More Porch And Exterior Projects In Progress And Planned

You guys made my day yesterday with all of your comments and compliments on my front porch steps and railings. Thank you!

A few of you mentioned that you’d like to see a more wide-angle view from the street. I didn’t want to muck up yesterday’s post with those pictures, but I’ll be happy to show you some today.

When I was finishing up the steps, it was a race against the weather. I wanted to finish them, get good pictures of the finished steps, and then start on the next front porch project before the rain came. And since I was starting the next project immediately, I didn’t want to waste time putting away my work table and tools. So I just dragged them a few feet to the side, just out of frame, to take my front porch steps pictures. 😀 Then as soon as I had those pictures, I dragged the tools back over to the front porch and got busy with the next step on this porch makeover.

And what is that next step? Well, I decided to cover the exposed concrete with a product called Airstone. It’s basically a manmade fake stone product that’s about an inch thick (maybe a bit more). It can be used for exterior applications, and you just glue it on with polyurethane construction adhesive.

(I didn’t use the left over Austin stone from my house because it’s way too thick for this application, and would have required a pro to cut it all down and install it for me. This way was much cheaper and faster, and I could do it myself.)

Every picture that I’ve seen of this product shows it being installed without spaces between the stones. I initially tried that, hoping that it would work since it would have been so much easier and faster. Unfortunately, when I stood back and looked at it compared with the stone on the left side of the house, it just didn’t look right. So I had to remove those stones, wipe away the adhesive, and then cut spacers out of scrap wood to go between the stones as I installed them.

I definitely think it was a good call to match the installation as closely as possible to the original stone on the house.

And the spaces between those stones will be grouted (mortared?) and then painted the same color as the other stones so that it all matches.

I really rejected the idea of using stone on the base of the porch for a very long time. As y’all know, I wanted some sort of white wood skirting. But after the porch steps were finished, I cut about ten pieces of leftover PVC boards and propped them up against the base of the porch to see if that’s what I really wanted, and it just didn’t look right. It really competed with the steps and railings for attention, and that’s not what I wanted.

So in the end, stone seemed like the best option. It’ll bring some balance to the stone on the left of the house, while not competing with the steps and railings.

Here’s a picture I took yesterday showing more of the front of the house. My Airstone project did get rained out. I got one afternoon to work on it, and then had to race to put away tools before the rain came. That was Sunday evening, and it’s been too wet to work on it since.

And while I got my tools put away in time, I just piled the Airstone boxes on the porch and left my work table and trash can out there. Excuse my mess. 🙂

I mean, I really resisted the idea of using a stone skirting mainly because I have this idea in my head that one day I want to get rid of the stone on the left side of the house completely, so I didn’t want to add more. But honestly, getting rid of the stone is probably the very LAST thing on my list of things I want to do on this house. It’s so low priority that if it does ever get done, it’ll be years from now. And even then, it’s a big if. So spending $200 on additional stone for the porch that will probably be there for years to come started to seem reasonable to me.

And I think it’s going to look really good once it matches the rest of the stone.

Anyway, moving on…

A couple of people asked for more detail on the rope lighting that I mentioned yesterday. I’ll share more details when I actually install the lighting, but it’s simply going to tuck right behind this front fascia board and run the entire width of the front porch. It’ll be hidden from view when you look at the house, but it’ll provide nice additional lighting on the steps and porch area.

And while we’re looking at this view, I’ll point out another thing still on my “to do” list for this porch, and that is to fill the gaps at the top of the columns.

The supporting posts go all the way up (of course, since they’re actually holding up the porch roof). But the trim could only go up that high because of the way that front beam is trimmed with the Hardiboard. So those gaps still need to be filled. I bought a caulk called Big Stretch to fill in there since it’s kind of a big gap, but I just haven’t gotten to it yet. (And do you see my sweet pup waiting for me at the door? 🙂 )

In other news, when I finished the front porch steps, I headed to the Backyard and Patio Store to get some rocking chairs for the front porch. I found the exact ones that I wanted! Sadly, they were $320 each, and having gone over my monthly project budget by about $1200 for the month of August (which is very rare for me), I didn’t want to ask Matt if I could spend an additional $640 on rocking chairs.

I did find this bench on sale for $99, so I picked it up thinking that it would work on the front porch until I could get my rocking chairs.

But it’s too dark for the front porch. It just basically disappeared up there. So when I removed it from the porch, I just sat it over in the miniature courtyard area (i.e., the area in front of the breakfast room windows), and it fit perfectly between the living room windows.

So I think it might stay there permanently. And that got me to thinking and dreaming about what I want to do with this area. First and foremost, I have to figure out how to get rid of this tree/bush thing that keeps growing back. I’ve cut this thing down to the ground at least twice now, and it comes back each time even bigger and faster.

I think the only option is to pull it up by it’s roots with a chain and a truck.

But once I get that out of there for good, my first project in that area will be to build a little pergola/arbor type thing over the breakfast room windows (like the type you see built over garage doors and such), and then I want to design some sort of water feature. Nothing extravagant in this small space, but I do want some sort of running, trickling water that will attract birds to come and drink and bathe/play in the water.

So that has left me, once again, without seating for my front porch. I pulled out this old headboard that I’ve been saving.

This headboard came from my grandmother’s house, and was used in her guest bedroom for as long as I can remember. I’ve wanted to turn it into a bench ever since I got it a few years ago, but I’ve never had a space for such a bench. Now I’m wondering if I can use it on my front porch. I imagine it painted white (or maybe navy blue) with some pretty outdoor pillows in coral, blue and white.

I guess I could try it. If I build it and it doesn’t work on the front porch, I could always use it in the back yard somewhere. One can never really have too much outdoor seating, right? 🙂

But what I really want are those rocking chairs. They were soooo comfortable, and I can just imagine spending time out there, rocking away with my iced tea in hand, and keeping an eye on all of the neighbors’ comings and goings. 😀



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  1. Just a quick comment on the bush that keeps returning. Cut it to the ground, then paint the stump immediately with roundup concentrate. And I mean, immediately paint it – don’t let it scar over…and do it now while it is growing – don’t wait for the dormant season. I love everything you have done with this porch – it is an amazing transformation!

    1. You can also buy Liquid Glass at the hardware store drill holes in the stump and pour it in, it kills the root and expedites the rot process of the stump. The above suggestions are good ones as well.

    2. Any Roundup product should be avoided like the plague! It’s highly carcinogenic and the company itself is corrupt and has used mob style tactics to literally CRUSH small and organic farmers.

      Sorry, I don’t mean this as a personal attack at all. It’s just that I feel compelled to speak up when it comes to Monsanto and any of its deadly products.

        1. Kristi, try cutting it to the ground and smothering it with something heavy that won’t let any light in like plywood or thick plastic sheeting. I had success with this method to kill many thorn bushes on our overgrown property. The plant can’t grow without sunlight or water. You could cover the plastic/plywood with mulch to hide its unsightliness until the plant is killed.

    3. We had a small tree that grew in this no man’s land between all of the houses around us. You could only access it from our neighbor’s yard but she insists it was not on her property. My husband cut it down a few times and it just came back every time. The last time he cut it down and drilled a bunch of holes in it and filled the holes with epsom salt. He left it with a bag around it since that’s what the instructions we found online said to do and it hasn’t come back yet. The epsom salts are supposed to dry out the tree but don’t leave any negative chemicals behind. They are also pretty darned cheap and can be picked up at any drugstore or big box store. It worked for us and we no longer have branches peeking through our fence.

      1. Yes! This does work I had three small tree stumps I did this to and within a year I just picked up the stump! The roots were gone are almost gone 🙂 Epsom is a wonderful thing and good for tomatoes and roses!!

  2. I like your rock project for the skirting and when it’s finished it will tie together with the right side of the house. Nice. The rope lighting is interesting and will give a nice glow to your porch in the evening. The headboard is beautiful – a rocking bench for your porch to enjoy your ice tea on? LOL

    A water feature and pergola will be lovely in front of your breakfast area. Who doesn’t like to watch birds and listen to water?

    So much to look forward to.

    1. I actually looked up how to build a rocking bench, thinking I could use this headboard for the back of such a project! 😀 I haven’t found any plans yet that quite work for what I’m envisioning, but I may keep looking.

      1. Just need to lay out the space the rocking chairs and/or headboard rocker will take up. How deep is the porch again? I love that headboard!! I think you could do something really wonderful with it!

        1. The porch is only 5′ 8″ deep, so that really limits what I can put there. So many rocking chairs that I see are way too big (especially the part of the rockers that extend to the back of the seat) for my porch.

      2. Maybe you could buy a cheap glider and replace the back with the headboard. There’s lots of good deals now.

        Love, love, love the whole porch! What a difference the larger steps make!!!!

      3. Wow, that bed would make a stunning piece of furniture for you porch. Have you about a swing instead at one end? Our porch is 6 feet deep and we put a wicker swing perpendicular to the house at one end in front of the railing which is necessary since our porch is about 6 feet high off one end. It’s great and takes up far less room than a rocking chair. We also have a small table and wicker chair near it but not close enough to impair one from swinging away to one’s heart’s content.

          1. Tina, I love my swing much better than a rocking chair and I’m a rocking chair fanatic. But there’s just something about a swing that brings you back to childhood 🙂

        1. I do love a swing, and before I installed the tongue-and-groove boards on the porch ceiling, I even added reinforcement at the end so that I could hang a swing. There’s only enough room for a one-person swing, but it would be roomy, comfy and charming.

    2. The “rocking bench” was the first thing that came to my mind too! If anybody could do it, Kristi could! I’d love to see that.

      1. Oh, I so want a porch swing, and a porch to put it in. But we don’t get enough sunny days in Ireland to enjoy it, so I’m afraid it remains a pipe dream…

  3. Great call with the faux stone under the porch. It really gives the house balance and ups the curb appeal by about 1000%. It was always a cute house with potential — now its well on its way to being a show-stopper.

  4. The stone looks great! It’s a shame you have to paint new stone, but I totally get why and I’d probably do it myself.

    I also love the headboard bench idea. Looking forward to seeing how that works out.

    I keep staring at your finials and something just seems “OFF” about them to me. I think it’s because of the flat tops. Most finials are either rounded or pointed at the top but yours have that flat cut-off surface. Am I the only one that feels that way? Just curious…not suggesting you change them. As long as you like them, that’s what counts. 😉

    1. I do wish I could leave that stone natural. It’s very pretty! I just can’t bring myself to introduce another, different stone to the front of my house, though. 🙁

      A few people yesterday suggested adding a little wood ball to the tops of those finials. That may top them of perfectly!

      1. Ha! I confess that I actually went on a Google search yesterday looking for something to make the curlicue like a soft serve ice cream cone like you mentioned! I didn’t find anything though (If there were such a thing, you would have found it!). I like the idea of the ball for the tops!

        1. She could try to sand them down to a point, but that’d be hard to do and make it look good without a lathe. 🙂 Too bad they don’t make a giant pencil sharpener. 😛

          The ball is an interesting idea…

      2. Or maybe to top off the porch railing you could find a screw in type decorative cabinet knob, maybe something with a brass finish would be nice. I thought it needed something also but hesitated to say so.

      3. I love the rails and post caps! In fact, I intend to copycat you on finishing out the columns, rails and post caps on the front porch we added to our house. I think I would like to add a small glass ball as a finial to my post caps. I can just envision how pretty the glass would look reflecting the sunlight. Thanks so much for sharing such great ideas, Kristi!

  5. First love this next step! It gives it a finished look. Secondly, have you looked on Craig’s list or FB marketplace? You can usually find rocking chairs there if you are willing to wait patiently for them to just up and appear!
    Go for it…love this and thanks for sharing.

    1. I’ll check, but the Craigslist for Waco is generally so pathetic. I envy those who live in big cities and who find amazing treasures on Craigslist in their areas.

      1. aww darn it…if you want me to start looking here I will do it after next week. Waco is not that far and if we come we can take a reunion tour of Baylor! Let me know what your budget is and by golly if I see something I will let you know!

  6. Your steps, railings and the new stone
    are such a breath of fresh air! Its all coming together so beautifully Kristi.

    I am a very messy worker too!!! Its all a part of the creative process!

    Thanks gor being you. You are adored.

  7. Love the stone and porch in tandem and that headboard would make a very beautiful bench!

    Seeing the air-stone add a little textural and colour variation the compliments both your cooler and coral palette would you consider adding it over the existing stonework imstead? It has such a clean finished look to it.

    1. I don’t think it would work to put any kind of facade over the existing stone simply because the face of the stone is so incredibly rough-cut. I think my only options are to remove it completely or just live with it.

      1. I don’t know if I’m alone here, but I actually really like your Austin Stone. It seems to add depth, character and history to the house. I think what you’ve done with the Air Stone really ties it in nicely.

  8. Wow I love your porch it looks awesome you did an excellent job what a difference the way you transformed it as to how it was before. Congrats on your excellent project.

  9. Hot damn on your transformation! SO good! Love the Airstone idea – love how you come up with these things, and it will look good! And the bench at the side area – perfect there, and agree on the first commenter’s method of dealing with the trash tree. Not feeling the fancy headboard bench on the porch, but those rocking chairs? and iced tea while ogling neighbors? yep!

  10. We installed crown moulding in our basement a couple of inches down from the ceiling and added rope lighting. I love the warmth that the light emits. Doing it on the porch will make your home even more welcoming than it already is.

    Love the idea of the headboard rocking bench and your attention to detail with your porch railing is top notch.

    Glad you set the nay-sayers aside. You only need to keep on what you are doing!

  11. I second Laura’s comment about killing the bush. Look for something like tree stump killer or deep roots killer, it is more concentrated than the common weed killers and is used for getting rid of unwanted trees. I’ve seen it as liquid or crystals, both forms work.

    The headboard is stunning! Would look great as a back of a bench.

  12. Another home run, Kristi! The stone is gorgeous. I’ve wanted to replace my rusted wrought iron supports and railing forever and have posts like yours wrapped in this kind of stone. I have limestone on the right side of my house. Lots of homes in my area stain their block foundation to match their siding. I love the look of stone but as this is a lower income area the less expensive option usually wins out.
    I think building the bench is a great way to reuse something that has a family history. My first thought was the cheery coral but matching the shutters might work too.

  13. I love all of the ideas you have incorporated for your porch! The house is coming together and will be a stunner when all your projects are completed. It’s almost there! The first thing I noticed in the photo was the headboard, and I wondered if you were going to make a bench out of it! I was so happy when you said you were! As for rockers, I bought my grandma a rocker at Cracker Barrel restaurant. They sell them on the front porches and they usually come in a stain, or white, or black or sometimes some other colors. Of course, I bought hers more than 15 years ago for a hundred dollars…and they have to have gone up by now. Not sure how much. I bet they sell them online. I love the stone so much. It’s perfect!

    1. Cracker Barrel was going to be my suggestion. They come in assorted colors and should be going on sale here pretty soon. Love the stone.

  14. The porch is really coming together nicely and I love the stone addition. I think it balances the other stone walls really well and they now look much less off.

    As for the rocking chairs – I would hold off on doing anything else and save to get what I really wanted vs. spending money for something that may work, but not what I really wanted or envisioned. Even if it can be used elsewhere it just pushes out when you can actually get what you really want.

  15. Love, love, love!! Can’t wait to see what the lighting looks like. And every picture is made better by the ever vigilant puppy dog 🙂 Kudos to a series of lovely projects that are creating a real masterpiece.

  16. I did not read all the comments, so I don’t know if someone suggested this already, but your grandma’s headboard would make two lovely rocking chairs if you cut it in half, although you would have to add to or take away the upper spindle thingys.

  17. Yay – my vote was for stone in the first place! Looks great and again, your attention to detail shines with deciding to add grout lines. Nice job Kristi. Keep up the good work!

  18. The stone looks really good… that was my vote all along! Have you thought about adding some to the front of the studio addition to kind of join the two sides of the house together and make it look less like an addition?

    1. I’m not quite sure where I could add it. I don’t want to cover any of the concrete foundation footing, because that’s opening up a whole can of worms. If I do any, I’ll have to do all of it. But I could do some sort of flower bed with it. Unless there’s some other option I’m overlooking. I’m open to ideas!

      1. Maybe a planter covered with the airstone under the windows of the studio? That was my first thought when I saw the wide shot. I really like the stone under the porch…good call!

  19. Ha! I don’t know when you will find the time to lounge on your front porch. From what I’ve seen on your blog, you’re always working on projects. LOL Anyway, have you tried Cracker Barrel for rocking chairs? Just a thought.

    1. I just looked online, and they have one that I LOVE, at a very reasonable price. It says they only have one left in stock online. 🙁 I’ll check the local restaurant/store and see if they have them.

      1. I hope you get them! BTW, I’ve seen benches made out of headboards before and they do look nice. Maybe you could make yours into a swing. It would give you a motion similar to rocking.

  20. Your house is looking so beautiful, both outside and in! You must be so proud of the huge transformation and work that you have done. Love, love, love those stones on the porch base. I truly hope that they will be no maintenance and a perfect fit for you. I don’t even have a front porch, and yet I’ve been so interested watching you make steps and redo the whole deck and columns. Keep at it! It is an amazing transformation!

  21. Lovely! The stone facia works so well there! Every time I see the handrail column tops I think of a large glass/crystal doorknob being the finishing touch. ~:D

  22. Oh my gosh! I’m loving everything! That stone product you’re using gives me an idea on my house but I’m chicken because it would be over a larger area. But boy does it look nice – great choice!

  23. LOVE LOVE LOVE! It all! The wide steps, the dark topper on the rail, the dark floor, the rope lights, the way the concrete widens and narrows, the door color with the dark accents! All of it! I’m coming to Waco the end of November first of December. I’m going to be looking for this porch! But I seriously doubt you will be sitting on it sipping tea. You never sit still long enough for such a luxury! But I will find that porch!!!!

    1. HA! I am going in October and thought the exact same thing. I’m too shy to even wave hello if Kristi did happen to be sitting there, but what fun it would be to drive by.

    2. If y’all drive by and see me, you better wave!! Just know that (1) I work with my earbuds in my ears while listening to podcasts (I’m a true crime podcast fanatic and get really drawn into the stories while I work. People sneak up on me all the time while I’m working and scare the heck out of me! 😀 ) and (2) I’ll likely be covered head to toe in sawdust, caulk, wood filler, etc. 😀

    1. Awesome! Not what I’m looking to put on the front porch, but at that price, I’d love to stock up for the back yard/future back porch! That’s an amazing price! And they do look very comfy.

    2. i have these and am not real thrilled with their long sit comfort. I mabe need some cushions on them. I tried in store and thought they were so comfy. but not so much to read a book. mabe for a short sit

  24. The method I have used for years to rid my yard of volunteer trees that works amazingly well and is not harmful to other plants. Cut the tree down as far as possible, drill holes in the remaining stump and pour epsom salt into the holes and over the stump; water lightly. As the epsom salt dissolves it will eat the stump away and turn it to mush so that you can easily remove it; add more as needed to completely remove the stump and roots. Works great and is not bad for the soil.

  25. It all looks beautiful! We just recently moved into a new home and I want to do a courtyard type area for birds as well so I am waiting patiently for your ideas 🙂

  26. It all looks beautiful! We just recently moved into a new home and I want to do a courtyard type area for birds as well so I am waiting patiently for your ideas 🙂

    1. I actually did! I watched one video the other day on how to make a DIY glider. It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for (it was hung by chains that were visible), but I’d like to look up other tutorials on gliders and see about other ways to make them. I love sitting in a glider.

  27. Boy I like the new encouraging, happy “poo free” tone and atmosphere around here now 🙂 I hope it stays. The rock looks great. I mean no offense at all, I am curious is the porch level? On my screen it looks like the far right post goes down hill. And I am curious how that wood will hold up to the weather, could you share please? I agree with you about painting the rock to tie it all together. It looks really nice. It has sure come a long way.

    1. The porch, at the very moment, is actually level. Ask me next week after we’ve had a weekend of rain, and that may not be the case anymore. 😀 I’ve just resigned myself to the fact that, with a 70-year-old house built on our soil and with our climate, I just have to live with things never being level/square/plumb. Things are always shifting, and it drives me crazy.

      1. We’re a few hours north of you I think and we have the same. This house shifts and moves all the time. With the varying moisture levels of the soil and all of the clay in it everything is always shifting. The humidity stinks too as it makes some of our cabinet doors in the kitchen stick together a few months of the year but then they’re fine the rest of the year! Texas sure is strange that way! I never experienced that living in the Inland Northwest so it took some getting used to and having to ignore those doors during the months they stick. When we first moved here I was adjusting them and trying to make them right but every time I’d adjust them it would happen again a few months later when we got some rain. You have to learn to ignore a lot in these homes!

    2. Oops! I over looked the wood question. The wood on the porch is cedar, which is supposed to be one of the best woods for outdoor use. And then I protected it with Thompson’s Water Seal penetrating oil. I have high hopes that it’ll last for a very long time, especially if I recoat it every two years or so. But I’ll keep y’all updated. If it doesn’t last, then I’m going to replace it all with something like Trex. I considered that the first go ’round, but talked myself out of it because of the price. Part of me wishes I had just done it. That stuff would have lasted forever.

      1. Thanks so much, we will be doing our porch very soon and we were going to get cedar. Now that you mentioned Trex, I will look it up, never heard of it. Crossing my fingers everything holds up to the rain. Have a great weekend. 🙂

  28. I’ve thought about using AirStone on my back patio area walls. How did you like it? I know you plan to paint it but does it look good enough as is or does it really need to be painted to actually look good?

    The whole porch looks beautiful. I’m always wonder what all your neighbors are thinking since you started these outdoor projects. I’m sure yours is the house that they slowly drive by looking at all the things you have been up to.

    1. I really like it. I got the color called Birch Bluff, which is the one that looks closest to the original Austin stone on my house. When I first opened the box I just started using them as I opened the individual packages. That was fine for me because I plan to paint mine, but if you’re not painting them, then I highly recommend opening ALL of the packages, mixing them up, and using them randomly because they are varied on color, and you don’t want those colors grouped together while installing them. But it’s a very pretty stone look, and I think it would look great on just about any application. And the installation is quite easy as long as you start from the bottom and work your way up, and use a very strong polyurethane construction adhesive (if you’re using it outside).

  29. Cooper got rescued to the prettiest home with plenty of room to roam! He looks like he knows it too! Another spectacular job, your home is GORGEOUS!!!!

  30. Love that front porch! You could put the rockers on lay-a-way and pay them off next month. Then you would technically be using that months budget 😉

  31. First, get the chairs! #yolo (do people still say that?) Our local Lowe’s has all of the seasonal stuff marked down on clearance, I’m surprised yours doesnt.

    Second, why not just pull the bush out? If you ever plan on planting anything in that area, you don’t want to work around all those roots or stump. Same if you want to put something there with a patio or fountain. Killing that stump with salt or whatever else will take a LONG time.

  32. The whole front of your house is beyond perfect! Every choice compliments the other and the workmanship is next level. It’s nice to see a renovation done by someone who is truly a talented artist, not just a construction crew making something better. You really are truly impressive and your taste is impeccable!

  33. Such a perfect choice to put the stone in that area under the porch. Once it is finished and painted, it will scan perfectly when looking at your house front, and it will not distract and draw the eye away from the beautiful main focal points.

    I hope you will consider using the rest of that Austin stone for a planter or some such on the right side of the house. That will, in my opinion, make the best balance with the stone already on the house. If you do this right – and there is no one who has a better eye than you to do so – the stone will add an interesting texture to complement the siding, porch, and railing, and make the house look even better than if you did not have it on in the first place. And there is something special about keeping such an iconic, local, quintessentially Texas building material.

    It is looking so beautiful!

  34. Love the Airstone. I used it to create an accent wall in my master bath surrounding the shower (the bathroom originally had vertical cedar planks on the this wall and instead of trying to figure out a way to trim the edge of the fiberglass shower stall against drywall, I used the stone to give the room some texture. I am using more of it to cover the dated red brick on my fireplace on my next DIY project probably to happen next month. What’s left over will probably cover the ugly cement risers my front steps and cap the tops with blue stone or slate. (The last box left over from the bath still has a lot of stone in it.)

    I think on that bush, pulling it out roots and all will be the best way to get rid of it. Then you don’t have to worry about hitting roots if you need to dig up the area to whatever goes there next. Roots take a long time to rot- I know because I had tons of cut tree stumps to remove on my property after I bought it.

    You house just keeps getting better and better. It’s so fun to watch the progress and the journey.

  35. When we removed a hillside of stubborn junipers, we wrapped a toe rope around the base/ ball of the plant and had the truck back up. Worked wonderfully. Easier than the trimming down to a stump to pull.

  36. Your vision is amazing! I continue to be in awe of this transformation. What a journey! Everything is turning out so nice. Love the porch and can’t wait to see the headboard turned into a bench. Love………everything!

    1. I’m seriously considering this idea. I’d only be able to use one section of the headboard because the area where I can put a swing is so narrow, but I think it would be an adorable one-person swing!

    1. I should put that in context. My comment refers to your last post where you were searching for a way to finish your soft ice cream cones (otherwise known as post caps).

      Sorry, just a posting newbie from Canada.

  37. I read every post you publish but have never commented until now. Not that there wasn’t anything to comment on before – I absolutely LOVE everything you have done to your house and if I ever began commenting and added ooos and ahhhs… I may never find a stopping place!
    The porch is simply divine! The entire color scheme is so soothing that has such a fresh and contemporary feel.

    But I do want to give my opinion about using the headboard frame for a bench on the front porch. The minute I saw it my first thought, “The curved lines of the headboard are exactly what the front porch needs…would be perfect for a bench and would be so awesome if Kristi can find a way to make that happen”!

    Then I read further and saw where you were discussing the very same idea!

    LOVE it when great minds think alike!

  38. I once used the truck and chain method for some holly bushes that were in my front yard in Dallas. I am so very anti monsanto and refused to use chemicals, especially because I have animals that roam outside. The truck worked great, and quick work I might add!

  39. When I saw the pic with the headboard, I almost jumped up and down with happiness. I recently was able to recover a headboard, foot board and side rails that have been stored in my attic space for at least 40 years and possibly up to 80 years. (My house is 130 years old) The bed frame is in remarkable condition except for a split in one of the side rails. I plan to make a bench out of the pieces for extra seating on my back porch. I look forward to your tutorial on how to make a bench out of a bed. Not sure I have the tools to do it, but if I can, I’d love to do the project myself. I LOVE your blog!! I have gotten so many good ideas here. Love your stone work so far. That’s another idea I might use while updating some of the outside areas of “this old house”. 😀

      1. Perfect!! The bed I have is even similar to yours. I’ll probably use some of the side rail as the apron, if I can. I have all the tools except for the Kreg pocket jig. I am so excited!! Thank you!

  40. Kristi, if you want those bushes dead and aren’t opposed to chemicals, cut them off at ground level, drill holes in the stump and pour in some weed killer. We did the same with pampas grass and used grass killer.

  41. You’ve gotten a lot of good suggestions about removing the bush, but here’s one more just in case 🙂 I had a bush at my old house that I deemed the “middle finger bush.” The way it grew straight up, and right in the middle of my house, made it look like my house was giving the neighbors the middle finger (whacky, I know). I cut it down to the stump, dug as much as I could around it, and cut the roots with my sawzall. Once they were all detached from each other, they died out underground and I planted some very nice hastas in it’s place 🙂

    When I saw the photo of the natural wood headboard, I got really excited! I actually pictured some light-toned wood rocking chairs on your porch. I think painted chairs or a bench would be pretty, but I think a medium or light toned wood (as long as it’s lighter than your deck boards), would really add a lot of warmth!

  42. Your home is beautiful. Your hard work is truly paying off and I hope you know it and appreciate it (I’m sure you do!) Are you opposed to a porch swing? I only say this because I saw that headboard immediately as the back to a swing and had a feeling of whimsy/jealousy creep over me because I don’t have a covered front porch like you and would love to sometime in the future!

    Regardless, I can’t wait to see the rest of your exterior projects! I especially can’t wait to see the finished sitting area next to your porch. Pergolas are beautiful!

    1. I’m not opposed to a porch swing at all. All along, I’ve been planning on a porch swing on the right side of the porch (facing in towards the porch and not towards the street), and I even added extra bracing in the ceiling before installing the tongue-and-groove ceiling boards to prepare for a swing.

      And then I talked myself out of it for some reason. 🙁 One reason is that there’s only enough room for a one-person swing about 36 inches wide.

      But after reading your comment, I went out and looked again, and then my mom stopped by and we chatted about it. Now I’m thinking about using just one section of the headboard and going ahead and making it a one-person swing. One section is actually the perfect width to go between the house and that column. Then I could keep the headboard swing AND have plenty of room for my two rocking chairs when I can afford them!

  43. Awesome! All looks wonderful. My own project might give back to you.

    You had inspired me to get off my butt, paint my 2 porch rocking chairs and bench. They look awesome. Anyways I did them in Sherwin Williams “Dress Blues”, very similar to your shutters. I’m using pillows as my pop of color. First time using their Pro Industrial acrylic. It was terrific. Used for handrails, and all kinds of “tough abuse” places. I have winter to contend with, wanted them durable. Could be sprayed but I brushed & I am super impressed. It feels tough as nails, I did NOT prime and the results are still terrific. A product you might want to explore for your furniture. Your grandma’s headboard is so interesting.

  44. I love everything about the porch! I also love the soon to be head board bench. In my opinion, it’s a little whimsical like your porch finials.

  45. Oooh…that fake stone is going to look FAB. I never would have thought of doing that…but that’s why YOU have a blog and I don’t.

  46. My first thought was rocking chairs with a table between them too. But after seeing the headboard with the intricate work and ball finials, I’m seeing it built into a glider bench and painted to match the rails, with some pretty coral and navy pillows on it. It would repeat the curves on your porch rail finials and tie the two together and would bring some family history to the porch. I too am glad you decided to go with the stone on the porch base, it does tie into the Austin stone on the rest of the house. It’s really looking great, Kristi!

  47. The Airstone ties everything together on the front of the main part of the house. It looks fantastic! I wonder if you could use the remaining Austin stone as your landscaping stones for the area in front of the breakfast room and studio? It could possibly balance out the stone over the front of the whole house.

    Happy hunting for the perfect rocking chairs! You are going to love relaxing out on your beautiful porch on those cool nights that are to come!

  48. That beautiful headboard will make a great back to a glider. I just googled glider plans and found lots of them, even on YouTube. Your home is delightful!!

  49. I completely get wanting to use the headboard from your Grandmother’s house. I love the re-use/recycle aspect, as well as the generational continuity. So, how about doing what you do best and re-purpose it as porch swing bench or bed? I don’t know if your porch roof can support one, but I thought I’d suggest it . . . just in case.
    (Here’s a link:
    Thanks for being my inspiration when it comes to getting major projects off the do-to list.

  50. Kristi, you never cease to amaze me. It looks like a complete different house now ! WOW !! I could come and spend hours on that front porch now. Love everything about it. Also love the Airstone option. I really like how the stones look there !

    Have you considered a bench swing on your porch ? My friend just got one and we LOVE it !!


  51. Good idea with the airstone, once it’s painted to match the Austin stone, it will look almost the same.
    I hope you will incorporate the blue from the shutters into the porch decor. I think it needs that continuity in that area. Love the idea of using Grandmas headboard! I think it’ll be cute! And such a memory for you too.
    Agree that you should pull out that volunteer bush. Treating the stump will take too long, unless you have about 4-5 years to wait! Wish I would have thought of it when they were working on your dig for the walk – I’m sure they would have pulled it out with the bobcat and not even charged extra!
    I’ll say it again, I wish I lived nearby, I’d come help with menial tasks for you anytime, like cleanup, pickup, sweeping, getting tea and playing with Connor!!! LOL! All you’d have to do is point me where you want me! :-))

  52. Good call on the Airstone but I’m chuckling thinking of you actually stopping long enough to sit “rocking away with (your) iced tea in hand, and keeping an eye on all of the neighbors’ comings and goings.”

  53. Beautiful work! The steps, railings and stone all are just wonderful! That stone balances out your house so well and was the perfect choice. I think the headboard bench is going to look awesome and like you said, even if you don’t keep it on your front porch, you could always use it somewhere else. That is a project I’ve always wanted to try. I can’t wait for you to start with that area by your dining room windows! I can just see it filled with bird feeders, a water feature and beautiful plants/flowers. The best way to get rid of that plant/tree that keeps coming back is to pull or dig it up by its roots. Don’t use any kind of pesticide on it, if at all possible! With a lot of those, they stay in the ground and will kill any future plants you put in there, at least for a couple of years. You have to make sure you get up ALL the roots, though, or that tree will keep coming back. We have tried many times getting them out of our flower beds but without taking out a lot of other flowers and shrubs to get it all, they keep coming back. Luckily for you, you don’t have anything else planted there yet that you have to get around. Great job Kristi! Your house is looking so beautiful!

  54. You never cease to amaze me! Everything looks GREAT!! We have a cottage that need to have some stone put around the base of the house. Can you please share where you purchased the ayirstone and how many boxes it will take to do your front porch?

    1. I found it at Lowe’s, and bought two boxes of the regular stones and one box of the corner stones. The box of corners will cover either six or eight linear feet of corner stones, which is way more than I need for my porch, so I plan to cut off the curved ends of the rest of those corner stones and use them on the flat part if I need to. I’m pretty sure that I can get the whole thing done with those three boxes, but I’ll let y’all know for sure when I show y’all the finished project.

  55. WOW – beautiful!!! I don’t know if this is the best place to do this – BUT – THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! We are moving into a new, builder grade house with no lawn and we are working with a landscape designer – I just felt like he was all over the board – and I couldn’t picture the backyard – I was so frustrated and had no idea what to do about it! I looked at your AWESOME porch makeover and it totally inspired me – all of a sudden I saw the back porch – ugly cement – as a beautiful wood porch – BOOM! And suddenly, the entire backyard came together for me and this morning I was able to totally redesign the entire backyard and LOVE it. I WOULD NOT have been able to do that if I had not been inspired by your front porch makeover! I would NEVER have thought to put wood over cement and be able to add major character instantly to a boring porch! And the entire backyard is inspired by the porch!!! And then you went and put stone on the side too – BOOM – LOVE IT!!! THANK YOU, I cannot tell you how you have inspired me!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!

  56. Beautiful transformation Kristi.

    One suggestion and one thank you.
    1. I wonder if you would be better served to cut small “klotski” ( my Polish father’s word for any little piece of wood used to repair a problem) of your vinyl boards to use as fillers for the gaps at the tops of your columns. I’ve found from sad experience that too much caulking in an outdoor gap soon becomes dirty and impossible to clean even with a toothbrush and bleach.

    2. Thank you for discovering that Airstone. My 93 year old mother’s front stoop had a facing of stone that, after 40+ years, fell off. The whole veneer just detached in a piece and fell into her rose bed. Her yard is immaculate and she is fussed about that “mess” even though we cleaned everything up. We can’t find anyone to come and repair such a small job. My daughter and I can do this and make her happy. Thanks for doing the sleuthing and sharing your find.

    Again — a beautiful porch.

  57. LOVE the look of the stone skirting – it’s perfect. Looking forward to the rope lighting and how you’ll work out an on/off switch. I wish I had thought to run wiring for that when we built our screened porch. Having just a very small front porch on my house, I LOVE yours!

    1. That wire is actually connected to the switch that controls the porch lights flanking the front door, so when those are on, the rope light will also come on.

      1. Ahhh, thank you. That makes sense and obviously, you can plan better for the
        future than I can, lol The entire porch is beautiful!

  58. everything is looking so amazing. love how it’s all come together. i too am ready to hit click to order some new rockers for Grandinroad ( i think they are about 170.00 each for the Nantucket) you should look and see if they are an option for you.

    1. I love those Nantucket rockers! I almost bought them a while back, but when reading the reviews, a few mentioned how they lean back kind of far and rock back further than they expected. Since my porch is so small, I think those would take up too much space on mine. But I do love the teak Nantucket rockers, and also the dark blue.

  59. The stone on the face of the front porch definitely helps balance the stone on the other side of the house. It looks great! Also, I LOVE the headboard, and if you can figure out a way to make a bench from it, it’ll be gorgeous.

  60. You could make a really cool atrium in that space when you get rid of that tree. Everything is looking awesome. Love it!

  61. When I look at pictures of your front porch it makes me smile. As far as I am concerned it is perfect! I am looking forward to seeing how you ‘dress’ it and your little water garden area. I wonder how long it is going to take before you start seeing improvements to the front of their homes (grin).

    1. oops … I wonder how long it is going to take before you start seeing your neighbors making improvements to the front of their homes (grin).

      I hate it when my brain ‘reads’ what I am thinking instead of what I am typing … ugh

      1. Haha! I read what you meant and not what you wrote. 🙂 A couple of them have asked me for input on exterior improvements, so it would be fun to see some changes. I’m also keeping an eye out for any houses that go on the market right around us. I don’t know that I could take on another fixer upper just yet, but maybe in a year or two!

  62. wow just when I didn’t think the white would look great on the front of the porch, you switch it up and what a perfect selection,,, that is so so perfect!! I love it all. <3

  63. I’ve wanted a specific Amish glider for my porch for several years. I kept promising myself that I’d get it for my birthday each year but just hated to spend the money for it. I’ve been watching Craigslist for about 3 years &…ta-da…a coupe weeks ago I found exactly what I wanted at a very nice price. I also like the Cracker Barrel rockers & see them on Craigslist but their price is more reasonable so may spring for new ones next year.

    Love the new stone. It looks all cohesive. TRY to sit & drink iced tea for a few minutes!!! 🙂

  64. Perfect solution for your porch’s undercarriage. Wouldn’t want anything to compete with those beautiful steps and railings! I like that it balances the stone and is understated, yet lovely and adds good texture. I love everything about your porch!

  65. Kristi, do you have a Cracker Barrel by you or anywhere close? They sell rocking chairs from their expansive front porch. I think the price on them is $100 each. Just a thought…
    Your porch looks awesome! I love the dark and white against each other. Just beautiful.

  66. Definitely go for the rocking chairs, even if you have to save up for a while. I got mine at a Black Friday sale and waited until spring to use them — totally worth it! I use the porch all the time now and so does the rest of my family, whereas we never really spent time out there before. They make all the difference and look so charming as well 🙂

    You are right the stone on the porch skirt really pulls things together and coordinates nicely. To my eye adding some stone in front of the studio windows would finish every thing off completely — but I know you probably don’t want MORE stone. Maybe a stone planter on the ground against the house you could remove someday when you get rid of the rest of the stone? Just a thought! 🙂

  67. We had the same bush/tree (2 actually) that were in our backyard that we cut down twice, drilled holes, and put in root/tree killer but nothing. We finally had a company come and rip them out. It was only a few hundred dollars and there were gone in 30 minutes. We have another one in our front yard but are waiting to see if the HOA will allow us to remove it.
    The Airstone looks great, can’t wait to see it painted. The pup is adorable 🙂

  68. Love the rock skirting around the porch. I can’t believe how much difference it makes in the look of the porch. Seems like the perfect answer to me. Even if some day, long, long in the future, you remove the stone from the house the rock “foundation” look on the porch will still work. (Many houses have brick or stone in this area even if the rest of the house is siding.) We should have known you would find the perfect solution.

  69. 1. Love the wider steps on the front porch! I found myself checking out all porches as I was driving around last night and thinking “wider porch steps would be good for that home” haha
    2. The stone on the bottom of the porch looks great! It really ties the house together. Even though you’re not a big fan of the stone, it still looks good! Sometimes you just have to work with what you have.
    3. Lots of great ideas for removing the ‘weed tree’! The satisfaction I get from cutting down a weed tree and pulling out that stump is awesome. I’ll be trying some of these ideas to get the stubborn stumps out of my yard!
    4. You have given me the encouragement to paint furniture! I grew up with painting wood as a giant NO. I just finished painting my bathroom cabinet and have 2 dressers that will be getting a facelift with paint soon!

  70. I love how the exterior of your house is turning out! Well the interior isn’t half bad either! LOL!
    The fact that you had the vision of what your house could be when you first bought it is amazing. Most people probably just looked at it and walked away. So glad you saved this home!

  71. I love the headboard. I think it will make a beautiful bench. What a great idea to re-purpose something meaningful.

  72. Looks amazing!! Could you turn the headboard into a swing?? Would be so pretty out there – and you could still have your rocking chairs maybe. Hope they go on sale soon!

  73. Thank you for explaining the headboard! I am not a detail person and can easily overlook tools and mess in a picture but I was so perplexed as to why you would have a headboard out there. 🙂 The porch is looking amazing.
    I also wanted to add that since finding your blog I have been inspired to try DIY projects on my own. I used to help my dad with things and learn from him but my husband has no interest in fixing things up. I would have DIY ideas but often wouldn’t do them without a partner to help. Since finding your blog and seeing all you do on your own (physically – I know Matt is supportive in other ways) I have been inspired to try more on my own. I recently lay my kitchens vinyl tile flooring and tiled the backsplash as well. I had the confidence to do those projects because of all I have seen you accomplish.
    Thank you.

  74. Glad to see people speaking up about not using Roundup. It is SOoooo bad for our enviroment! Epsom salts would be my suggestion as well.

    Why don’t you hold off for a a month on your rocking chairs. Maybe they will have an end of season sale OR maybe Santa will put them under your tree.