First up- Happy First Day of Spring! I am SO READY for spring and I know so many of you are feeling the same. Winter has been a bit of a doozy and we are starting spring off with rainy weather and snow leftover from the storms- but currently, as I am writing this post- there is a little break and the sunshine peeking through is giving me all the spring feelings!
Even though our house and yard look nothing like this beautiful scene right now- todays post is about the front porch.
Front Porch Renovation Ideas
You know, sometimes you have a project that is one that came out of nowhere. Maybe it is a wild hair idea that popped up and is exactly Perfect – and so you are running with it. Or maybe it is more like a project that pops up that wasn’t necessarily on the radar that is the result of a broken pipe for example- or maybe crazy storm damage. Those are projects that are all about taking lemons and making lemonade. Today it is lemonade-and we are taking it to the porch.
The Front Pergola
This is the porch after the snow and winds came through. The pergola came down and took out the window boxes and some of the antique planters I had on the porch. My bad- I should have thought about moving them ahead of time. But honestly, did not believe we would see this kind of weather here.
The ladder is there after my husband had been up on the roof to get some snow off before the next storm moved in. I have mentioned we don’t get weather like this where we live- it is very unusual and the result of that winter storm that was dropping snow down to about 500 feet elevation all over California- even on the beach. This view of the snow piled up is a lot more than what the rest of our property got since much of this pile was shoveled off the roof and onto the patio below. A lot of the landscape is regular now after all the rain- except for the piles of snow that became huge after coming off the roofs of buildings mostly.
The Ligustrum at the end were about 14′ tall probably- they are about half that now after breaking off – you can kind of see them peeking out on the side in the Before photos- those were taken in 2017/2018 for my first book. They grow fairly quickly and needed a trim- so nature took care of that I suppose.
The pergola was fairly simple in design and dressed up the expansive cement patio area we have in the front of the house. The front of the house has 2 levels of patio. The top- where the pergola was. And then a couple of steps down to a bottom patio where there is another area for seating and dining areas where the arbor and the picket fence are. The best photo I have that kind of shows what those patio areas look like is a Before photo of where we started when we bought this house. Every time I see the Before photos – I question my sanity.
The top patio is level and a good size- about 24′ long and probably 15-16′ deep. It has coved steps up to the door and then a long bank of coved steps down to the bottom patio which is more on a slant. So the top area that is level has always been one I imagined could work well for an addition. The main issue was the roofline and how it could tie in – that gave us some pause so it has kind of been a back burner project. And when we built the pergola- we solved the lack of charm the front facade of the cottage had when we started and it looked beautiful.
Rebuild or Reimagine
The question of the day: Should we rebuild the pergola or go in a different direction?
Obviously, simply replacing the pergola would be the least expensive, quickest and easiest fix. It isn’t too complicated and we could probably re-use some of the larger pieces of lumber that did not break. And to be honest- we may just do that and call it good. We enjoyed the look it had and it offered a nice bit of shade during the summer- it was a good fit.
But, you know me. I am looking at this mess as an opportunity for a change. So back to that idea we have chatted about for awhile.
Sunshine Filled Sun Room or Sun Porch
I mean, a beautiful room full of windows and French doors leading to the outside- amazing right? I would love to add a beautiful sun room. It has been something we have actually thought about doing for awhile now and though there are some issues we would have to figure out- it would be a beautiful addition. I take the pergola being damaged and falling down as a sign that this is the time to go in a new direction here. If I can just convince my husband the same- it might happen. haha.
So what would it look like? Well, an inspiration post is full of inspirations- so sharing a few and some thoughts below.
First up- this front view kind of sums up what I would like if we decide to go with a porch addition. French doors on repeat across the front. I can already imagine opening them all up to enjoy the warm days that are coming. The top patio area with the poured concrete structure is perfect for a floor as is with just a little bit of paint. Though, I will be honest, I would love brick too.
The whole front in French doors for the patio would probably take 3-4 sets to go the full length with structure in between each. Another French door looking out towards the cottage and the other sides of the room would connect to the living room and the kitchen where windows and a doorway are currently.
I imagine the roof would be traditional- and interior wood planks with beams- much like the originals inside the house and cottage.
From the Inside
The outside concrete steps are beautiful and full of patina- I love the step down and the coving is beautiful. Though they do take up a bit of space in that corner so that would be unusable- but they would add a ‘bringing the outdoor in’ vibe. And the windows and door in the living room and kitchen would probably end up being an open beam area much like we have going into the kitchen and entry porch.
I love the idea of also being able to access a porch room through the kitchen- those original 1940’s patio steps led to 2 doors kitty corner – one into the kitchen which we closed off and one into the living room which we have a door there even now- though we don’t usually use that door.
I mean- this. This is So pretty. And pretty close to what I would love it to look like. I love the doors on repeat along with the lanterns -and the little bits of pergola for vining plants. And of course, you know I see those columns on the end there too and think we could possibly re-use the ones we have to create a pergola over the bottom patio.
You know my husband will LOVE me when I share these thoughts and ideas with him! haha.
The bottom patio area which currently it has a seating area and dining table. The bottom patio is one we have been talking about revamping it since last year. Adding a fountain and some different landscaping. If we tackle adding a sunroom like this -the redesign for the bottom patio would likely happen at the same time. I will put a mood board together to share more of those ideas soon.
A LOT to think about, talk about, and explore. And who knows if it is the direction we will go in – there are costs, roof tie in, logistics and other bigger projects we have been mulling over as well that might push this to the back burner again. But my not so practical side votes in favor of course.
I have all these photos and another 60 or so more on my Pinterest board ‘ Sunshine Filled Sunrooms’ – follow along on Pinterest for more inspiration as I save ideas there.
What do you think?
Do you vote to simply rebuild the pergola?
Add a sunroom/sun porch ?
Add a sunroom porch And rebuild the pergola?
I will keep you posted on what direction we decide to go in and of course, take you along on the project whatever it is. Happy First day of Spring everyone- I hope you have some blue skies and sunshine giving you all the spring feelings today.
/donna Fannin says
Sunroom and pergolla
Marlis Gebauer says
The possibilities!!! I think a sunroom and pergola would be wonderful. Add the brick floors and a multitude of ferns etc and it would be stunning especially with walls of French doors. I love your blog!
I vote for the pergola, as for the sunroom I will need to see a vision board. I’m sure you can see it, but I can only see the different parts. Happy Spring.
Linda Hovgaard says
Go big or go home….sunroom and pergola. after taking a plunge and pushing the limits some I am usually very glad we did. You most likely will not redo the project later so if possible I would create what is possible now. i hope things work out in your favor Courtney!
Sandy Sickinger says
Oh CourtneY! GO FOR IT lOVE ALL THE IDEAS
pergola and sunroom
Go for it! What a dream!,
Jen C says
Definitely add the sunroom! When we bought our current House we closed in the back porch, added a gas fireplace and ran the central air out to this room. We installed a lot of windows and my husband put in a patio. This room is used so much and we love it. we have french doors that lead from the dining room and kitchen area. Go for it! You won’t regret it.
You will not regret adding a sunroom. We added one 20 yrs ago and it’s our favorite room to entertain in! And you have such a wonderful ability to transform spaces into magic!
sunroom, pergola…all of it. your “dream” pics are perfect. go for it!
Exciting! I cant wait to see what you Do.
Stunning!! go for sunroom and pergola. I just love it.
Diana Atkins says
Its going to be beautiful, go with your instinct. Life is a gift and should be enjoyed, just do it.
I love your thoughts and vision. I say do it all, and how wonderful it will be. Blessings to you Courtney!
Mary Anne Russo says
It was very pretty before the storm, but what you are sharing, this is awww! Can’t wait to see what you do!
Nancy Brantley says
This was meant to add sunroom and pergola. It would be gorgeous. QUOTE: DO IT NOW, TIME DON’T WAIT
Go for the max! You have a track record of dreaming big and pulling it off!! I love your blog and read it every day. It loosens me up so that I dream big, too! Thank you!!
Love all of the sunrooms and all the glass windows and doors! If money’s no object, and hubby onboard—-go for it!
Patty Clancy says
We bought Our fixer upper in 2003 and just last year built our sunroom. Due tO roof line issues and more Pressing issues with the house, we held of on doing the sunroom. The sPace is in the front of Our house and off the kitchen. We opTed for a flat roof with balcony on top. There is a slight pitch and we applied single ply to waterproof the balcony floor. It is beautiful and we are so happy. I say go for it even if it means waiting or doing in stages. It add so much to the front of our house. As ouR Lord said, @it is done”!
I vote in favor of sunroom and Pergola. The reasons are many but being a grandma,more room is needed as they get bigger and believe me,it happens tooooo fast! Sometimes they like a space to play with dolls or trains and trucks. The adults like to chat and the kids love their space too. Your family is growing and the additional room would be great!
franki Parde says
I was literally yelling (in a ladylike manner) “MERLE, YOU HAVE to SEE THIS”…it is stunning!! My mantra, “woulda, coulda, shoulda”…you won’t be sorry…franki
Wow – the before PICTURES! WHAT YOU’VE DONE WITH THAT LITTLE COTTAGE IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I ADORE YOUR STYLE AND YOU ARE SUCH AN INSPIRATION FOR ME AND MY LITTLE HOUSE. (SORRY THIS IS IN ALL CAPS – THE COMMENT BOX WONT ALLOW ANYTHING ELSE LOL)
Cassandra E says
I’m trying to figure out where you live that normally doesn’t get snow but you still havet that much snow! I’m dying to know. And I’m jealous. I’m sorry for the bother it has caused you, but I think I commented before, you could see snow every where in Sonoma County after that storm, but from my house. I was so sad.
Anything you do will be so fun and so beautiful. I do love a pergola. Sunrooms are gorgeous.
Your ideas are just perfect. No pergola for me. Did that in the 80’s and 90’s
So over it and wallpaper borders. I perfer a cleaner classier look now 🤩
Do not feel sorry for you with the snow. I live in Southern Ontario, Canada
From December to April (I remember it snowed Mothers Day one year) we get snow.
As soon as it starts to melt more comes down, lovely at christmas only.
The blessing is that i dont live in buffalo…now they get lots of snow!!!
Susan Remington says
If you can afford it definitely
the sunroom. You will gEt so much use out of it.
Then either a patio and /or pergola.
What ever your Decision i know it will be beaUtiful!
Roseann D’Elia says
my vote Sunroom & Pergola…Why? I’m building both in my new home. Wish I could show you all my inspiration boards.
look at it this way,sunroom can be a Fourseason ROOM (what I’ve opted to have) French Arched Doors leading out to beautiful brick Seating and dining area with Textured Pergola.
I believe long-term you and hubby will be happy!
Three years ago we bought a 70’s ranch home closer to town. I walked into a sun room with french doors on one side a gas fireplace on the other. The front is all windows and a glass door. With that and a 1/2 acre over grown backyard it was a done a deal. I live in there until spring and summer then i am in the yard. I still have morning coffee all year long. Kids and grandkids love. It the first room they go into. Needless to say, i vote for the sun room. You have great ideas so it will spectacular
Your story reminded me of a derad flood, inland wave of water that des most of the homes in our littl village of central west nsw AUSTRALIA. One husband had left the ladder outside ins of pu it away in the garden shed. Thus saved his families lives as the were able to climb up onto their roof & wait (forhours) until the resc he came to save them. I love the idea of a room with french doors on repeat.
You will never regret a Sunroom! Pergola could come later when the budget permits, or we see where our weather is going in the next couple of years. Great post.