The summer months are coming up and since the foyer is now officially under our belts, we’re now moving on to the other “entry” of our house: the carport. This is where we go in and out everyday, and since we bought the house, we’ve parked our car in there a total of three times – and I think that was during Irene and Sandy. Actually, a while back, we gave our patio furniture a mini facelift and semi-DIYed a huge console table for the space to make it more of an outdoor living slash entry area.

Carport Before / 7th House on the Left

It’s pretty much a blank canvas, but if you look a little closer, you’ll see a few major things we need to address before we get to the fun decorating stuff…

Carport To Do List / 7th House on the Left

Project #1: The ceiling. As you can see from the photo above, the ceiling is in pretty bad shape. 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 are the lights, which have seen their better days. Project#2: The floor. The previous owners used the carport as, well, a carport, so there are a lot of grease and oil stains from years of car-parking. I also may or may not have spilled a cup of stain on the floor when we were working on a project. Go me. Project #3: The handrails. The simplest project of them all, they just need a quick sanding and a fresh coat of black paint to bring them back to life.

Once we get all of those things under our belt over the next few weeks, we’re teaming up with Target (which happens to be our favorite place on Earth, right after Disney World) to bring some color, comfort and fun to the space. So. Excited. Here’s the plan…

Summer Patio Mood Board / 7th House on the Left

ONE // Like we mentioned earlier, the ceiling is in bad shape. Structurally speaking, it’s fine – it just needs a major facelift. We’re currently weighing the options of scraping, priming and re-painting as opposed to going a step further and cover it up a treatment of some sort such as planks of medium/dark stained wood. Either way, it will look a lot better than what’s going on now.

TWO // Once the ceiling is finished, we’re going to move on to the floor. We’re still debating on whether to paint it or do the whole epoxy/paint treatment (anyone have any experience with this?). Either way, all of the nastiness is going to get covered up with a neutral shade of gray – similar to brand spanking new concrete.

THREE // Throw up some globe string lights and you have yourself an instant party. Aside from replacing the two overhead lights (we’re thinking something silver to pop against the medium/dark planks), we’re going to line the perimeter of the carport with some fun string lights. We actually hung some a few months ago but never blogged about it because the ceiling is just too plain ugly (you can see them in the before photo at the top of this post). This time around, my dad, who’s a licensed electrician, is going to help us install an outlet in the ceiling so we don’t have an extension cord running down the corner next to the door. Yay for dads!

FOUR // New patio furniture isn’t in the budget for this project, but we’re totally in love with Target’s Belvedere Conversation Set. The furniture we have is the same size and color, so we’re going to soften it up with pillows and accessories and try our best to make a cozy and inviting conversation area.

FIVE // I am in love with these Threshold Metal Lanterns. When I picked them up in the store, I was so surprised at how heavy and well-made they were. A few of these on the console table with some flameless candles will add some nice ambiance to the area.

SIX // A part of making a cozy conversation area (as mentioned in #4) is making things as comfortable as possible. We’re going to add at least five outdoor pillows to the furniture. I’m particularly loving these, these and these. Ahh, can’t get enough pillows.

SEVEN // I love, love, love to entertain and having friends over to just hang out. So, when everything is all spruced up, we’re going to be throwing a summer kick-off get-together out on our new “carport patio”. Can. Not. Wait. Everything tastes better in a mason jar – especially during the summer – and I love the relaxed casual look of using mason jars as drinking glasses at a party. So, that’s what we’ll be doing.

EIGHT // I’ve said it a bajillion times, but I love using all white dishes when we entertain. You can add color by mixing in whatever combo you want with special dishes (trays, serving bowls, etc) and colorful linens. For this shindig, I’m going to use this awesome Threshold platter as my “inspiration piece” and will be including corals, reds and a few pops of yellow.

NINE // For our summer kick-off get-together, we’re teaming with fellow Target Inner Circle Member and food blog extraordinaire, Gina, from SkinnyTaste. She creates the most delicious skinny recipes that totally don’t taste like “diet food”. Around here, we’re big fans of her Grilled Chicken with Spinach and Melted Mozzarella and Mexican “Unfried” Ice Cream. She’s pretty awesome. She’ll be putting together a healthy, fresh menu for our get together, and I can’t wait to hear what she has in mind. Plus, it will be a load of pressure taken off of us not to have to spend time figuring out the menu when we can be decorating, haha.

So there you have it, our grand plan. It seems like everyone in Blogland is sprucing up the outside of their houses. How about you, are you getting ready for summer too?