The Big One Room Challenge Week 6 Reveal: Seattle Front Porch Makeover

The past six weeks have been an adventure and a challenge in the truest sense of the word. We deal with deadlines all of the time in this business, sure, but this is just different. When we were cleaning up after the photoshoot, I said to my husband, "I can't wait till the One Room Challenge in October!" Without even looking at me, he said, "too soon…" And he's right, it's way too soon to even think about doing it again. It's like during labor how you think you'll never have a baby again, but then you forget and decide you want another because kids are the greatest. Yes, I just equated the ORC to childbirth, and when you think of it, it's actually pretty accurate. You push and push, and at the end you have a thing of beauty that you can't stop taking pictures of and you just want to share it with the world. Well, thanks to the wonder of the internet and this event, the brainchild of the wonderful Linda Weinstein and House Beautiful, her media partner, we have this chance to work our butts off for 6 weeks in participation in one collective effort to transform a space for the better. Thank you, Linda for giving designers like me an opportunity to participate as a guest. What a pleasure it has been! .

So, without further ado, Here goes! The big reveal.

BEFORE

Realtor photo from when we bought the house

Realtor photo from when we bought the house

AFTER

© Julie Mannell

© Julie Mannell

To my mind, the front porch is one of the reasons you buy a Craftsman home, or at least it was chief among mine. When we bought the home three years ago, it was low on curb appeal, and ever since then we've been working on that. Last year, Joe replaced the stucco with shaker siding, and painted it a beautiful navy. We kept the original trim color, but removed one hundred years of paint before repainting it, making it all fresh and new, but the same. We replaced the front door pretty immediately and kept it red, but as I mentioned in a previous post, I was ready for a new color by the time this challenge began. After some rousing debates, my husband agreed to indulge my pink door whims and painted it properly in his paint booth, or more accurately his second paint booth, this one in the back yard.  I'm ecstatic about how the door turned out, you guys. I couldn't love it more. Joe, on the other hand, thinks it's "okay." The beauty of that is when I'm ready to change the color again in a year or two, he'll totally be game. Always find the upside, folks!

BEFORE

There's that red door color we painted the door when we first bought it - pretty but expected. 

There's that red door color we painted the door when we first bought it - pretty but expected. 

AFTER

Pink door and beautiful floor!

Pink door and beautiful floor!

I think this angle especially shows the power of the change to the porch floor. What a transformation, right? Blah, boring concrete to something beautiful and interesting. The idea behind my design was to create a tranquil space with pops of color, and I wanted those pops primarily to be communicated through flowers and the door itself. This allows the seating area to be apart rather than the whole of the project. In other words, your eye is able to see other things besides the three largest pieces on the porch. With the door being the biggest pop of color of them all, traffic is directed to the main use of the house, as its entry point. 

BEFORE

Doesn't it just look so sad? 

Doesn't it just look so sad? 

AFTER

It's grilltastic

It's grilltastic

The cushions on the wicker chair were a struggle. I never could find something ready made that fit the chairs, and I didn't leave myself time to order proper outdoor fabric and have a workroom make me any, so I bought some fabric at Joann's and whipped up some pseudo cushions. They aren't perfect, but they do the job...for now. I'll definitely have some made both for the seat and the back. I really love the transformation of these chairs though. I bought them on Chairish, and they're a beautiful sturdy wicker. I just couldn't abide the color, so I had Joe paint them SW Silver Plate in his little paint booth. It's the same color I used on the porch stencil project in order realize my goals of homogenousness.  On the other side of the porch you see the grill...Joe's grill. I get a pink door, he gets a grill and an iron Texas wreath, and to be fair, I win, because, over all, the porch does have a pretty feminine feel to it. 

The wicker and teak furniture before, and that ghastly path again. 

The wicker and teak furniture before, and that ghastly path again. 

Good design and styling including discipline in editing. In this case, I definitely had more furniture than I ultimately needed, but will use in different ways down the line. For this project, I edited out the wicker table and the rocking chairs, and I had Joe cute 2.75" off the teak table, so it would work better as a coffee table in the seating area. The wicker pieces were painted the Silver Plate, as mentioned, and the teak pieces were all painted the cream base color, as was the porch swing. Joe will make us a new porch swing down the line, but our store-bought one works for now. Saying store bought makes me feel like a pioneer - did you ever read The Store Bought Doll? It was my favorite little Golden Book as a girl. I'd read it over and over and over! 

BEFORE 

Ugliest pathway ever! That's why we attacked it even though it's not technically a part of the path

Ugliest pathway ever! That's why we attacked it even though it's not technically a part of the path

AFTER 

My new happy place. I can't wait till all the hydrangea bushes bloom this summer!

My new happy place. I can't wait till all the hydrangea bushes bloom this summer!

Now you know where I spend all of my time waving to neighbors and drinking vats of rose. © Julie Mannell 

Now you know where I spend all of my time waving to neighbors and drinking vats of rose. © Julie Mannell 

I mean. © Julie Mannell

I mean. © Julie Mannell

On the wall we have a hanging I bought for a styling project, a couple of pillows covers from Amazon, a beautiful Mexican blanket from Memento Style Mix, rug from Cost Plus, and my daughter's treasured copy of Breakfast at Tiffany's. 

Isn't this pink door just so dreamy? © Julie Mannell

Isn't this pink door just so dreamy? © Julie Mannell

Doorside vignette that I just adore. © Julie Mannell

Doorside vignette that I just adore. © Julie Mannell

I love how this part of the porch turned out and it wasn't even a part of the original vision. Last minute design miracles really are the thing. The basket I bought a while back from Pottery Barn, and it's the perfect size for this space and really helps to brighten up this dark span of brick. The bench and planters are from Target, the wood tray is from Memento Style mix, and the white planters were sitting in my collection just awaiting plants, and I filled them with all of these lovely succulents on Sunday night, i.e., the night before my photoshoot. Flying by the seat of my pants. Oh, and almost most importantly, I bought that pillow cover on Amazon. Isn't it the cutest? I just love how it relates to the door color. 

THE FLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRR

THE FLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRR

I honestly thought this floor project was going to be my undoing, it was going to defeat me, and I would just never design anything ever again amen. I say this just in case my past posts weren't transparent enough on how challenging this project was. It was the rain, it was the texture, it was the 175 times I had to lay the stencil, paint the stencil, wipe the stencil clean and then move to the next square. There was nearly not enough wine to power me through, but to harken back to my earlier metaphor, I pushed through it and now have a little faux tile porch floor baby. Isn't she cute? Have you seen enough pictures of her yet? She doesn't have a name yet, because we're waiting to see what fits her personality. Maybe Sheila? Or maybe just Poorchflr. Dunno. We're taking suggestions. 

Have you met Indiana Bones yet? She's my shadow, so you can probably scroll back up and find her many times in pics above. 

© Julie Mannell

© Julie Mannell

If you happen upon our little Wallingford Craftsman with the pretty pink door, we'll likely be out here grilling, so join us. We'll sit in the porch swing drinking rose and yell at the people hitting the crosswalk button like it's a snare drum. PSA - you only need to tap it lightly once. I promise you. It'll either work or it won't. Banging on crosswalk buttons is an exercise in futility, my friend. 

Okay, that's it!! I hope you've enjoyed the big reveal of this One Room Challenge project! Be sure to head here to see the results of the works of other designers near and far.