In the meantime, I finally got around to doing something with the uninspiring space where the old porch used to be ... I filled and put up some nice wall baskets, hung an outdoor clock, moved in a few flower and plant pots and a dark brown bench now turned blue! I Love this colour for outdoor furniture .. it's "Forget-me-not" by Cuprinol
which hopefully will make the bench last a few years as well as looking good .. I love the Cuprinol slogan "Cheer it up" .. it certainly did for this dark brown bench!