MMDH: Before & After Porch

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Our back porch was fighting to find its true identity for many years, and I feel like we are finally close to giving it a real purpose.  The space that was once the stomping ground for leftover furniture and gardening must haves, now feels like an extension of our living space.  The surrounding exterior landscape has been opened up from an overwhelming number of tall grasses, and the footprint of the room feels so much more usable than it did when we first moved in.

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When we moved in, the porch was a concrete slab with six sets of plexiglas-feeling sliding doors surrounding it. There was a step down from the family room, and the ceiling was tongue and groove knotty pine.  Nothing felt insulated, and everything was beyond a good cleaning.  The entrance to the porch was centered on the carpeted family room, which was a room away from the kitchen, so grilling and entertaining was a tad cumbersome.

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There were layers of carpet on top of the concrete floor, which we removed immediately and painted the concrete for a quick refresh solution.  I initially painted a short lived fuchsia and orange modified chevron pattern -  while I love bold, that was a bit much - and then I decided to paint everything high-gloss navy.  We made the space into a very livable room, although we knew that was not the end-all be-all for this porch. 

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Fast forward a few years to when we renovated our first floor, this porch was a top priority.  We wanted it to feel like it was truly part of the house, and not an afterthought.  We invested in a knee wall to support new exterior windows and two adjacent sets of sliding doors.  We also extended the doors from the family room by a few feet to get them closer to the kitchen.  We raised the floor to be flush with the family room threshold, and we painted the tongue and groove ceiling white to make it feel like there was more head room than there really is.  While we were in the construction process, we debated a bit about how high the new knee wall should be below the windows, how much electrical to add to the space, and what the configuration of the new doors should be from the family room. 

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We ended up selecting a set of french doors and a fixed sidelight between the family room and porch, which makes the two rooms blend fairly seamlessly together.  The kitchen is now directly adjacent to these porch doors, and open to the family room for ease of grilling and entertaining.  We no longer have direct access to the patio from all three sides of the porch, although streamlining the access to two sides gives us more flexibility with furniture configurations in the future.  My goal is to eventually move our patio dining into the porch, and create a lounge area on the patio, but for now, the minimal daybed and toy storage is perfect for F&M to spread out their car tracks and building block towns.

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The goal is to eventually move our patio dining into the porch, and create a lounge area on the patio, but for now, the minimal daybed and toy storage is perfect for F&M to spread out their car tracks and building block towns.

 
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