Front Porch Envy

I have porch envy!  Even though our home has a very cozy, spacious screened-in porch with peaceful views of the lake, I would love to have a front porch.  Not the kind of porch that only has enough space to decorate for the seasons and greet our guests.  But a front porch where you can sit on a hot summer afternoon with a glass of lemonade and greet your neighbors as they pass by.  A front porch that evokes small town life.  Because to me, warm weather bliss starts on your front porch.  It’s a way of life.

Do you have certain feelings that bubble up when you hear the words “front porch”?  Maybe you think cozy, comfortable, welcoming?  What about neighborly and community? There are so many things that make a front porch appealing and bring back memories of days gone by.  But for me, the secret ingredient is to choose your function first.  If you love hosting parties, set up your porch as a second dining room.  If you love to spend the afternoon curled up on a porch swing with a good book, then cozy seating is for you.

Here are my 5 ways to give your porch a country-style update this summer.

Plant flowers in re-purposed vases and containers Before you run out and buy something new, shop your basement, attic, or cabinets.  And then visit flea markets and antique shops where you’ll almost always discover the perfect treasure for your porch.

Photo courtesy of Country Living Magazine

Display those unique flea market finds.Here’s an example of a uniquely re-purposed oil can.  Filled with LED string lights, it’s the perfect element to  brighten evenings on your porch.

This colorful front porch is filled with flea market treasures.  Everything about this porch invites you to come sit for a while and enjoy the day.  And, of course, who doesn’t love hydrangeas?

Photo courtesy of Country Living Magazine

Use a vintage sign as wall art. This one, though not exactly vintage, was handcrafted and made to look old.  Do you have old wooden tennis rackets or canoe paddles?  Hanging a grouping of old things that are special to you is another way to make your porch your own.

 Add mirrors to reflect light and bring inside elements outdoors. Our outdoor living spaces have become extensions of the inside of our homes.  So adding elements like rugs, lamps, and mirrors make us feel right at home on the porch.

Photo courtesy of Country Living Magazine

Add a cozy place for diningWho doesn’t enjoy having morning coffee on the porch watching the day come to life?  Or maybe sitting with family at the end of the day sharing stories.  Do you notice the blue ceiling?  It’s often referred to as Haint Blue, a color to ward off evil spirits, especially in the South.  If you’d like to learn more about it, click on the link to my blog post.

Even though I get a little bit of house and porch envy when I tour a home show or visit my friends, it’s always nice to come back to my very own happy place.  Because… 

If you suffer from House Envy like I do sometimes, and you’d like  help creating your very own Happy Place, I’d love to talk with you.  You can contact me at Randi@randidestefano.com

And…if you leave your name and email in the box on the right, you’ll receive my  newsletter, Life In the Kitchen,  straight to your in box twice a month.   Since I hate SPAM too, I only send design and lifestyle tips that you’ll love.

5 Essential Porch Designs

green porchOutdoor living spaces, more and more popular these days, are a wonderful way to enjoy nature, relax, and watch the world go by.  In days gone by, the front porch was the place to greet your neighbors after dinner, or spend a lazy afternoon reading.  Today the nostalgia of the front porch is showing up not only in new in-town homes, but in the way we use our backyards, screened porches, patios, and decks.

I love looking at photos of porches in magazines and online websites to get ideas for our own porch.  And one thing I’ve noticed is there are really 5 essential porch designs that seem to show up again and again. 

#1:  Seating  

No matter how large or small the space is, seating is the first thing to consider.  Do you want a private space that’s just for you?  Or do you want a cozy romantic area for two?


beach porch


#2:  Accent Table 

We all need a table to place a drink or a book while we’re enjoying our outdoor space.  The size and number of tables you need is based on how many people will use the porch…and how much space you have.




#3  Rug 

Rugs are the anchoring point for any seating group.  They pull it all together, and create a more inviting space.


porch with swing


#4  Accessories to Make It Yours 

Adding your own accessories will truly make the space your own.  They also set the tone for how you want your porch to feel.  Pillows, outdoor draperies, and flowers all add to a room that says “ Let’s relax here”.


colorful porch


#5 Plants 

Plants add a sense of calm to any space, and outdoor rooms are no exception.


white porch


Ceiling Fan