Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pulling It All Together - Kath Builds

I love to see how someone brings a wonderful old home back to life.  Today we have Kathleen from
as our feature on Pulling It All Together.  She shares her wonderful porch makeover in the home she is restoring from scratch.  I love how bright and cheerful this room is and what a welcoming space for everyone who visits.  

Hello everyone! I'm Kathleen from Kathbuilds. I am honored that Marty has invited me to share one of my projects with you for her "Pulling It All Together" series.  Thank you Marty!

 Today I am going to share the one room in my house that is complete and decorated: my enclosed porch. Porch After 1

I've been renovating my 100-year old farm-style home since October 2012.  It was a risky investment, but it's definitely been worth the effort.  The house sat unoccupied for over three years before my domestic partner and I moved in, so it was in pretty rough shape. On the date of closing the building had no working electricity, plumbing or heat.  When we moved in 45 days later we no shower or tub, only two working outlets and a giant mess of a house to work on. Almost every room has to be demoed to the studs, and the porch was no exception. It had been renovated several times in the past, but still was missing some of the basics, like grounded wiring and insulation. Before I started the renovation, it was nothing more than a dirty landing area for building materials and tools with peeling sheet laminate flooring and an unfinished opening to the kitchen that was only closed off on one side.

Porch Before 1

The makeover process started with planning, demolition and the basics: framing, wiring, insulation and sheetrock.


Early on I decided how I wanted the room to be used, and what features I wanted to save.  I wanted the room to act as both an clean place to escape to and a receiving area for guests. There was no door between the kitchen and the porch, so I installed a pocket door that seals off the room and allows me to keep my energetic dogs from overwhelming visitors without taking up any floor space.  It also blocks the unsightly view from the street straight into my bathroom and helps keep the construction mess out of sight and mind.

West After 2 (door)

The two elements I decided to save in this room were the shellacked pine tongue and groove ceiling and original pine floors.  One concern I had with combining the pine ceiling with the pine floor was that the low ceilings mixed with white walls would make it feel like you were standing in a wood sandwich.  The ceiling was in much better condition than the floor, so I chose to paint the floor white and leave the ceiling as is.


Ido not regret that decision at all.  It is easy to care for and it gives the ceiling the attention it deserves and makes the room look much, much more open and brighter than it did before.

  Porch After 8

When it comes to decor, I am definitely one of those "paint it white" people.  I love how versatile it is - every color and design style is compatible with white paint.  My preference is to keep my decor and color palette simple and to follow a rule of only bringing in things that are white, grey, green or black (unless it is a natural fiber or element).  I know that it may seem very restrictive or boring to some, but it helps keep me on track and prevents me from impulse buying accessories. One thing I really try to do is use items that I already own before I make purchases. My entry table is actually the TV stand that we used at our last house.  It was too large for our current living room, so I moved it to the porch.  To hide the cord cut-outs in the media cubbies I added black document boxes, which I added gold bookplate label holders to them.

  Porch After 3

With the exception of the plants, rugs and ottoman, all of the small decor items were things that I had on hand.  The leaning mirror is an old frame my aunt gave me when she exited the photography business.  I just replaced the old sample photograph with a piece of replacement mirrored glass. The tarnished silver bowl was my grandmother's and is great place to store keys.

South East After

Instead of using heavy curtains and blinds, I hung sheers on the old brass rods that came with the house.  The rods had years of dirt build up on them, but have a nice aged look.  Lucky for me, gold finishes are in style again! The fern artwork behind my chairs was created by modifying some botanical prints I found online. It was a simple, inexpensive way to bring in some greenery, which makes me happy because I love using plants as decor.

  Ferns 2

While I do try to reuse as much as possible, there are times when things don't work out. Like the chairs I had originally planned to use in this room.

Room & Chair During

They looked nice after I sanded and repainted them, but they were far too large for the space.  I am okay with place holders (especially if they are free), but the cost of the upholstery would have been too great to justify settling on them.  I came across the perfect chairs for short legs pretty quickly after abandoning the black chairs and I am happy I made the switch.  They are far more comfortable, especially when the green ottoman is involved.

  Porch After

Now that the porch is done it's beginning to feel a little less chaotic around here.  It was worth the time and effort and I am quite sure my neighbors are happy they don't have to look at my open wall or piles of building materials anymore.  I'm definitely not a design expert, but if there is one piece of advice I think people should hear, it's not to settle.  Plan and try to stay on track.  If you decide to deviate from that plan, really, really think it through.  To me, there is nothing worse than investing a lot of time decorating a room that doesn't make you happy for years to come.

 Thank you again Marty for having me today. I am so happy you allowed me to share my first truly complete project with everyone.  I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did!

Isn't this a  fabulous porch makeover.  I knew you would love it as much as I do.  Now if you don't already know Kathleen and follow her, then you really need to rush over and hit that follow button.  You don't want to miss any of her other projects as she restores her 100 year old home.

 I am joining the following parties:
 Craftberry Bush ,  No Minimalist Here , Posed Perfection ,
 Katherines Corner , The Vintage Farmhouse , A Delightsome Life ,
Love of Family & Home ,  Between Naps On The Porch ,
 From My Front Porch To Yours , The 36th Avenue , Imparting Grace ,
 My Romantic Home ,   French Country Cottage ,The Thrifty Groove ,
                  The Charm of Home , Chic On A Shoestring Decorating , Finding Fabulous ,
                                        Rooted In Thyme , Jennifer Rizzo , Redoux Interiors

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  1. I love what she has done. I wanted to put a ceiling like that in our kitchen, but Hubby wanted pre-painted white planks so that is what we will be putting up.

  2. I really like what she has done, creating such a wonderful relaxing space.

  3. I absolutely love her porch. It is so cozy and warm.

  4. Thanks for your kind words everyone, and thank you again Marty for letting me share with everyone!

  5. Beautiful! I love the way the ceiling stands out!

  6. What an amazing transformation. I adore the ceiling!

  7. what a beautiful space and an inspiring story. To see the hope for a space that many would have deemed hopeless. Bravo to you:)

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