Every night after the kids are tucked in bed, I sneak out to our screened porch with a book. It honestly feels like a mini vacation to be just slightly out of range to hear any fussing of the kids, to soak in the balmy summer evening air, and to escape into a good book without the fear of being eaten alive by the mosquitoes that overtake our yard this time of year.
In our first apartment as newlyweds we had zero outdoor space. It was a downtown apartment, and our third floor view was a brick wall and a parking garage. We lived there for two years, and although the proximity to Zach’s work was wonderful (a 3 minute walk!) the lack of green and sunshine was depressing. In every home we’ve looked at since, it’s been impossible for me not to prioritize the yard and light streaming into a house a little bit. When we saw this screened porch with two sets of French doors opening into the house, we were thrilled.
When we moved in nearly two years ago, it was completely empty. So, we’ve slowly been turning this into a really comfortable outdoor living room. It doesn’t get touched much by sun or rain, but any furniture does still need to withstand the dust from the street that accumulates and extreme temperatures. All my indoor plants spend the summer months out here, where they come out of dormancy and grow about a foot! I love watching the new leaves on the fiddle leaf figs open up.
We had two unfinished adirondack chairs from Home Depot, that we had assembled and painted black from our old home. Then Zach built the small side table from scraps leftover from building our patio table. I was hoping to find an outdoor couch for reading and relaxing, and after a lot of price-comparing we ended up choosing the Applaro from IKEA. It has worked out really well, although I do wish the cushions had ties to keep them from sliding around.
This summer, I moved two of the lumbar couch cushions onto the Adirondacks and added a couple striped outdoor pillows to the sofa. Now, every seat is comfortable. I really love that all the IKEA cushion covers are removable and washable. I wash and store them indoors over the winter.
Here’s a view of how the French doors open up from the living room onto the screened porch. The other set of doors open to the Lego room, which is off to the left of this picture.
The ceiling is original bead board, but isn’t in great shape. I’d love to paint the ceiling and all the wood in the room at some point. The combo of white, tan, and red is not really my favorite, but we’ll probably wait until we need to paint the rest of the house to tackle that project.
For Father’s Day, I picked up this kerosene lantern for Zach, from one of our favorite spots, Locally Grown Gardens. Not only do they have the best salmon and pies in town, but I always study their shop for fun, new home ideas.
We also love to stream music out here on this portable speaker. Lately, I’ve been loving the Relax + Unwind playlist on Spotify, The Lumineers’ new album, and the new singles from The Head and The Heart. One of them is titled, Library Magic, which I totally love (but that probably doesn’t surprise you, right?)
So, now you’ve seen my summertime happy place! Do you have a favorite outdoor spot or are you living in a concrete jungle and missing the green? I’d love to hear!