Don’t Cage Me In

  I love fall.  The trees turn such beautiful colors and after a hot, hot summer, I’m really enjoying the crisp, sunny days that G and I are spending exploring outside.  We can ride our bike, we can go to the park, we can garden…all without breaking into a sweat in the first 5 minutes!  And even better, no mosquitoes!  

  Because the bugs are gone for the season (at least the blood sucking bugs), the project I’m about share with you actually got taken down this weekend.  The curtains are put away and the chairs and table are stored in the barn.  We’ll just have to wait til spring for our front porch to become a favorite “room” again.
It’s not quite cold enough to justify putting away the swing though…
  This spring, G and I spent just about every morning on our front porch.  Him watching the trucks drive by and me sipping my tea and enjoying the fresh air.  Problem was, as spring turned into summer, the bugs started finding their way to the front porch and sipping on us.
  Several years ago (before we bought the house) the front porch had been screened in.  You can still see bits of cement where things had been attached in places.  While I wanted the functionality of a screened porch, I definitely think that whoever the owners who took the screens back OFF were, they had the right idea.  Luckily I had seen this idea in a magazine and stuck it in my landscaping inspiration folder.
Cheap labor keeps project prices down
  I figured (correctly) that we could do it much more inexpensively than the systems I was finding, and so off to Ikea I went.  I got a bunch of these hangers, these tracks and these curtains and we were ready to go.  The woman I talked to while I was there told me I couldn’t use the curtains with these sliders that go on the track, because they weren’t adapted for them, but I knew better.
  The Mr. spent an afternoon getting the bulk of the tracks hung and I spent a good chunk of time marking the curtains to make sure we had evenly spaced gliders (because the curtains are mesh, the hooks on the gliders can be pushed right through the fabric, so you don’t need the loops the system usually uses).  We decided that having the track turn the corner would be a lot cleaner look, and it would be a lot easier having the curtains on one continuous track anyhow, so I ran back to the store and grabbed two of these corner pieces.  
  A little more work hanging, marking and attaching and we had a screen porch whenever the bugs were out, but the option for the open air porch when they weren’t.
  The mesh curtains are VERY light weight and I found that without any modification, the wind blew them all over the place.  So, over the course of the summer, I stitched the panels together in pairs in the areas where we gathered them when they were pulled back (in the corners and at the center post of the porch) and attached ties so that when they were in use, we could tie them together.  I’d still like to attach weights to the bottoms to help combat the wind even more, but, that will have to wait until next year!
  As always, let me know if you have any questions about how I did this.
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