Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Porch: A Gathering Place

In the mid 1800's, Andrew Jackson Downing, a well known landscape gardener began to write about his vision of what the American home should be.  The porch was key in his vision, seeing it as a link from the house to nature.  Sort of a transitional space between the privacy of one's family to the public realm of the street.

Porch sitting seems to be a thing of the past.  Today we say we don't have the time to wave to neighbors and take time to sit and converse with one another over a cold drink.  Instead, we are busy emailing, texting and spending too much time in the air conditioning.  There are many easy and inexpensive ways to entice our porch area...anything goes. Let's bring back a feeling of community.

Spend a Saturday morning visiting Antique markets near your home for metal chairs or tables that you can easily repainted any color of your choice.  Ikea has outdoor patio chairs for affordable prices.
Do you own a daybed?  Turn your porch into a sleeping porch by attaching metal chains to brackets in the ceiling and anchoring them to the daybed, turning it into a swinging daybed you can use for overnight guests to sleep.

Pier 1 is a great place to check out outdoor tables.   Pottery Barn and Smith & Hawken good sources of outdoor furniture and decorating ideas and housewares. A porch is not a porch without a good rocking chair or two.  Ask anyone who has waited in line at Cracker Barrel...seriously the rockers are so comfortable, you don't mind waiting for a table.

There is so much you could do to add ambiance!  Place large pots of blooming flowers and plants on your porch, comfortable seating, outside pillows in all colors and shapes and don't forget the candles.

In the Midwest mosquitoes are a huge annoyance, particularly after all of the torrential rain we have had these past few weeks.  I buy citronella plants at my local hardware store and use as natural mosquito repellent.  They seem  effective in keeping the mosquitoes to a minimum, allowing us to spend time comfortably outdoors .
Have a great and hopefully stress free weekend and get outdoors if you can.  

                                 Lakehouse Lyn

1 comment:

  1. some GREAT suggestions! love the day bed idea.

    we had a porch swing when I was 5 and I've always wanted one for my home one day. Great post!