Sunday, 24 March 2013

Southern porches

March has been a really lazy month around our house. Recovering from the exhaustion of getting two grants submitted on the 1st and then taking almost two weeks for vacation didn't leave much in the way of time (or motivation) to get any projects done.

I've been giving some thought to spring/summer projects, though. Within the next year or two we really need to replace the front porch on our house as the ceiling of it is starting to leak. Which, I'm sure, means that there's rotting timber in there. And since we actually use the upper level balcony as it's a walk out from our bedroom, I'd like to make sure it's sound so that we don't come crashing down through it some day.

Right now the porch spans the full width of the house, and the upper level is an open balcony.  The front of the house faces west and we get the full afternoon sun, so our bedroom is nice and bright. But the porch blocks the light from coming into the living room, so it's always dim in there. While it's nice to have the space outside, the tradeoff of the dark living room isn't worth it to me. Especially since we really only use this outdoor space about 4-5 months of the year.

I think that when we replace it we'll just build across half of the house to leave the living room window uncovered. This will give us a much smaller porch and balcony, but I think it will be fine. When the kids were younger it was always packed with strollers and ride-on toys, but the strollers are gone and we store their bikes in the shed now. And we can always include some storage space under the porch for their hockey sticks and roller blades.

With porches on my mind, I found myself lusting after the ones we saw in South Carolina. While I love the big, beautiful, two story wrap-around porches

I think that I might actually prefer the smaller, more casual ones. The one below really caught my eye;  I loved the separate seating areas for dining and relaxing, as well as the small enclosed garden surrounding the house.

I could just imagine myself coming home and looking though the ivy-covered gate to see the boys playing cards on the porch with Tessa curled up at their feet.

I know that the reality would likely be more along the lines of them chasing each other around the garden, firing pretend guns, wrestling, screaming, all while being circled by a barking dog, but a girl can dream!

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