I’ll start by saying, the carport was never a space I thought we would tackle. Our plan was always to replace it with a garage as soon as the budget allowed, but more important projects took precedence and we’ve been in saving mode, hoping to make it happen within the next year or so. In the meantime, while we’re living with the carport, I decided we should make the best of it and create a space we can enjoy this spring, summer, and fall. We spent the majority of last summer renovating our entire backyard, which has quickly become one of our favorite features of the house and property… it only made sense to address the carport since it’s all connected and part of our outdoor living space. Living in a small home, it’s important to make the most of every single square foot- even outside. Click through to see the before, after, and how we made it SO much better with a fresh coat of paint!
Here’s what the carport looked like a couple weeks ago. I’m pretty embarrassed to show this image, because the space turned into a renovation dumping ground and workspace over the course of the past year. Not having a garage has been a big inconvenience when it comes to construction and projects, but Emmett and I knew this was not the solution… do you spy the dog amongst the mess? Ha!
We organized everything, put items we weren’t using into storage, and tucked the tools away into the small shed. After tackling this project, it was apparent- a garage is now on the “must-have” list instead of the “wishlist”. Here’s what the carport looks like now…
I feel like I can finally breathe again! If you’re wondering what exactly we updated and the reasoning behind my design decisions, I’ll try to share a little bit about each update and the impact it made on our new outdoor dining space.
I tried to shoot the carport at different times during the day, but photos just don’t do it justice. Even though it was a “quick fix” (it’s truly amazing what paint will do), it has such a great vibe and ambiance. It reminds me of a quaint little European patio or hole in the wall outdoor dining scene. You can hear the wind wisping through the plants, the sheer curtains blowing in the wind, the woven pendant swaying back and forth, all while feeling a cozy rug under your bare feet. Add a little music, good food, and it is pure bliss! I honestly didn’t expect to enjoy this space so much. It’s giving our outdoor living space a run for its money- and it cost A LOT less. I feel like we have so many backyard hangout and entertaining options now.
Speaking of money- let’s talk about that… the carport is probably our lowest budget project to date and I feel like oddly- it’s one of the more impactful transformations. Would you agree? I think we can credit that to one single thing- PAINT. The only major thing we changed was the paint color. Isn’t that crazy?!
I wanted to get moody with the paint color. Obviously black is about as bold as it gets, but I love its capability to hide and disguise… especially in an exterior setting. The carport wood and exterior is in rough shape and there are dents and holes scattered all over. We used Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black 6258 in a gloss finish from the Emerald® Exterior line. It did such a nice job of covering everything up and making it blend seamlessly. We also only needed / applied one coat, which saved us a TON of time. It’s a nice, true black that is super rich and adds a lot of depth to the siding. I also added some pops of lilac- the hanging pendant and the painted planting station / bar… you’ll see more about this (and that gorgeous color) in a couple months, so I won’t spend as much time chatting about that color (Sherwin-Williams Queen Anne Lilac SW 0021).
If you watched any behind-the-scenes on Instagram, you already know we purchased a paint sprayer for this project. I’m not sure why it took so long for us to get one, but it was a time saver- especially for painting this surface area. You can still catch a peek of the process saved on my Insta highlights.
Another impactful thing I added to the space was a beautiful outdoor area rug. The concrete pad under the carport was hand-poured back in the 60s (we think), and basically we’re assuming it was a DIY situation gone wrong- OR a contractor who had zero cement laying skills. Everything settled and there are pretty big cracks throughout. The easiest solution was to cover it with an outdoor, wet-rated rug. It feels great underfoot, disguises the unevenness, and is perfectly suitable to stay outside longterm.
This rug is also pet friendly… which is a must around here. You guys know how we feel about dogs. Ha! The boys have already made themselves at home on it. We’ve found out they prefer to lay on the rug as opposed to the grass. I think it’s nice and cool under the carport and they’re pretty lazy and love to lounge.
Anytime we entertain or have backyard BBQs, our friends know we prefer they bring their pups as well. Let’s just say, our dogs enjoy get togethers just as much as we do, because our yard basically turns into a dog park and they get to run around with their pals.
Both our home and our neighbor’s house is pushed to one side of the yard. Although we have a privacy fence (see more on installing that here), we still catch a glimpse of them through the window from time-to-time. I thought adding some sheer curtains would keep the carport feeling open, add ambiance, as well as make it feel a bit more private. The planted honeysuckle also helps with that.
The curtains probably won’t stay outside permanently, but they only take about 5 minutes to tie up and take down. They’ll be great for dinner parties or entertaining, but on the day-to-day when it’s just Emmett and I (and the pups), we’ll most likely leave them down. They are very pretty though, aren’t they?!
I will admit- I had a happy accident in regards to the curtains. I went searching for black tension rods the morning of the shoot and realized a black tension rod is sort of hard to find in person (I’m sure there are plenty online). I finally found a good option at Target, but they’re technically “shower” rods, so it was much larger in diameter than I expected. I got home and realized the curtain pocket wouldn’t fit over the rod, but the curtains were super long anyway… so I ended up folding them over the rod and then tied them back with a ribbon. I actually think it’s more functional if I’ll be moving them in and out as we entertain. It also saved me an hour of sewing and hemming, so I’m going to roll with it! Again- the name of the game for this makeover was easy.
In addition to the paint and textiles, I also added a pendant light to the carport. It feels more formal and gives your eye something to wander to, other than the wood siding.
Emmett swapped out the back porch light during the One Room Challenge and things are already feeling SO much better in the lighting department out here.
Lastly, I brought out our existing outdoor dining furniture. We purchased it last spring and it’s held up really nicely. I love that we have a table large enough to fit 6-8 people. Our dining area inside, or the breakfast nook as I’m calling it, only fits 4 people- so this is ideal for entertaining in the spring, summer, and fall months.
The only piece of “furniture” I bought for the space was this planting station for $60. It comes raw and unfinished, so after I assembled it, I asked Emmett to spray it the same color as the pendant light. I like that it feels cohesive to the space and adds a fun pop of color.
The plan is to have this piece double as a planting station, as well as a bar or serving area when entertaining. For a small piece, it holds quite a bit.
The “planting station” is honestly already coming in really handy and I love the way it looks for an outdoor space! I’m really digging the lattice pattern on the back.
If you’re interested in the sources, I’ll link everything below in a “Get The Look” roundup…
01: patterned outdoor pillow // 02: glass vase // 03: woven pendant light // 04: sherwin-williams tricorn black sw 6258 // 05: outdoor dining table // 06: wicker dining chair // 07: outdoor area rug // 08: outdoor seat cushion // 09: white textured planter // 10: brass entry set hardware // 11: black planter // 12: planting station // 13: candle sticks // 14: white planter // 15: sheer drapery panel // 16: bronze tension rod // 17: brass watering can // 18: sherwin-williams queen anne lilac sw 0021 // 19: outdoor sconce // 20: outdoor side table // 21: black outdoor pillow // 22: wood serving dish
Overall, this space feels so much more functional and looks a million times better. It’s doing exactly what we need it to- bridging the gap between two finished spaces (the laundry room and the backyard), and giving us a place to sit down, eat, and entertain.
We haven’t had a functioning dining area in almost 2 years! It feels extremely nice to not eat on the sofa for a change. I feel like our house is finally coming together.
As always, I’d love to hear your feedback and I’m happy to answer any questions in the comments below! Oh, and if you’re interested in the cornhole boards pictured above… find those here. That was a fun DIY we put together last summer. Are you guys digging the outdoor and exterior related posts? I really enjoy these types of projects.
*This post is sponsored by Sherwin-Williams. I am a brand ambassador and absolutely love their products! As always, all content, ideas, and words are my own.
joyMay 24, 2018 at 8:17 am
I am OBSESSED with this makeover! It’s probably my favorite of yours to date. I wish I could live in this carport! I think the sheer curtains & honeysuckle really make it look breezy and polished.
Did you have any security issues storing all the tools in the open carport? In my area, those would be gone in a hot second!
SarahMay 24, 2018 at 9:34 am
Wow!! Thanks so much, Joy. So happy to hear you really liked this one. Our neighborhood is super safe- kids are always biking around by themselves and it’s a very family-friendly location. It’s an ongoing joke that we could just “borrow” our neighbors tools because it seems like every other house in our neighborhood has a table saw or tile saw sitting in the front yard- or a dumpster. I’d say 60% of the homes here are being renovated. It’s crazy (and amazing)! We do have locks on our fence though… so the backyard is always closed up and secure. We haven’t had any tools walk away yet. It’s nice that the privacy fence is so tall, people can’t see what is actually under the carport. xox
SallyMay 24, 2018 at 8:23 am
Deeply impressive – a really lovely transformation 👏🏻
SarahMay 24, 2018 at 9:34 am
Thank you so much, Sally! xox
AlexMay 24, 2018 at 9:14 am
This. Looks. SOOO GOOD! I love it all, but the pendant looks great, and the honeysuckle with the sheers might be my fave. We have a small eating area inside too, so this is a good push for me to fix up our outdoor dining area!
SarahMay 24, 2018 at 9:35 am
Thanks, Alex!! We’re definitely eating outside most of the time now. Even though it’s in the “backyard” I feel like it makes our small home feel more spacious. xo
JamieMay 24, 2018 at 10:26 am
Oh man Sarah I LOVE this! I am such a fan of moody paint, and black is the king of moody paint! It looks amazing. I’m also obsessed with that IKEA pendant, we had two of them in our last house and ALWAYS got compliments on them – and they’re such a steal. Awesome job!
SarahMay 24, 2018 at 2:11 pm
Thank you so much, Jamie! I’ve always wanted one of those IKEA pendants and I finally made it happen- it really is a great light fixture. Thanks for checking out the makeover! xo
LRCMay 24, 2018 at 1:06 pm
This is a fantastic update. It’s totally different and yet was mostly paint. I have two questions: 1. I don’t understand where this carport is in relation to the rest of the yard and house. Anyway to show us that? 2. I’ve never seen honeysuckle in a pot. Did you buy it like that from a garden center or something or did you plant it yourself? I live in the South where it grows wild everywhere, but i’ve never seen it as an actual planting. I love the concept!
SarahMay 24, 2018 at 2:16 pm
Thank you! To answer your questions, 1. the carport is connected to the laundry room- that backdoor goes into the carport and then into the backyard. The carport is fenced inside the backyard… so it’s actually not functional for a car. I’ll do a video tour soon! 2. I bought the potted honeysuckle from Lowes… I know it’s invasive and spreads (especially in the midwest and south), so I decided potting it was the way to go. I might end up planting it this fall. xox
FeliciaMay 24, 2018 at 2:14 pm
Wow it looks amazing! I love the contrast! The black paint with the light accents look so good! I’m sure it will be fun hosting dinner in this beautiful space
SarahMay 24, 2018 at 3:12 pm
Thank you so much! A few of my girlfriends came over last night and we had wine and a charcuterie board out there… it was SO fun. Hope you have an amazing long weekend! xo
Natasha HabermannMay 24, 2018 at 4:08 pm
Can’t get over this makeover!!! The curtains against the black are definitely my favorite part! So much inspiration here! BRAVO!!
SarahMay 24, 2018 at 7:34 pm
Thanks so much, Natasha! The carport looked so sad and has bothered me since we moved in, so I’m excited to finally have a functional space! xox
PeggiMay 24, 2018 at 5:52 pm
A carport inaccessible by car… aren’t “other people’s” home choices funny sometimes? But that dining space makes it look like a genius idea! The potted honeysuckle & curtains, the pendant…really, you just added a private swanky bistro to your house. Spectacular. (Also, do I spy Domaine de Canton on the potting bench? Yum.) You guys are indefatigable!
SarahMay 24, 2018 at 7:35 pm
It really is funny! It’s also so low that neither of our 4WD trucks fit under it (we live in Utah). Thank you so much for the compliments- that really means so much! Good eye, that’s exactly what it is :) xox
Jen FaurMay 24, 2018 at 6:33 pm
I love this so, so much!
SarahMay 24, 2018 at 7:36 pm
Thank you, Jen!! xo
ChristianeMay 25, 2018 at 6:10 am
Again, you are so talented. I love the lilac touch of color. I’m curious where you find your sources for things like 1) pillow and 5) table? I’ve never heard of those websites or even seen an ad. Beautiful transformation! I hope someday that our cement slab back patio can become a covered patio. And when it does, you can be sure I’ll reference this post!
SarahMay 25, 2018 at 8:50 am
Thanks so much, Christiane! Your cement slab in the back would make a perfect covered patio! I reverse search a lot of items by product name / number and find lots of decor & homegood sites as a result. Ha! I spend way too much time looking at stuff like that. lol! xo
TraciMay 25, 2018 at 6:11 am
You are really amazing! Very gifted.
I love everything!
SarahMay 25, 2018 at 8:51 am
Thank you so much, Traci! xox
JacquiMay 25, 2018 at 6:11 am
This is so lovely!! The moody black with the wicker gives me all the feels!
SarahMay 25, 2018 at 8:52 am
I’m all about wicker! Thanks, Jacqui! xo
IsabelMay 25, 2018 at 7:44 am
Absolutely love how you made a carport so chic! Never thought those two words would go together but you made it happen. The soft lilac is perfect! Now I want to get some honeysuckle in our yard too. Love the scent!
SarahMay 25, 2018 at 8:52 am
I never thought those two words would go together either. HAHA!! I had friends over a couple nights ago and they were loving the scent of the honeysuckle. It really is nice. xo
MeganMay 25, 2018 at 7:46 am
This is absolutely beautiful! That lilac color is so perfect with everything.
SarahMay 25, 2018 at 8:53 am
Thank you so much, Megan! It was fun to add the tiniest bit of color. xox
SarahMay 25, 2018 at 8:13 am
The carport turned out so great… such an impact for a small budget! I’ve been wanting a paint sprayer for so long but have been hesitant to buy one because of the mixed reviews. Can you share any tips on how you used the Flexio to get such great results? Did you thin the paint? Strain the paint? Anything else you’d recommend? Thank you!
SarahMay 25, 2018 at 8:54 am
The paint was what did it! Such a big difference. So far, we really like the Flexio, but we’ve only had it for a month (maybe less). We use quality paint from Sherwin-Williams that is self leveling and it helps everything go on nice and smooth. You can add a leveler or thin it out a bit to make it even better. We also paint holding the sprayer further away and make multiple passes. Just take your time! Hope this helps! xox
LaceyMay 25, 2018 at 8:23 am
I love every detail, it’s all just so good! Great job!
SarahMay 25, 2018 at 8:55 am
Thank you so much, Lacey :) xo
TerriMay 25, 2018 at 11:07 am
Bravo Sarah… this space is my favorite! Love that you could just transform the carport like that with paint and the right accessories. Its so good. Love that you potted Honeysuckle…it smells amazing, what a great idea! Does it stay cool in there over the summer??? What a perfect makeover! xoxo
SarahMay 29, 2018 at 8:28 am
Thank you so much, Terri! It’s actually pretty hot here during the summertime, but we live in Utah- so we don’t really get humidity. It’s pretty tolerable! xo
ColleenMay 26, 2018 at 12:22 pm
Oh gosh what an amazing transformation. Just LOVE it! You have such fabulous skills and taste. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful space…..
SarahMay 29, 2018 at 8:49 am
Thank you so much, Colleen! xox
LoriMay 28, 2018 at 1:50 pm
This is absolutely beautiful ! You’ve done a wonderful job of changing a boring carport into a gorgeou space. How creative !
SarahMay 29, 2018 at 8:58 am
Thank you, Lori! xo
HollyMay 29, 2018 at 7:37 pm
So gorgeous my dear! I love the photos of your dogs with their friend…they all match your decor so perfect!
SarahMay 30, 2018 at 9:38 am
Thank you, Holly!! xox
DwanaMay 30, 2018 at 12:22 pm
I can’t begin to tell you how much I love this! There is something about black that I am in love with and it works so perfectly here! I love everything about this transformation, but the greenery and breezy curtains with all that black is just so fabulous. Bravo!
SarahMay 30, 2018 at 1:16 pm
Thank you so much, Dwana! I’m really enjoying spending time out here. I’ve been bringing my laptop to this space and starting my work morning outside since finishing it. Thanks for checking it out and for the sweet comment! xo
Becca CantrellJune 7, 2018 at 12:14 pm
So gorgeous! Where do you store everything during the winter? Do you have to worry about things staying nice during summer storms?
SarahJune 7, 2018 at 2:23 pm
We keep everything in our shed, outdoor storage container, or in storage. In regards to furniture & decor, I leave everything out all spring through fall and I never worry about it getting wet or dusty… it’s made to be wet-rated and stay outside. It’s also really easy to clean since it’s so durable- usually a quick rinse with the hose is all it needs. Hope this helps! xo
NormaJeanJuly 13, 2018 at 2:31 pm
Positively, brilliant!! We are in the process of selling a very small house with a carport off the kitchen. I may stage the carport for the sale!
PatJuly 15, 2018 at 7:10 am
What an amazing transformation! The honeysuckle pots and the sheers make the space perfect, and that rug is so pretty.
JenniferAugust 1, 2018 at 6:14 am
Lovely transformation, Sarah. I have that same IKEA pendant in my kitchen/dining area. Isn’t it the best?
I’ve been thinking the only thing that could make me love it more is if it was darker, but had no idea how to accomplish that. I guess spraying would be the way to go! Do sprayers work with stain as well, or would you recommend just paint? Do you have any tips for spraying the pendant?
SarahAugust 3, 2018 at 3:12 pm
Thanks so much, Jennifer! I really do love that IKEA pendant- it’s a great product!! I definitely recommend spray painting it. I wouldn’t recommend putting stain in the paint sprayer… it’d be a tricky application and might not apply evenly. I’d probably stick to paint, if it were me. Hope this helps! xo
LauraMay 20, 2020 at 6:48 pm
I love those chairs. I looked them up on IKEA’s website, and they’re not considered outdoor furniture. I know your carport is covered, but have you also used them in uncovered spaces?
SarahMay 21, 2020 at 11:49 am
Thanks Laura! You’re correct- they’re not wet rated or outdoor chairs, so they need to be covered or stored when not in use. Ours are going on 4-5 years old and they still look brand new, despite living outside (covered or stored when not in use). We never leave them out in the rain- we stack and put chair covers on them. Hope this helps!
DarbyMarch 16, 2021 at 7:42 am
Hi, I saw this post a while back and looked it up again bc I love it so much!! I love the glass dining table, but the link doesn’t work anymore…probably discontinued. Was the brand Bellacor? Any remembrance of how much it cost or what it was called? I’ve been on a wild goose chase for several days and thought I should just ask you!
SarahMarch 16, 2021 at 9:08 am
Thank you so much, Darby! It currently lives under our pergola at our current home: https://roomfortuesday.com/our-patio-this-year-updated-sources/ I was able to find it last summer on One Kings Lane and Joss & Main, but it goes out of stock every winter. Check back with me later this spring or summer, and hopefully I’ll have a working link to share! I try to keep all of my sources updated the best I can :) I’ve seen it priced anywhere between $500 – $1000.