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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Turning a Front Porch Into a Sunroom

One of the more dramatic changes that we made to this cottage was turning the screened porch into a sun room.  The old porch required us to batten down the hatches during the winter, literally. And the heavy brown storm shutters tended to make it look more "fishing lodge" than "beach cottage".

Here are some before photos.

It was cute and quant, but the screened in porch was not very usable. The first step was to remove the old screens and brown wooden hatches and install some weather sealed Anderson windows.

At first the cottage looked a bit forlorn without its shutters, especially in the early spring before the plants grew in. But we were able to look past that and envision the days to come when the porch could be used a real sitting room. 

After the windows were in, our contractor Dan got to work building the hinged built-in bench seats with storage beneath. 

I had found the perfect cushions at Restoration Hardware in January - taking advantage of an off-season sale. I bought enough cushions for two L-shaped sectionals - in a summer blue called "pool" with white piping. Dan was building the seats to the specs of the cushions. He said this is a first - generally you find the cushions to fit your seats and not the other way around.

I think it's a guy thing. If you haven't priced cushions, be prepared to take a major hit in pocketbook! Custom cushions for this room would cost roughly $5,000. I spent about 1/3 that.

Believe me, we did this in exactly the right order!

And the results could not have turned out better. With a few paintings and other yardsale finds, this cottage is starting to look distinctly beach-y!