Disclaimer: I partnered with Lowe’s to bring you this makeover. All opinions, words, and photography are my own, or my friend Grosgrain’s.
Last week, my friend Kathleen from the blog Grosgrain and I headed out of town for a Lowe’s makeover campaign. With the help of some Lowe’s volunteers, we completed a screen porch and deck makeover for a cute family of four in Yardley, PA. If you missed my Screen Porch & Deck Makeover Plan post, be sure to check it out and to see how I developed a design plan for this space! To complete this makeover in just two days time, Kathleen and I put in 16-hour days, and countless hours of planning before arrival. I’m proud to say that all of our hard work paid off! In spite of a few glitches, the porch and deck turned out exactly as pictured in my mind’s eye. I love it when that happens. 🙂
Here is a reminder of what the space looked like before and what it looks like now! Can you even believe it’s the same space?
When I was painting a rug, creating corner pipe curtain rods, and building a box mantel there were some nervous and doubting glances directed my way. I assured everyone that there was a method to my madness and to trust in the process. Although, I have to admit that the Kaleen Bikini Rectangular Aqua Transitional Indoor/Outdoor Hand-Hooked Area Rug nearly pushed me over the edge. I’ve painted rugs and fabric before but this baby did NOT want to be painted and fought back….hard. We persevered though–and two coats of primer and three coats of Valspar Reserve Paint Plus Primer later–we had a gorgeous striped rug!
In the before pictures of the deck, you can see there was a lot of unused space and the outdoor table wasn’t in the best shape. With Lowe’s furnishings, I was able to give the family an outdoor seating area AND a beautiful table that comfortably seats six.
Now that you’ve seen a few of the “afters”, let’s back up and talk about how all of this came to be! Mike is a work-from-home dad and cares for their two sweet kids, Liam and Katherine. He really wanted a retreat for his family and hard-working wife. Laura works as a social media and corporate communications manager for a large company and wanted a place to unwind with her family after work and to entertain on the weekends. In their application, Mike & Laura requested updated furnishings and a better space plan for their porch and deck. I knew I could deliver! Some spaces just speak to me, and after reviewing all of the potential applicants with Kathleen, we knew that this project was the one. Laura & Mike actually chose this home because they loved the screen porch! They knew that with a little TLC the porch and deck could become an amazing outdoor retreat. They were right. 🙂
My goal going into this makeover was to create an outdoor space that reflected the casual elegance of the family. It became clear right away that the furnishings needed to be bright, colorful, sturdy, kid-friendly, and low maintenance. The first and most important step of the transformation was to brighten the space by priming and painting the porch using Valspar Reserve Exterior Paint! The original porch trim was a dark and dreary brown that closed off the space and made it feel small. A team of Lowe’s department managers worked hard to help me prep, prime, and paint this space. Do you see all of those balusters? Yikes! Painting a screen porch with the screens still in place is not for the faint of heart! It is hard work and this team did a fantastic job.
While porch painting was in progress, Kathleen and I tackled Voldemort, also knows as The-Rug-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. We measured, taped, primed, and painted until we could paint it no more!
I think our rug conversations entertained Michael as he worked tirelessly next to us, putting together ALL of the furniture. Each furniture item had to be unboxed, unwrapped, and assembled. We had a LOT of boxes!
On the second day, we shopped for last minute furniture and accessories, gave the porch a final coat of paint, hung the mantel and artwork, hung the pipe curtain rods, painted the bar cart, planted the flowers, sewed the drop cloth curtains, placed the furniture, and styled and photographed the space. Phew! It was a crazy day of work and fortunately we had Stan from Lowe’s helping us out. Kathleen and I could NOT have done it without him and his positive attitude! Thanks Stan!
I used the allen + roth Sea Palms Warm Gray Aluminum Strap Patio Chairs to create an adjustable seating arrangement on the porch. I love the versatility that this set provides! If the family wants to take a seat or two outdoors, they can comfortably do so. The seats are lightweight and detach easily from one another.
The beautiful allen + roth Belanore 40-in x 40-in Aluminum Square Patio Coffee Table is heavy, spacious, durable, and kid-friendly. I wanted a coffee table that looked like wood but didn’t have the worry of wood. No one wants to have to fuss about drink rings and coasters when sitting on their porch! This table compliments the mantel and oil-rubbed bronze furnishings and is durable enough for a child to climb upon. It will be perfect for board games, appetizers, cocktails, and whatever other summer fun is thrown its way!
Changing out the old ceiling fan to the Harbor Breeze Merrimack 52-in Antique Bronze Outdoor Ceiling Fan with Light Kit and Remote Control made a huge difference! We also updated all of the outdoor fixtures to the Design House Mason Oil-Rubbed Bronze Outdoor Wall Light which is a rustic barn light which perfectly compliments the fan.
I loved the exposed brick chimney and knew immediately that it needed to be a focal point for the porch. I built a mantel and created a framed engineer print for the family which adds some personalization to the space. (I’ll add some tutorials soon on how I created each!) All of the outdoor pillows were found in stock at the local Lowe’s. They have some really cute pillows this year, and I had fun choosing the ones I wanted!
One tip to help soften outdoor rooms is to include curtains. Curtains always make an outdoor space feel more like a room! We created a simple corner pipe curtain rod using supplies from the plumbing section at Lowe’s. Then we hemmed drop cloths, folded them at the top to mimic a pinch pleat, and attached the “pleats” to the ring clips. Be sure to spray your fabric with an outdoor waterproof spray to prevent it from mildewing.
Outdoor Seating Area
The space directly outside the porch was the perfect spot for a cozy outdoor seating area! Laura had pinned these Garden Treasures Tucker Bend Warm Gray Steel Woven Patio Stationary Chairs and I loved their structural shape.
I used the inexpensive Safavieh Courtyard Rectangular Blue Transitional Indoor/Outdoor Woven Area Rug to ground the chairs.
This is the perfect spot to sit in the sun and chat with friends!
Outdoor Dining Room
The splurge item for this makeover was definitely on the outdoor dining set! The family wanted a low-maintenance, durable, glass-free tabletop that could endure harsh winters.
The Home Styles 8-Piece Largo Cushioned Cast Aluminum Patio Dining Set is a sturdy set that is built to last. This table should provide the family with many years of summer meal memories!
Thank you Lowe’s for including me as a designer in the Lowe’s makeovers! My only regret is that I didn’t video the family during the final reveal. Laura, Mike, and the kids were THRILLED with their new outdoor retreat and their precious reaction was “makeover show” worthy! It was an honor to help this family create their outdoor dream backdrop for upcoming and future summer memories!