Our front porch is what you might call diminutive. At the least, it could use this to sass it up:
If it were bigger, then we could create what all the home catalogs are calling "outdoor living rooms." West Elm, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrell, Restoration Hardware, these retailers all send me catalogs, which I page through and then recyle, lest I be tempted. But part of me also has to chuckle as this trendy concept they've "invented." Because really, people in the South have had outdoor living rooms since they started building houses. They're called porches. Urban planners and especially New Urbanist types will agree. Everything old is new again, including attractive outdoor furniture and decor.
My regular email from Garden and Gun also reminds me that a whole culture surrounding porch living has evolved in the South, and of course there's a book to help you out here:
The book includes such lovely porchscapes as:
Are these not places where you'd like to pull out your grandmother's crystal punch bowl and serve this? (via Garden and Gun's Talk of the South newsletter)
6 cups water
2 cups strong tea
2 cups bourbon
1 cup sugar
One 6-ounce container frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
One 6-ounce container frozen lemon juice concentrate, thawed
Garnish: Mint sprigs or lemon slices (optional)
Combine the water, tea, bourbon, sugar, orange and lemon juice concentrate in a large container or bowl, and mix until sugar dissolves. Pour into two gallon-size freezer bags. Freeze until an hour before serving. Place the frozen punch in a large bowl and let thaw, breaking up every 15 minutes. When punch is melted, add more ice or water as desired. Serve in punch cups. Garnish, if desired.
2 cups water
1 family-size or 4 regular tea bags
Boil the water. Add the tea bag(s) and let steep until cool. Discard the tea bag(s) and set aside.