SB NOTE: If the porch featured today seems vaguely familiar, that’s because we included a photo or two in our May post, Beautiful Southern Porches. Our Louisville Editor Heidi Potter fell in love with this porch not only for its beauty, but for the stories behind all of the pieces the homeowner and designer, Elaine Crockett, has collected and placed here. It’s a welcoming space, perfect for making new memories that also harkens back to Elaine’s family and her childhood farm in central Kentucky. Enjoy!
My husband and I did not change much about our porch when we moved into our home four years ago. Among the earliest homes designed by Louisville architect Stratton Hammon [known for his Colonial Revival homes], we were drawn to this house–the informality and simplicity of the large screened-in front porch seemed so welcoming. The concrete floor, exterior painted brick wall, wooden shutters and posts form the basis of the porch, and we saw little to improve.
A fresh coat of paint and updated electricals were in order.
We then purposefully created a blank slate by painting the furniture the same color as the home exterior and covering the cushions in pale gray.
Consequently, I am at liberty to completely alter the look and feel of the space seasonally, or as a special event invites me to do, by swapping out pillows, switching rugs from sisal to oriental, replacing earthenware with silver, or lamps with candle light, or flannel to linen.
Having some good, old pieces to ground a space opens up endless opportunities to add interest with current style.
My childhood home on a central Kentucky farm had a lovely front porch with a wonderful porch swing.
That porch swing, and much of the wicker that accompanied it, are on my front porch now. Two of my rocking chairs belonged to my grandmother and each of my three sons were rocked in these chairs as babies.
I love keeping a bit of history, especially family history, around me. It reminds me of what’s important.
The small Oushak rug on our porch was once a fine specimen belonging to a beloved aunt. Her beloved dachshund chewed away a corner, making it just shabby enough to justify using on the porch.
Adding modern elements like custom pillows and metal ribbon chairs from Bittners provides balance.
And every porch should be a home to a textured variety of healthy green plants for a graceful transition from home to lawn and garden.
We’ve allowed the boxwood and viburnum to grow practically unkempt to provide shade and privacy.
The floors remain predominately bare, which makes mopping away the accumulated Ohio Valley pollen easy. The same can be said for favoring glass and mirrored table tops–they’re easy to clean and maintain. All-weather fabrics (available in a wide array of colors and patterns) are so durable that it is possible to depend upon cushions and slip covers to hold up season after season.
It may be unusual to have a screened porch in front of the house, but we have found it to be an enjoyable setting that incorporates many things we appreciate: a comfortable seat, a pleasing view of my neighbor’s beautiful yard, a relaxing venue to entertain, a gathering spot for our sons and their friends as they come and go, and the perfect place to read, listen to music, and relax a bit on a pretty, or stormy, day.
Thank you, Elaine, for sharing your wonderful story and your “room with a view” with us. To contact Elaine, please email her at [email protected]. The Bittners Showroom is located at 731 East Main Street in downtown Louisville. www.bittners.com
Bittners: Pillows, metal ribbon chairs, mirrored table, leather hurricanes, collapsible leather stools, wooden box planters.
Roberts Antiques: Wrought iron gate fragment table tops, crock, brass and copper planters, eagle statuary.
Paul’s Fruit Market: plants
St. Matthew’s Feed and Seed: plants
Nettles Slip Covers: furniture cushions