzle of a BB gun in the corner of the picture, too!). The big white “B” is from the Cameron Antique Fair in North Carolina; I also bought a big “A” for my daughter’s room from the same lady. Lots of monograms in my house!
I’d like my next project out here to be painting black harlequin diamonds on the floor (which is just pressure-treated deck wood), but that might have to wait until after I clean out and paint my closet. You know I’ll keep you posted!
OK, I hope ya’ll enjoyed the update, but it’s 5:00pm and my wine and book are calling me!
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