Try an arrangement of tulips and hydrangeas. Their arcing form pairs well with bunches of blue blooms.
Capturing the View
The architectural appreciation didn’t stop there. Landscape architect Gavin Duke sketched out the fretwork for a railing to wrap around the porch. Why bother? Because an intricate railing such as this one makes the porch seem more like a room of its own, not just a patio that juts out into a lawn. Still, you want the landscape to come into view, and Mark says copper or bronze screens are a smarter buy. “They oxidize faster and have a way of disappearing into the background better, unlike the galvanized metal ones,” he explains.
Matchy-Matchy Is a No-No
Always decorate your porch as if it’s a room in the house. If the colors are different―à la bold, beachy prints when your rooms indoors have mostly solids and neutrals―the porch will stand out, but in a weird way. Jennifer and Mark chose pieces that flow with the rest of the furniture in the house, aiming for a collected-over-time look. A stone-and-iron table pairs with wooden chairs. Rattan wicker chairs sit underneath copper lanterns. “I’m so glad we screened it in because now this porch feels as cozy as a room in our house, only you get to be outside,” says Jennifer. “People come over, they grab a glass of wine, and they head out there. And when the kids are out there, one of them is always swinging. It just has a really nice feeling.” Just as home should be.
"Steal These Secrets" is from the April 2008 issue of Southern Living.