The Porch :: Outdoor living perfected!

I'm quite particular, some might even say picky. When I was looking for my current home a couple of years ago I had two must haves on my list. I needed a working fireplace. I needed a porch, covered or screened-in. It didn't matter where the porch was, front, back or side, but I had to have one. In a real estate market that is tight and high my demands may have seemed a bit off base. I saw plenty of new construction with shiny, metallic kitchens that were bright and airy, with lots of space, but these pristine homes lacked charm and personality. Some had fireplaces. Some did not. A few had porches on properties that were not quite postage-sized. These homes, perfect for many, lacked the core of what makes a house a home - character. I need wood floors, sunny windows, crisply painted trim and moldings, a fireplace and a porch and some yard space large enough for a few children to run around in. I did not fall in love with my current home. I did not like it, in fact. I had fallen madly in love with another house on the other side of the mill river. This home had lots of property, sat on the edge of the river that we could see from several rooms. There was room for a den, and office and each of the children could have their own bedroom. My piano would fit in as well. 

Upstairs the newly finished master bedroom had waterfront views, an adjoining bathroom and a cathedral ceiling. She was perfect. And alas, she was too perfect. There were several bids on this particular house and several hours after I made my offer I would learn that I was outbid, by a lot. I was devastated to lose the house and even more so to have to go back to the drawing board. I looked at home after home after home. My taste wanted perfection but my wallet could not afford such perfection. After driving my Realtor, who's also a friend, batty, I was convinced to take another look at the Little White House on the hill. 

It was a gorgeous and sunny day and each room was illuminated by the sun's bright and warming rays. Hardwood floors ran throughout and they were in perfect condition. The walls freshly painted, were a soft ivory white. There was plenty of trim and molding. The house was small. Very small but the master bedroom, living room and kitchen were generous in size. There was a fireplace in the living room and the exposed brick from the back of it, added a warm, homey feel to the kitchen. (I happen to adore exposed brick!) Off the French doors in the kitchen... A screened in porch! Suddenly this house seemed as though it might just be perfect for us! 

For about 5 months out of the year our small home grows with the addition of this wonderful outdoor room. A room we don't need to worry about terribly. A room that's perfect for sitting in and getting lost in thought, or relaxing on the couch with a good book and listening to all the birds and wildlife just beyond. Sometimes I bring my work out there. Our porch offers shelter from the storm - there's nothing so peaceful as sitting out there, wrapped in blankets while the rain falls beyond.... even better with a glass of wine or a cup of cocoa for the kids. In the early morning I like to go out there with my coffee and catch up on emails as I listen to the news on my iPad. 

As I'm just a mile from the beach, our home turns into quite the beach house when the weather warms, and this is most apparent on the porch where you can find collections of sea glass, shells and drift wood. Sand is on the floor and often on the furniture... And although I do vacuum it from time to time, it's the one space that I don't mind when it's messy. Our porch is relaxed, easy living, comfortable and represents the laid-back feel and attitude of summer. Our own porch is not formal. We've a love-seat, a rug and an outdoor dining table where kids work on projects or where we gather to eat informal, casual meals. 
In my mind, I think there's no space quite as perfect!

via Pinterest, original source unknown

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via Charleston Magazine

via Deco Casa

via Lucy Williams Interior Design Blog

via Decofeelings

via Trad Home

Why don't you pour yourself a glass of iced tea, kick off your shoes and join me outside?