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Inspiration in Odd Places

June 2, 2011

When I’m mulling over an idea, wondering in what direction a project should run, I often find that the inspiration I need appears at exactly the right moment in the most unexpected of places.

Take, for example, my front porch posts.

I’m so proud of them.

Not that they’re particularly pretty. They’re not. They’re as plain as a brown paper bag, and even though I culled the heck out of the stack at my local Orange, the best posts I could find still had issues…knots knots and more knots. One even has a crack that would make any plumber proud.

(In case you’re concerned about my crack — ooh, that sounded soooo wrong — let me reassure you. It’s an unattractive crack, but it’s superficial and doesn’t compromise the structural integrity of my post. I had a friend of mine who’s a structural engineer inspect it just to make sure. After all we’ve been through with this project, the last thing I need is a failing post.)

I’m proud of these plain posts because I dug the holes for their concrete footers. I mixed their concrete. I installed the hardware to anchor them in place so they’ll hold up our porch roof for many many moons to come. The Hubster and I cut them to length, installed them, and secured them. When I look at them I see our Can Do power and money in our checking account that wouldn’t be there if we had hired someone to do it for us.

These plain posts please me immensely, and yet when I look at them I feel like there’s something missing. It’s like looking at a lovely young lady about to go to prom…without a dress.

So I’ve been searching high and low for inspiration. For the dress, if you will.

I’ve been admiring Ana White’s pergola plan for some time, and I thought that her post detail was kinda sorta what I had in mind but not quite.

Photo Courtesy of

I adore this pergola. I want this pergola. But when it comes to my porch posts, this detail is like finding the right dress but in the wrong color.

And then this morning I was checking out Ana’s website (yes, I have serious addiction issues when it comes to this incredibly talented woman and her awesome free plans) and found exactly what I’d been dreaming of…in a KwikSet ad.

Yes, you read me correctly.

A KwikSet ad.

See what I mean about inspiration in odd places? (BTW…don’t bother clicking on the arrow to play the video…it’s cute but I didn’t embed it here…I just borrowed the frame showing the porch post…if you want, you can check out the video at

So I’m thinking this is what I want the posts to look like, but with the addition of Ana’s perfect finishing detail of 3/4″ molding under the post cap and around the top of the post base.

I’m off to take some measurements and draw up some really-ugly-but-they-make-sense-to-me sketches, and hopefully in a few days I’ll have some pics to share.

Woo hoo for unexpected inspiration!

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