Apartment Therapy Features Coolest Porch in Seattle

Last month, Keri Petersen got note that Apartment Therapy wanted to feature a porch project she submitted as a professional project. Actually, the project was accepted by three publications, but Apartment Therapy won. This is exciting for me, because it's MY porch! So I may be bias, but if Apartment Therapy says my porch is cool, then it is. 

In 2009 when we bought our house, there were a ton of problems. And as first-time homebuyers, my husband, Sol, and I had big dreams of what the house could be. But first we had to tackle some less-fun projects, including plumbing, a roof, electrical, and insulation. 

But Sol, with a mind for design and space-planning, had a vision for creating an enclosed porch that would be a true living space. He transformed a drab, tired, forgettable porch, into a noteworthy space that inspired Keri to jump on board and make it something spectacular. 

Here's how it went. First, check out the before and after pictures. 

South side before: Brown, slightly drab, great light, but under appreciated. 

South side after:  Everything seen here is new from the floors to the ceiling. Detailed below. 

North side before:  two windows, covered in vinyl siding, and what you cannot see is that it is severely sloped. 

North side before: two windows, covered in vinyl siding, and what you cannot see is that it is severely sloped. 

North side after: The two spaces can be united or separate. Again, new everything, if salvaged. Nothing was salvageable from the previous porch. 

My husband, Sol, is fortunately a genius at space planning and design. Not to mention, his degrees in architecture and construction management come in quite handy when it comes to house projects. His vision of this porch was met with my resistance because I just didn't understand how amazing the end product was going to be. 

Sol's plan was to: 

  • Enclose the porch completely
  • Replace the flooring that was actually rotting, and replace it with fir car decking. 
  • Replace the windows
  • Tear out the vinyl siding and replace it with cedar salvaged lap siding
  • Vault the ceiling--via removing the old ceiling, and installing trusses. 
  • Create an attic access above the front door
  • Install French doors
  • Add insulation
  • Install additional ceiling lighting and light switches

To the left is a small gallery of progress along the way. As most house projects tend to go, once you start doing one part, another part needs to be done, then another, then another. Until essentially you have a completely new product. 

Here's the fun finished product pictures! I told Keri that I wanted to prove that you can make a room (or in this case porch) cool and inviting, without having to break the bank. That it can be amazing to find the special one-of-a-kind pieces, leaving room to splurge on some of the amazing pieces that pull it all together. Here is the finished product. 

Old plant stand from my yard, spray painted in a bronze, topped with some potted plants we had. We repurposed an old (very heavy) pulley to use as a hanging planter. Don't ask me how Sol put that on the wall--it's so heavy, I prefer to leave it a mystery. Though I think it's done using something called an "anchor bolt."

Here's a close up of the pulley and plant.  Keri wanted "tiny white flowers" that spilled over. Adding delicate touches to an otherwise rough and rustic hanger created a complimentary contrast. 

Don't ask me how Sol put that on the wall--it's so heavy, I prefer to leave it a mystery. Though I think it's done using something called an "anchor bolt." Sol then used thin cable to create a harness for the pot, and now it hangs year round with pretty flowers. 

Porch at night. 

One of the things I love about the finished product is that the space at night is as lovely as it is during the day. The geometric pendant from Restoration Hardware has an Edison bulb that gives the whole space a warm glow. Pictured above are a combination of Craig's List finds including the mid-century Westnofa chairs, the vintage turquoise GE fan (still works), and the wooden whale--which we stained dark. Add the stump that Sol found on the side of the road. He stripped down the stump and finished the top--voila, we have a table. The pots I've had forever. The sessile rug was Ikea. Yellow vase is a Goodwill find. The rocks glasses were a golf tournament prize my grandma won in 1964. And the pillows were a splurge from Anthropologie--but totally worth it. The hanging D was from a sign salvage yard, vintage, and free. 

Keri suggested we take some old bead board that we had already from an old home, and paint the words "Hey Ya'll" on it. It's actually pretty perfect. I love the look of the marine cage lights on the white siding. White on white almost always works. 

Add some candles and a citrus tree in a blue ombre pot for good measure. 

The rest of the gallery highlights the porch in all of it's magic. The look of the floors were intentional. The floors were first painted, sanded, and finished with a satin finish to leave it looking worn and rustic. I wanted to achieve a place to relax but that is perfectly imperfect. Keri totally understood my vision. Now I use my porch everyday. I sit and ready or work on my laptop. I have a cup of coffee and watch the rain. I sit with Sol and chat after I've put my kids to bed. The porch used to be a place I just passed through to get to my front door. Now it sets the stage for the rest of my home. And everyone who comes over always tells me, "your porch could be in a design magazine!" And now I can respond with, Apartment Therapy thinks so too! 

Here's a look at the rest of the photos.