How I Turned My Carport Into An Outdoor Porch (Before + After)


You know how some seasons in life are defined by certain projects? Well, this summer our main goal has been stepping up our game in our outdoor space and the biggest item on the list was completing a carport makeover so we could use it as a large covered porch! I really wanted it to feel like you were on the porch of a fun Airbnb in Palm Springs and so far it’s been a game changer in our outdoor/entertaining life. I’ll show you all the changes we made just in time to enjoy the end of summer and the start of fall …

When we moved in four years ago, the house was a dark red brick with forest green accents and always reminded of me of a sad Christmas-themed house. So I was thrilled with the huge difference from painting the house white a year later. SO MUCH BETTER. Since we had the walls, ceiling, and breeze block half-wall painted, we had to decide if we wanted to mess with painting/staining/tiling the floor. But ultimately we decided to leave the concrete and just give it a good power wash with a degreasing soap before setting out the furniture. While it didn’t get out all the rust stains, it did lighten the color overall and got rid of any dark algae areas.

We love the simple modern design of our outdoor dining table and those pink chairs are absolute Palm Springs perfection! Also, that trellis screen behind the table separating it from the other porch is a DIY I did a few years ago and it’s still holding up perfectly!

Oh man, I thought that breeze block wall was so fun when we moved in and I love how it looks as a part of this space now—I feel like it finally gets a chance to shine! While I love the look of metal wire chairs, sometimes you need a little more cushioning, so these sheepskin seat pads are the perfect toppers for them.

I also wanted a large outdoor rug that would be reversible and easy to clean, and this one was a perfect neutral tone to lighten up the space.

A hanging chair was high on my wishlist once I realized every porch photo I was drawn to on Pinterest had one and I ended up getting one from Target (it’s sold out now) and painting it white to match (here’s a similar one and a more budget-friendly option). So far, it’s been great for reading or sitting with our toddler while eating popsicles together. 
We had some really old, small light fixtures in the space that weren’t in great condition (and weren’t centered correctly either). So we moved the light locations and added these sleek fans so we could have lights when needed, but also fans as it gets pretty hot and humid here in Tennessee. Todd thought immediately that the fans also help keep mosquitos away, so there’s that benefit too! The fans also come with a remote so we can adjust the speed with the touch of a button—nice!

We also wanted some moody night lighting in the space, so we got these patio string lights (two strands) and suspended them from the ceiling in a zig-zag pattern with small cup hooks. We also added a dimmer switch that has a remote so we can control exactly how much mood we want at night. I also love having the overhead patio lights really dim and then turning on our three rattan lanterns … it’s really nice to have soft light coming from overhead and from the ground below at the same time.

Having comfortable seating around our fire table was important, so we really wanted a comfy modern outdoor couch and this one is perfect! It’s cozy, roomy, and can be easily cleaned as we found out when a super strong wind knocked a plant over in a storm and blew wet black dirt alllll over the new couch. It all came off by just hosing it down! That white woven chair next to the couch is also a perfect outdoor Palm Springs vibe …
We love the fire table and the clear glass fire rocks inside of it make it look extra special—so dreamy on a chilly night. It has a cover so Lola doesn’t play with the rocks and a tank holder to hide the propane tank next to the couch (with a heavy plant on top so she can’t open that lid). We leave the fire table disconnected when not in use so there aren’t any issues with Lola being in the space with us during the day.

We also wanted to have some side tables around the seating for setting beverages on, etc., so we chose two of these teak tables and I feel like they compliment the space really well.

That runner with the stars was a DIY that I added to this rug and the little starbursts are perfect for the mid-century feel. I also love lots of greenery in outdoor spaces, and if you live near Nashville, Gardens of Babylon is one of my favorite spots for all things green.

My husband is such a big gamer, so we made a modern dartboard cabinet and keeping our deck nice is important to me, so we got a deck box to keep pillows and chair cushions in when not in use.

I’m sure you can see why we love the space and it’s been so fun to entertain outside and enjoy the fire table after all the babies are in bed. I’m looking forward to using this space as fall hits and it cools down a little, so it’s a big plus that we have three out of four seasons where we can use the area. Hope this helped inspire some of your outdoor plans! xo. Laura

Credits//Author: Laura Gummerman. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop. Sectional, chair, tables, dining chairs, c/o Article. Fans c/o Schoolhouse Electric.
  • Wow wow wow Laura’s space is so rad! I love how the space is used up but doesn’t feel cluttered!

  • It’s an absolutely beautiful spot and a great use of space. I actually don’t mind the original concrete floor and think leaving it unpainted is fine. The black stair rail and the stairs really stuck out to me though. Could you paint the stair rail gold/brass to match the accents on the storm door and paint just the stairs white (or pink!). I think because they’re vertical they stick out more against the white brick. Otherwise I love everything!

      • Black accents anchor a room. There is so much “lightness” to your room that adding them to the edges seem to help define without intruding. This is an excellent space! Well done!

  • it looks fab, Laura. really

    3 Qs: where do you put the car/s while this space is being used, what are your winter plans for this space + what about the potential for ‘misadventure’ shall we say when you are not at home?

    • I am also interested in what your plans are for misadventures when you’re not home!! 😂

    • We’ll probably store enough furniture so we can use one of the spaces in the winter (although we don’t have to as winters aren’t that heavy in TN and we have a large driveway where we park cars now but if the spot is open when stuff is put away we may use it). And I don’t know what “misadventure” means, does that mean stollen? We’ve already had another outdoor patio right next to this for years so I guess it’s possible things could get stollen just like those things but we have a full security system too so that helps I guess!

      Laura

  • Laura!! I’ve always admired your makeovers and crafts, but I finally had to comment! This really blew me away, what a transformation! It makes me want to hose off my patio and see what I can do with it:)

  • I love this!!!!! I have a carport too, and I feel so inspired! But where do you park your cars?? And is all this stuff just in easy and open access to people?? I don’t know if I’m that trusting of my neighbors and in Mother Nature!

    • Haha, well anything in your yard is open to thieves I guess but I don’t know anyone that brings in all their patio furniture every night for that reason. We have a full security system and our neighborhood is very vigilant about each other’s properties so we just do the best that we can!

      Laura

      • I only have a couple fairly cheap chairs on my deck right now, I’ve been wanting to do more but am apprehensive because I’m overly paranoid of thieves and weather woes. I’m so envious of your beautiful space and hope you didn’t take my comment in a negative way, for the record. It’s stunning! I’m more of an indoor person than an outdoor person, but I’d be outside in that a lot! It’s like the best of both worlds, a total dream.

        Thanks for replying!

  • OMG! So cool! Where did you find your fishbone cactus? I need one! Do you sell clippings of it?

  • I was hoping for/looking forward to a reveal of this space since the stenciled runner post! It’s even more beautifully put together than I’d imagined and so inviting!

  • Laura, I just moved into a temporary flat and have been looking at the walls thinking “it’ll do for a year”. When I see you photos and read your story I realise how much it means to make the most of where you are. I have to try, I really have to try. Thank you!

  • I’m getting ready to paint the front door of my tiny house and I’m in search of the perfect pink. Can you tell me what color/supplier used for your pink door? Purty please!

  • Love it all! About the table, I checked it out online. Is the wood stain more cream or gray?

  • It’s so nice and bright! And it looks like it fits your decorating tastes so well. Super cute (in the best way)!I wanna come to a party in that cool space! ☺

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