A blog from Visual Jill, East Bay Interior Design

A blog from Visual Jill, East Bay Interior Design

Friday, January 14, 2011

Outdoor Decor: An Unexpected Room

Porches conjure up so many images: grand Southern porches with rocking chairs and porch swings and pitchers of lemonade, urban stoops piled with potted plants offering a hint of escape from the concrete jungle. To me, porches are like the window seat in a restaurant, or the cafe tables on the sidewalk. I love being able to relax and enjoy the comforts of home, while being a part (peripherally, at least) of the outside world. It's a different feeling from sitting inside, and sometimes, it's the perfect change of scenery. Here's some ideas for making an unexpected (and truly inviting) room from your porch.

A few plants go a long way in creating lush-feeling surroundings for the far end of the front porch. And do you recognize that spruce tree in the corner from our Holiday post? The porch is a great place to place your living tree until next holiday season! Throw some fun pillows on the chairs or swing, put out a cozy blanket, and you're all set.
Sketch Book pillow - West Elm :: Spruce tree - Flowerland :: Succulents and small white pots - Flora Grubb
For some easy modern art objects, we love these new hanging bubbles from West Elm. Air plants have been showing up all over the place, and they are the perfect occupants for these glass houses. When paired with some beautiful moss-covered branches they feel fresh and calming.
Bubbles - West Elm :: Air plants and mossy branches - Flowerland

Placed next to the front door, these chairs are so comfortable you might just sit and stay a while after taking off your rain boots or muddy shoes. A sunny splash of mustard yellow makes them even more enticing and inviting. I can just imagine sitting here with a friend enjoying a hot cup of coffee, fresh scones from The Cheeseboard, and the Sunday edition of the New York Times...
Mustard pillows - Anthropologie :: Solid pillows - West Elm :: Owl - Flowerland
For a bit of unexpected delight, try hanging or placing some artwork outside. This sweet, colorful canvas was a flea market find, and while it might not fit-in on a wall of Picasso's, it's perfectly at home (and wonderfully refreshing) leaning casually against the window surrounded by plants.
Painting - Alameda Antique Fair :: White pots - Ikea :: plants - Flowerland
So whether you've go a full-sized, southern-style wrap-around, or just a bit of stoop under the awning, there's no reason your porch should be ignored. A chair, a cushion, and a plant can set you up to enjoy a whole new "room" of your house, and maybe get to know the neighborhood!

* Credits: Kyoko Jackson - photography

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