Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cozy Back Porch

Last week, I shared my parents' welcoming front porch.  This week, I am pleased to share their screened-in back porch, which is cozy, intimate, and also used year-round.

The focal point of the back porch is the gas fireplace surrounded with limestone excavated during the house construction. The mantle was custom made from local cedar.  The use of local materials is in keeping with Craftsman tradition.

My step-dad, an accomplished wood-worker, handmade this beautiful dining table from local cedar as well:

The back porch is furnished with comfortable all-weather furniture.  The floors are stained and scored concrete and are very practical for our climate and cleaning.

Decor is intentionally rustic, using mostly vintage finds and emphasizing the lakehouse theme.

I especially love the vintage water skis:

The porch is wonderfully cozy during the winter holidays, when my mother adds vintage and rustic Christmas decor. 

My parents always have a project ready for my girls when they visit.  Here, they are making pinecone bird feeders:

And of course, there is no better place to enjoy hot cocoa:

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Porch for All Seasons

Today I'm honored to feature my parents' front porch.  When they built their Craftsman-style lakehouse nine years ago, my parents envisioned their front porch as the centerpiece of their leisure time.  That vision became a reality, for whether throwing boisterous porch parties in the fall, or casually entertaining friends for happy hour, or hosting their granddaughters for tea parties, or reading the newspaper in the morning, or napping on the porch daybed on hot summer afternoons, when home, my parents can almost always be found on the porch.  All year round.

The porch is long and spacious, and with ceiling fans, good lighting, composite flooring, and comfortable furniture, very functional.  You'll also note the the "haint" blue ceiling, traditional in Southern porches to ward off haunting spirits (and wasps!):

My mom takes porch decorating seriously.  From the vintage red bicycle at the porch steps to the antique croquet set and roller skates, to the worn quilts adorning the rocking chairs, every element of the porch decor encourages guests to relax and have fun.

But it's the dynamic seasonal decor that helps the porch make memories. Here are some views of this Porch for All Seasons.

On spring mornings:

On the Fourth of July:

During Autumn:

And at Christmas:

On a personal note, this porch is also my daughters' favorite place on earth, a magical retreat for them when life gets hectic.  They perch on the porch on summer evenings, spying fireflies. They feed visiting deer carrots between the porch rails.  They spend winter afternoons reading under blankets on the porch swing. They host tea parties with their dolls on the vintage ice cream parlor table. They love it here.

As for me,  I can actually feel my blood pressure drop every time I sit on the porch swing, wine glass in hand, lakeviews in sight.  The cares of the world melt away.  How lucky we are, to have such a place.

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