Like others in its 1970s suburban neighborhood, this home featured a tacked-on, three-season porch that was uninviting and underused. We quickly transformed the space by repurposing furnishings and updating materials, all wrapped up in a retro color scheme.


Porch before

Although lacking in personality, the 10×20-foot porch offered the potential for sun-splashed style.


Screen Porch walls

Updated surfaces followed. Hardboard siding was left gray, but water-stained cedar walls framing the windows were brightened with ivory-color paint.


Ipe hardwood floor tiles

And below it all is a new floor of richly stained ipe deck tiles, which creates a warm, welcoming foundation.  This new floor really adds a richness to the space and we completed the whole project in just a few hours. Here’s how simple it really is.

Gather Your Materials

  • Measuring tape
  • Interlocking ipe wood flooring tiles (such as HandyDeck)
  • Table saw or circular saw


Laying tiles over concrete floor

First, determine the floor’s square footage. Calculate how many wood deck tiles you’ll need to cover your porch or patio. (We used 200 12-inch-square tiles to cover this 10×20-foot porch.) The tiles are installed directly over the existing concrete floor.


Snapping together hardwood tiles

Snap the interlocking tiles together to create the new floor.


Alternating direction of hardwood tiles

If desired, alternate the tiles’ direction to create a basket-weave pattern that gives you more style for the same amount of money. Use a table saw or circular saw to cut tiles if you need to fit them around a corner or a post.

When needed, clean the tiles with a mild soapy solution, wiping them dry with a clean cloth. Remove tiles (then reset) to clean underneath them. Follow manufacturer’s directions about whether your tiles need to be reglazed on a regular basis, and note other care or maintenance needs.


Porch dining area

The now-pretty porch’s dining area boasts an upcycled table with faux mosaic top, spiffed-up chairs wearing fabric-strip hula skirts, a unique mobile made from retro postcards and handy storage created from flea-market finds. A bound sisal rug defines the informal dining area.


Postcard mobile_light fixture

The whimsical mobile showcases collectible vintage postcards without damaging them. We drilled three holes in each of two old barrel hoops—spaced at equidistant intervals so that after connecting the hoops with chains, they would stay balanced.

Twenty complenentary postcards were attached to the hoops with binder clips to provide a 360-degree display. Add a pendant lamp kit to create a light fixture.


Embellished patio chairs

Old chairs get a new look after being sprayed with silver paint that delivers the luxe look of hammered metal. Bare metal seats were padded with foam, then covered with vivid cotton prints that carry the postcards’ color scheme down to the floor.

We embellished each chair by knotting 1-inch-wide fabric strips to the frames before reattaching the seats. Strips can be seamed in half so they’re pretty from any angle, or cut with pinking shears for a quick solution.


Painted mosaic tabletop

Stenciled paint patches give a white tabletop the appearance of a high-end decorative mosaic. After detaching the formerly tiled tabletop from its base, we flipped it over, primed the smooth side, and stenciled it to look like a mosaic. Here’s how.

Gather Your Materials

Use fine-grit sandpaper to sand the tabletop and wipe thoroughly with a tack cloth.

Mask off the tabletop and spray one coat of X-I-M primer on the table. Let dry.
Spray on one or two coats of Siesta Sands. Let dry.

Enlarge the stencil pattern to the desired size and transfer the pattern to stencil plastic using a fine point permanent marker. Place the stencil plastic sheet on the self-healing cutting mat and use masking tape to secure. Cut out the openings using the crafts knife.

Pour a small amount of desired color onto the disposable plate. Pick up a scant amount of color on the stencil tool. Tap the loaded tool onto a stack of absorbent paper towels. Too much paint on the tool can cause the paint to bleed under the stencil. Using light pressure, apply the paint to the stencil opening keeping the tool surface flat to the table surface. Stencil several areas with the same color. Choose another paint color and repeat the stenciling process to complete several more areas. Continue to stencil openings with additional colors until the entire stencil is complete. Remove the stencil and let the paint dry. Move the stencil to an adjacent area fitting the stencil in as well as possible.

There will be some open areas that will need filling in later. Continue stenciling until the entire tabletop is covered. To finish filling in the pattern, use masking tape for delicate surfaces to tape off geometric shapes as desired and stencil. Continue filling in until the pattern is complete.

Spray on one or two coats of finish sealer letting dry between coats.


Stacked cabinets on porch

Stacked flea-market cabinets offer two tiers of storage. This corner offers just enough space for a pair of chippy-paint cabinets. Pretty dishes go on top; serving pieces and linens hide away beneath.


Cabinet interior

Vintage pottery and an antique French plaque found in Round Top, Texas, elevate cabinet contents to showcase status. Patterned melamine dishes are a stylish choice for outdoor dining.

Don’t miss our next post—we’ll show you how we decorated the “living room” part of our porch makeover.


© Caruth Studio

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