Beinvenue friends…and beinvenue SUMMER! Today I am thrilled to hosting the “Spring Into Summer” Porches, Patios and Outdoor Spaces Blog Hop where twenty fabulous blogging friends and I are getting together to share ideas for decorating various outdoor areas for summer. You can find links to all of the beautiful blogs at the end of this post. After weeks of battling pollen and rain, my husband and I were finally able to get the porch cleaned up last weekend. I ended up doing some unexpected restyling of the porch which resulted in a refreshed look in my favorite French (vintage) cottage and garden style. Come on up to the porch and take a look around!
As soon as you step on the porch, the country French cottage and garden theme is evident. A pretty basket of fragrant, real lavender sits on an old whitewashed pressed back chair, while the door is simply adorned with a whitewashed tobacco basket and faux lavender swag tied up with a simple, loose burlap bow. We haven’t had a chance to scrub and clean the pollen and grime from the front of our house and stairs leading up to the porch yet, so this odd angle (I was standing on the porch stairs trying to balance the tripod) is the best I can get to show you the entry to the porch for now. The faux lavender on the door almost looks real, as if it were just picked from the lavender in the basket.
If you have “toured” our porch before then you might notice right away that the vintage sewing machine that used to sit just to the right of the door is gone. A beautiful French etagere garden stand is now in it’s place and I just love it! When we removed the furniture off the porch to clean off all the pollen I noticed immediately that the unidentifiable musty, moldy smell I had been smelling for over a year was gone. With the sewing machine and old steamer trunk sitting out on the sidewalk it was obvious that the smell was coming from both pieces. I know all my vintage loving friends are feeling my pain about getting rid of these pieces, but I am extremely sensitive to molds and mildews so I just couldn’t risk keeping them or fooling with refinishing them.
The porch looked so plain and empty without the sewing machine and trunk, and I only had two days until the porch hop so I was a wee bit worried about whether or not I could pull off this tour, especially with all the rain in the forecast! As my junkin’ luck would have it however, I spotted a old plant stand crammed in a back corner at a local greenhouse on Friday morning. I decided to take a chance and ask the owner if she would want to sell it, and she ended up making me a great deal! It was in pretty bad shape, but I brought it straight home and gave it new life with black Rustoleum metal paint to match our antique porch furniture. If you look closely you will notice that the swirls and curls in the plant stand design mimic the swirls and curls in the chairs, which makes the plant stand and chairs look like they are a set. What a cool and unexpected surprise!
Even the window boxes under the music room window just to the left side of the porch have a similar design. Everything always just seems to come together with my junkin’ finds!
Hanging above the etagere is an “Au Petite Jardin Maison Des Fleurs” canvas that I recently found at a thrift shop (it was originally from Hobby Lobby). I think it looks perfect in this spot!
Even before deciding to get rid of the sewing machine and trunk, the painting gave me the inspiration to redecorate with a French cottage garden theme on the porch for summer. Last week I took down the old chalkboard that was hanging above the sewing machine and hung up the Jardin painting, but it didn’t look very good above the sewing machine. However, I do think it looks great above the “new” plant stand! I won’t be able to keep this painting out on the porch permanently due to dampness in the air, but I plan to make a weather friendly version by scanning the image, enlarging it, and decoupaging it onto wood and then sealing it with polyurethane. I will share all about project when it is finished.
How adorable are these little topiaires from Pier One Imports? I found them on clearance for $1.99 just a couple of days ago. They came in little black plastic pots, but I gave them a quick upcycle simply by changing the pots. I placed one of them down in one of my favorite mini-French urns and another one in a little DIY French peat pot that I made.
I just finished painting the shelf yesterday and it was still drying while I was taking pictures of different areas of the porch. I am not sure exactly how it will end up being styled, but for now I am displaying the little topiaries, an urn with succulents, and a few garden accents on the top shelf. The second shelf is styled with a French gray washed basket of lavender, my favorite Beinvenue (welcome) sign, and some petunias and rosemary in whitewashed clay pots.
I put a big basket on the bottom shelf for extra pillows. I just found the basket Saturday morning at a church rummage sale for $2.00, just in time for the porch tour!
The rest of the porch is decorated with a mix of French cottage and vintage country-cottage-garden style decor. A few weeks ago I found some yellow buffalo check pillows at Aldi which match great with our yellow bricks. I was planning on using them alone on the chairs for summer, but then I found the cutest vintage style outdoor pillows with flower graphics on clearance for $9.99 at Pier One and I couldn’t pass them up! The green in the leaves on the pillows matches so well with our bright green chair pads.
For extra French farmhouse flair I brought out the black ticking stripe pillows from the breakfast nook and I really love the mix of colors and patterns of all the pillows. The green chair pads aren’t very thick so having extra pillows is a must for comfort. When the extra pillows aren’t in use they can be stored conveniently in the storage ottoman in the center of the porch (also a recent Aldi) find.
A real potted lavender topiary adds a true touch of Provence to the porch. I “borrowed” it from my herb garden just for the porch tour. It needs more sunlight than the porch gets, but I like it so well here I think I will DIY a faux lavender topiary to put in it’s place.
A classic faux boxwood sphere in a wooden urn is a new addition to the porch this summer. It looks exactly like very expensive ones I have seen at Pottery Barn, Ballard Designs or Frontgate, but I actually found it at Big Lots for much less!
I love, love, love ferns for summer porch (through fall) decorating! They give our porch such a southern feeling and they really love seem to love the lighting on the front of our house which is partially shady most of the day. With the privacy shutters open to reveal a natural privacy hedge of burning bushes, and the ferns and flowers on display all around the porch, the whole porch just has the most comfy and inviting southern feeling. I thought I would be so sad without the sewing machine and trunk, but I like this new look so much better and there is much more room too.
This pretty French wooden box was filled with the most beautiful forced bulb daffodils this spring. For now it temporarily holds some Black Eyed Susans until they are permanently planted in the old-fashioned cottage perennial garden I am starting around back. For a quick arrangement I “underplanted” the real flowers with faux thyme to fill in the gaps.
Our new storage ottoman in the center of the porch is designed for outdoor use so no worries about mold. On top of the ottoman is my new French farmhouse basket tray with some of my favorite garden books, a refreshing summer drink, easy-care faux plants and some recent vintage junkin’ finds. I absolutely love sitting on the porch reading decorating books, decorating magazines and gardening books while listening to the birds singing in the forest just across the street.
Our porch isn’t enclosed so I take all the reading material back inside at night due to dampness, but they are easy to tote back and forth in my cute thrifted basket with a nice tall handle. I have to say that this new French styled porch (with a bit of southern flair) is already feeling like my happy place and I know I am going to be spending lots of time here this summer.
In addition to cold brew iced coffee, my favorite summer drink is lemon water with fresh mint from my herb garden. This year I am adding some fresh lavender sprigs too. So refreshing! The little rose faux rose is also from Pier One. It looks so real from a distance.
This week I found these amazing vintage coasters at a thrift shop. They have the prettiest design with little birds and flowers on them. They remind me of a William Morris wallpaper design and I love them!
The blue Chinoiserie style pot was a .50 yard sale score this weekend too. Love it too!
I have had so much fun adding bright and happy colors and some new looks to our porch for summer! During the second week of June I will be sharing my summer home tour, so be sure to stop back by to see how I am adding pops of color and vintage French touches inside our home for summer too. If you love color inspiration, you might also want to check out my latest Pin Away Wednesdays post, Colorful Interiors.
Well dear friends I hope you have enjoyed taking a look around our refreshed summer porch with some new French cottage and garden style accents and a bit of classic southern appeal. Our porch is truly one of our favorite parts of our home. Our neighborhood is very quiet and surrounded by woods. Both of our neighbors across the street have stunning historic English style homes with woodland garden and landscapes that merge into the forest providing us with what we feel are some of the most picturesque views in town. I am so looking forward to lazy summer days and quiet evenings spent relaxing here!
Now I absolutely can’t wait to see all of the other porches, patios, and gardens on today’s blog hop! Next up the hop continues with Marty of A Stroll Thru Life sharing some fabulous ideas for porch and patio curb appeal. Don’t forget to visit all of the other beautiful posts via the link up below too. I know you will be inspired by each and every sweet and talented blogger on the hop!
Thanks so much for visting today. Have a beautiful summer!
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