Transforming our Knotty Pine Porch from Dated to Modern- Without Paint!

A three-season (or year-round) porch was on my list of “really really wants” when we were searching for a new home last summer. To be honest, it is one of the main things that drew me to this house! When we moved in and started talking about all of the renovations we were going to do in this home, I thought I might want to paint the knotty pine. It seemed like the easiest way to update it at the time.

After living with the porch in its natural state for awhile, it started to grow on us both. The knotty pine feels warm and inviting no matter the time of day. It is a surprising juxtaposition from the rest of our home, with its white walls and ceiling. So when it was time to design and finally remodel this porch, I decided to keep the wood in its original state.

I combined unique modern and vintage furniture and fixtures to create a “modern cozy cabin” feel. I embraced the contrast from the rest of our home, but also tied in similar elements like furniture shapes, wood tones, and colors, so that it still feels cohesive.

Today I’m sharing the entire process with you, from before to the design process and all of the afters!!

The Before

The photos below are from when we were touring the home and is staged for sale. The previous owners actually left the porch furniture behind for us! Although it wasn’t our style, it was really comfortable and was a great placeholder until we were ready to renovate and get new furniture.

As you can see, the bones of this porch were great- it has gorgeous big windows, great views of our backyard, a vaulted ceiling, and a large entrance to our dining room.

What wasn’t so great was the dining room door itself, which was actually a sliding double door! The exterior door wasn’t exactly attractive, nor was the ceiling fan (which was also too small). The carpet was in decent shape but we knew it wouldn’t last long with Dexter running around in there with muddy paws… and we just didn’t really love the look of it. There were old, dusty blinds on the windows too.

Finally, this porch had no heat source, so it was only able to be used for three seasons instead of year round. We knew we wanted to add some kind of heat source so that we could enjoy it even in the winter!

The Design

I wrote a post that detailed my original design plans back in December 2020! Not a lot changed since those original plans, other than the curtains and some decor items. I did have the black chairs (below) in there originally, but have since swapped them out with the blue velvet chairs that we had in our living room.

original porch design plans from December 2020

The Renovation Process

We renovated this space slowly, because we used it as a living space when our main floor was being completely gutted. I would sit in the porch with the sliding doors closed and work on client design work and plans for the rest of our home renovation while the contractor team worked on our living room and kitchen!

The first things we did were replace the ceiling fan, remove the old dusty blinds, and add baseboard heaters. We had considered other heating source options like a fireplace and a wall unit, but baseboard heaters were by far the most cost-efficient, hand you don’t really notice them anyways since they sit behind furniture.

The baseboard heaters were a priority so that we could start using the porch in the winter, since we knew we were going to start demo on the rest of the house in the winter. To do this, we first had to determine whether or not the porch was insulated (it was) and then run new wiring from the basement up to the porch. The baseboard heaters are on their own thermostat, but it hasn’t been an issue and has actually been nice because we can turn up the heat in the porch if we want, without having to heat the entire rest of the house.

I also started ordering new furniture during this time- since I had finished the design plans in the early fall, I would scope out sale prices and pounce when prices dropped! I got quite a few items around Black Friday. I installed furniture as it came, and sold the rattan furniture which helped to pay for some of the new furniture.

In the spring, we replaced the exterior door. We found an unfinished door and painted it Peppercorn by Sherwin Williams- the same color as the french doors and another exterior back door.

In the summer, when our main living room was finished enough to be functional, we finally got started on the tile. We removed the carpet, added backerboard, and laid slate 12×24″ tile in a herringbone pattern. The tile was a bit of a pain to grout, but it was worth it. It really makes a statement in here and the stone contrast against the walls is beautiful. And it’s so much easier to clean compared to the carpet! People have asked if it feels cold in here because of the tile and my answer is a firm no. By adding a large rug and plenty of other warm textures, plus the baseboard heaters- it is plenty warm!

Finally, we replaced the sliding glass doors with french doors! The door on the left is designed to stay closed, while the right one stays open. The grids on the doors match the exterior door and the windows in the rest of the house, and the Peppercorn color ties in the slate color of the floor and is a nice contrast to the walls.

The Reveal

The porch is officially one of our favorite (if not THE favorite) spots in our home. We love sitting out here in the mornings on weekends and enjoy some coffee as we talk about our plans for the day. We sometimes have dinner at the table, or will sit and play a game of cribbage. In the evening, even if we aren’t sitting in here, I love to leave the lights on for the warm glow that the space provides to the rest of the house.

Our sofa is from Younger & Co Furniture and is arguably the MOST comfortable sofa that has ever existed. It’s extra deep (44″!) and is perfect for lounging and napping. The oatmeal color is versatile, and it is a modern but transitional shape that allows it to fit in with basically any decor style.

I found the perfect vintage rug on Etsy- it has grays, blues, browns, and some cream tones and is a worn floral pattern. I added a plush rug pad underneath to make it extra soft underfoot! It is 100% wool and the pattern and colors hide any stains well, not to mention the fact that it is 70+ years old, so I’m not concerned about its ability to hold up to the animals and the foot traffic out here.

The blue chairs were originally purchased for our living room, and as much as I loved the leather chairs in here, I liked the look of them in our living room even more. So for now, the blue velvet chairs get to stay in the porch. They’re more comfortable than the leather chairs anyway, and the velvet feels warmer than the leather, so it all works out!

Dining Nook

I liked the original layout of the porch with the dining corner, and found an affordable black round table that I paired with some vintage Cesca chairs (that just so happen to match the walls!). The chairs were originally a rust color and the fabric was worn, so I reupholsted them with a steely blue fabric. I found a cool handmade ceramic pendant from an Etsy shop that makes its own statement above the table, and the shape mirrors the shape of the floor lamp in the opposite corner.

Other Details

I had originally planned on white curtains in here. However, when I installed them, they clearly missed the mark. I ended up finding some windowpane plaid cream and gray curtains that add that “cozy cabin” vibe and so much visual interest. I tied in the windowpane pattern in the ottomans and pillows as well.

Because this porch gets such incredible natural light, it’s the perfect spot for plants, so I have quite a few of them in here! In the corner, I have a benjamina ficus tree (lovingly named Benji) that I had originally purchased for our living room, but he needed more natural light so now he lives in here. He is recovering from the shock of being moved (I bought him from someone else) and also a mealy bug infestation, so he looks a little sad right now but he is starting to get better!

The porch is right off of our dining room and kitchen, so it’s easily accessible- and perfect for entertaining.

Shop the Porch

If something isn’t listed above, it is likely vintage or a small shop find!

Our sofa was purchased via a trade company that I had access to when I had my design business, but they are carried at a few retail design shops as well. Interior Define carries a similar sofa that is customizable as well!

As always, thanks for reading! In case you’re new here, be sure to check out our recent kitchen remodel reveal and living room remodel reveal. Also, follow along on Instagram for the latest updates and more photos!

Author: Laura Sima

Hey there, I'm Laura- creator of Sima Spaces. I'm a home renovator, designer, and blogger based in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. When I'm not designing or renovating homes, you can find me working as a pediatric ICU RN, snuggling my dog or cat, skiing in CO, soaking up the sun on our boat, or enjoying a glass of wine on our patio!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *