April 26, 2015



 photo p3_zps86bd67a8.jpg
Time to freshen-up your porches for the heavier, high-season use.  Porches are where we relax, snooze, entertain casually and feel the summer sun and breezes upon our artificially tanned and plumped skin.

First we need to understand the lexicon of porches - especially if you want to add-on or build a new outdoor space.
Your contractor might hear you describe a "modest porch" and what you're actually asking for is an "17th c. Venetian Piazza!"

May be enclosed by screen, latticework or other light frame walls extending from the main structure. 
 photo porch-mainshot_zpsoek8hsat.jpg

A gallery or corridor at ground level, sometimes higher, on the facade of a building and open air on one side, where it is supported by columns.
 photo original-221_zpsfb58d59e.jpg

An outdoor space that often adjoins a residence and is typically of hard, masonry paving.
 photo p9_zps9e994a3d.jpg

A fanciful name for a colonnaded porch.
 photo MichaelSmith_BuildingBeauty_p092-093_zps887aaeac.jpg

An open pillared gallery generally built around a central structure. It's often partly enclosed by a railing and frequently extends across the front and sides of the structure.
 photo p6_zps0f66f731.jpg

 A garden feature forming a shaded walk or passageway of pillars that support cross-beams and a sturdy open lattice with vines trained across. 
 photo 20080719_are_are_208p.jpg

A freestanding pavilion structure often in parks, gardens and spacious areas and open on all sides
 photo P1010376.jpg

Literally means "beautiful view. It's used as a term for a high porch commanding a nice view.
 photo RobertAMStern5_zpsdc97e2d1.jpg

A wooden outdoor floor, usually elevated
 photo p13_zpse2ce9f47.jpg

An open courtyard-type space surrounded by columns on the interior of a home.
 photo 7villakerylos_zpsbcb79c17.jpg

W  H  A  T' S   Y  O  U  R   S  T  Y  L  E  ?
This covered patio is one of my favorite outdoor spaces, ever! The beautiful striped awning (which is not an expensive addition) with the Moroccan lanterns creates feel of a wonderful Moroccan or Spanish villa. The combo of the wicker with a re-purposed cocktail table keeps the tone down. 
I see flowing white caftans and jeweled sandals!

You're going all like OMG, right? I know!  Wall & floor tiles, cast stone columns and the olive oil jars all add to the 'continental' feeling. The simple furniture allows the architecture and vegetation to be the "star player." 
Hmmmm... maybe a Pucci knit dress and Chanel ballet slippers?

 photo p8_zps63768f79.jpg
GTFO! Some musica di chitarra and vino rossa you're immediately transported to Lago di Como or Ravello.  The classical Italian feel is uncluttered and molto elegante! 
Here, it's definitely a white linen two-piece, hair pulled back with Hermes scarf and bare-feet with coral toe-nail polish!

D  E  C  O  R  A  T  I  N  G    T  R  I  C  K  S

 photo FERGUSON AND SHAMAMIAN12_zpsaedxltux.jpg
Dark Green Painted Ceilings: Yes, they actually make the spaces feel shady and cooler.

 photo porch_zpss0clt1ln.jpg

Pale Blue Ceilings: Pale blue is an old southern tradition.
It lightens and brightens the porch and feels like an open sky

 photo _40-easyandageless-0508-xlg-29082717_zpsacmfkkry.jpg
Keep It Well Edited: The outside view is busy enough, don't incorporate busy patterns or too many colors or your porch look like Sanford and Sons.

 photo Christina Murphy_zpsmgfjpdbi.jpg
Color:  One or two-color schemes are always best. 
Much more impactful and easier to comprehend. Don't compete with the outdoors, you wont win....

 photo 1-SR_sag-harbor21-490x319_zpsy5bpzyqq.jpg
Flowers & Plants: Bring the garden into the porch; blur the lines by bringing plants and trees onto the porch.

 photo a11_zpsklrzsgbb.jpg
Use something usually for an interior space: A pair of chairs, porcelains or lamps.

C  U  R  T  A  I  N  S
There are zillions of outdoor curtain fabrics in many weights, colors and patterns - even sheers! (I know, craycray, right?)
 photo 115193702938662828_KI85scyl_f_zpsmvktkbbl.jpg

Tied back curtains add softness, but also a touch of formality.
 photo antonia_hutt_zpsw15y2230.jpg

 photo 3090470eb28950e3faea874f64ca20a2_zps0vyjngy4.jpg
Porch curtains can be utilitarian too, you can close them to block the sun or abate an evening breeze. 
The idea of softly drifting curtains in the breeze can getcha all romantic too....   

A  P  P  R  O  P  R  I  A  T  E  N  E  S  S

 photo a16_zps4xvu1mqr.jpg
Mediterranean Style
If your home is Mediterranean-style, or southwestern then this direction and flavor is what's appropriate. A warm palette, all iron furniture and masculine architecture are the key elements of this porch.  
This would look silly on a colonial porch in Virginia. 

 photo buatta hilary ross_zps6twb5del.jpg
The grand, All-American porch! 
Using one simple fabric keeps it clean-lined and attractive. The blue and white is woven through the entire outdoor area; paving stones, upholstery, even the flowers in the garden are all blue.
Looks great in the Hampton's, but would look silly and feminine in Texas!   

 photo CHARLOTTE MOSS_zpsaelmocca.jpg
Clean-lined traditional is always a winner!
By editing and keeping it simple, it almost feels contemporary.
The all-white furniture highlights the structure and the mossy-green upholstery blends beautifully with the green of the garden. 
This porch's scheme is great for any region with lush vegetation, but not for a desert, southwest locale. 

 photo 3446fce7cb3dcbf6c7497aa7891709f7_zpsizbvrl4e.jpg
Classic, casual and cool!
Here, the elegance is implied by the architecture, the designer followed through with the decorations and a simple palette.
Would look good anywhere! 

 photo C. Weaks Interiors2_zpsrdxelk1b.jpg
Country-Fried Chic!
The mountains, woods, low-lands or the prairie are the perfect places for this style porch. The causal architecture is enhanced by the suite of matching wicker in pale tones.
This would look odd in Lajolla!

I  N  E  X  P  E  N  S  I  V  E    &    A  W  E  S  O  M  E

 photo 79edb097bd066c1b45fcaf152d42346c_zpsdvs3fpnx.jpg

A little bit of this with a little bit of that!
Their formula for success is they have kept everything white and rattan color.  The accessories are large-scale so they don't get lost in the great outdoors. Small accessories look cutesy and low-budge.

 photo a12_zpswzuf3cvp.jpg

A scrappy cinderblock-walled porch is zhuzhed up by painting tag-sale stuff with pretty paint colors drawn from the rug.

 photo p11_zps5bef1b53.jpg

If you like mid-century - buy a few things at resale shops, CB2 or West Elm that express your style. The success lies in the simplicity here.

 photo a18_zpsilg4atha.jpg

Simplicity + Pier1 = Success

 photo 8f1cbc330cae75d2da21ba36b060a2be_zpspwtdsy4s.jpg

Granny's old stuff will rock da house if you just spray-paint it white and put snapppy colored cushions on it.
Boom, yer done!

You Can Do It, I'm Here To Help!

No comments:


(Jayne Mansfield's Beverly Hills Home ca. 1959) I've never been known to keep my opinions to myself... especially of thos...