Growing up in the San Fernando Valley (you know, where “valley girls” are from) we never used our front porches much. I really cannot think of anyone on my parent’s block who sits out there on a warm summer night. Everyone is safely tucked away in backyards. All of LA isn’t like that, it’s just the experience I had as a kid.
So imagine my shock when we moved to the Highlands area of Denver and front porches are as, if not more, important than backyards. Parties spill out from kitchens and living rooms onto the front porch. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons you see parents watching little ones play in the front yard while sipping beer and wine from where…the porch of course! I absolutely love the friendly neighborhood culture it creates. Furthermore, money is tight for tackling our monster of a completely bare backyard, so sprucing up our porch seems like a much more realistic endeavor. In fact, we’ve already made great progress by taking advantage of six pots left behind by the former owners!
Given my recent front porch obsession (which is keeping me slightly distracted from how much I want to find a filing cabinet to complete the office and two area rugs to “complete” our upstairs living/dining rooms) I was excited when the June issue of This Old House had several features on outdoor spaces, including porches. When you own a home built in 1928 this magazine is a must have and typically, the products that are recommended are very nice without being ridiculous on the budget meter.
A few finds that got my creative juices flowing included adding a pop of color with two bright chairs like these vintage-looking aluminum seats. We already have two hooks for a porch swing so I want something classic and Americana in nature, to eventually match the color scheme we hope to paint the trim when we find the cash. This white swing would work just fine.
Back to adding color, I love the thought of hanging a few birdhouses–Anthropologie has some gorgeous Brush Flick Birdhouses online and the latest catalog. Finally, This Old House has some killer ideas for growing fruits and vegetables in pots. Since we won’t be able to get a garden area built in the backyard this year I’d love to use a tiered corner plant stand out front (away from Kona) to try my hand at a few fruits/vegetables that don’t require tons of direct sun.
There is much to do, and even more money to save, but we’re savoring every moment!