Friday, June 5, 2015

Bright and Graphic Porch Decorating: Welcome Home Summer Tour

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Today, I'm sharing summer on the screened porch.  Creating this warm and welcoming look is easy. The graphic black and white with pops of bright colors make this porch a perfect place for summer entertaining. I love porches....all of them...especially in the summer!
I grew up in a big old white house.  Well, "big" is probably a bit of a stretch but it seemed big at the time.  It had three bedrooms, only one bathroom and no air conditioning...

but none of that mattered because we had two porches. Those porches that shaped my childhood.


Our front porch had a wood floor which had so many coats of dark green enamel paint on it that it got slippery when it rained and a swing with a back that folded down to convert it into a bed.  My sister and I regularly swung so high that we put a dent in the white porch railing.
There were five wide wooden stairs that provided plenty of space for a group of neighborhood friends trying to decide who was "it" for one of the games of hide and seek which occurred nightly in the summer during the hour or so between dinner and when it got so dark that our friends had to go home. 
The front porch was also where we read books, told stories, and looked at jars full of fireflies.  It was where we ate ice cream bars from the "Street Treat Man" (so that if we dripped, the ants wouldn't come in the house searching for the sugar) and drank pitchers full of Koolaid, lemonade, or iced tea served in plastic glasses on round metal trays.

My childhood home also had a back porch off of the kitchen. Unlike the front porch, the back porch had screens. It also had a metal table and chairs with red vinyl seats which made it a prime location for dinner (and lunch...and sometimes breakfast). It didn't matter what we were eating, everything tasted better when it was eaten on the porch!
The back porch also had a "day bed": a sofa during the day and a twin sized bed at night.  It was where we played cards and board games. It was where my Grandmother braided my sister's hair and taught me how to embroider.

The screened porch was where we slept on rare summer nights. Truth be told, we didn't sleep because we stayed up giggling and telling stories by flashlight until we got too scared of the noises outside and went upstairs to our bedroom. 
It was where my parents sat at night after dinner. Talking, reading the paper, doing crossword puzzles. Away from the mosquitoes but close enough to watch us swimming in the pool or hear us talking to our friends outside.

Screened porches and porch decor have come a long way since I grew up but I still believe that every home should have a porch.  A porch is a place that says "Welcome. We're glad you're here. Stay awhile." It's a place to spend time with family and friends.
A summer porch is a place to eat meals or to just sit down for a glass of something cool to drink and a piece of lemon pound cake after a hard day at work....or kindergarten "field day" like my  darling little friend, Meredith, who surprised me as I was shooting these photos and immediately offered to sample the cake....both kinds.
As we sat on the porch, sipping "Arnold Palmer's" (half sweet tea, half lemonade), eating pound cake, and talking about her day, I remembered so many summers spent doing the very same thing and I thought about how fun it is for me to live across the street from her and to be able to share her porch this summer.

Since I don't currently have a porch, or a kitchen, or even a bedroom with four walls, I asked Meredith's mom if it would be okay if I decorated their screened porch for summer and brought over some snacks. Luckily for me, she said, "YES!"  
To get Meredith's family's porch for summer, I added brightly colored pillows and potted summer plants to their already fabulous sofa, table, and rug.  I got out my Balsam Hill wine barrel cheese tray, sliced some pound cake, put brightly colored daisies (in a glass jar) and some forks into my gold mercury glass votive holder  and Meredith and I had our "spontaneous summer party" on the porch. 
Balsam Hill (the same company with the fabulous Christmas trees) also has an entire line of home decor and furnishings including my wine barrel tray. It's made from the top of a real wine barrel and has iron handles which makes it strong enough to carry a pitcher of Arnold Palmer's and pound cake to the porch....
                                                                                                        or shish kebabs to and from the grill.

 Of course, I do also use the cheese tray for cheese and the votive holders to hold candles when we sit on the patio at night talking, having a glass of wine, and listening to the neighborhood children talk. Amazingly, the conversations haven't changed all that much since I was 12. They just include more "technology".
If you'd like more ideas and inspiration to  make your home, porch, or patio say "Welcome Home, Welcome Summer!" simply click the links below to see how 24 of my blogger friends make their homes welcoming. 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday


 I hope that you enjoyed learning a little bit about my childhood and seeing the graphic and colorful screened porch decor and summer afternoon treat on my friend's porch.  Who knows? Maybe by next year, I'll have a porch of my own!




Thanks for reading!
Disclosure: Some of the products used in this post were provided by Balsam Hill. As always, I only write about products that I love and use in my own home and feel would be of interest to my readers. All opinions about my experience with the product are 100% my own.