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.