Project Porch

Written by Emily Welly
Photographed by Jen Kadar-Brown

Creative vision, hard work and a love for making old things new again came together to create a Madison back porch that’s full of personality and style.

This summer, Tully Johnson is likely to be found relaxing on the back porch of her Madison home. Her love for design and passion for gardening are reflected in the backyard space, which is made up of items she found and repurposed to suit her own eclectic style. A focal point (pictured at left) is a wall of windows she salvaged from Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church in Lexington. It is situated behind a vintage picnic table she found in a pile of junk nearby. Her husband, Greg, rewelded and painted the table’s rusted iron, and Tully replaced the top and benches. A whimsically painted vintage chair with new cushions and pillows, pictured below, makes for comfortable seating in the shade provided by curtains made from affordable painter’s drop cloths.

Tully says she has had a knack for redecorating since she was a child, but she’s unlikely to purchase new items for her space in the traditional manner; instead, she seeks out long-forgotten pieces to make her own. “I have in my mind what I want, and I make it myself,” she said. “I enjoy it more that way.” She transformed an old bathtub unearthed from a wooded area in Yazoo City into a water garden complete with goldfish (above). Similarly, a door taken from a Camden post office before it was torn down serves as the top of a coffee table (top right). Throughout her porch and yard, thriving plants and fresh-cut flowers are juxtaposed with the vintage items bringing even more color and life to the space. See more of Tully’s eclectic creations at