Traditional Southern Porches

June 2, 2023

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thorn cove abode front and back porches

Front and Back Porch Sitting on my Southern Porches

When Mark and I were young we dreamed of a house with southern porches we could raise our family in and even pass down for generations. A few years ago we came across a beautiful lakefront property in the same town where we grew up. We found it off the market and decided this was our chance to build that “new old house” we had been talking about since we were teenagers.

After about eighteen months of hard work between us and our contractors, we moved in. Now, as most of you know, I had my heart set on making our home look less “new build” and more “historically inspired.” Basically what that means is we are constantly adding “vintage” elements to our house to make it feel more like an old home. {You can watch our Build Progress Reel here.}

thorn cove abode front and back porches

Business in the Front, Party in the Back.

Of course, a proper southern front porch was on my list of things to have, but a screened in back porch was also part of the dream. That’s where you’ll find the water view! Were you around while I was begging Mark to screen it in? That took a few months, but thankfully he finally caved and now I get to enjoy it sans mosquitos {we’re in the South ya’ll}! We are so thankful to have a wonderful view of the lake and wanted to take full advantage of it. Being able to sit outside and enjoy the sounds of nature, view of the water and kids playing in the yard almost all year was also a must.

The back porch is in a U Shape and can be accessed a couple of ways from inside the house. We can access the back porch from the kitchen, main living area and Mark and I also have direct access from the master bedroom. We added two sets of double screened doors to the left and right side of the back screened in porch.

thorn cove abode front and back porches

Front and Back Porch Doors

I love old doors and really, really love old hardware. Hardware is one of those small details that often gets overlooked, but makes a huge difference. After shopping online for screen doors, I quickly realized how expensive they can be. My sweet Dad (who can make anything) actually made me four of these porch doors, a set for each side of the back porch. I drew him an inspiration picture and he made it happen! I absolutely love them!

After he built the doors, I added vintage looking hardware from one of my favorite places, Van Dyke’s Restorers. They have incredible reproduction pieces if you cannot locate the real thing.

Painted Rugs on a Southern Porch

While I love myself a good rug, our back porch rugs would soak up rain water every time it rained and were very hard to keep clean. So, I decided to “paint a rug” on the floor to add that cozy rug look without the maintenance. You may remember I did this to our dock as well! I use my lazy girl method to paint these diamonds. It’s the easiest way I’ve found and works great every time. I really like the way it turned out and I don’t have to wash rugs {because who needs more laundry in their life}?!

The porch swing is one of my favorite spots in the whole house! I can drink my coffee and enjoy the views and breeze. It’s the perfect afternoon nap spot too! We hung the swing with chains that I just wrapped up in this sisal rope. I really like the extra texture and layer of interest the rope adds. The couch, chair and rocker were all a lucky Facebook Marketplace find. I looked for 6 months before finally finding exactly what I was looking for. It was worth the wait because I got the sets for a fraction of the original cost.

The quilted sign hanging above the swing was also made by my Dad. He used to have an Etsy shop where he sold them. I’m working on something to hopefully bring those back.

Just on the other side of the swing, you’ll see a matching wicker set dining area (also from Marketplace). We use this spot a lot in the spring and summer for outdoor dining. Our grill is just around the corner there, out of view. Click to watch a full video of the back porch and all the details!

Front Porch Details

As you come down the driveway, you get a really pretty view of the front porch. I am often sitting out there too, watching the kids run around or chatting with family and friends. My mother in law’s property also connects to ours so we often sit out front just visiting. She just had a huge walkway built for the kids to run safely back and forth on instead of having them traipse through the woods. I also love the front porch in the colder months because it gets full sun. You can catch me out there sunbathing like a lizard most winter days.

The doors on our front porch are actually over 100 years old! They were originally the front doors to one of the oldest pharmacies in North Carolina. I hand scraped these things for months to get all the layers of paint off, but it was worth it! It was a JOB to restore and get them back to life, but they set the tone of our home so perfectly as you step inside. I love how worn and welcoming they are.

We finished off the Front Porch with details like vintage lighting (these are called “fisherman lights,” which I thought to be appropriate) , pretty screen doors painted my favorite historic green (Great Barrington Green by BM), wreaths hung with soft sashes and seasonal flowers. Of course, we also added Gingerbread Trim. A huge game changer to the historic appearance.

Porch Progress

I know I say this all the time, but it is true. I just pinch myself that this is my house. I’m so thankful for a beautiful home that we also have been able to add true “historically inspired” elements too. I love looking back at the progress as the house has changed and grown with us.

Some of the spaces we use differently now then when we first moved in. It’s fun to be able to dream and plan and then dream and plan again as things change. I also love changing up the holiday decor every season on the porches, from flowers to lighting and we can’t forget Halloween right?

thorn cove abode front and back porches

Porch Living

I can’t imagine a home without porches. The front and back porches are used daily at our house and are really some of the best parts of our dream home. If you are looking to add or update your porch, click here to grab some of my favorites!

Here’s to a summer of sitting on the porch and swinging in the breeze!

thorn cove abode front and back porch
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  1. Erica Austin says:

    Your gouse is my inspiration!!! Can you tell me what your brick is and how big your windows are a d how far apart the ones on your front porch are?