Porch-Sitting Season: How We're Making the Most of It
C'mon over and sit a spell.
I know a thing or two about porch-sitting season. I'm a Southern lady, after all. Here's how to embrace the heat, secure some precious "me" time and gain a reputation as the hostess with the mostess this summer — all without stepping off your stoop.
Take a Load Off
Outdoor drapery helps blur the lines between indoor spaces and exterior porches filled with upholstery, swings and places for lazy napping next to the saltwater pool, all keeping a fresh, clean and neutral palette. And after the sun goes down, the party moves to the lakeside fire pit. Everything is upholstered in Sunbrella, including the outdoor drapery, which all gets a heavy hose-down in advance of every visit. The couple and their guests can nap, lounge, party and relax there.
Porch sitting is all about slowing down to enjoy good weather and good company. First thing's first: Find something to sit on. No one wants to sit cross-legged on the floor, this I can promise you. I'm obsessed with how designer Heather Garrett incorporated a classic, white porch swing alongside trendy, black chairs. The results look oh-so-comfy, oh-so-stylish and, most importantly, oh-so-inviting.
Gussy It Up
In the South, first impressions are everything. What’s your front porch saying about you? View the porch as an extension of the interior of your home and design it as such. Allow your favorite colors and textures to spill onto the porch, and grant guests and passersby a taste of who you are without even stepping through your front door. Hang airy drapes, add textured throw pillows, string a pair of pendant lights and don’t be afraid to nest this space and make it your own.
Morning Well Spent
Start the day with a street view and a fresh cup of cold brew. Summer is synonymous with sweat, but the mornings are mild so why not take advantage? Let the morning serve you as some much-needed "me" time before the start to another hustlin’, bustlin’ day.
Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A
I don’t have scientific backup here, but playing catch-up on the porch just feels more personal. What better place to make that long overdue call to your mom? Better yet, what better place to sit across from her and tell her about your week? Call her, invite her over or ask your long-lost BFF over for an afternoon of (sweet) tea. If you had a doozy of a day, go ahead and bring out the rosé. It should go without saying, but the porch is a judgement-free zone. Rosé away, y’all.
Read a Book
Plump and Pretty Pillows
Pillows are a great way to make a porch feel more like a real room, extending the square footage of your home. Use pillows with quick-drying polyester fillings as well as fabrics that are fade and mildew-resistant.
Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors
Not off your smartphone, and not off a tablet, either. If it emits some type of light, it’s a no-go. Grab a good, old-fashioned hardcover and flip through the pages. Learn something; get inspired. Take the time to reflect on what you’re reading. It almost sounds like a foreign concept these days, doesn’t it?
Sip On Something
Go ahead and go for something a little stronger than that cold brew from this morning. Bring out a pitcher of our boozy berry patch lemonade, jam-packed with summertime sweetness courtesy of whiskey, blackberries, strawberries and tart lemonade. Grab an extra set of glasses — you’ll want to toast your neighbors over small talk, after all.
Grapefruit Gin and Tonic
Our twist on the classic gin and tonic combines muddled mint, fresh pink grapefruit and sweet elderflower liqueur for a refreshing summer brew that will prove to be a major party pleaser.
Make This: Grapefruit Gin and Tonic
The Lime in the Coconut
Made from coconut vodka, coconut water, pineapple puree, fresh-squeezed lime juice and a splash of cherry-lime sparkling water, this refreshing big batch cocktail is a summery twist on the classic vodka soda.
Make This: Lime in the Coconut Cocktail
Coconut Mango Margarita
Not too sweet — but not too spicy — a blend of jalapeño, mango and coconut milk is a winning combination. You can make it in 10 minutes from start to finish, and no need for a high-powered blender because the recipe uses frozen mango cubes in lieu of ice cubes.
Make This: Coconut Mango Margarita
Coastal Citrus Punch
This refreshing punch can be made in a large glass jug and placed in a pail of ice for your summertime gathering. Place additional fruit and ice in glasses for a fun, decorative touch.
Make This: Coastal Citrus Punch
The flavors of this festive punch will bring you back to your childhood. Perfect for an outdoor gathering, bridal shower or Sunday brunch, this sunny concoction is easily doubled and great for a crowd.
Make This: Oranges-and-Cream Punch
Lemony Summer Shandy
This beer punch couldn't be easier to whip up, and its light, lemony flavor helps cool down hot summer days. Careful, though: The Canadian whiskey packs a punch.
Make This: Lemonade-Beer Punch
Rose and Lemon Sparkling Punch
Sparkling rosè and cranberry juice give this lemony punch its blush-pink hue, making it perfect for a summer picnic or bridal or baby shower.
Make This: Sparkling Rosè Punch