The front porch: as American as apple pie.

April 2nd, 2008 by Heather Dyer

One of the most relaxing places of the home is the front porch.  Whether enjoyed during a quiet morning moment sipping hot tea or during a luxurious moment of dark silence admiring the wonder of the open night sky, a front porch is an American symbol of home, family, and prosperity.

A front porch is relaxing and cozy enough that very little effort needs to be exerted to turn ordinary into extraordinary.  Here are a few inexpensive solutions that can be used and repeated year after year.

For as long as there have been front porches, there have been front porch swings with which to enjoy them!  Select a sturdy, high quality swing that will endure the elements well.  If a swing isn’t an option, consider a glider bench or rocking chair – or both.  If possible, choose a piece that will match the wood of your porch or the trim of your house.  Add to your furniture with a side table for flowers or potted plants and a long narrow table for books, magazines, and pitchers of homemade lemonade.

Don’t let your beautiful porch look neglected with old and peeling paint.  With a few gallons of primer and paint, a few heavy duty sanding blocks, and a concentrated weekend of time, one can easily bring their beloved front porch back to life.

Display the stars and stripes with pride.  It doesn’t get more American than that.

During summer, have a handful of pillows or cushions of varying size and shape to help yourself or your guests make yourself cozy and comfy.

Accessorize according to season.  In spring, fill large pots and planters to overflowing with spring bulb plants and flowers.  In summer, more greenery and blooms, plus – space permitting – perhaps a small table to display a vase of fresh cut flowers and to hold a pitcher of iced tea.  In fall, pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, bound straw, and potted mums are a definite pleaser.  In winter, while furniture is stored indoors, consider a lit artificial Christmas tree, a decorative wreath hanging and a silk poinsettia potted next to the front door, and the porch and house trimmed with lights.  Consider the use of artificial plants and silk flower arrangements in your front porch decorating.  They require little to no maintenance and are so lifelike and convincing that even the most experienced green-thumb often needs a touch-test to be sure.

In our busy, non-stop, go-go-go world, carving out times for relaxation will reduce the adverse health affects of stress and make you more enjoyable to be around.   Put your own front porch to use this year and live at a slower, more relaxed pace.

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