This makeover wasn't actually on my to-do list for 2011 but after hubby finished building the trellis, he was on a roll and he wanted to replace the "temporary stairs" too. (Now, unlike me, my husband is not a "project person" and it is usually me who is keen to do more than one major project per summer and usually I do something I don't need his help with because it's just easier that way.) So if he was on a roll, who was I to stop him?
Those "temporary stairs" have been there for 6 years (!) since we had to suddenly rip out the back deck when we discovered it was infested with carpenter ants. We just hadn't got around to replacing them yet. Anyway, he built the new stairs and railing to be as open as possible because that's the kitchen window overlooking the porch and I wanted to be able to see through the railing out to the garden as much as possible.
Then I decided that if we were going to fix up the porch, we were going to fix up the porch. So I painted the ceiling pale blue (I'm gradually trying to get rid of the gawd-awful yellow trim), painted the window frames (two colours, white and brown, do you KNOW how long that takes?!) and we covered the astroturf carpet (another awful feature that I have hated since we moved in) with beautiful redwood deck tiles. I should have taken a close-up before and after of the floor since it is a HUGE improvement.
I still have 6 more window frames to paint (3 shown above) to finish the house. Since I am really trying to discipline myself into minimizing the number of projects on the go at any one time (and doing a terrible job of it, but trying nonetheless), I am now hoping to get the painting done this summer (I started it last year after we had replaced some windows).
And then, I need a break. I'm getting tired! The north patio project is going to have to wait until next year. It actually makes sense time/cost -wise since I also want to put a little patio in the front next year (OK, so that's 2 projects already planned for next year but they are both patios so it counts as one, right?) After a rest, I should really do some things a more-disciplined-gardener-than-me would do, like weed, and maybe dig out my compost bins and spread that good stuff around the garden. Yes, that boring maintenance kind of stuff!