Screen Porch Makeover with Invisible Mosquito Screens

I’m incredibly excited about our screen porch makeover with invisible mosquito screens. But, I also can’t wait to share with you the almost invisible insect window screen material I found to replace our old screen porch screens. It’s honestly a night and day difference! Read on and you’ll see! And if you like anything you see, scroll to the end of the article for my source links.

But, before we get to the screens, let me fill you in on the screen porch decorating progression. It has been an ongoing work in progress for twelve years!)

Budget Makeover:

The screen porch is definitely the place we love to hang out. If the weather is nice, one (or all of us) are enjoying sitting outside.

Our porch was one of the things that sold us on this house (in addition to the fact that we used to live across the street and always loved this house before we owned it.) We had longed for a screen porch because anyone who lives in the south knows the mosquitoes, flies, and bugs are no joke. It’s a real nuisance when all you want to do is sit outside but instead you become a mosquito cocktail within minutes.

When we first moved in, we didn’t the cash to furnish the porch because we scraped together all our funds to purchase the house.

Screen Porch Makeover with Invisible Mosquito Screens

But, after a few years I was able to decorate the screen porch using a lot of cheap and found objects. I built the bench using an old headboard and painted a thrift store bamboo rug.

Screen Porch Makeover with Invisible Mosquito Screens

I also turned an old ladder into leaning display shelves and created pendant lights with old minnow traps.

As luck would have it, I stumbled upon a dumpster destined coffee table and (after giving it a new top and paint) it worked beautifully on the porch.

Screen Porch Makeover with Invisible Mosquito Screens

I was proud of my frugal porch furnishings, but after many years of use, I was cravings something new. I also wanted to update the furniture to accommodate more people comfortably.

Screen Porch Makeover 2019:

In the beginning of the summer, I sold all my DIY upcycled furniture except for one piece. I kept this plant stand that was an antique dry sink I scored at a yard sale for $3!

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

With the cash I made selling my old furniture,  I shopped online until I found the perfect outdoor sofa set from Wayfair. The price was great, but the reviews said it took a long time to assemble. In actuality, it took me less than two hours (with a few breaks in there.)

The sofa is sold with throw pillows that are plain and bright green. I threw them outside onto the deck furniture and went on a quick trip to my local AtHome store to purchase boho inspired pillows.

I also found a little side table from AtHome.

To round out (and maximize) the seating, I bought two stackable modern chairs and cushions from AtHome.

Although my painted bamboo rug was still in good shape, I wanted something more modern and less attention seeking. This rug is an outdoor rug that can be easily cleaned if it gets dirty and it doesn’t mind not being the show stopper.

The other side of the sofa has a garden stool topped with a glass round to make another side table. This might be unconventional, but I wanted a taller plant on the porch. On a whim, I set this cast iron plant on the side table and instantly loved it there. Have no fear, there is still enough room for beverages on the glass round.

With the new furniture set up, the screen porch has become my new favorite spot to work.

But, as I sat on the new furniture working, I looked up and thought, “There is one project I have always wanted to tackle on our screen porch…”

“…the ceiling.”

The wood ceiling has called for a fresh coat of light blue paint since we bought the house (about twelve years ago.) But, I never got around to it. I decided the new furniture would look so much better with a painted ceiling. Am I right?

Light Blue Painted Porch Ceiling:

Unfortunately, I was too busy working on the Millie’s Remodel project to do it myself, so I contacted my painter. He gave me a price I couldn’t turn down and I gladly turned over the task to him.

Luckily our Hunter fan still looks amazing with the light blue ceiling.

I also had him paint the rest of the porch rails and trim white because it was in need of a fresh coat. He and his partner had to remove all the screens to paint the railings. When I saw how amazing the view was without screens, I decided to look for some of the nearly invisible mosquito screens I have seen on house tours.

Nearly Invisible Mosquito Screens:

After installing the first panel I was speechless. The difference was almost day and night! The old screens are on the left and the new on the right.

But, here’s where you can really see the difference:

The screen door still has the old screens. See how much darker and fuzzier the view is? I purchased the BetterVue Nearly Invisible Insect Screens from Amazon and could not be happier!

Need more proof? Here’s the scene through the old screens:

And now through the new screens:

There is no photoshop or trickery there, you can clearly see the difference the new screens make.

The Finishing Touches:

For decor, I kept it simple. A few magazines and a piece of driftwood in a tray.

Fresh cut hydrangeas fill a big vase.

Unfortunately the ones still outside are turning brown in the hot summer sun.

Our rope hammock gets lots of use. It’s definitely a favorite for the kids and the adults.

Especially when you can nap and listen to the low tones of the wind chime my family gave me for Mother’s Day one year.

Do you love my screen porch makeover? Look at how much light comes through those new insect screens!

When the weather isn’t insanely hot and humid, you will likely find me here:

I hope you enjoyed my Screen Porch Makeover with Invisible Mosquito Screens.

Here’s a fun video I made showing you how quiet and beautiful it is on the porch.

Screen Porch Makeover with Invisible Mosquito Screens Sources:

And if you liked anything you saw, here is a list of my sources for the screen porch furniture, decor, and of course the nearly invisible screens!

Nearly Invisible Insect & Mosquito Screen Replacement Roll

Sources to Achieve My Boho Screen Porch Look:

5 Piece Outdoor Rattan Sectional
Gray Modern Stackable Chairs (similar)
Navy Seat Cushions
Mullen Gray/Navy Indoor Outdoor Herringbone Rug
White Ceramic Lattice Garden Stool
18″ Round Glass Table Top

Square Planter Pot (similar)
Deep Tone Wind Chimes
Pawley’s Island Rope Hammock
Aqua Stripe Turkish Towel (similar)
Hobnail Planter Pot (similar look)
Hunter Caneel Bay Outdoor Ceiling Fan
Copper Tray

Similar Outdoor Pillows:
Fringed Pillow
Macrame Pillow
Tribal Diamond Pillow
Navy Tribal Ikat Pillow

Hope you got some great ideas and hope you are enjoying some outside time where you are!

DIY Chalkboard Calendar | Pretty Handy Girl

Create this DIY Chalkboard Calendar to get you and your family organized. It will only take you about half an hour to create but it will save you the headache of double booking yourself and get the kids on board with upcoming activities and trips.

DIY Chalkboard Wall CalendarDIY Chalkboard Wall Calendar

I’m bring back this tutorial for those of you that may have missed it. Why? Because this DIY Chalkboard Wall Calendar has been in our kitchen for over four years and it has held up beautifully! This calendar is an important part of our daily routine. My kids look at it frequently to see what activities and trips are coming up. My husband and I use a Google calendar to stay current, but this calendar is a great way to keep the kids organized and to let me look at a glance what’s coming up while I’m on the phone. Seriously, this is one of the best things I created for our family. In the spirit of getting organized, I’m going to share with you my easy DIY chalkboard wall calendar. But, first here are some great uses for a chalkboard calendar.

Ways to Use a Chalkboard Calendar:

  • Keep Track of After School Activities
  • Menu Plan
  • Chore Reminders
  • School Lunch Menu
  • Holidays
  • Birthdays
  • Reminder for Pets Flea, Tick and Heartworm Medicine
  • Business Trips
  • Vacations
  • Date Nights
  • Family Activities
  • Blog Calendar
  • Schedule Meetings
  • Work Calendar
  • Project Planning

Have I left anything out?

2014 chalkboard calendar wall

Easy to Clean:

In the past I used to draw out the calendar lines, but trying to erase inside the lines was tedious and time consuming. What busy mom has time for that?! By using the vinyl stripes, I can easily erase the calendar after two months and add new dates.

To save extra time, I like to put recurring items on the bottom line so I can wipe around them and keep the items there from month-to-month.

close up chalkboard calendar day

I also use consistent color coding. One color per person and I use separate colors for school or trips. But, feel free to do what works for your family.

To create this quick chalkboard calendar you need to start with a chalkboard wall (or large chalkboard.) Then gather some supplies.


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)


Using the level, make a straight (and level) line for the top of your calendar. (Mine is 28″ wide.)

draw chalk lines using level

Using your ruler, mark a tick mark horizontally every 4″ (more or less depending on your space availability) for the 7 days. Make 5 tick marks down from the top line vertically every 4″. Repeat on the opposite side. Then add your horizontal tick marks for the days at the bottom.

chalk grid lines created

Use your vinyl lines to outline the calendar and create the horizontal lines.

chalkboard horizontal lines drawn

Connect the vertical tick marks with vinyl lines. If you have excess vinyl, snip off the excess with a pair of scissors. (Our calendar is 20″ tall.)

excess vinyl trim excess

In our house I added two calendars. It’s always nice to see a month ahead! Sometimes I contemplate moving the calendars up and added a third month, but for now this works well for us.

grid lines chalkboard calendar

The chalkboard calendar lets you get creative and practice your chalk lettering. (It’s been fun for me to practice since picking up these hand-lettering books.)

February Chalkboard Calendar month

Can you think of other ways to  keep you and your family organized? I’d love to hear it.

2014 chalkboard calendar wall

By the way, Leen has a chalkboard calendar for those of you that don’t want to commit to a large painted chalkboard wall in your home!

PHGFancySignDisclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. Leen is just a good friend and my go to source for vinyl graphics and designs.

You may also like Jacque’s Perpetual Menu Calendar:

Reusable monthly menu board with magnetic meals - perpetual menu board

Or this refrigerator chalkboard calendar:


Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Happy Holidays! I can’t believe the holidays are here once again. This will be my seventh holiday home tour shared with you. I honestly can not believe I’ve been running this little old blog of mine since 2010. (These are my holiday home tours from 20102011201320142015, and 2016.) You may have noticed there was a gap, because in 2012 I was up to my ear-plugged ears building our kitchen back after a water leak. But, enough about moldy messes and termite damage, won’t you come in for the annual holiday home tour.

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

In the past I’ve dressed up my faux wreaths (with less than $20 in supplies) for the front doors, but this year a pair of live pine wreaths whispered my name at Lowe’s. Obviously, I caved.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m participating in a group tour with several other fabulous home bloggers.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy GirlYou’ll definitely want to see inside each of their homes:

Just a Girl
Home Stories A to Z
Honey We’re Home
Tatertots and Jello
Hi Sugarplum
A Thoughtful Place
Not Just a Housewife
Centsational Style
The Inspired Room
320 Sycamore
Thrifty Decor Chic

Be sure to go see Sawdust Girl’s holiday home tour tomorrow!

Because I consider you a friend, why don’t you come in through the mudroom entrance. That’s the door we use, only solicitors come to the front door.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Feel free to take your coat off and stay for a while. Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m brewing some fresh coffee and would love to offer you my own version of a mocha latte. Or you can make your own specialty coffee at the coffee bar I set up.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

The table is set for the holidays. This year I chose to decorate with blue Spode plates and pretty blue-green eucalyptus leaves.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl
Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

In the corner I set up a vintage Flexible Flyer sled under the winter words chalkboard art.  If you like my sign, I have a free printable you can download for yourself here.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Now that you have a hot drink in hand, let’s head into the living room.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

This year I decorated using rustic accents and neutrals. The camellias and rose hips are picked fresh from the yard. Nothing beats free greenery!

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

I did purchase some pine bough rope, a package of paperwhites, and eucalyptus leaves on the cheap for the rest of my natural decorations.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

The wreath over the mantel is a combination of two wreaths and some eucalyptus leaves tucked into it. I love the natural feel of this casual green wreath.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the paperwhites to bloom. It should be any day now.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Let’s head into the heart of the home, our kitchen.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

This room was a labor of love for certain. It took me 13 months to build the kitchen back after a water leak and subsequent mold left us with an empty room down to the studs.

But, the upside of all the damage was I was able to make design changes to the room. One of those changes involved building a built-in window seat bench with storage inside. This freed up room in the kitchen as we can push the table up against the window seat.

I don’t usually add much to the kitchen except some simple touches like a beaded garland on the chandelier. I admit, I like it so much I’ve left it on the light well into late January sometimes. Can you blame me?

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Adding the wreaths to the window this year seemed like a fun way to reuse these little faux boxwood wreaths.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

And of course, one wreath on the custom range hood I built.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

I always enjoy adding some winter decor to the built in desk and wall-mounted hutch in the corner of our kitchen.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Blue Mason jars with epson salt and a votive candles bring a little snow vibe into the house.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

The front foyer is where we keep my boys’ advent calendars. I was thinking there will come a day when they are off to college and it won’t seem right not having the advent calendars here. The thought makes me a bit melancholy, especially since our oldest will be a freshman in high school next year. That leaves me with four more years having both boys under my roof. *sniff, sniff*

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

I hope you are having a wonderful Holiday season and are able to avoid all the rushing around. Thank you so much for visiting my home today.


8 Fabulous Fall Home ToursFabulous Fall Home Tours

Welcome to the Fabulous Fall Home Tours! The tour features 8 fabulously talented bloggers who have opened their homes up so you can get inspired by some beautiful fall decorating. If you are just coming in from Sarah’s house, it’s nice to see you. Wasn’t her home gorgeous? Stick around, we have a great line up of talented bloggers who have graciously opened their homes to you.

Fabulous Fall Home Tour 2017

These are the other bloggers who are joining in today:

Pretty Handy Girl

Addicted 2 DIY

The DIY Village

The Heathered Nest

In My Own Style

Jennifer Rizzo

One Project Closer

Ugly Duckling House

Here’s a warm cup of coffee with a little pumpkin spice added to it. Won’t you come on in.

Like that little garden flag? Shh, I’ll tell you a secret: it’s made from a Dollar Store placemat and here’s the tutorial. Luckily my cotton fall wreath survived being stored for a year. I added a few more colorful leaves and hung it on the door.

Yesterday I gave a tour of my dining room with its beautiful fall tablescape and coffee bar. If you want to peek in the dining room, I’ll wait right here.

Come on into our mudroom. This is our friend and family entrance. No one uses the front door much. Feel free to kick off your shoes and get comfortable if you want. We all walk barefoot around here.

Several years ago I built that shoe storage bench using kitchen cabinets and some discarded shelves.

The coat rack was also made with reclaimed items. Can you guess what they are? You’ll have to read the tutorial to find out!

By our front door is a fun colorful little set of drawers. I transformed this old IKEA cabinet into one of my favorite furniture pieces in the house.

Let’s head to the kitchen, shall we? The kitchen is one of my favorite rooms in our house. Not because I love to cook, but because this room gets lots of daylight and I love all the changes that were made to the space. For example, I built a bay window seat with storage to allow us more room in the kitchen.

Gorgeous Fall decor. Farmhouse Table and chairs

I also added all the planks (aka shiplap) and they cost me next to nothing. You can read how to DIY your own plank walls if you want to add shiplap to your home! A few years ago I faux painted that table to look like driftwood. It has held up pretty good.

Love this kitchen decorated for fall. You have to see the rest!

Sink Goals! Love this farmhouse sink with blue cabinets

I vowed not to spend money on flowers and greenery this year. It was fun challenging myself and it forced me to go outside and “shop my yard!”

The results were abundant amounts of greenery using plants I don’t usually think of for home decor (like monkey grass blooms and fern clippings.)

If you asked me what is my favorite element in my kitchen, it would be my reclaimed lumber open shelves. These babies are my pride and joy. I found the lumber at a local reclaimed lumber shop and painted the corbels myself to make them look old. Then I carefully drilled through the tile to hang the shelves.

My DIY wall-mounted hutch is the place we hide all the paper clutter. I have a spot for everything here.

Step right through the doorway into our living room.

I have a confession to make. I cheated and bought one bunch of calla lilies at the grocery store. But, who could turn these down? They bloomed in the perfect fall colors!

I waffled on ordering this yellow chair from La-Z-Boy a few years ago. I’m so happy with this chair because it works well with a lot of different color palettes.

On the other side is our white leather recliner, also from La-Z-Boy. This is the chair that everyone fights over because everyone wants to kick back and relax in it.

I found a stash of forgotten framed photos in our attic and decided to display them on the bookshelves.

That’s my mom and me in the bottom picture. She looks like a teenager!

On a whim, I stuffed some white mini lights under some silk leaves.

I’m enjoying the cozy touches in our living room and it makes me want to curl up on the sofa with a warm drink.

I hope you enjoyed my Fabulous Fall Home Tour! It’s time for you to head over to Katie’s at Addicted 2 DIY. She’s waiting for you.

Fabulous Fall Home Tour 2017

These are the other bloggers who are joining in today:

Pretty Handy Girl

Addicted 2 DIY

The DIY Village

The Heathered Nest

In My Own Style

Jennifer Rizzo

One Project Closer

Ugly Duckling House

Apples and Coffee Up Here Bar Sign

Fall Decorated Tablescape & Coffee BarFall Tablescape and Coffee Bar

Welcome! I’m so glad you could join me today. I enjoyed taking a little time off from my investment house projects to decorate the house for autumn. It’s always fun to twitter around and create a beautiful tablescape. Last year’s tablescape had plenty of orange, yellow and pink accents. But this year I chose a palette filled with blue, green, and accents of purple that complimented our fall hydrangeas.  I also had fun adding a little coffee bar. Won’t you come on in and stay for a while? I’m brewing some fresh coffee and have baked pears for you to sample. Don’t forget to help yourself to some coffee.

black hutch with coffee bar set up

Fall tablescape and hydrangea and pears

Several years ago I sold our old dining room table and decided to build my own rustic farmhouse table. I love it and kick myself for not making this table sooner. It was a fairly quick build, you can find my tutorial to build your own farmhouse table here.

Coffee bar decorated for fall

(I’ve included affiliate links in this post. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links.
There is no additional cost to you. You can 
read more about affiliate links here.)

Right before I started decorating, I received my monthly Sand Dollar Lane Box. Inside were several items including the chalkboard and magnetic zinc frames you see on the tour. In addition, a little wooden desk box and some other pretty little things were inside the box. I am particularly enamored with the little gold magnifying paperweight and a small whale dish that brighten any space. (Did you spot them above?)

apples and zinc framed magnetic board

Here’s a better view, can you see the pretty paperweight on the shelf above? I might need to feature it more next time. The bowl the apples are in was in my subscription box last month. Leen really knows how to pick some cute farmhouse coastal decor!

Fall leaves chalkboard sign

When I received the chalkboard in the Sand Dollar Lane Box, I knew I wanted to make a fall words chalkboard sign. I don’t seem to spend as much time making chalkboard art anymore, so this was a fun little activity. As inspiration, I used some of the lessons I learned in the Busy Girl’s Guide to Handlettering Course. And because I love sharing, here is the free chalkboard art printable available for you to download here (print it our use it as a template for your own art.)

Rustic Fall Tablescape with hydrangeas and pears

This year’s tablescape is relatively simple. I built a rustic painted trough to display hydrangeas in, making a beautiful centerpiece.

Hydrangeas in rustic trough box

Then I used a pear and a loropetalum clipping at each place setting.

Pear on plate

While decorating the dining room, I decided not to buy any flowers or greenery this year. I had two reasons for this decision:

  1. I struck out finding seeded eucalyptus anywhere. I might need to order some from a florist. (Anyone have a good resource?)
  2. I wanted to challenge myself to use what I have. You know what? I was amazed at how much greenery I was able to harvest from my yard!

Apples, gourd and liriope at coffee bar

Ferns, loropetalum, monkey grass and the hydrangea bushes were overly abundant this year. The clippings from them worked nicely in my fall decor. I encourage you to take a look in your yard, you’d be amazed what you can use for fresh greenery!

Coffee bar set up in dining room hutch

Usually we use the hutch in our dining room for a hot cocoa bar during the holidays, but I decided it would be nice to create a little coffee bar to enjoy for the fall. Who doesn’t love a pretty coffee bar? (Especially if you make your own frothy healthy coffee at home.)

I hope you’ll come back tomorrow for the Fabulous Fall Home Tours. I’ll be joined by seven more of my talented friends!

Fabulous Fall Home Tour 2017

See you in the morning.

Wall Paint Color in this room is Benjamin Moore Elmira White.