the porch before

I’m pausing just a moment on this busy Monday morning with an ode to my porch:

Through the years

You’ve never let me down

You’ve turned my life around

The sweetest days I’ve found, I’ve found with you

Through the years

No one sings it like Kenny.

And this is the beginning of the porch’s journey.  The before before.  Before the black and white and Christmas trees and magnolias and neutrals.

This is where it all started.

This is where it began.

house fall

When we first bought the house it didn’t have that porch on the side.

It looked like the first picture in the post with four columns and a small concrete block for the foundation.  You accessed it through a door on the side of the kitchen and we would drink our coffee out there with two chairs and that ceiling fan and pretend that it was screened-in.

So we saved our pennies.

And after eating beans and rice and watching re-runs of Little House on the Prairie instead of going to the movies….

….we were able to add on a new porch that now runs the length of the side of the house.

You can see it on the left of the house in this picture.

living room fall

You can get to the porch two different ways from different rooms in the house.

There are french doors in the library that open onto the porch.

Here’s a picture looking out onto the porch from the room.

Farmhouse Kitchen Eat-in Area

And here’s the single door that leads out onto the porch from the kitchen.

When we bought the house this was actually a window that we made into a door.

This is the entrance to the porch that we use the most.  It’s actually open right now as I type this and I can hear birds chirping outside.


Here’s the porch long when it was first finished and decorated for Christmas.

The rug was black and white and there was a matching rug on the other side under the dining table.

I found these porch chairs at a discount store and had them recovered in black and white.  The furniture set came from WalMart.

Back then it was all about the black and white.

Farmhouse Screen-in Porch Christmas

To decorate for Christmas that year, I found all these Christmas trees for almost nothing at the dollar store and stuffed them full of fresh magnolia.

I added baskets of fresh greens to make it smell like a fir tree.

And we drank hot chocolate that year and hosted a Christmas party to celebrate the new porch.


Here’s another picture I found from earlier that year of the other side of the porch.

I was all about myself and the black and white.

Love those slipcovers, but that it a LOT of pattern.



Here’s the next evolution of the porch.

I took down those curtains.

They were so pretty, but it was too much pattern and the curtains would blow around and get twisted and look messy.

I had that porch furniture from WalMart covered in black and white outdoor fabric to match the stripe and added colorful pillows.


Here’s the other side of the porch.

I got rid of the black and white slipcovers and painted the table black.

Then I found these two amazing deacon’s chairs at The Chapel Market and I love the simple pop of color.


That was the spring of color.

Here’s another view of the color on the sofa.

And for a while I lived with all that color and loved it.

back porch living area

Earlier this year I felt drawn to neutrals a little more.

I took away a little bit of color….slowly at first.

I added this white round coffee table.

back porch chairs

And this chippy white table to the side with neutral upholstered chairs.

A little simpler.

A little calmer.

A little more classic porch.

back porch dining

I painted the table white again and added this over-sized basket.

But it wasn’t enough.

I wanted more of a change.

I wanted something simpler and different and almost completely neutral.

back porch decorating

And last week I tweaked everything and showed you this.

The chippy table became a coffee table.

The black and white rugs were replaced with neutral.

back porch dining

The white table moved to the dining room and I replaced it with this gray table I found at a yard sale.

Next, I added a $5 rug from at another yard sale.

And after all this shifting and changing and painting and moving and switching….

….something amazing happened.

Back Porch Dining Chair

All that neutral and calm and classic allowed the simple porch to simply be what it was meant to be.

Every morning I sit out here with coffee and smell the fresh air and watch the trees blow in the wind and listen to the birds chirp.

And pause.

And breathe.

And sit back and sip my coffee…..

…..and let mother nature do all the decorating. 🙂

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  1. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Miz karianne.....I'm glad your "self" calmed down....hahahaaa, it is much more peaceful and serene now and it's beautiful. I personally love black and white....but sometimes you can get a little too much of a good's lovely and I can't wait to see how you decorate it for Christmas this year!

  2. Image for Lanita Lanita

    I love the new neutral simple and calm and pretty! But I also loved the black and white....not so much all the pattern, but the contrast and the furniture..... I have a feeling I would like it any way you decorated it - with any color palette, any furniture....anything!! Have a great day, friend! Blessings, Lanita

  3. Image for Lisa @celebrate CREATIVITY Lisa @celebrate CREATIVITY

    Good Monday morning, Karianne Wow, that porch has really gone through some transformations. Each one is nice but I think I do like the more neutral one the best. It's very peaceful and soothing. It's always nice to mix up things up a bit and this is a very pretty, soft transformation. I've been swamped and stepped away from my blog-hopping for a bit. I'm glad I popped over to see what you've been up to. Did I tell you congrats on the new fabric line? Hope you have a lovely day.

  4. Image for liz liz

    Aaahh, like that first morning breeze in the summer - so calming and peaceful!!! I really love the new look, it goes so well with the feel of your home. I make my family crazy with all of the design styles I go through, but when you hit upon the right one that just clicks - it's all worth it. Your porch is lovely.

  5. Image for Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces

    This is so lovely, Karianne! I love the neutrals...they really are so restful. We did our porch in neutrals...and I love it. I can change things so easily just by adding some color or pattern. I've gone a little crazy this fall, though lol.

  6. Image for FrenchGardenHouse FrenchGardenHouse

    More than anything, the colors, the changes, and the evolving style ( which I love and are all stunning) I love thinking of you and your family spending time there together, laughing, talking, or playing games, reading a book and also celebrating birthdays and special every days there. Karianne, I'm also so excited to join you at bHome today. (I'm having a giveaway for a 200. Gift certificate to celebrate.) hope you will stop by.

  7. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Yes indeed, through the years . . . now I'll have that song haunting my mind all day long. That's the way it happens -- a suggestion is planted and it just sticks. But believe me I'd rather have Kenny singing in my brain than It's All About The Base!! :-) Now, I do feel the peace of the porch -- that's an alliteration :-) I like the neutrals -- it makes me feel like I'm floating along with just the breeze and the bees for sound . Hey! I'm turning into a regular poet. I do like the neutrals although the black and white was simply stunning -- the neutrals you'll be able to do a lot with. Can't wait to see what you do next. You rock!! Big Hugs!

  8. Image for Nancy @ Slightly Coastal Nancy @ Slightly Coastal

    Oh karianne, the neutral is so lovely. I am so drawn to neutrals. Your neutral porch looks so calm and lovely and a place I would spend all my time if I were you...especially on these gorgeous fall days. Your mix of texture makes it just so interesting. Have a happy Monday!

  9. Image for cindi cindi

    KariAnne I think we express who we are when we decorate our homes. You have settled into your "calm". So happy for you.

  10. Image for Toby Morris Toby Morris

    I like all your porch transformations and could live with any of them. You have to decide yourself what gives you the most joy and looks like you have. Wish I had your energy to change things around like you do. Love you porch!

  11. Image for Rowena Philbeck Rowena Philbeck

    Your porch is awesome, such a relaxing place. Congratulations on your shop too!! You have beautiful items.

  12. Image for SilvanaJoanne SilvanaJoanne

    What a gorgeous transformation through the years! I love what you have done with it and it really is a beautiful space! Best wishes, Silvana

  13. Image for Linda Linda

    LOVE your new neutral look on the porch! I, too, went crazy during the B/W phase. Fortunately, am also "over it" and onto neutrals with a bit of butterscotch and grey. I love your style and your blog! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Image for Graham Graham

    The new decor on the porch is great, but I miss the touch of color the deacon's chairs would bring., or maybe some green plants. Bring the outdoors in. Still calm, but a little bit of punch. All in all I think the room flows beautifully with the rest of the house. Good job!

  15. Image for jere Wineman jere Wineman

    Sometimes it takes us years to hit the mark. ..And we look at the before pictures and wonder "Was that really me? " As we discover what the real me has become , how happy we are......sitting with our coffee and just smiling and hearing the chirps. Not forgetting the journey and memories that go with it...this is what it takes to arrive at the new you..decorwise that is. Jere

  16. Image for Debera Debera

    Hi! Tell me about your neutral it sisal or jute? Which is best.....looking for my living room....What about the wear? Where did you find yours? Thanks for all you do, you brighten my day, cannot wait to open the email to see what you are up to.... :) Debera

  17. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    I like your neutral look, but I'd kill for those drapes! Aren't I silly? I like color, pattern and the black and white drapes, etc. etc. fit my personality, as I'm NOT a morning person!!! lol Donna Marie

  18. Image for Mama sue Mama sue

    How fortunate you are to have such a wonderful home and I am fortunate to share it with you. I can feel the love you have for your gift of decorating. Wish I could come visit and see you and your home and family for real. Thank you.

  19. Image for Leslie Leslie

    Yes! I have this love affair with my back porch, too...everything's better there and the view of life...amazing!

  20. Image for Susan Susan

    I have to say that every iteration of your porch along this journey has been jaw-droppingly gorgeous, but I do absolutely LURVE the neutral's lovely, serene, classic, and sophisticated! I think you are smart to let Mother Nature's decor shine through those beautiful windows...your neutral decor seems to welcome and support all that Mother Nature in her great wisdom has done! I can only imagine how much peace and joy this special area of your home brings to you and your family...may it continue to do so for many years to come!

  21. Image for Sandi Magle Sandi Magle

    Ahhhhh, yes, coffee on the porch, can't wait until tomorrow morning when I can do the same, bit chilly this morning. Love all the porches---LOL...being 'half' outside is such a blessing, but I can do calm too. Thanks for the history of your porch and your post, Sandi

  22. Image for Ann weisman Ann weisman

    Hi. Hope you love your house because I am sure it loves you. You are letting it be what it wants to be. Love the pillows in your new fabrics. Can't wait to get some. You are inspiring me to re do my house in that calmer, more vintage look. See I have fun with you and you are not even here! Think about visiting the Round Top Antique Fair in April or next October. It is huge and such fun.

  23. Image for Sue B. Sue B.

    And what a wonderful job mother nature has done with decorating at your house! Love your neutral porch and hope you post more pictures as the "colors" change with the seasons.

  24. Image for Dale D. Dale D.

    So fun to see the transition of styles through the years. I can relate to overboard of black and white. I went through a blue/white and yellow that went w-a-y overboard. I love that you never let it go stagnant and tweaked it through the years and came out in the end with a classic, serene porch worthy of a morning sit to contemplate life and the abundant beauty of the world around you with coffee cup in hand.

  25. Image for Mary Mary

    I LOVE IT!! I'd very much like to have a space like that... I have a brick patio right off my kitchen, but in the summer its so hot I can't stand to be out there. In the afternoon, it's so hot I can't stand to be out there. In the evening - except for a few months in the year - the mosquitoes will pick you up and carry you off... so I'll think of you every morning while you enjoy your lovely space... M

  26. Image for Martha Martha

    I love the look. Very pretty and peaceful! Look how you can see the trees and plants more. Sometimes we just get carried away with prints when natural tones are best. I have a tendency to do that too. Then I tear it all apart and find that simple is best. I am about to tackle my living room with this idea of less color and pattern. Karianne you always inspire me. Have fun enjoying your new porch.

  27. Image for Kristin @ Pink Camellias Kristin @ Pink Camellias

    I love the evolution of this porch! I do love the black and white striped furniture - it would look great with solid pillows. However, I think the neutral porch feels more in line with the club chairs in your kitchen. It feels like it flows really well now. Nice work!

  28. Image for Gail Gail

    I love the fact that you change things. I love color sometimes and then have to have some simplicity. Life is all about the spice, RIGHT? Love your home.

  29. Image for Jane Jane

    What I would give for a screened in porch! And I would have evolved just as you have---that's what makes life interesting, right? And getting most of it with pennies. Love. love. love!!! Jane x

  30. Image for Janet Janet

    So beautiful and elegant. I soooo wish I could do neutrals like this...when I do neutrals it just looks like a big old bowl of oatmeal lol. I hope we get to see yall at's just a couple of months away! Love you!!!

  31. Image for KATHY B. KATHY B.

    I think your porch is terrific, loving the calm neutral colors!!!..Also liked what you said about "saving your pennies"!! Wish I was better at doing that!!

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