Summer Porch Makeover

Summer Porch Makeover Ideas - A Well Crafted Party

When we first walked into our (now) home it was being updated by the owner and it was a disaster. But, we had been having NO luck finding an affordable rental home in the Portland area and this home wasn’t quite on the market yet, so we tried to look at it through the mess and see what potential it had. The owner explained some of the updates the home would have (new carpet, new paint, etc.) as we were walking through it. It is an old home and it hasn’t been maintained very well. It could really use new windows throughout, but the instant we pulled up to the mint green home I knew it was going to be our next move.

The home has such personality and character. And, even though there are things I would change (no dishwasher!? only one bathroom!?) I love this little home and will be very sad the day we leave it, even if it is for a better home.

Summer Porch Makeover for a Rental - A Well Crafted Party

One of the areas that I wanted to touch up from the beginning was the back porch area. Being a rental, we don’t want to put a lot of time and money into it, but we did want the space looking better. We have three amazing yard areas at our home and we throw parties outdoors basically from June through November, so updating the space has been on my home bucket list for some time. It took us three long years before we finally got around to it, but it makes me more happy than you can imagine!

Before our Summer Porch Makeover - A Well Crafted Party

Because it is a rental home we were not allowed to make big changes to the space. Ideally the porch needs redone as much of the wood is cracked and broken from not being properly prepared for the Pacific Northwest weather. Normally we wouldn’t even be able to paint, but we asked the owner for permission letting him know that our intentions were to help weather proof the area a bit more and streamline it with the house. The white outdoor paint really makes the porch much nicer and ( I think) will be an overall win for the value of the house when we leave.

We knew that the space would need to include our shoe rack (the boys leave their shoes on the porch area until the rainy season), a rug, our grill and supplies and some of my outdoor entertaining items. I seriously have a problem with buying plates and we have just run out of room indoors and in our garage, so utilizing the book shelf area during the summer months with items that we use frequently made sense. We will need to store much of these items during the rainy months, but I have some fun ideas to make the space festive for the holidays, so I am not worried!

One last look at the before…just so you can see just how bad it was:

Summer Porch Makeover Ideas - A Well Crafted Party

Summer Porch Makeover for Our Rental Home

Something about white paint just makes everything look cleaner and more put together. We chose to go with a Crisp Linen White Glidden exterior paint for the porch area. After cleaning the porch as much as possible we sanded down areas that needed it and just plopped the paint directly on the wood. It took a couple of coats, but the paint went on nicely and looks good!

After our Summer Porch Makeover - A Well Crafted Party

We accented the area with my outdoor entertaining items, a new cart for our grill supplies, a couple free printables and a couple of easy DIY projects. If you are currently reading this on the desktop version of my blog then you might have noticed that I have a small love for these colors. I really like how bright and summery my porch area is now!

My porch bookshelf houses my many outdoor entertaining items in a neat and organized fashion.

Our grill area is much more functional now that we added a little grill cart!

All my outdoor entertaining items fit so nicely on my outdoor bookshelf!

My porch bookshelf houses my many outdoor entertaining items in a neat and organized fashion.


Summer Porch Makeover Highlights:

Many of the updates on the porch area were temporary, inexpensive and super easy. They either utilized items we already had around the house and really just needed a permanent home for or inexpensive purchases that will last a long time.

  • Our new DIY rug was super inexpensive to make and is great for all the foot traffic we have in our back yard area. It can get super messy, but is easy to clean and replace if damaged. (Check back tomorrow for my post on the DIY elements!)
  • We still managed to keep our shoe rack in the area and it doesn’t look too terrible. It helps that the rack is also white.
  • One of my favorite additions to the space was the small grill cart that I purchased from Ikea. The cart has made grilling much more fun and less of a chore. The small little trash can underneath helps with scraps or trash items during cooking or throughout our outdoor events.
  • My DIY Sunscreen and Bug Spray station fit perfectly in the bookshelf. That way, anyone who is over has instant access to skin protection if they need it.
  • A few items that we use for our outdoor dining area are housed up on the bookshelf when not in use just in case there is a sudden storm. All of the items on the bookshelf stay pretty well covered from the elements due to the shelter overhead.
  • We added curtains to the space to help shield off some of the sun and separate the space a bit more. I decided to do the curtains last minute and they are one of my favorite elements of the whole space!
  • I love the lemon print that I got for FREE from Live Laugh Rowe. It says, “Life’s Short. Squeeze all you can out of it!”
  • Part of the reason I was inspired to redo my porch area is thanks to Kohl’s! I was asked to work on a Summer celebration post (coming next week- you don’t want to miss it!) and was gifted a gift card in order to get items to help throw my celebration. I really love my new dishes from the Bobby Flay Home series at Kohl’s as well as the outdoor pillows, beer opener, wire baskets and outdoor glassware. Every time I look in my back yard area now I want to have another party!
  • Pinterest (as always) was a great place for me to catalog ideas for the space. Check out my DIY Outdoor Living Space board for more inspiration!

What home improvements have you worked on this summer? Are there elements here that you could incorporate into your own outdoor space?

Part of the items featured in this post were made possible with a partnership with Kohl’s. Thank you to Kohl’s for helping me entertain this summer. Thanks to readers for supporting the companies that help make this blog bring new content to the interweb. I only promote companies that I actually use myself and enjoy. Please see my policies for more information. 

Updated to say that I’m linking this post up to the following awesome link parties:


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Jenni is a freelance writer and media assistant based in Portland, OR. A Well Crafted Party is a blog about all the little things to celebrate in life. Follow Jenni or A Well Crafted Party with BlogLovin, RSS feed, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
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  1. Wow – the porch makeover looks GREAT. What fun colors for summer and an all around great space for hanging out!
    Erin @ Platings and Pairings recently posted…The ULTIMATE Sugar CookiesMy Profile

    1. Jenni

      Thanks so much! It was a lot of fun getting it together. We also redid a table for an outdoor dining space and created an outdoor living area to sit out and enjoy everyone’s company. I’m very excited to finally be able to share them!

  2. Reply

    I think little improvements really help to make a rental feel more like a home. It looks great! A little white paint always works wonders.
    Cindy recently posted…PB & J Ice CreamMy Profile

    1. Jenni

      Agreed! White paint is amazing. 🙂

    • Jen
    • July 23, 2015

    That looks awesome! I am a big sucker for organization, and those are such fun colors for summer. I can’t wait to read about how you made the rug…
    Jen recently posted…Three days in Canyonlands National Park.My Profile

  3. Reply

    Wow! I don’t seem to have a good “vision” for things. We definitely have a few spaces that could use some sprucing up in our new home, thanks for the inspiration.
    Emily Canibano recently posted…Discover Yoga for Children Free Printable Yoga Cards for Your ClassroomMy Profile

  4. Reply

    Great makeover and I’m tickled silly that my printable made a debut with your porches makeover. xo
    Kelly recently posted…Office Supplies that Keep Me Organized, Creative and Sane!My Profile

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