I’ve been working on a DIY project to turn my exterior porch into an enclosed space – thereby creating another room in the house. I’m hoping the space will be an ideal storage area for coats and boots, keeping any muddy allotment wellies out of the kitchen.
If you’re interested to know what we’ve done so far, here’s my blog post about repairing an old door to enclose the space, and another article on how to paint brickwork without spending loads of cash on paint.
Since then, I’ve laid some parquet-style flooring, with insulation beneath it, which was left over from fitting the kitchen floor. I love the Scandi-style pale wood and wanted the two spaces to coordinate to create a bit of a flow between the new porch and the kitchen.
Plus, we’ve fitted some IKEA wardrobes across the back of the ‘boot room’. These fit in perfectly with millimetres to spare (I’m very careful when measuring!) and they provide plenty of space for all our outdoor bits and pieces, including jackets, shoes, hats, scarves, gloves, backpacks, umbrellas, shopping bags and even picnic blankets.
It’s wonderful to have everything stored in one area so I no longer have to hunt around the house if I need a pair of sunglasses or a canvas bag.
With just a few more trims, some skirting board and a doormat, the porch was complete and we were ready to start using it. Which is when I realised that we would need somewhere to sit when taking off our muddy boots.
I’ll admit that I did search for a brand new bench but I ran into difficulties while trying to buy something ‘off the peg’. The benches I found were all too big or the wrong dimensions for the space.
I had a certain depth and length to stick to so that it would sit against the wall but not get in the way of the opening wardrobe doors. And all the new benches I found just wouldn’t fit. Plus, they are so expensive – I had no idea that furniture had gone up in price so much over the years.
So, I had a look in the shed to see what we could upcycle. We’ve had these old kitchen stools for nearly twenty years and had never used them since moving into our house in more than five years ago. They were a little worse for wear with lots of scuffs and flaking paint, but they were sturdy enough to be reused.
I set to work cutting them down and sanding them back before painting the legs in Rust-Oluem’s Pure Aqua to coordinate with my kitchen. I also upcycled a piece of scaffold board from a skip to use as the top of the bench.
If you would like to see the full step-by-step guide to make a bench like this for yourself, I’ve shared my photos of each stage of my DIY project on the Do It With Cans website.
The bench completed the room and has proven very useful – not least because it’s a handy place to dump bags when you come in from a day out! That said, the amount of storage we’ve got lets me keep the room really tidy and I love having everything organised.
Overall, I’m really chuffed that we decided to tackle the unused outdoor porch space and incorporate it into our home. It’s such a handy decompression space between indoors and outdoors, and I would definitely recommend doing something similar if you have an outdoor porch space like this too.
Let me know what you think of my upcycled bench in the comments below and I’d love to see your own version if you have a go at making the bench project for yourself, so please tag me in your photos on Instagram @cassiefairy.