Porch Renovation-Sunroom Ideas – French Country Cottage

First up- Happy First Day of Spring! I am SO READY for spring and I know so many of you have the same feeling. Winter has been a bit of a doozy and we are starting spring off with rainy weather and snow left over from the storms- but currently, as I am writing this post- there is a little break and the sunshine peeking through is giving me all the spring feelings!

Even though our house and yard look nothing like this beautiful scene right now- today’s post is about the front porch.

Front Porch Renovation Ideas

You know, sometimes you have a project that is one that came out of nowhere. Maybe it’s a wild hair idea that popped up and is exactly Perfect – and so you’re running with it. Or maybe it is more like a project that pops up that wasn’t necessarily on the radar that is the result of a broken pipe for example- or maybe crazy storm damage. Those are projects that are all about taking lemons and making lemonade. Today it is lemonade-and we are taking it to the porch.

The Front Pergola

This is the porch after the snow and winds came through. The pergola came down and took out the window boxes and some of the antique planters I had on the porch. My bad- I should have thought about moving them ahead of time. But honestly, did not believe we would see this kind of weather here.

The ladder is there after my husband had been up on the roof to get some snow off before the next storm moved in.

The Ligustrum at the end were about 14′ tall probably- they are about half that now after breaking off – you can kind of see them peeking out on the side in the Before photos- those were taken in 2017/2018 for my first book. They grow fairly quickly and need a trim- so nature took care of that I suppose.


The Basics

The pergola was fairly simple in design and dressed up in the expansive cement patio area we have in front of the house. The front of the house has 2 levels of patio. The top- where the pergola was. And then a couple of steps down to a bottom patio where there is another area for seating and dining areas where the arbor and the picket fence are. The best photo I have that kind of shows what those patio areas look like is a Before photo of where we started when we bought this house. Every time I see the Before photos – I question my sanity.

outside of house before

The top patio is level and a good size- about 24′ long and probably 15-16′ deep. It has coved steps up to the door and then a long bank of coved steps down to the bottom patio which is more on a slant. So the top area that is level has always been the one I imagined could work well for an addition. The main issue was the roofline and how it could tie in – that gave us some pauses so it’s kind of been a back burner project. And when we built the pergola, we solved the lack of charm the front facade of the cottage had when we started and it looked beautiful.

Rebuild or Reimagine

The question of the day: Should we rebuild the pergola or go in a different direction?

Obviously, simply replacing the pergola would be the least expensive, quickest and easiest fix. It isn’t too complicated and we could probably re-use some of the larger pieces of lumber that did not break. And to be honest, we may just do that and call it good. We enjoyed the look it had and it was offered a nice bit of shade during the summer- it was a good fit.

But, you know me. I am looking at this mess as an opportunity for a change. So back to that idea we have chatted about for awhile.

Sunshine Filled Sun Room or Sun Porch

I mean, a beautiful room full of windows and French doors leading to the outside- amazing right? I would love to add a beautiful sun room. It has been something we have actually thought about doing for a while now and though there are some issues we would have to figure out – it would be a beautiful addition. I take the pergola being damaged and falling down as a sign that this is the time to go in a new direction here. If I can just convince my husband the same- it might happen. ha ha.

So what would it look like? Well, an inspiration post is full of inspirations- so share a few and some thoughts below.

Via Pinterest Rue

First up- this front view kind of sums up what I would like if we decided to go with a porch addition. French doors on repeat across the front. I can already imagine opening them all up to enjoy the warm days that are coming. The top patio area with the poured concrete structure is perfect for a floor as is with just a little bit of paint. Though, I will be honest, I would love brick too.

sunroom inspiration
via pinterest

The whole front in French doors for the patio would probably take 3-4 sets to go the full length with structure in between each. Another French door looking out towards the cottage and the other side of the room would connect to the living room and the kitchen where windows and a doorway are currently.

Via Pinterest

I imagine the roof would be traditional – and interior wood planks with beams – much like the originals inside the house and cottage.

From the Inside

The outside concrete steps are beautiful and full of patina- I love the step down and the coving is beautiful. Though they do take up a bit of space in that corner so that would be unusable- but they would add a ‘bringing the outdoor in’ vibe. And the windows and door in the living room and kitchen would probably end up being an open beam area much like we have going into the kitchen and entry porch.


I love the idea of ​​also being able to access a porch room through the kitchen- those original 1940’s patio steps led to 2 doors kitty corner – one into the kitchen which we closed off and one into the living room which we have a door there even now- though we don’t usually use that door.

Outside Views

sunroom inspiration
via Rainsford Company on pinterest

I mean- this. This is So pretty. And pretty close to what I would love it to look like. I love the doors on repeat along with the lanterns -and the little bits of pergola for vining plants. And of course, you know I saw those columns on the end there too and thought we could possibly re-use the ones we have to create a pergola over the bottom patio.

You know my husband will LOVE me when I share these thoughts and ideas with him! ha ha.

Bottom Patio

The bottom patio area which currently has a seating area and dining table. The bottom patio is one we have been talking about revamping it since last year. Adding a fountain and some different landscaping. If we tackle adding a sunroom like this -the redesign for the bottom patio would likely happen at the same time. I will put a mood board together to share more of those ideas soon.

via pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/frnchcntrycttge/sunshine-filled-sunrooms/

A LOT to think about, talk about, and explore. And who knows if that’s the direction we’re going in – there are costs, roof tie ins, logistics and other bigger projects we’ve been mulling over as well that might push this to the back burner again. But my not so practical side votes in favor of course.


I have all these photos and another 60 or so more on my Pinterest board ‘ Sunshine Filled Sunrooms’ – follow along on Pinterest for more inspiration as I save ideas there.

What do you think?

Do you vote to simply rebuild the pergola?

Add a sunroom/sun porch ?

Add a sunroom porch And rebuild the pergola?

Something else?

I will keep you posted on what direction we decide to go in and of course, take you along on the project whatever it is. Happy First day of Spring everyone- I hope you have some blue skies and sunshine giving you all the spring feelings today.