Good Bones Home

We bought our first home together because it has "good bones." Now we're trying to bring them out, one project at a time.

Front porch makeover! August 16, 2010

Filed under: DIY,Home,Projects — Stephanie @ 1:51 pm

This past weekend two weekends ago (yes, this post has been sitting in draft form for a week) Rich and I finally tackled a home improvement project that has been nagging at us for quite some time – we stained our front porch! We don’t actually spend a ton of time looking at the front of our house, since we park out back and thus don’t actually go in or out of the front door very often. Every so often we discussed how we should really take care of the porch, and how we would do that right after we borrowed my parents power washer, and then forgot about it.

A few weeks ago, Rich came home from a friends house with this:


It was looking like our well of excuses was drying up. As the calendar flipped into August, I realized our free weekends were about to disappear. Starting at the end of August, we’re attending four weddings in five weeks. Add in a bachelorette weekend at the beach the weekend before weddingpalooza starts, and we had two free weekends left before October. I looked at the weather forecast for the upcoming weekend, and once I saw sunny and more importantly, not humid, I was sold. I informed Rich we were staining the porch on Saturday morning.

Thursday night I power-washed everything, and in the process got totally devoured by mosquitoes.  I have some special property that makes me irresistible to these little jerks, and 45 minutes outside at dusk meant about 45 new bites.  I’m still healing two weeks later.

On Saturday,  I had to drag Rich out of bed at 8:15 to get started.  I didn’t even wait to let him get a before picture, so let’s call this one “mostly before.”

Ignore my sad, mostly dead herbs on the steps and the ridiculous amount of crap on the porch itself.

I’m not gonna lie, staining that porch SUCKED.  The whole thing is railing and spindles, which take FOREVER to stain.  We spent 5.5 hours working.  The entire time, our neighbor, who is a professional painter, kept giving us the evil eye for choosing to do it ourselves rather than hire him.  He had given us a list of everything that could and would go wrong if he didn’t get hired, so really it’s a miracle the porch hasn’t collapsed yet from our shoddy work.  Despite our lack of professional experience, I think it turned out pretty well!

Keep ignoring the ridiculous amount of crap on the porch.  Eventually we will get rid of most of that.

I think we should have also stained that little triangle area (gable?) above the front door.  If we can get our hands on a ladder we will take care of that soon.  I love how the red brings out the rust on our front door too!  Note to self, replace that door.  And if you look closely, you can see one unstained spindle on the right side of the door.  That spindle is actually cracked in half and will have to be replaced, so I figured staining it would be a waste of time.

Despite my list of things I am still not happy with, overall I think the curb appeal of the house was definitely bumped up a notch by taking on this project.  Cross another home improvement off the list!


Our next project? July 22, 2010

Filed under: DIY,Home,Projects — Stephanie @ 10:42 pm

A combination of trying to be financially responsible and being ridiculously busy has kept Rich and I from tackling the next project on our to-do list.  After we recently purchased a new couch, our old coffee table is looking pretty shabby.  It’s a beloved IKEA piece from my first apartment, but it is just not cutting it anymore.

We actually tried to replace the coffee table before we replaced the couch, when Rich built this nifty piece from Knock-off Wood, but the proportions were all wrong for a coffee table (great as a bench in our bedroom though!)

We were considering building a similar piece, but something more proportional to the space, when I stumbled upon this fantastic piece, which was DIYed by Becky at Tea Party.

Source:  Tea Party

Becky used this tutorial from Michelle at Three Men and a Lady.  Combined with another tutorial posted on Young House Love, I’m starting to feel like this is definitely a project within our reach!

So now I’m envisioning a DIY ottoman, similar to this:


I can’t decide between a chocolate brown faux-leather or a fun print though!  The living room is mostly a blank space right now, other than our new neutral sofa.  Any suggestions?