The carport is where we go in and out everyday. Since we have ample driveway space behind the house for parking cars, we rarely park the car in there simply because it makes things feel more open and gives us a sense of an “outdoor entry” – even though it’s far from inviting or remotely pretty…
Our “way-down-the-road plan” is to finish the carport and make it a bonus room. Until then, we want to make it as welcoming and inviting as possible without pouring a ton of money into it. In order to get started on the right track, we picked out three major improvements that will make a big impact without breaking the bank:
1. OVERHEAD. Just about everything in the carport could use some sort of facelift, but the ceiling especially needs some work. The paint, which was once white (probably back in the 70′s!) is now a sickly-looking yellow, dirty, and peeling like crazy. Then there’s the lighting – which clearly speaks for itself:
We’ve known since we bought the house that something needed to be done to the ceiling, but we knew scraping, sanding, and re-painting the ceiling was going to be a ton of work. Even though we felt like we were up for the task, a smooth, solid colored ceiling wouldn’t be that interesting and definitely wouldn’t bring any “warmth” to the space. Inspiration struck when we saw an episode of Sarah’s House on HGTV. Instead of repairing the existing carport ceiling, Sarah had it covered with raw wood paneling and painted it the same color as the trim. Genius! I couldn’t find a close-up photo of this project (I did find the whole episode online! Check it out here.) but here’s an inspiring before and after:
This idea (or a version of it) with the addition of two new light fixtures will (hopefully) totally transform the now cold and dingy carport into an inviting “outdoor entry”. As for the light fixtures, we’re thinking of replacing them with two hanging lantern lights – maybe something like one of these…
2. THE FLOOR. Oh, the floor. We sweep it regularly but after years of cars sitting on it, it’s very badly stained and cracked. Therefore, we feel the best way to solve this problem is to start from scratch. No, we’re not going to try to rip the whole thing out. We’re planning on repairing the cracks and coating the carport floor with a textured epoxy. I kinda sorta spilled a mixture of ultra dark wood stain on the floor during another small project that is currently in progress (more on that later). Yet another reason to “start from scratch”.
The epoxy will protect the floor from spills and make cleaning a lot easier. This will probably be our biggest “DIY” project to date (at least in our heads anyway), but we’re pretty sure we can do it. I guess we’ll find out soon enough! Not as soon as we would like though. While we would love to get this done over the upcoming 3-day weekend, we read that it’s best to do this when it’s under 90 degrees. Sadly, this weekend, the forecast is a rather toasty 93 degrees plus.
3. FINISHING TOUCHES. This step consists of a lot of little things, including power washing the steps and walls, bringing in a planter or two, re-painting the railings, and possibly adding doormats.
That pretty much sums up what we’ve got planned for the carport – aka: “outdoor entry” and a majority of what we’ll be up to this weekend. Do you have any outdoor projects lined up for this holiday weekend? Clue us in by leaving a comment…
Sarah’s House inspiration photos found here. Lighting inspiration from Shades of Light. Flower planter image found here.