I’ve always loved the idea of one day owning a home with a gorgeous southern wrap-around front porch. The enchantment begins with the ability to extend the boundaries of your living space from inside to outside. Styled in just the right way, a front porch has the ability to speak to each guest before he/she even walks into your home. My most favorite porches are the ones that say, “Welcome, come hang out with me for a while.”. Whether it’s to watch your kids ride their bikes, or it’s a place to just pop a squat, the best porches have comfortable seating, lots of color, a place to set your beverage down and maybe even…dare I say it… a beverage cart! Follow along as I show you exactly how I created my summer-ready front porch! I even threw in the recipe to one of our favorite summer lemonade drinks with a secret ingredient! BONUS!!
Wrong Drop-off Location
Did I ever mention to you that I really believe I was supposed to be born in the south? Between that great southern charm, wit, super cool accent, soft sandy beaches, fabulous food (pan-fried chicken and sweet potato pie…y’all), and the fashionably sophisticated always articulated with high heels and a string of pearls, I just know this is where I was supposed to make my entrance into the world. Slight confusion landed me in southern California…wrong-drop-off location! Since I haven’t had a chance (yet) to make my way “home” I’ve spent an entire lifetime practicing my southern hospitality. I promise to not pull a Dorit Kelsey from RHOBH who was born in Connecticut but speaks with a heavy British accent, but I do love to say “bless your heart” any chance I can get.
Porch Pointer #ONE
Comfortable seating is key to any perfect porch. I’m not sitting on a hard chair and I’m sure as heck not sitting on the ground. The rocker/swivel chairs are from Costco and are sadly no longer available. The little wooden stumps are our foot rests. I could have rounded up new dark black flower pots for the photo shoot, but I want to keep things as authentic as I can for you. Our planter urns are pretty old and I actually like the way they have patinaed over the years. You can’t buy that! The tall iron urn (7 years old) next to the chair is my absolute favorite and can be found here! The antiqued urn to the right is 13 years old and is no longer available.
Porch Pointer #TWO
Lanterns are great for adding height and mixing in textures. The fat blocky metal and wood lantern to the very right of this photo (5 years old) is from Pottery Barn and no longer available, but a similar one can be found here. The tall black lanterns (1 year old) are great because they are sleek and modern, take up little floor space, and add good height. You’ll notice I added white outdoor accent tables (click here) next to each chair. They serve as our personal little side tables used to host beverages, reading books, or anything else that may be accompanying you while lounging on the front porch.
Porch Pointer #THREE
Bring in the color with flowers and pillows. Bring on the fun with this awesome bar cart. I’ll talk more about the bar cart below. My pillows are from Home Goods. They are down-filled and not really recommended for outdoor use, but I never pay much attention to that. I like the comfort and look of down-filled over poly-filled, so I just find pillows that look good and can wash well. When they aren’t being used and I know we have some rain coming I typically just bring them inside and set them next to the front door for the next person to take on their way out to pop a squat on the porch chairs. If the pillows get a little dirty I wash the covers and inserts separately and air dry. My porch is covered so this makes things easier to manage. The key to using indoor pillows outdoors is to keeping them from getting wet.
The View from our 40’s
Mike and I actually love sitting out on our front porch at around sunset. This is where we catch up on our day’s events and say “hi” to our friends who are along a walk or just coming home from work. We often times bring out this tiny wooden side table I have in our living room and play cards. We like to play Gin Rummy, like two “old folks” practicing for retirement. This is also the same space I have to remind him that mama wants to retire on the beach somewhere in the south and that ain’t no cheap penny!
Bar Cart Entertainment
Bar carts are fabulous! I have a total of 3 (at this very moment) and I use them all for different reasons. You can read more about my kitchen bar cart here. I have another bar cart in our guest bedroom that holds a blanket, picture frame displaying our wi-fi, and reading material. The third bar cart sits here on my front porch. It always has a vase of fresh flowers, but when we are sitting out there I bring out a beverage pitcher, cups and ice. Sometimes we have a few friends who stop along their walk and it’s always nice to be able to offer them a cold drink. (Remember, I’m practicing my southern hospitality so that I have it down pat when we retire in the south). The cart also has a light blanket in case the wind kicks up and a cold breeze comes through. My daughter still plays on her scooter and we like to watch her zoom around. When she’s ready for a refreshment I have something special for her.
I really love this bar cart because it’s tall and sleek, offers three display tiers and is flat-out gorgeous. Check out those beautiful leucite legs. You can find more about this cart by clicking here. Can we just give a minute of pause to these stunning Lupine. Home-grown, these lupine just couldn’t be any bolder and brighter in color and texture. Swoon!
So, about that summer lemonade drink I wanted to share with you. It’s a unique alcoholic beverage that is fun and easy. I muddle up some fresh mint, add ice, drop a shot (or two) of sake and pour in some pre-bought lemonade. Of course, fresh lemonade makes things even better, but sometimes this girl just needs a break!
Hope you are enjoying your spring and summer and…
bless your heart!