We’re stepping out of the kitchen today, and onto the screened in porch. I’m sharing screened in porch ideas on how to make the most of a small budget.
You may remember we live in an old house. And old houses, as charming as they are, demand seemingly constant projects and restorations.
Since we moved into our house nine years ago we’ve: moved the laundry room to a different location, added a closet, added a small bathroom, installed closet systems throughout the house, painted the entire interior, painted it again, installed new lighting, added carpet to one room, refinished hard woods in other rooms, expanded the fence, and last year the biggie… We gutted and remodeled our kitchen. Whew!
This year we are half way through our daunting list of projects. The first was to remodel the deck right off our beautiful new kitchen so we could use it this summer. We invested in all new outdoor furniture and a new grill. We’ve just finished project number two, remodeling the screened in porch off our dining room. The remaining projects are to redo our landscaping, and turn our detached garage into our office/photography studio.
The last two projects are set in motion and I can’t wait to share them with you, but for today, let’s discuss our newly remodeled screened in porch.
Our screened in porch used to be our favorite “room” in the house. We loved sitting out in the fresh air at night, safe from the mosquitos. We had a comfy wicker sofa we purchased from the previous owner and a couple old chairs. It never looked great, but it was cozy.
Yet over the years, our outdoor furniture had been passed around from porch, to deck, to patio, to curb, and what was left on the screened in porch was a different wicker sofa with ottomans and raggedy cushions that used to be out on our deck, an old table we’ve had forever, and my rolling photography table. (Not sure how that happened!)
Also some of the wooden floor boards had softened so much that when you stepped on them, you felt you might fall through the floor. Needless to say it was much less inviting than it used to be.
Keeping in mind that we have a couple bigger home project we want to tackle this year, I didn’t want to sink a lot of money into the screened in porch project.
I stood out on the screened in porch one day assessing the situation. What had to go? What could be reused in some way?
We decided the tired old (probably moldy) cushions had to go, but the wicker furniture was still in pretty good shape… it could stay.
The table could stay, with a little refreshening from Rust-Oleum, and some seat cushions.
Obviously my photography table couldn’t live on the screened in porch any longer, and we had to do something about the dangerous floor.
The rest was all in the accessories!
Budget Screened In Porch Ideas
- Spend your money where it matters
- Reuse/Repaint/Recover instead of Replacing (Upcycle!)
- Rearrange furniture for a fresh look
- Borrow items from other rooms
- Buy accessories on sale, and out of season
We followed these principles, deciding our floor was where the bulk of the budget need to go. We reinforced the floor for security then found clean modern tile at Lowes that wasn’t very expensive. To save money, we paid a friend to help us.
While the floor was in the works, we decided to address the air-conditioning units right next to our screened in porch. We couldn’t really do anything about the hum, but we could mask the eyesore by adding a faux wall made of a few inexpensive well-place boards.
The second priority for our budget was to purchase new cushions for the sofa and ottoman. I would have loved to recover the old cushions, but they were beyond repair.
However pillows are easy to recover. You can make or buy simple covers and slip them on!
We rearranged the furniture so the wicker sofa with bright new cushions is the focal point, and the less attractive table is off to the side.
We borrowed some accessories from other areas of the house, and with the rest of our budget, we filled in accessory items I found on sale.
With summer half way over, this is a great time to start watching for sales on outdoor furnishings and accessories.
We absolutely love our new screened in porch and are so glad we found ways to make big changes on a small budget.
Next month I’ll share more about our yard and office project. Can’t wait!