Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Front Porchin' It

The porch.

 To me, both of my porches are more of a living room than my actual living room ever will be.  I don't sit on my own couch very often.  Usually I am on one of my porches. I've even actually managed to turn the word porch into a verb somehow.  I do weird things like that sometimes.

It's why we ended up here, in our perfectly weird house.  Upon driving up to see yet another house with our realtor, I remember saying enthusiastically "Can we buy it?!  Can I have it?!" before even walking inside.  The front porch just spoke to me.

This brings us to right this second, seven years later, when I'm still sitting on the front porch, typing.  Because it's just my favorite place here. 

Here's why I need to be on the porch. It gives me sunshine and fresh air. I can therapeutically sweat out the cares of the day in the late afternoon sun here.  It affords me both the ability to be at home and interact with the outside world.  New neighbors, old neighbors.  If it's not between November and February here, we're all out for one reason or another.  Yards to weed, bikes to ride, cartwheels to turn, neighborhood blocks to be run (do I really have to run today??).  There's a chance to catch up with someone a few doors down, return a dish from a recipe someone shared, or just throw a hand up to wave at someone passing by.

Since I spend so much time here, on my trusty porch, I finally felt like it really needed to be treated like a room instead of an afterthought.
The bare bones version is this:  my awesome porch swing and my vintage bouncy chair.

It's okay like this.  The swing itself is freakin' fantastic.  It has cup holders!  But the space as a whole was just deserving a little more love considering how much we use it.
Like the rest of this house...the front porch is wonky.  It's not symmetrical, nothing quite fits where you want it to.  But regardless...we'll just figure it out!  Ready? Let's go.

So much better!  I anchored the sitting area with a $30 outdoor rug from Target.  It defines the space, and adds the first layer of softness and texture to the hard brick and wood of the porch.  I also added some pillows, almost for free!  The middle pillow is an Etsy find, and I made the other two out of a $7 drop cloth (with tons of fabric to spare).  I hand painted our house number and a graphic ginko leaf to add a little personality.  They actually wash pretty well!

For form and function purposes, I added an existing white melamine tray to the end table.  It adds contrast in texture and color, plus it adds a great sturdy surface for drinks and snacks.

Also "free-ish" is the throw on the back on the swing.  It's actually a swim suit cover from Old Navy.  I'll just grab it when I need it but leave it here in the meantime.  Makes a great picnic or play blanket for all the time we spend in the yard!

The other end of the looks way more alive and lovely with some container plants and a vintage plant stand.  I'm not allowed to touch the plants, as they'll die upon contact.  But I really do enjoy them as long as someone else is taking care of them.  Thanks JMom!  I love that we planted out the old mailbox.  Since they discontinued mail delivery to the door a few years ago, I figured it would make a great repurposed planter.

Now, it's time to go porch it and see what's going on in the Vortex. 


  1. I'm so glad to see another blog from you! I've always liked to hear what you have to say and I really love how you say it. I love how you've decorated your outdoor living room. It's so inviting. I wish you were down here to go with me to some estate sales. I find the best bargains for your style of decorating!

  2. I'm just now seeing this and I love your porch! Wish I lived just down the street so I could porch with y'all!

  3. Growing up in NYC, "stoopin' it" was always my favorite past time leisure. I would sit for hours and daydream as a child, of a place a little less noisy. One without sirens blaring and airplanes soaring over head all day long.

    We had a honeysuckle bush on the side gate that divided our house from the neighbors. That bush not only represented the privacy I longed for, but also gave off such a scent that would kick start my imagination (as well as hide the smell of the garbage cans that were lined up next to my front door).

    I'd close my eyes and inhale! I'd dream that I was on a porch. A deep one with chairs (I didn't know porch swings were invented), flowers, a book in one hand and my tea in another. Yes, I was a tea drinker. Only I hadn't been introduced to your southern staple as of yet. Mine was a powdered substitute of the real thing. As wonderful as NYC is, as amazing as my childhood was, I always felt like all I had was a substitute of the real thing.

    Then at 19, I moved to Greenville, South Carolina. I was picked up at the airport where I witnessed the most amazing sunset. I had the windows rolled all the way down as I was being driven to my new home and couldn't believe the scents! As we rolled into the sub-division (I never heard of such a thing) neighbors were going on walks together near the community pond, stopped and actually waved as we drove by. Was I let down when I found out that this warm welcome wasn't planned for me? Not in the least. This warm Southern welcome was custom. For everyone. It wasn't just a welcome. I'd get another one later. And tomorrow! And everyday! FROM NOW ON!!!

    We pulled into the drive-way, and there it was. A front porch. With a swing. My childhood dream answered.

    I can go on forever with my story. But I won't. This is your front porch story. And what it means to you. The only point I set out to make was that I understand what it means to you. I got caught up in my memories. But in doing so, you've made me realize, that maybe I don't take advantage of the gift I was given so long ago. The front porch. And although I don't have a porch swing here, I do have a beautiful southern porch, looking out over a beautiful garden planted by the man of my dreams. I think I'll pour myself some tea, grab a good book and give my senses a sweet surprise!

    Love ya sistah!