If there’s one factor we’ve realized about residing right here, it’s that we do a ton of residing outdoors. Between every at-home studying break the children are on the market operating round, we make s’mores at our fireplace pit each week or so, we sit on our entrance porch and watch the neighborhood canine go by, and we regularly eat or hang around on the second-floor deck (we even work on our laptops up there on particularly good days – which is the place I’m penning this submit proper now).

We will actually really feel the home working further arduous for us due to the placement/local weather (good climate undoubtedly encourages us to be outdoors so much), but additionally as a consequence of having so many nice outside areas for us to get pleasure from (we had no thought how superior an upstairs deck could be, however boy will we respect having it!).

One other fairly lucky incidence is that lots of these outside areas simply wanted one or two easy updates to go from “issues we used to stroll by” to “a spot that will get used every single day.” Like this coated porch…







You final noticed it on this submit about our home’s exterior updates (there’s additionally this more moderen exterior submit) – and it sat just about unused for the final eight months till we realized it was the right spot to hold a giant hanging tent that we obtained for the children for the vacations.


Covered white porch on move-in day with kids sitting on stoop


Because it’s proper off of our bed room, our plan is to finally convert a few of that coated porch into an ensuite rest room – however since sharing a toilet with the children has been a lot much less of a giant deal than we anticipated, we actually don’t have any urgency to begin a serious reno like that. We’d a lot reasonably work on including a pool & slightly indifferent visitor studio first (we’ve utilized for the pool allow but it surely’s fairly sluggish going). So creating a spot the place the children can lounge round, learn books, coloration, and simply have some chill time looks like an ideal “for now” use for that coated porch. Particularly since we have now about 56 different timber we will use to hold the tent after this coated porch is not out there 😉

However first… the wooden flooring had seen higher days. It had been painted the identical white coloration as the home by our contractor again in April (our greatest guess is that it obtained some drips on it and since he thought we’d be turning it into a toilet quickly he simply stated “eh, paint the entire thing white for now”). However white decking isn’t the very best for hiding leaf stains & grime and all of the stuff that finally ends up in your toes or your flipflops, as you possibly can see beneath:


White painted porch floor stained with leaf marks


Because of our stair runner undertaking, we had some inside/exterior porch & flooring paint already readily available. And we thought a medium grey tone could be simply the factor to freshen this space up totally free in a day. I don’t have photographs of our prep work, however all we did was blow all of the free leaves & pine needles off the deck, after which we strain washed it to get it as clear as doable and let it absolutely dry. As you possibly can see on this picture beneath, there was nonetheless a ton of discoloration and marking that didn’t elevate off…


John edging porch floor with gray floor paint on paintbrush


… however fortunately the porch & flooring paint coated all of it proper up. As for the paint specifics, we selected this Porch & Flooring Enamel that was really useful by the professional on the paint retailer for our stair runner undertaking, and the colour is grey but it surely’s a pleasant heat one (Requisite Grey by Sherwin-Williams – you too can see the way it reads inside on our stairs right here).


Roller applying gray porch paint to stained white porch floor


Ta daaaaaa. So a lot better. It’s humorous how a lot darker it seems to be above than beneath, however in particular person it undoubtedly seems to be considerably darker than when the decking was the identical white coloration as the home. We hope this Requisite Grey coloration holds up nicely, however the great thing about this replace is that it simply took a day, so if this finally ends up staining and we wish to go even darker with the colour down the road, we now know that it’s supremely simple to do. Actually, this whole replace took underneath three hours complete (between prep, paint, and hanging the tent).


Finished painted gray porch floor detail


That is the view from the facet window within the kitchen. Our beloved inexperienced fence is the true MVP of our outside upgrades. Extra on that, our new-ish firepit space, and a few landscaping that we added across the fence quickly! Notice: when you’re questioning concerning the fence coloration, it’s Halcyon Inexperienced by Sherwin Williams, and you’ll hear extra concerning the constructing of the fence right here.


Hanging cone shaped netted tent above painted porch floor


As for the tent, that is the one we obtained, and it’s enormous! It’s 60″ vast and has a weight capability of 450lbs, so it’s basically like a double hammock the place you possibly can lay in any path (actually each youngsters are laying in it within the picture beneath). The good factor about this versus a double hammock is that it’s extra secure (can’t actually tip this very simply) – and also you don’t roll in direction of the center or something – every child can have a spot with out feeling like they’re drifting right into a crack within the center.

Two kids laying in hanging tent on covered porch

Our youngsters use it to hang around and browse, coloration, do exercise books, simply play some imaginary recreation that includes it as their “automotive” or “home.” They’ve even tried to play board video games inside and to “have a daytime sleepover” (have I discussed they actually like being on this hanging tent?). It’s a pleasant counterpart to their webbed tree swing (which is for wild & loopy swinging within the facet yard – you possibly can see that on this submit). I’ve additionally laid on this hanging tent within the night after s’mores. It’s good.

As for a way we hung it, we used considered one of these straps (the opposite one which comes within the set is what we used to hold the webbed tree swing). All of it feels good and safe – and was tremendous simple to hold (the tree swing that we hung over a department this fashion was simply as easy).


Close up of nylon strap wrapped over porch beach with tent hooked to d rings


The hanging tent itself is a type of thick semi-translucent cloth (it’s a lot stronger than a sheer curtain and even mesh). You’re feeling cocooned inside, but it surely’s not like a darkish gap. They’ll simply learn and see issues nicely inside, but additionally really feel prefer it’s their very own little world.


Detail of netted side of hanging porch tent


Oh and it has a cup holder, which you’ll be able to see within the image beneath. That was John’s favourite half when he climbed in (he and I took it for a spin to verify it wouldn’t come crashing down, and he was downright wowed by the cup holder).


Two kids laying in hanging tent on covered porch with green painted fence in background


In order that’s the easy however very purposeful little improve this previously unused coated porch acquired over the vacations.



Exterior of white house at night with hanging tent swing on covered side porch





And sure our Christmas tree continues to be up. Are you able to inform we like an ambient glow by the variety of string lights that we have now outdoors year-round?

Oh and I simply discovered this earlier than picture taken from nearly the very same angle from final February once we first laid eyes on this home. Isn’t it loopy what plenty of paint (and ditching that outdated rickety staircase) can do?!





When you’d prefer to learn extra about our home’s evolution during the last eight months, this archive is all about our Florida home – and it covers each single change, listed chronologically for anybody who desires a deeper dive. And when you’re interested by how majorly downsizing has met and exceeded our expectations (together with a few of the greatest challenges we’ve encountered alongside the best way) this submit has all these particulars.

*P.S. This submit incorporates affiliate hyperlinks*

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