26 May, 2008

Covering the Fugly Battleship Gray Porch

We're still spending most of our work time on the house cleaning out decades of crud and prioritizing projects. The porch fell in the low priority category.

It is probably as old as the house, but pretty darn sturdy yet. We'd like to redo it; if not rebuild it, perhaps by putting up insulation and drywall and extending the time we can use it. Unfortunately, that's not in the cards until more pressing things get taken care of first.

Still, it was kinda ugly, and we have to walk through it every day to get to the offices down in the basement. So, as a temporary solution, Mom decided to paint the porch on the first level a sunny light yellow. She's leaving the floor and ceiling the original battleship gray, as well as the main support posts. And the top area, which she can't reach with the ladder, we're leaving gray "for contrast."

I don't have a before picture, so just try to imagine all of this as ugly, dark, oppressive battleship gray.

Here I'm standing on the stairs that lead up to the tenants' porch. We're going to let them paint their level, too, if they want--but not the brick. The thing covered in plastic is my mom's quilt frame. She's calling this her Summer Sewing Room. The boxes stacked in the corner still have to make their way out of here, but the porch is pretty much set.

Here I'm standing on the stairs that lead to the outside back door. That gray thing between the two chairs is the back of the ice box. The little door that the iceman would put the ice in has been painted shut, but the plan is to strip and restore this to full functionality, should the iceman choose to cometh.

The painting of the shrieking head was done by Ted's sister.

We are all pack rats, and it won't take long for these walls to be covered in junk, like my lucky horseshoe.

By the way, my Mom and I have an ongoing battle about this horseshoe. I say it should be pointing down, so the luck showers down on us. She says up, so the luck doesn't run dry. Here's what the great and sometimes inaccurate Wikipedia had to say:

Horseshoes are considered a good luck charm in many cultures. The shape, fabrication, placement, and manner of sourcing are all important. A common tradition is that if a horseshoe is hung on a door with the two ends pointing up then good luck will occur. However, if the two ends point downwards then bad luck will occur. Traditions do differ on this point, though. In some cultures, the horseshoe is hung points down (so the luck pours onto you); in others, it is hung points up (so the luck doesn't fall out); still in others it doesn't matter so long as the horseshoe has been used (not new), was found (not purchased), and can be touched. In all traditions, luck is contained in the shoe and can pour out through the ends.

Hmmm. Seems we're both right.

Looking out the porch window to see our neighbor's bridal veil bushes hanging over the fence into our yard. These are gorgeous. Okay, I ran outside to take the picture, but you can still see these from the window.

Part of me hates investing time and effort in a solution that's only meant to be temporary, but it will probably be a few years until we get to a final porch solution. For now, it's definitely more uplifting to hang out on a sunny yellow porch than an oppressive gray one.

I think this is how some of those weird decisions made by previous owners actually started. A well-meaning PO does something meant to be "temporary," and years later someone else comes along and goes "WTF did they do that for"?


Jen said...

I worked on a temp. project last week. Just haven't blogged about it.

BMack said...

Cool house ...which reminds me of my fugly gray porch.

Dang....need to add that to my list of things to do

Andy said...

Truthfully, I think the yellow and gray work really well together...at least in the picture. It gives it dimension, and certainly isn't a pairing someone would jump to put on their walls...if the battleship gray has the hint of blue that it appears to in the photos, I say leave it! ;)

Joanne said...

Andy--there's about three different shades of gray out there, all rather slapped on. But yeah, in certain lights it does look more blue than gray. We're definitely leaving the ceiling/floor/trim that color. Overall, it doesn't look bad. Much cheerier now.

dysb--It's always something, eh? My to-do list is as long as my arm. And that's just for this year!

Jenni--What? You did something to the house without running it by us all?