Outside

Porch and Patio Seating?

Yesterday it was 65 degrees. Today: 27. Still, I keep thinking ahead to spring and all of the things I’d like to do outside.

As cute as our front porch is (and it is pretty cute), I’m wondering if maybe it should be more of a lounge area.

Right now those chairs are on the patio in the backyard, mixed in with some other wooden folding chairs. The white ones are much more comfortable, so I’m thinking about picking up four more so that we can have a matching set. It bugs me that the chairs are all mixed up! I don’t think I could ever go for the artfully mismatched look, even though I think it looks great when other people do it.

But… I can’t decide.

Option 1: Put the four white chairs we already have back on the front porch and keep it as a little dining area (it’s nice to sit there when it’s raining). Store the uncomfortable wooden chairs (we have 6) for extra party seating. Find 8 new matching (and inexpensive) chairs to go around the table in the backyard.

Option 2: Keep the four white chairs on the patio and pick up four more (they’re only $30 each). Store the 6 uncomfortable wooden chairs for extra party seating. Find lounge furniture for the front porch. Maybe two comfy chairs and a little side table? Maybe a porch swing or a gliding bench?

Any ideas?

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77 Comments

  • Reply
    Lindsay
    March 11, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    I like options number 2! A bench/swing sounds lovely!

  • Reply
    Kerry
    March 11, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    I vote for lounging. Something where you can put your feet up. :)

    I would have something like this:

    (Lower budget idea, but I’d want to change the fabric/colours:)

    And then have a fun chair for a pop of colour?

    Perhaps a small side table as well for potted flowers or solar lamps?

    There’s nothing saying that you can’t eat dinner out on the porch in a lounge-y fashion (and watch the neighbours for entertainment!).

  • Reply
    casafroggy
    March 11, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Option 2. Lounge and people watch in the front, party in the back. I like the idea of a swing with pillows in an Amy Butler print to make it comfortable and give it a pop of color. Nice to rock the baby in the summer time!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    March 11, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    I like both. I know I’m no help. I like the idea of when it’s raining, or when you want to bring baby outside having the shade. You and Hubby could enjoy dinner on the porch and have the baby there with you.

    However a lounge area would be nice to relax in after the baby goes to sleep and you can enjoy a nice glass of lemonade while still being able to hear baby in the house.

    I’m sure whichever you choose it will look great!

    Take care,
    Lisa

  • Reply
    nicole
    March 11, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    option 2!

  • Reply
    TD
    March 11, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    I would go with option 2. I would get a swing for the front porch…even adults like to rock themselves to summer afternoon naps sometimes. :)
    But I also have a question about that huge lounging chair in your backyard…not sure what its called. How do you keep it dry when its raining out? It looks divine in that photo…and since I saw photos of your backyard I have been fantasizing about being able to spend one lazy afternoon rt there reading/lounging on that chair with a plate of oranges to eat/smell or both…I am so jealous of you right now! But great backyard really!

  • Reply
    Dionne C
    March 11, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Definitely Option 2. The backyard is a bigger space for entertaining and eating. I think a lounge area in the front would be cute.

  • Reply
    Erika
    March 11, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    A front porch just isn’t a front porch without a swing! (Your soon to arrive bundle of joy would probably enjoy it, too.)
    I say go for a “loungier” look on the front porch.
    Your home is lovely, and no matter what you choose, I know it will be beautiful.

  • Reply
    Lea
    March 11, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Ditto on the front porch lounge sentiment. I don’t know how you feel about cushions and wicker, but any comfortable is nice. I always think of front porches like yours as a place to relax with a drink and talk with friends.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    March 11, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    I also like Option 2. I have a porch swing and a lounge-type chair on my porch and it works out really well. I sit out on the swing almost all year ’round.

  • Reply
    Erin
    March 11, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Definitely get a porch swing for the front! A couple chairs and a little table wouldn’t be bad either, but we love our porch swing!

  • Reply
    Meg
    March 11, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    I love option 2 as well… and holy smokes- the wicker, hammock thing is amazing. where is it from?

  • Reply
    Simone
    March 11, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Where did you get the white chairs from? Option 2 for sure.

  • Reply
    Penney- aka travelbunny
    March 11, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    I’m feelin the swing on the porch. I promise it will be a perfect location to rock the baby while sitting close to your honey. Perhaps while drinking a mint lemonade? Maybe someone could rub your feet? ha ha ;)

  • Reply
    Allison
    March 11, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    I suppose it depends how often you use the front as an eating area. If it rains a lot and you use it regularly, then definitely keep it.

    If you’re finding that you prefer to eat on the patio and you’d like something comfier for the front, do that (with the knowledge that you can always carry some folding chairs out there if you occasionally want it for a covered eating space).

  • Reply
    Taylor
    March 11, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    A swing would be nice on the front porch. If you get lounging chairs you may not be able to see over the railing and it’s always fun to people watch and eat outside when it’s raining…under shelter. Either way, I’d buy more comfortable chairs and put away the rest for guest.

  • Reply
    Nina
    March 11, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Definitely option 2. Some kind of L-shaped bench seating with comfy (weatherproof) cushions, maybe with storage underneath? You could still have a couple little tables so you can put your feet up/dine outside.

    PS: I love your blog. It’s the best distraction when I’m of tired of working on research papers.

  • Reply
    rachel b.
    March 11, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    i like option 2 best, but bear in mind that there is no rain (or too much sun) protection to your backyard dining area so think about whether you will miss not having it under cover in the front at those times.

    also – i have been looking for something exactly like your wicker egg lounge thing. where is it from?

  • Reply
    sammyw
    March 11, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    i love option #2, being cuddly & cozy on the front porch swing sounds all to dreamy, especially if it’s raining :) but where did you get those white 30 dollar chairs and the red table? LOVE them :) thx & congrats on baby.

  • Reply
    Kyle
    March 11, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    A porch swing for sure!

  • Reply
    Dee in BC
    March 11, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    I love the idea of an old fashioned porch swing…I wish that I had a porch to put one on- Your house is lovely by the way.

  • Reply
    Tiffany-Z
    March 11, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    I vote for option #2. Porch swings are the best. :)

  • Reply
    Alison
    March 11, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    We have a front porch and have 2 children so here are my 2 cents. . . we debated a swing which is lovely but opted for a pop of color with 2 fifties style retro garden chairs and metal table. Stationary chairs are safer for kids. A glider could be a nice way to get the rocking action but without the fear of a broken window, arm or stucco repair bill.

  • Reply
    Yael
    March 11, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    You should check out the Ikea summer catalogue. Think that apartmenttherapy posted it a little while ago. They have some cute things.

  • Reply
    Carol
    March 11, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    I wish my Oak Park bungalow had a front porch. Instead I have to get by with enjoying my neighor’s. I vote for a porch swing or glider. And you’d probably still have room for two chairs with a side table in between them. Great for relaxing, socializing and saying hi to the passersby. You already have a nice dining area in back.

  • Reply
    pamela
    March 11, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Definitely option 2, I just looked @ porch swings a week or so back when I received the grandinroad catalog, however they only have 3 colors in their savannah porch swing.

    has a whole slew of color options in their southclassic slatback porch swing and a bit less expensive. Overstock.com has some too. Unsure what style porch swing you’re thinking.

    We have two all weather rockers on our cover front porch with a little table and very much enjoyed rocking our little girl out there was she was a baby, especially on the warm nights. Have fun picking!

  • Reply
    becca
    March 11, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    With a baby, believe me, you will (and so will the baby) love love love a porch swing. It is the best way to relax with or without them on a hot summer afternoon. Where is the egg lounger from in your backyard?

  • Reply
    Leanne
    March 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    I MUST say PORCH SWING…’cause you and baby will LIVE on it. Add cushions and a quilt and you will LOVE it!

  • Reply
    Averill
    March 11, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    I’d go with more lounge-type furniture on the front porch. I like the idea of sitting on the front porch on summer evenings drinking a glass of wine and just chatting….

    I love porch swings, especially on the front porch. I also think rocking chairs would be nice, but you’d want to find some that weren’t too traditional since I doubt you want to evoke a Southern vibe.

    …In short, go with something that rocks. Literally. :)

  • Reply
    Bridget
    March 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Heck yeah I have an idea. Ikea’s new Summer furniture is coming out soon. That’s what I’m waiting for. Ahhhhh……

  • Reply
    ellis
    March 11, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    With the wee one coming, I would go for a swing/comfy area on the porch. The house I grew up in had the loveliest porch and swing and when I think on my childhood it seems to me like we as a family lived on that porch.

  • Reply
    Denise Smith
    March 11, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    I have a covered balcony in the back of my house. It overlooks a golf course, which is nice, even though we don’t golf. I have to tell you how much we really really enjoy the furniture we bought two years ago. Just last Saturday, when it was 75 here in metro DC, and after we spent all day scrubbing down every square inch, my daughter said, “This is like another room in our house.”

    We decided to buy two larger wicker rockers and had the cushions redone in a higher quality cushion and fabric. We also have a small sofa with a wood frame and a matching ottoman. Two side tables, pots of pansies (right now, at least until it gets too hot in May), and an outdoor rug add to the perfection. The strong winds that often come off the nearby Potomac have broken two attempts at table lamps, so this year we are sticking to candles and bringing them in every night.

    As for outdoor dining, we just eat with our plates in our laps. It makes for a party atmosphere. Drinking a glass of wine on a balmy night outside on my balcony is truly as much heaven as I will ever need.

  • Reply
    Gabi
    March 11, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Like the most people said: I go for the option #2. And I think that (like u called) a “little dining area” should be more private, on the backyard… i don’t know, i just like my privacy haha! =D
    And obviesly, everybody enjoy and LOVE a porch swing.=D

  • Reply
    Fiona
    March 11, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    I only have one word to say … DAYBED! Imagine afternoon naps with the rain. Deep enough so that all 3 of you and Murray can fit. Deep enough to sit and chat, lay down and chat, relax and read, relax and sleep and deep enough to sit up casually and play games with the wee little one as she gets older. Beautiful comfy cushions that can be changed and updated as and when you want to – maybe made out of Amy Butler fabrics. Oh la la! DAYBED! DAYBED! DAYBED! All the way! It would look fab! Love your work. Bye :)

  • Reply
    Natalie
    March 11, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Hmm I say option 2! There’s nothing better than a comfy outdoor lounge.

  • Reply
    jen
    March 11, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    i was going to say make it baby & mummy friendly – but lots of other people beat me to it. you have such a gorgeous style – i can’t wait to see what you come up with. porches are a lovely place to be with and without baby – they seem to love the fresh air (and it can be a great place to help you get some fresh air too!)
    enjoy!!! :)

  • Reply
    June
    March 11, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Option Two. I think porches should be comfy.

  • Reply
    Jen in Jakarta
    March 11, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    I would go for a day bed on your front porch, but what ever you choose will be delightful, you have amazing style!
    I too love your wicker egg chair, they are popular (and relatively cheap) in Indonesia.
    I have a very similar one, tear drop shaped with a light inside. We call it Pondok Indah, which means beautiful hut in Bahasa Indonesian.

  • Reply
    Courtney
    March 11, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    I would try to have a small cocktail table with two chairs to eat at and maybe comfortable but totally stylish rocker at the other end.(i see it in my head but might not be making sense on writing)! The reason I say this is that even when it raining out you could eat breakfast or snack at table. When it was done you could rock and enjoy the neighborhood. I love eating outside and would do it everyday if I could.

  • Reply
    Erika
    March 11, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    I say- sell the uncomfortable chairs on Craigslist (just do say that in the ad) because you want to be kind to your company by not making them sit in crappy chairs so they will come back to your next party. Then use the money to buy more for the back yard. Then get a glider or swing for the porch because you will use the heck out of it now that you have a baby on the way and even as she gets older she will enjoy the swinging motion.

  • Reply
    Robin Scianna
    March 11, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    I am going with the crowd #2. And I would also like to know where the egg chair came from???
    Cyber hugs, RR

  • Reply
    erin
    March 11, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    option 2!

    go for a swing in the front… your baby will love it, and you dont need 2 outdoor dining spots. add some cute pillows and maybe a little side table….

    but you have great taste so whatever you choose will be fabulous!

  • Reply
    smallpotatoes
    March 11, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Girl, you better get to it. Once that baby comes, you won’t even remember what your chairs look like, let alone have time to re-work the porch. But I love your ideas. Blessings!

  • Reply
    Jen
    March 11, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    I vote for option two…something comfortable to lounge with baby!!!

  • Reply
    Julie
    March 12, 2009 at 5:12 am

    Option 2! (speaking from the experience of someone who has a covered front porch and a covered back patio). We use our front porch for watching the world go by. There are two wooden rockers (found at a flea market – they don’t match :-)) and a small tile table (found at TJ Maxx). It’s just enough for a cup of coffee or a cocktail. The back patio is where we have our table & chairs for dining. Gliders and swings are nice, but you’ll get more use out of two chairs – and they’re more comfy.

  • Reply
    Elvira
    March 12, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Hi! Just put the 4 white chairs with the other 4 so you’ll have a nice set. I think it would be nice if you would paint the red ones white and store them.
    And on your patio a porch swing and some lounge chairs would be very nice!
    Good luck!

  • Reply
    Heather
    March 12, 2009 at 7:30 am

    I love the dining area you have in the back. I would suggest putting away the uncomfortable chairs to use for extra seating and purchasing four more white chairs (I too love the look of mismatched chairs when someone else does it but can’t tolerate it for myself) to finish off the dining area.
    I think for the front porch I think a more lounge like set up would be perfect. Once the baby comes it will be really nice to put up your feet and get a little fresh air on the porch either with the baby or at night with the hubby. It’s amazing how your house can feel like it’s caving in on you when your inside all day with a new baby! If you have enough room I love the idea of a swing/glider and then a couple of comfy chairs with a side table.

  • Reply
    Kelli
    March 12, 2009 at 7:34 am

    Option 1!
    ……just kidding, option 2. Porch swing or BUST. My mom has a glider in her back yard and the babies LOVE it.

  • Reply
    Becky
    March 12, 2009 at 7:52 am

    There is nothing better than a porch with a swing. Add some comfy cushions and you can sit there for hours. I love the wicker pod chair in your backyard. Too cute!!

  • Reply
    bungalowbliss
    March 12, 2009 at 8:15 am

    Go for the porch swing! What a perfect spot to spend a spring afternoon with your new baby. She (and you!) will love it.

  • Reply
    Audrey
    March 12, 2009 at 8:31 am

    I love the idea of keeping your backyard for eating/entertaining and your front porch for lounging. I think option #2 is the way to go! It would be great to find a vintage metal glider, and add some red paint and fun accent pillows. Great for rocking a newborn baby too I’m sure! Good luck!

  • Reply
    Beth H
    March 12, 2009 at 8:52 am

    a daybed would be so cool! i know that wasn’t one of your original options, but what a neat idea. love your blog – been lurking for a while! where did you get the fab egg chair?!!

  • Reply
    meg olson
    March 12, 2009 at 9:35 am

    I vote lounge on the front porch. That’s what I have on my porch and love it. My husband and I have book nights on the porch during the summer.

    I have to know where you got that wicker bee hive looking chair. I want one badly but all of them that I’ve seen are thousands of dollars. ugh.

    How’s murray doing?

  • Reply
    Diane
    March 12, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Option 2! And where did that awesome ggg shaped, cabana chair thingy come from?

  • Reply
    xin
    March 12, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Option 2! Definitely. I can see you sitting in a very comfortable lounge chair on that porch, with your baby in your arm. And surrounded by potted palm and some fern. Very tropical!

  • Reply
    Missy
    March 12, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Ikea has some great summer loungy furniture right now for under $200

  • Reply
    Amanda
    March 12, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Okay, my front porch has a swing *and* a cushy old fashioned sofa glider thingy, so let me just give you my take. Yes, swings are great. The *idea* of a front porch swing is great, anyway. BUT. Here’s the but. Unless it has cushions, it’s not going to be all that comfortable to sit in. If you just toss pillows on it, you won’t have room to sit in it and you’ll constantly be picking them up off the ground (cute look, though). A swing is not big enough for most people to lie down on for naps, and–this is the biggest thing–although it’s a romantic notion, sipping a drink and swinging is *hard*, , you have no place to set your drink in a swing. The swinging motion of a swing means you’ll be devoting a lot of your porch real estate to it…. no side tables can go nearby, no planters, no other seating. Also, by the looks of your porch, swing *too* far back and you’ll be clunking against the back of your porch.

    Now, the glider, on the other hand, has cushions, wide, wide arms for setting your drink on, and is sofa sized so not one but TWO people can snuggle in for a nap. Also, because of the way our glider works, the swingy motion takes up no extra room at all, so the glider is scooched up right to the wall of the house, with no clunking. It’s super comfy and gets used waaay more than our swing. Oh, and I forgot…. your dog can’t jump up on a swing with you….

    Perhaps I should also mention that our porch (huge old house) was once outfitted with TWO porch swings. And that an average sized guy sat in one of them and ripped the bolts right out of the ceiling and he went crashing to the ground. So, yeah… safety hazard.

    Obviously I’m voting Option #2.

  • Reply
    Mackenzi
    March 12, 2009 at 11:26 am

    I totally vote for the front porch lounge idea. The backyard is so much more private and perfect for long dinners and nights outside….the front seems just better for a quick cup of coffee in a comfy chair. Either way, you’re so lucky to have such great space!!

  • Reply
    Alicia
    March 12, 2009 at 11:51 am

    I like option 2 as well. I feel that, certainly for me, a louge area would get used more.

    Also–I absolutely love your wicker egg seating area!!!

  • Reply
    Miss B.
    March 12, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Me too, I like the lounge idea! BUT I know whatever you do will be terribly smashing and something that I would have never dreamed of on my own!

  • Reply
    JLC
    March 12, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Porch swing! Get more matching white chair for the backyard & store the uncomfortable ones for when you have parties.

  • Reply
    Kristin B
    March 12, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    There’s nothing I love more in the summertime than lounging outside with a glass of wine! I definitely vote for option 2 and agree with a lot of the comments to lounge out front and entertain out back!

  • Reply
    Sophie
    March 12, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    If you don’t have sit down meals on your porch, I’d go for the comfy lounge seating!

  • Reply
    Veronica
    March 12, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Hi,

    I wanted to share these photos I came across with a lovely patio make over – thought they might provide some inspiration. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Veronica
    March 12, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    oops here is the link:

  • Reply
    Kate
    March 12, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Option #2 definitely. I know you say those wooden chairs are uncomfortable, but I love them! Where did you find them? I have been searching everywhere for something like that, and have found a few good “stand-ins” but nothing quite like the picture in my mind.

  • Reply
    Blondie
    March 12, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    A lounge area on the front porch sounds lovely! A wonderful chaise would be perfect with a small table.

    Especially when your little one arrives, it would be a great place to sit (or lie) and read a book (or plan new designs!) whilst she sleeps in her little basket out there with you breathing in the fresh air! Then when she’s a toddler you can put a gate across the opening and have her own little table and chairs out there for tea parties!

  • Reply
    erika
    March 13, 2009 at 2:32 am

    What a question! Option 2! And go for the porch swing. I would love that!

  • Reply
    Sue @ My Party of 6
    March 13, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Option 2 as well! You and your hubby can always eat in the front on the lounge-y furniture, but if you were having people over, you’d probably be in the back anyway. And I think I would use my porch more with more cozy furniture on it. (Hypothetical, since I DON’T have a porch, but I will hang out vicariously on yours, if that’s ok!)

  • Reply
    adalisa
    March 13, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    I think you should keep the dining area on the front porch, but use a porch swing as the seating for one side of the table. Then you have two of the white chairs you can take to the backyard and just buy a couple more for there, and keep the uncomfortable chairs for extra.

  • Reply
    lindsay
    March 14, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Definetly the porch swing! Throw on some cute pillows and maybe and outdoor rug underneath? My girls found a swing so soothing when they were babies. They’d go right to sleep…that’s a good thing.

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely
    March 19, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I love how overwhelmingly ‘option 2’ has won. :) I think that’s the way to go too.

    That egg chair… Oh, how I love my egg chair! I took a nap in it the other day, all curled up and tucked inside. It’s pricey (), but Brandon and his family pitched in and got it as one big group gift for my birthday.

  • Reply
    jennifer w.
    March 24, 2009 at 10:10 am

    All of your ideas are great, and I’m sure whatever you choose (it appears option 2) will be great.

    The egg chair is super rad

    I see your BBQ is covered. I saw this one at Sears this past weekend and immediately thought of you

    It is very classy in vanilla and black.

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » Up for the Challenge
    April 5, 2009 at 12:27 am

    […] that exciting or what? I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do with the front porch, so we’re going to work on it for the challenge! We’re going to create a little dining […]

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » The Great Green Outdoors
    April 17, 2009 at 10:02 am

    […] been thinking about how I’d like to change the front porch, and lately I’m finding myself drawn to all things green. Ideally, I’d like the whole […]

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » Big Money, Big Money, No Whammy!
    June 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    […] I talked about this not long before the whole BHG 48-Hour Challenge started. Basically, we have a mish-mash of seating around our table. […]

  • Reply
    Debra Allen
    May 11, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    You are what my mama would have called a smart little cookie. It is really nice and functional, how you have it arranged.

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