Adding A Lovely, Peaceful Outdoor Living Space

by Texas Homesteader ~

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RancherMan & I spend a lot of time on our back porch.  A LOT!  Oftentimes we sit on the porch in the mornings and enjoy our coffee together as we watch the sun rise.  And when we’ve been bustin’ it in pastures in the hot summer sun we take a break & cool down with an icy-cold beverage in the shade of the back porch before hitting our chores again.  Plus almost every night after supper we once again return to the back porch to end our day.

But I’d always hated how our back porch was a long, thin 8-ft-deep cement swath.  It just lacked character to me.  So RancherMan arranged for a porch addition to be built to add an outdoor living extension. Come see!

We wanted an outdoor living space added to our back porch. Come see some of the things we added to make it our own little oasis. #TexasHomesteader


We found a local small business who built sheds & gazebos that were reasonably priced.  Why couldn’t they build an open-sided rectangular gazebo and when they delivered it, just attach it to our porch?  We contacted them & they listened carefully to our requirements.  They said they’d be happy to build it!

So a few days later they came to the homestead to measure the area where we wanted the porch addition.  They built our structure at their location and delivered it to our home, attaching it to a section of our existing porch.

We wanted an outdoor living space added to our back porch. Come see some of the things we added to make it our own little oasis. Delivering pre-made porch addition. #TexasHomesteader

The porch addition changed the flow of our back porch and I love it!  Plus it was very strategically placed to extend from the west end of the porch.  That way it helps to block the hottest afternoon summer sun from hitting the house.

More Places To Gather

But this outdoor living area also expanded our entertaining seating options.  We’d requested these long benches be built along the sides of the porch.  Even more seating! It’s been great for family gatherings when we typically gather outside anyway. More people can now lounge in the shade, either on theses benches or with their own folding chairs.

We wanted an outdoor living space added to our back porch. Come see some of the things we added to make it our own little oasis. Built-in seating benches. #TexasHomesteader

Small Table

RancherMan & I wanted a small table to go in the corner so we could enjoy eating supper outside from time to time.  We’d contemplated an iron bistro set but they were pricey.  Plus they weren’t really the rustic look we were going for.

Since we’re planning on planting huge galvanized tubs as part of the landscaping and also making a rainwater collection out of a galvanized tub, I wanted something to tie in with that look.  So we bought a large galvanized can and RancherMan built a top for it from old barnwood.  Yeah, I like it!

And we bought a couple of lightweight folding stools too. The table top is removable so we can store these small folding stools right inside when they’re not in use.

We wanted an outdoor living space added to our back porch. Come see some of the things we added to make it our own little oasis. Small galvanized table with removable barnwood top and folding stools. #TexasHomesteader


I’m experimenting with ways to disguise the fact that it’s just a trashcan.  Maybe wrapping jute around the top?  Maybe adding some sort of rustic embellishment to the side?  I haven’t really decided yet.  Y’all have any ideas??

Of Course A Porch Swing

Years ago I bought RancherMan a very heavy porch swing.  We enjoyed it for several years before we moved here. But with the narrow design of our current porch there was really no place for it. So for quite a while it’s been tucked out in the storage shed.

But now??  Oh now it came out of the shed and was dusted off and hung where we could use and enjoy it every day.  RancherMan & I like to end a long, hard day by grabbing a cool beverage and sitting on that porch swing to watch the sun fade into the horizon.  (deep sigh)  We talk about our day, our plans for tomorrow, or sometimes for long periods of time – nothing at all.  We just drink it all in… together.

We wanted an outdoor living space added to our back porch. Come see some of the things we added to make it our own little oasis. #TexasHomesteader

Oh yeah, I love this new outdoor living space.  We’ve always ended our day on the back porch, but with this new extension we’re out here even more now!

It’s still a work in progress, RancherMan’s still working on my rainwater barrel.  But right now it’s a peaceful outdoor space and we love it.

Bee Friendly & Edible Landscaping

Now that our porch has been installed of course I wanted to surround the porch with lovely landscaping.   I was after a primarily edible landscape plan with lots of bee-friendly flowers too.  See how we landscaped our new outdoor living area gorgeously on the cheap!


Want To Read More About Our Porch Extension?

Adding An Outdoor Living Space

Landscaping On The Cheap

No Waste (and Less Expensive) Fill Dirt For Gardens

Cheap (or FREE) Wood Mulch For Your Garden

Stopping BERMUDA GRASS From Your Plantings!

How To Keep Birds Off Your Porch Railings




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18 thoughts on “Adding A Lovely, Peaceful Outdoor Living Space

  1. candace

    Another thing for the plants close around the porch that I have used in small areas like seams in concrete is boiling water. I have also found that vinegar is a pretty good weed killer. I learned that years ago when a batch of apple cider I had made turned and I thought I’d just dump out on the side of the house that no one ever saw. Your porch is lovely.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      LOL Candace! Not so sneaky with a big honkin’ dead space in the grass, huh? HA! I use vinegar & Epsom salts as grass killer around my veggie garden, I may start spraying it weekly to try to keep any Bermuda grass at bay! ~TMH~

  2. ColleenB.

    What a beautiful addition it makes. What a nice setting to sit and watch the sunsets.
    You can always spray paint the trash can to desire color and then, around the center or top and bottom of can had / secure rope.

  3. Nancy

    Did you get this from the Mennonites place down the road? They are so sweet. It looks great, do you have a problem with mosquitoes? We couldn’t stay out too late because the mosquitoes absolutely loved Kaleigh. I tried several natural bug lotions, but they didn’t really work well. I didn’t like putting the other stuff on her.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      We have some rain barrels around the porch and house with a large overflow tub and we deal with mosquitoes from time to time with those, so I use them first & dump it at the tree when it gets too low to dip a watering can into. I’m about to try a new non-poison mosquito bait too, they’re sending it to me to review. I’ll be sure to share how that works for us. ~TMH~

  4. Melonie K.

    Absolutely wonderful!
    I’m going to borrow that table idea – we have a small patio and I’ve got four chairs I love, but would like a table to be able to put out for meals or working on the computer once there’s some shade in the evenings. This would be perfect! Love that it works for storage too.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Multi-purpose items make my crunchy-green heart sing too Melonie. And I love that the top is handmade with some super-old barnwood. RancherMan dog-eared the corners so it didn’t have square edges and I love the way it turned out. I’m going to experiment with the metal-aging process suggested by another reader to make the can more rustic. I’m also thinking about attaching a rusty embellishment of some kind or perhaps painting a design on part of it too. So many options! ~TMH~

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I’m currently trying to figure out how to put a walkway around it so I can create a buffer area against that dang bermuda grass, Evelyn. I’m already fighting it in the raised beds. I’m thinking border rocks and mulched walkway with multi layers of paper bags beneath. I’ll have to retop it with mulch every few years, but our mulch is free if we take it from the county seat where they chip trees from beneath power lines – it’s free to all citizens. ~TMH~

  5. Sondra Langle

    I have to say, you’ve got yourself one good man. Your porch is terrific and looks great.
    I bet that beverage you enjoy is Sweet Tea. Doesn’t all of Texas drink sweet tea? There I go again
    wishing I lived next door. Enjoy….Sondra Langle

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      We Texans do love our sweet tea Sondra! If I’m cooling off mid-day my cold drink of choice is typically ice water for cold rehydration – it’s mighty hot & humid these days! But if I’m enjoying the swing in a leisurely way such as in the evening after supper, iced tea can’t be beat! ~TMH~

  6. Patti

    You hit this one out of the pasture! 😉 It looks so well made and fits in with your home so well!! I can see why you spend as much time outdoors as you do!
    If you want to age that can here’s an idea. You can use straight vinegar and steel wool. Put straight vinegar in a non-metal bowl and paint the vinegar on the can in small sections. Do one section from the top rim to the bottom of the can so you have one continuous run. Take the fine grade steel wool, dip it into the vinegar and rub the area you just applied the vinegar. Hit certain areas a little more than others. ( Do this as many times as needed to get the desired effect. The vinegar reacts to the metal causing the acid/aging effect. Once you’ve gone all the way around the can you need to neutralize the vinegar. Get a bucket of warm water with a TBSP of baking soda added and wipe your areas down one more time. Let everything dry and you can either let it be, add some car wax or a polyurethane. Cheap and easy!!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Thanks Ann, we really love it too. And I was able to landscape the whole shebangie on the cheap! (be watching for that post coming soon) It really is a relaxing oasis for us now. ~TMH~

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Thanks Dawn Rae. We hosted a couple of family members for several days this past week and had several others come to visit too and most of our time was spent out here. Like us, they absolutely love the view! ~TMH~


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