After writing my blog, “There are many stories told and memories made on our porches,” illustrating how meaningful our ‘verandas’ are in our lives, I decided to compose a writing on a variety of wondrous ideas for ‘dressing up” your porch for all the prominent seasons. Decorating is so much fun and it is not only a gift to us and our family but to our friends and neighbors as well. When we lived in Arizona, we had the cutest cottage home, tucked away in the Historic district, with a wrap around porch. Each autumn season, I created a fall tableau on our porch, with scarecrows, bales of hay, pumpkins, and home made characters amongst an array of motley and bodacious fall foliage. There were days I would see the cutest little kids outside our home, just staring at the porch, smiling. One day they told me my home was their favorite in the neighborhood… It really touched me that something I loved doing so much, could make someone else so happy! I hope that porches ‘all dressed up for the holidays’ inspires you the whole year through!
Our Porches, the very first ‘impression’ our guests have of our beautiful havens are festooned in a glorious array of wintry and festive Cheer…
“Winter came to our home one night, Quietly pirouetting on silvery toed slippers of snow, And we were children once again.” ~ Bill Morgan Jr.
“Winter, when the bold branches bid farewell to rainbow leaves.”
Living on the east coast, (originally from Southern California,) I undoubtedly adore the four seasons, winter being one of my all time favorites. For January, after our beloved Christmas is over, it gives me great joy to create a “wintry – wonderland” within my home and on my porch. (I have a delightful collection of snowmen in all sizes and shapes.) One of my largest snowmen stands uprightly on our front porch, along with his girlfriend, (my snow lady, Bianca. ) She mirthfully sits in a high back, white wooden rocking chair, charming all the people passing by. I have an authentic,’eye catching’ and very treasured sleigh that my brother surprised me with one Christmas in California that I ‘load up’ with wintry bears adorned in motley, warm sweaters.They look like they are ‘having the ride of their life!’ 🙂 I always have a wintery wreath hanging on my front porch door that says “welcome.” (You guessed it, with snowmen!) And you can’t leave out , the most jolly and impressive snowmen of all…snowmen made out of REAL SNOW! They are not only magical and festive, but they are a ‘wondrous memory’ with you and your family as you created these lifelike, happy and charming characters together. 🙂
Light posts with fresh greens are so gracious and add a refined wintry look…they are quite welcoming and festive. I adore the lighted birdhouse inside the porch…not only is it creative, and one of a kind but it is also enchanting and sublime. (It makes me want to run over to Micheal’s craft store, and buy all the materials to make one right away! ) 🙂 You can never go wrong with an abundance of firs and cedar branches draped upon your bannisters and front door, and of course, a touch of magic with twinkling white lights intertwined within the fresh greens. January holds all of our resolutions, (successful or not, they are heart -felt,) hopes and dreams for the year ahead and many visions of white fluffy days, creating snow angels, making snowmen, having snowball fights and enjoying an array of delicious comfort foods cooking in our ovens, helping to keep our homes toasty and warm. (And our tummies!) 🙂
“I don’t understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentines day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.” ~ Author unknown
“Who, being loved, is poor?” ~Oscar Wilde
Valentines day is a colorful, fun day to celebrate and yes, another opportunity to decorate! 🙂 These porches are bedecked with a classy, yet simple valentines theme and create that ‘feel good’ emotion within. I keep my snowmen up in February, since after all, it is still winter. I do put hearts on them though! 🙂 I also create a Valentines themed tree and add shimmering hearts intertwined in my garlands upon my hutches. I love the vivacious and passionate color of red, so it’s one of my favorite holidays to dress up the house and porch with. Valentines wreaths and flower baskets are great decor touches to enhance your porches as well. I adore the rose wreath and wouldn’t mind that piece of decor, all year round! 🙂
“Spring is natures way of saying; “LETS PARTY.” ~ Robin Williams
“Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
Spring is a season filled to the brim with hope, promises of new life, bright colors and warm, blue skies…(Well, most of spring! ) 🙂 It is a busy time for those of us who love to festoon our havens. These homes are all so diverse. Nature is the designer of color in the first spring home.. The foliage with it’s many hues of pinks, reds, and purples is breathtaking , creating an alluring and sightly front porch. The other homes chose a little more inventive and imaginative decor style, each host adding their tastes of spring’s illustrious arrival. I love the garlands, magical rabbits, topiary trees , bright colored eggs and the adorable ceramic bunnies. Quite unique and a wondrous idea, the porch with the large chalkboard is a ‘keeper’ for future decor ideas. What a portentous place to wish your neighbors and family a joyous season, no matter the time of the year. (The basket filled with moss, hosting a comfy berth for the adorable baby chicks is so noble and crafty.) It would be a fun and easy art creation to make with friends.
“Summer fun has arrived with all it’s many gifts of pleasure, excitement, exploring and the enjoyment of being outdoors in the gorgeous sunshine.
“Summer. A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing and the lawn mower is broken.” ~ James Dent
“If a June night could talk, it would probably boast it invented romance.” ~Bern Williams
It’s time for trips to the beach, walking the Boardwalk, enjoying homemade saltwater taffy, sunbathing, picnics, pool parties, scary thunderstorms, camp outs, bonfires, grilling burgers and steaks with our friends and enjoying the performance of the renowned, magical, enchanting and lovely fireflies in our yards as the gloaming hours appear.
Our decorating is a little lighter, a bit more colorful and easy to keep up with as our days are now filled to overflowing with busyness and activities. It’s vacation time. The time for sleep overs for the kids, maintaining our gardens in the sweltering heat and visiting the farmers markets for fetching hanging baskets and a myriad of flowers for our pots. We begin to cook lighter, ( preparing more healthy inspired cuisine with our garden vegetables and herbs.) It’s a time for the Peach and Apple festivals, eating an abundance of delectable Cold Stone ice cream cones and enjoying one of the best things ever created in this world….Air conditioning! (Its for the times you want to escape the heat and are already wishing it was our beloved autumn or winter again!) 🙂
All of these summer porches evoke fun, playfulness, color and rejuvenation. (Exactly what you want your porch to be after long days away, when your only desire upon arriving home is to kick off your shoes, grab a cold drink and have a few moments of repose before cooking dinner.)
In the midst of our hot summer months, we can’t forget the eventful and meaningful holiday, Independence day, other wise know as the 4th of July!
“Where Liberty dwells, there is my country.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
“Liberty is the breath of life to the nations.” ! George Bernard Shaw
It is funny, within our travels and all the people we have met, the 4th of July is either a ‘really big’ celebration and colossal event in peoples lives, or it is just a ‘so-so’ affair. Growing up, it was a time of family gatherings, homemade fried chicken, freshly fried potatoes, Cole slaw, butter beans and layered biscuits. My mom would create a lovely and festive red, white and blueberry dessert! 🙂 After our tummies were full, we either all piled into our station wagon, (7 kids) and went to a nearby college auditorium, the cliffs at Coronal Del Mar beach or watched the extravaganza from our homes, as the firework’s filled the skies with their magical colors and fantastic display of much appreciated technical and artistic skill. All anyone could hear were a thousand ‘oohs and awes.’ It was a time of refection, thankfulness for our freedom and counting how many summer vacation days were left until school started. 🙂 We could hardly wait to get home so my dad would give us all some sparkler’s to run around the yard with. (They were like magic wands as they fizzled and glowed in the dark.) Now as an adult, I enjoy this holiday but I have never been a big fan of decorating for it. After seeing some of these porches and observing such great ideas, I think this summer will be different! 🙂 All these porches are very summery yet simple, highlighted with the patriotic colors of red, white and blue! Very beautiful!
FALL IS IN THE AIR! Can you feel it ?
Fall is my favorite time of the year for decorating…The autumn season is such a welcomed change from the hot summer days and the warm reds, bright yellows, smoky browns and purples are back in style. The air is brisk, the fire is always burning in the fireplace and for some reason, there is always a great, scary, but not to scary, suspenseful thriller movie on! 🙂 The magnificent and kaleidoscopic fallen leaves blanket the barren ground…its time to get our bread makers out and find that one savored recipe for homemade chili and cornbread. (Hey, with the cooler temperatures, we will burn off those calories off in no time at all! ) 🙂
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ` Albert Camus
“Delicious Autumn! My very soul is wedded to it and if it were a bird, I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” ~ George Eliot
I find that out of all the season’s, Autumn and Christmas are the two most popular for house and porch decorating. When my husband and I lived in Alexandria Virginia, I would take Grantham for walks in our neighborhood every evening around twilight, the famous gloaming hour. 🙂 The air was so crisp, the breeze just perfect upon my cheeks as it’s aroma was that of wood burning in a fire place somewhere close by. The golden streets, (from the sun’s descent,) were filled with homes that exuded the very essence of the fall season. It was almost as if each home, tried to outdo the one before it and next to it.) (A little competition going on there 🙂 ) I loved that Graham and I got daily exercise but mostly, I enjoyed the wonderment I beheld of autumn arriving with all of it’s bounty of gifts. Some homes were very refined, tailored and classy with large pumpkins amongst bales of hay, charming scarecrows standing throughout the yard, soft amber lights twinkling in the trees as well as around the front porch, (hidden in the grapevine garlands as well as the wreath upon the front door.) There were fall leaves everywhere and ample planters filled with beautiful mums in bright yellow and a rich purple. The combination of the cold air and the feelings of fall displayed liberally amongst the street, truly made me feel like a child again. (Even Graham had a kick in his step. 🙂 ) I could hardly wait to see the next home…There were some homes that had their hearts set on Halloween decor more so than celebrating fall…(Those houses were on the scary side. ) Bone white, (no pun intended 🙂 ) lanky skeletons hung from the trees as pitch black bats were mounted, (upside down of course,) upon a few of the branches on the tree limbs that were bare. There were cobwebs, spiders, a Frankenstein monster as well as the renowned ‘mummy’ and then of course the coffins which had R.I.P. painted upon them. Graham kind of ‘trotted by those homes,’….He does not go for all the scary stuff! (Except of course if a real black cat just happened to be lurking around in the midst of the graveyard, then he would be chasing that cat in a flash and be part of their spooky display. 🙂 Trying to catch him would be even spookier for me! 🙂
These porches are all stunningly filled with bounteous ideas for your fall porch amidst all the vibrant hues of golds, reds, copper, russet, purples and orange. How about a Pumpkin carving party along with a ladies Tea on your newly decorated piazza. Maple and pecan scones with fresh unsalted butter, carrot soup, pumpkin bread and a delicious autumn spiced tea?
There is not a whole lot to add to your fall verandah, if you have decorated for the autumn season. It you have festooned your porch for ‘Trick-or-treaters,’ along with a spooky atmosphere, you may want to replace it now with a little fall decor. Scarecrows are so easy to make as well as displaying plenty of plump pumpkins, fall garlands and Pilgrims giving thanks. It is a wonderful holiday and we have so much to celebrate and be thankful for!
IT”S Beginning to look a lot like Christmas…The one magical season that SPEAKS IT”S PRAISE all by itself!
“Christmas weaves a magic wand over the world and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale
“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas time.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder
Every porch is bedecked with yuletide JOY! At Christmas, the wealth that nature alone sends our way, is more than a bounty to decorate with. We are gifted with the riches of firs, cedar branches, wild berries, mistletoe, ivy, bay and a potpourri of evergreens, cranberries and apples, (of all colors.) For a polished, refined look, use cranberry red and shimmering gold ribbon intertwined in the garlands hanging around your front door or upon your wreaths and balustrades. This wintry Christmas garden wreath is exquisite…I can easily see that in front of a large mansion, B&B or even a small cottage!
It is the time of year where a little extra light is needed as the days are short and the nights long. Topiary trees, outdoor Christmas trees or garland around our outside bannisters, interlaced and weaved with glittering white lights is festive and fairy tale like, evoking a CELEBRATION!
If you are blessed with a home on the water, and a dock that travels out to your boat, decorating your walkway with lights and a small tree is stunning! Having a beautifully festooned Christmas porch is not only a feast for the eyes but a respite for the soul. By the time you accomplish all of your ‘holiday To Do list,’ ( the boat parade, caroling, sledding with your kids, making snowmen, baking, parties, shopping, wrapping, guests and your church candle light service,) your body and soul will gladly appreciate that wicker chair, warm Christmas throw, apple cinnamon candle burning, twinkling white lights, the smell of fresh greens and a big mug of hot cocoa.) (And of course a space heater to warm your toes! 🙂
“MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT! ” (And be inspired to dress up your porches! 🙂 ~ The chubby guy all dressed in red with a long beard. 🙂
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