Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rite of Spring - Opening the Screen Porch.


Porch before-all shut up for winter.

Porch after- all open for spring.
 Years ago I asked a friend of mine if she would move to Maplewood for a Butlers pantry? And she said NO! And then she asked me if I would get married for a screen porch, we both said yes! Maplewood is a subdivision of St Louis. It is now a  much nicer neighborhood ,  than, when I asked that question, but at the time, it was not very desirable. I was renting and looking to move, when I saw a ad in the paper about a house in Maplewood with a butlers pantry.I have always dreamed of a house with a butlers pantry. I think I would like to live in one, just the pantry,no other rooms.   My friend had just divorced and was enjoying her new found freedom and I guess she was dating some old koote that had a house with a screen porch. Well moral of the story, I never found any one to marry me with a porch,with money enough to build one, or any other reason, I guess? So I had to build my own porch.
    When I bought, My Old Historic House, there was an awful concrete block garage added to the side. There had been a porch there at one time. Off went the garage- the very first day.It was two years after that before I could save enough to build the screen porch. The first year I did the floor and a roof..It had to set another year before I could finish it. Then in the spring of that 4th year, she  got done. I put in  a bead board ceiling and 1/4 bead board walls. Stained the floor with a dark gray deck stain. Painted everything white, including the back outside brick wall of the house. I had a ceiling fan installed and a French Iron chandelier.And then I could move in. I have always had a passion for wicker furniture, and some how can't say no to a piece, so I had a basement full.After painting the wicker with a fresh coat of white paint,I moved it in.

Mop and Bucket all ready.

Do you think the floor is really dirty?

This view makes me keep going,mop,mop,mop!!

Dining chairs with faded seats and white paint splashes.

This side done.

I found this in Atlanta from a picker who brings them over from France.

   Having a screen porch is wonderful, but also has it's trying side. When it rains things get wet, so I had to buy patio covers to cover everything, or else, move the cushions inside every time you used them.The same thing happened with the sun, it would soon fade things and then there is the problem with the dirt from the street outside. But the covers take care of all those problems, just makes it a little more work to keep covering and covering.The floor has to be moped every week and since the space is small, I have to carry everything into the kitchen,mop and carry it back. I think it is worth it, when I have my breakfast and dinner out there every  day and night.
    My dear sweet Sister made all the cushions and slip covers for me. It sure helps to have some one around that can and will do that.I used a blue and white toile fabric along with a French pillow ticking.There is just something about blue and white, it has a cooling effect and I thought it would cool off that porch. What do you think?

It's starting to come together!

Another wall done.

My favorite this serving cart.

French Wire Garden Plant Stand with shells.

You've seen these before.

Out this came from the kitchen.

   There is a great view of the Mississippi River and I place the dining table where you could set and eat and see the boats go by. My favorite time on the porch is in the evening. There is usually a cool breeze from the river, fire flies and it's just very peaceful. Oh yes, a great place to take a nap. The porch is a favorite place of Sissy Dogs. She can see out the window and  bark at the neighbors dogs and cats.She was the first out when I started cleaning it up.

Mary Alice Hadley Country Pottery, I just love, love,love it. It is too heavy to use so I decorate with it.

My slip covered dining chairs. I designed them and my Sister made them.

A better look at the slip covers that just tie on front and back.

Sissy Dog's favorite spot.The neighbor has 2 dogs and a cat. Bark, bark,bark!!!!

It's starting to come together.

Little dining area.

   Opening the porch each spring is a delight and a big chore. It has been closed since Nov. and there is 5 months of dirt. Last winter the porch had 3 feet of snow on it. So that left its mark as well. So I have to move everything off, mop the floor 2 or 3 times. Wipe down the screen and bead board. Clean the fan,chandelier and wicker. Move everything back out there and bring all the cushions down from the closet up stairs and then the accessories. When it is done I usually step back and just look. I had breakfast there this morning and then covered it all back up as it is going  to rain today.

Don't you just love the farm theme on this pottery?

The Mississippi River is on one end and my garden is on the other.

   I hope you enjoy my journey of opening the screen porch. Come by for a visit and a glass of sweet tea. I will leave the French Iron chandelier on and Sissy Dog will meet you with a jump and a kiss. Just give us some warning as I will have to un-cover just before you get there, Happy Spring!

My neighbors have a 2 car garage and they always leave the cars out. Would be nice to st on the porch and not see a car and a truck. I see a tall rose trellis coming on!

The ceiling fan has bead board blades.

From my garden.

Sissy Dog send you kisses from My Old Historic House, screen porch.


Divine Theatre said...

Oh Richard! I just love it! Sissiy looks so happy too! Please show your garden! I am begging you!
It's almost time for the magazine to hit the shelves!


Bruce Barone said...

OH MY! I so want to visit!!!

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Oh Richard your porch is just wonderful my friend..I wished I was there sitting and sipping a sweet tea with you and Sissy girl..I love all your fabric choice..Just so beautiful my friend..Let's trade houses OK?? Take care my friend..Hugs and smiles Gloria

Tallulah's Antique Closet said...

What a beautiful view! I also luv the poarch you have some great treasures in there. Have a great Saturday.......Julian

Babs said...

Richard, What a lovely screened porch and with a river view! I want one.
Your sister did a fabulous job on the slip covers. I like the stripe mixed with the floral on the white wicker. It's a lovely place to sip a glass of iced tea.

lvroftiques said...

Richard I can imagine just sitting there for hours and hours (iced tea in hand) and watching the river go by *sighs* What a wonderful spot! And although it can be a lot of work, I think it's worth every bit of it! And ya didn't even have to get married for it! *winks* But I'm pretty sure the ladies would be lining up to marry YOU for it now! LOL! Give Sissy girl some loves from me OK? Vanna

Sissysmom said...

Yes...definitely a tall rose trellis!! Otherwise perfection!

Bohemian said...

Oh, who doesn't love a screened Porch... I'm still saving towards and dreaming of ours... one day...

I love how Sissy is presiding over her domain... so regal! *winks* And the Shells... *swooning*, I have this enormous stash of huge Conch Shells and Abalone Shells for my "one-day" outside living area... Your Porch is fabulous!!!

Dawn... The Bohemian

mississippi artist said...

Beautiful porch! There is nothing like a screened porch and a glass of sweet tea! Oh, Sissy is a beautiful dog and she knows how to pose for the camera. The blue and white slipcovers are perfect. Now following.

Holt House said...

Perfect porch, perfect view!

Texas Tea Party said...

Thanks for giving me your card about your blog! I am now back in Texas with my family. We have unloaded the car but I haven't unboxed the beautiful roses china I bought in your wonderful shop. I loved petting Sissy and meeting you. Your post about your porch is so great and I see you have a view of the Mississippi River from there. A blog you might enjoy is "Between Naps on the Porch", Susan is in Georgia and has a Thursday Tablescape with over 100 people participating with their lovely table settings. She also visits historic homes, antique malls, and offers interesting ideas. Your Missouri town was one of the highlights of our trip. Thanks again!

Marcia said...

Another great blog from my favorite blogger! I remember last year having a birthday party on the porch...was that ever fun! I'm so happy I'm in Clarksville and can take advantage of what others just have to drool over here!

victorian parlor II said...

Your porch is gorgeous! I like white whicker on porches-it just seems so comfortable:).



support said...

Hi Richard, Thanks for your comment on the 19th Century blog. Your dining area is looking fabulous I must say, keep up the good work!

If you ever need a Victorian Lamp Posts for your garden please just let me know! We could ship it from the foundry to your door in next to no time!

Take care!



Brigitte said...

Good morning Richard,
I can just imagine you sitting there having your morning coffee right now with sissy dog on your side.LOVE the close up picture of her.She is a most beautiful dog..just picture perfect !
Your porch is marvelous with the white wicker and classic blue-white cushions.I am also a blue-white fan,mostly with dishes though.Wonderful view !
( I also thought when the car picture came up ...wish that car wasn't in it ) .....your house/home is perfect and now you DO need roses.Buy some ramblers they'll grow fast :-)
have a great day,

Brigitte said...

you're indeed lucky :-)

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Richard, I am a huge fan of blue and white so of course I am in love with your beautiful porch! The wicker and fabric you used are fabulous and the porch is beautifully decorated. How wonderful to relax here and enjoy the view of the river.
Take care,

lvroftiques said...

Richard your comment about your brothers cracked me up! They sound very....ahem...manly! Haha! Now how did you end up so differently? (not that you're not manly but you know what I mean *winks*) I too am the black sheep in my family. The rest of my family couldn't give a poop about things being "pretty" And most of them are allergic to antiques......I keep asking my mom if I was left on the doorstep or something....but I'm the spitting image of both my parents. LOL! Vanna

Katie@LeBeauPaonVictorien said...

Thanks for the tour of your porch; it's amazing! I also love the combo of blue and white; it's one of my favorite combinations (as evidenced by my obsession with blue and white transferware!)
I can see why you'd love to sit out there for just about everything!...I adore the slipcovers for the dining chairs too. I'd like to get a couple pieces of white wicker for my porch, even though we don't spend much time on our porch (we don't have the great view that you do!)

Angelina Garcia said...

Opening the porch is one of the best thing to look forward to when spring comes. Yes, having a porch has a trying side. But it has many benefits too. It's a great place to relax, sip your tea, or read some books and feel the outside without having to go out your home. =)

Angelina Garcia