mag­ine re­lax­ing in a room that was built in your back­yard—in­stead of just look­ing out at it through a win­dow.

Cottages & Bungalows - - Cottage Kitchens -

In­te­rior de­signer Joann Kandrac re­cently cre­ated such a room in her home, and she dec­o­rated it with the same at­ten­tion to de­tail as she did her in­door rooms.

Joann and her hus­band, Drew, live in a tra­di­tional two-story house in Ac­worth, Ge­or­gia, a sub­urb north of At­lanta. Their 30-year-old home had a deck, but they rarely used it.

“We didn’t make good use of the ex­ist­ing deck be­cause the sun beat down on it all af­ter­noon,” Joann says. So she de­cided to build a screened-in porch pri­mar­ily as a space for en­ter­tain­ing. She re­searched how to de­sign the space and source prod­ucts for an out­door room.

“Houzz [] was my big­gest in­spi­ra­tion,” Joann says. “I searched there for screened-in porches and win­dow treat­ments, out­door ceil­ing fans, fur­ni­ture and fab­rics. The word ‘out­door’ was very im­por­tant be­cause of the el­e­ments; mois­ture (hu­mid­ity) was a big con­cern. I wanted to get ev­ery­thing I could to sur­vive the el­e­ments and be long last­ing.”

it a lot big­ger,” Joann says. “The de­sign was based around en­ter­tain­ing, so we wanted an eat­ing area, an area for com­fort­able seat­ing and a long wall as a bar and serv­ing area.”

The build­ing ma­te­ri­als in­cluded pres­sure-treated wood for the deck­ing and vinyl sid­ing for the out­side. The ceil­ing was con­structed with bead­board and a 1- by 6-inch trim to look like beams. Ad­ding the trim to the top and paint­ing the mold­ing black gave the room an un­usual de­sign de­tail. “I didn’t want a white French door. Peo­ple ig­nore doors. I painted the door, win­dow frames and all the trim black. It frames the door and makes you want to go in the room.”

The in­side wood un­der­neath the screens is yel­low pine in a tongue­and-groove de­sign. It is chair-rail height and pro­vides a child-safe wall. The screens were in­stalled so that they could be main­tained from the in­side. (“This was a great idea since it doesn’t re­quire go­ing up a lad­der,” Joann says). “Now it is a space we can use nine months out of the year, and it has been a great ex­ten­sion to the liv­ing space of our home,” she says.


Joann used an eclec­tic ap­proach to fur­nish­ing the room by mix­ing old and new pieces, and de­cided on a black, white and green color pal­ette. “I al­ways love com­bin­ing black and white with a pop of color; it’s clas­sic,” Joann says. “Seventy per­cent of my rooms are black and white, so I car­ried that color pal­ette out­doors. It looks crisp.”

“Light­ing is one of the most im­por­tant el­e­ments of room de­sign— even out­side,” Joann says. “Most rooms haves sub-par light­ing. I wanted it to be bright in the evenings, so I put eight re­cessed LED can lights on a dim­mer and in­stalled an out­door wall fix­ture.”

The dec­o­ra­tive high­light for Joann is an an­tique side­board she pre­vi­ously had in the fam­ily room that she re­pur­posed as a bar serv­ing piece for the porch. “The size was great, and it was a charm­ing lit­tle piece that lent it­self to the look I had on the porch. Now it stores bar­ware and nap­kins, and I put a lemon­ade and bar­ware dis­play on top of it.”

Joann used all-weather wicker on the chairs and Sun­brella fab­rics on the sofa, chairs, pil­lows and win­dow treat­ments to stand up to the out­door el­e­ments. She had the win­dow treat­ments lined with Sun­brella fab­rics as well. Joann wanted “some­thing a lit­tle unique” for the ceil­ing fans, so she put sail­cloth on the blades. The porch’s in­door/ out­door rugs can be hosed down. They have a soft weave, so they look like in­door rugs but are made for out­doors, she says.

Metal, glass and bam­boo ta­bles are or­ganic el­e­ments that Joann added to the room. She uses tiebacks on the win­dow treat­ments dur­ing the day to en­joy the breeze and view of the trees; at night she closes them for a cozy, glam feel.

“We have a beau­ti­ful, pri­vate back­yard with a lot of trees, so it’s like sit­ting in a tree house,” she says. “It’s a great place to hang out. I like to have my Sun­day-morn­ing cof­fee while read­ing there, and it’s a perfect space for en­ter­tain­ing. I love lis­ten­ing to the sounds of na­ture: the birds, the wind. I can hear my neigh­bor’s wind chimes and the sound of the lawn­mow­ers. It feels like the week­end even when I’m out there dur­ing the week.”

“Peo­ple ig­nore doors.

I painted the door, win­dow frames and all the trim black. It frames the door and makes you want to go into the room.”

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