Screened porches are peaceful retreats that strike a balance between indoor and outdoor living spaces. Unlike an open deck or patio, a porch offers protection from sun exposure, rain showers and flying insects. Depending on where you live, porches can be enjoyed year-round or for multiple seasons. To maximize comfort and optimize charm, planning is needed to outfit your porch. Julie Tweedie and her family relax on their Blaine, Maine, porch from early spring to late fall, and she enjoys making it a cozy, inviting space in any season. Here are some of her decorating tips:
One of Amy Thomas’ signature decorating motifs includes incorporating both fresh and faux foliage in the design schemes that fill the rooms of her Marion, New York, home. “By simply adding wreaths, sprigs of eucalyptus, and other greenery, you can create a warmth within the room and a natural pop of color regardless of the season,” she says. Try out her ideas for incorporating a bit of nature’s bounty in your own home.
You’ve amassed a trove of china, porcelain, pottery and other dishware over the years, or perhaps inherited them from a generation or two of loved ones. How can you integrate these treasures into your decor? Pat Kennedy, who adores crocks, children’s feeding dishes and ironstone, helped round up some ideas for dazzling dish displays that she uses throughout her west-central Minnesota home.
“I love a bargain,” Darlene Sonnheim admits. “I think everyone does.” She and her husband, Steve, have seen many changes in the antiques world since they began collecting almost 40 years ago. Walking miles at a local flea market trolling for treasure is more difficult now than it used to be, Darlene observes, and she’s sad to report that a number of her favorite local antiques shops have closed. However, the internet has opened new doors and been the source of many of the treasures that fill the couple’s home in the town of Vernon, Wisconsin. “And it’s always open,” Darlene points out with a laugh. She offers the following tips for shopping and scoring online:
When the holiday season is all wrapped up, Vickie Rutherford doesn’t remove all the trimmings from her Wellington, Ohio, home. Instead, she looks for ways to extend the charm of some decorations well into the new year. “I leave up a lot of greens and mini lights after Christmas,” she says. “I love that it makes my home still feel warm.” Stretch the shelf life of Christmas decor another month or two by incorporating Vickie’s winter decorating ideas throughout your own spaces.
Nicki Leathers admits to displaying 62 Christmas trees of various shapes and sizes throughout her approximately 2,500-square-foot Sigourney, Iowa, home last year. “What is more Christmassy than a Christmas tree?” she asks. “We love them and feel like it gives the perfect Christmas touch to each room,” she says. “My mom also loves Christmas trees; growing up, we had at least one (or more) in each room of the house, so I just carried on that tradition with my own family.” She details five ideas for trimming multiple trees with ease.
Are you looking for inventive ways to display your collectibles? Do you wish to free up floor space throughout your home? Follow Jean Moyer’s lead and look to your walls, outfitting them with unique shelving alternatives in varied sizes as she has done in her Telford, Pennsylvania, home. Selecting timeworn finishes or mellowed patinas will highlight collections in a way that is compatible with many styles of country decor.
One of the joys of decorating is adding personality to each room, and incorporating textiles is a great way to place a unique stamp on your spaces, as Colleen Charlton did in her Chehalis, Washington, abode. Try her ideas for utilizing fabric flourishes in your home.
Nancy Woodrow didn’t have a decorating strategy in mind for accessorizing her Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, home with folk art. She simply followed her instincts and assembled groupings that pleased her. However, she offers several tips that are easily adaptable to any country-style home.
Brenda and Mike Kilgore's Orrick, Missouri, home was made for entertaining. "I do family dinners every Sunday for my four kids and grandkids," says Brenda, who espouses the benefits of tough and durable furnishings. "I don't want anybody to ever worry. I want a place my kids can put their feet up, be at home, and not worry about what my grandkids are going to do." She shares a few simple strategies for creating an inviting and open space for entertaining friends and family: