14 April 2013

Tahilla Farm and Porch Love



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I am getting ready for my trip to America next week to start setting up shop in our new home,
Tahilla Farm. I have had the good word put in my ear that the locals are preparing for black fly season. My research tells me they are annoying little pests and I for one have no interest in partying with them. With that in mind I plan to be prepared. I am thinking the netting above from LL Bean will do nicely.

I was at the gym yesterday being instructed on how to twist and turn without moving my hips. Something that had me in absolute hysterics. I have a tendency to break out in laughter when facing the absurd...and it happens a lot at the gym.


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I am wondering...do you think I may be going to far with the outfit above? I am thinking the neighbours might be a little puzzled by me flapping around the property in full mosquito netting...doing twists and turns in hysterics....maybe I should just stick to the hat above and save the twists and turns for the gym. It would be fun though...

It dawned on me this week, that I have to set up a house that is completely empty. For the first time, I am not travelling with all my belongings in tow on a large ship floating across an ocean. I am dumbstruck. Where do I begin?

For any of you who have done this before...any advice? For those of you with your whits about you in times of panic..any advice? ADHD personality types (like me) do not do well with these scenarios...I can see a lot of projects half done before moving onto the next. The fact that I have five blogs floating around the blogosphere is a hint to that little fact. Enthusiasm can be my downfall.

I have been in a Pinterest frenzy...accumulating all sorts of ideas in my 'Shop' file. There is some serious love going on in that file. I now have so many ideas...that I need your advice.

Let's start with...the porch. Galley style, it looks out to the garden and further afield to a mountain view. This is my first screened in porch...I am excited about the possibilities.



I have to check the ceiling height as I wouldn't mind putting in 
one or two ceiling fans. My thinking is that they will whack off 
any lurking black flies that want to strike up a friendship.

My sister suggested a porch swing at the end..
which I think is a great idea. 

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I discovered that there is no shortage of ideas 
when it comes to a porch swing.



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I grew up in New England and admit to being 
soft hearted for quintessential New England scenes. 
I have been thinking of lining up Adirondack style chairs...


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 or maybe rocking chairs.


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Mr H and I have a two large rattan chairs 
which have followed us from 
New Zealand to England and now Vietnam. 
They are pretty similar to the one below.
Ours have matching foot stools. 
I was thinking that I could duplicate the look...
to make it feel like home.

Pottery Barn here


Then again...something a bit different...perhaps in red...
just because I love red in a New England home.

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There is always the simpler more refined option too...

'Henri' by Horchow here

No matter where you sit.. first and foremost, 
in our home, you must feel comfortable. 
It is a Henriques family rule.
My family is quick to judge on the comfort factor. 
On a porch, where family and friends convene to shoot the breeze, 
read a book or take a nap...relaxed is best. 
Down a dirt road, in the country side..it is the only way to go.

So there you go..
which would you choose?
Porch swing?
Rocking chairs?
Adirondack chairs?
Rattan chairs?

The colour scheme for the furniture above?
Red
Green
White
Black
Natural

Any thoughts you want to add...would be so so appreciated.
I have a long way to go and I always enjoy your thoughts.

I know that some of you have trouble leaving a comment
to which I apologise profusely. I can not figure out why.

If you do...you can email me at
jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com


Before I go..I am leaving a recipe for Kim @ Arizona Traveler.
I posted this photo on Instagram this morning.
I was sharing the love for my homemade muesli.
She asked for a recipe..I thought you all might enjoy it too.
It is delish!



My favourite Muesli
125 g (4 oz) butter
3/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla essence
500 g ( 1 lb) rolled oats
1 cup unsalted flower seeds
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
3/4 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
1 cup rye flakes (or similar)
1 cup chopped dried fruit ( optional)

Place butter, honey and vanilla in a small saucepan and cook gently over low heat for about 5 minutes until well combined. Toss all the other ingredients (except fruit)  in a large mixing bowl. Feel free to add your own preferences too. I add flax seeds to mine. Slowly stir the butter mixture over the dried mixture making sure that it is as well coated as possible. I do this by hand, tossing and turning as I go.

Set the oven to 170C (325F). Spread the cereal over a large baking dish, be careful not to make it to thick as it will not cook evenly. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes...keeping a close eye as it can cook quickly. Stir occasionally to  prevent sticking to the baking dish. The grains should be crisp and light brown before removing from the oven. Once to your liking, remove muesli and allow to cool. If you are adding fruit, add it at this stage. I like to mix in untoasted muesli as well. The  muesli can be stored at room temperate in an airtight container for up to one month. It makes 1.5 kg (3 lb). I have yet to see it still on the shelf in a months time.  We love it!   Adapted from Sydney Food cookbook by Bill Granger.


Lastly..as it is the weekend...
I want to send best wishes for a fabulous one!

I will be reading this book...how about you?
What are you reading these days?


Ooops...to many thoughts at once.
There goes that ADHD mind of mine again.
I must learn to control that one day! 
:)

Happy Weekend!!


62 comments:

  1. I’m sorry Jeanne but I am so laughing at the netting…NO! You don’t need to wear that getup besides it’s hot and you actually can’t see through it very well. Do what we do buy yourself a box of bounce sheets and rub them on your person even your hair and then tuck the sheets in your back pocket afterwards. I even rub Dylan dog down and the whole family smells clean and fresh. If you hate the smell of bounce sheets a good small cigar will work as well the smoke keeps the nasty buggers away. Get your outside chores done the second you get here and you’ll be fine since blackflies only ruin the month of May. As for chairs my personal favorite are Adirondack chairs comfy and you can find them everywhere here inexpensively. Setting up the house, beds first and the rest will follow. Let me know if you need any help!

    XXX
    Debra~

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    1. Thank you Debra for your wisdom...another reason to love the scent of Bounce! I am quite liking the scented cigar..might be a fetching look with the net pulled back off my face. Thank you so much for your offer to help...I am sure I will be in touch! xx

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  2. Hello Jeanne,
    How very exciting this is for you. I know whatever style you choose it will be beautiful.
    At our farmhouse, we had a large porch and enjoyed beautiful cross winds. I had a 3/4 width antique bed in a corner, decorated as a day bed. Many a wonderful afternoon nap was taken in the fresh air.
    I also painted the roof of the porch a soft blue, which is gentle on the eye.
    You will know how to decorate once you spend time on the empty porch and see how the light and weather is.
    I am looking forward to seeing Tahilla's new wardrobe.
    Black flies are miserable,apply repellent before heading out.Their season is short, that is the good news

    Helenxx

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    1. Hi Helen..you are the second person to mention a light blue ceiling, supposedly it acts as a bug repellent too. I like the idea of napping...I will be sure to keen that in mind.. xx

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  3. Ceiling fans will absolutely help with the flies - plan on that. I would not presume to suggest color! That is way too personal a choice!

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  4. bonjour jeanne! i can't wait to see what you do with tahilla farm! personally, i like the idea of a sleeping couch on the porch! lots of pillows! and as for the flies..i lived in nh for 5 years and i only remember there being one bad year..don't go covering yourself in netting just yet..you don't want to scare off the neighbors! :) and i'm reading a persephone book right now..Greenbanks by Dorothy Whipple..but next up is the new Zelda Fitzgerald novel..can't wait! safe travels!! xo

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    1. Thank you Pam..I feel encouraged! I have a collection of Persephone books given to be by a friend, I will see if Greenbanks is in it. I have heard great things about the Zelda Fitzgerald novel. I will be sure to check it out.. xx

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  5. I don't think that outfit is quite enough, as one's hands are still susceptible to those black flies. I suggest the addition of a hoop skirt and long (preferably black, lacy) gloves. This will instantly endear you to your neighbors. Alternately, since the flies are only out during the daytime, you might consider becoming nocturnal. Then you'd only have to avoid zombies and vampires.

    I recently read The Orchardist, which I liked quite a bit, as well as The Orphan Master's Son, which I also liked. I didn't much care for The Roundhouse, which I expected to love.

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    1. Teri..I love your mind. hoop skirt, long black lacy gloves..a welcome addition to my NH attire. Cracked me up! I might have to channel Helena Bonhan Carter to complete the look! Thanks for the book tips...new to me! I like that! xx

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  6. Jeanne,
    How exciting to have a whole house to decorate from scratch. I would go with the porch swing and the rocking chairs. You have a large porch and those who can't swing will be happy to rock.
    Marilyn

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    1. Sounds musical Marilyn...a lovely thought! xx

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  7. Jeanne - I'm all for ceiling fans - perfect for hot muggy days and nights. For black flies, grow Rue in your herb garden and rub the leaves on yourself - smells good and keeps the insects at bay.

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    1. Hi Kyle...love tips like this..I will be sure to check it out when the ground thaws..which I hope is soon! :)

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  8. Hi Jeanne,
    My vote is for the Palmetto Pottery Barn look...because the porch is long, you'll have two or three seating situations...unless you have a large dining table at one end. I always love four club chairs (Palmettos) in a circle around a round table...great for conversation and casual dining with an intimate group of four.
    Looks like lots of fun!
    Hugs,
    Becky

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  9. How lucky you are to have a blank canvas of such a beautiful home!! For the porch, ceiling fans and comfy chairs are a must. Will you be staying for the summer? It will be fun to peruse local auction houses and consignment shops to find furnishings, but if all else fails, there is always Ikea and Home Goods for temporary furnishings until you find exactly what you want. Oh what fun!!!

    Have a wonderful weekend! xoxo

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    1. Hi Sandy...yes I will be there for the summer as well. I plan to take my time and fill in as needed with what works best.
      I may send a few things from Vietnam too..a truly international house. :)

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  10. PS...the muesli recipe looks delicious - I must try some this weekend!

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  11. Thanks for the recipe, Jeanne! Will be making that yummy looking muesli soon.

    Porch swing, absolutely. Love soft greens on a porch to soften the transition to the surrounding gardens. Thick rattan with soft cushions and a couple of rockers--perfection.

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    1. Hi Kim...you are very welcome. Good point on green..it is one of my favourite colours, next to warm yellow and red. :)

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  12. I too have ADHD which I always seem to rediscover this time of year in the garden. I can't wait it see what you decide. It is all lovely. Let me know what you think of "The Art Forger". It has been on my to read list for awhile. Bonnie

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    1. Phew!! another one...so glad I am not the only one at the party Bonnie! I will keep you posted on the book..I am interested as it takes place in my old stomping ground in Boston...around the corner from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. xx

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  13. Jeanne

    This post made me chuckle!! I am voting for wicker and ceiling fans! By the way I think the cheapest fans you can get at HD are the best...simple without all of the foo foo stuff on them!!

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  14. How exciting a screen porch- paint the ceiling a light blue(southern tradition)then a daybed + swing + rockers. A place to put your feet up besides every rocker, and a table to put drinks or cups on by every chair. Lots of good lighting is a must. Treat the porch like it was inside.The daybed will be great for sleeping when it rains(or reading) + the swing will be a favorite with everyone #2 + rocking chairs. I put rockers + swing on a porch for a client-then the husband wanted another swing for him-seems the wife & children hogged one swing. I know it can be a daunting task, but the house will tell you what it wants(always.) Just pick my brain, after all I have done a number of houses. How marvelous for you & your family.! xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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    1. All great advice Peggy..the light blue ceiling keeps coming up...I am liking these southern traditions. Thank you for your suggestions and I am sure I will be back for more...love your ideas. :)

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  15. Jeanne...The screen outfit reminds me of "out of Africa"...could be rather fetching :~)...Love the idea of a sleeping place...also good for reading....and Adirondack chairs and rockers are always a favorite and comfortable sit. The "Orchardist" was quite good, just finishing "Where'd you go Bernadette" which is a delightfully fun story. Just ordered "The Art Forger" from the library...your followers read some great titles, as you do as well; always wonderful to get suggestions from folks from different place.
    I am so looking forward to following the "dressing" of Tahilla Farm" as you spend time there and uncover the feelings that express your and your family's spirit....it is a most wonderful place to paint your picture.
    May your journey there be filled with a wonderful uncovering of just what is right.
    Kristin

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    1. Thank you Kristin..as always, you make "dressing" and reading at Tahilla Farm sound like so much fun. Loving your book suggestions, all new to me. Glad you ordered "The Art Forger"... a fun read.. xx

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  16. Happy Saturday Jeanne! I just wanted to tell you I made the Muesli recipe and it is as delicious as you described! Thanks!! xoxo

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    1. So glad to hear Sandy...thank you for telling me! :)

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  17. That porch!
    Bliss, pure bliss.
    Two fat swings, one on each end.
    And rocking chairs.
    In green.

    We are about to redo our floors. Herringbone hardwoods.
    Which means the four of us have to decamp to a friends house in SC till they are dry.
    Talk about crazy.
    xo

    Oh, and for books... I am totally immersed in Virginia Woolf in preparation for my trip in May. Currently reading the biography by Hermoine Lee. Brilliant!

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    1. Let's see...Virginia Woolf, Herringbone, the colour green..Hermoine Lee..I am feeling a very English post coming on over at The House of Edward..can't wait! xx

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  18. For me, Tahilla Farm's wonderful porch would be the house's most important feature. I suspect that in the humid summers, you would enjoy not only ceiling fans but rocking chairs and a porch swing there. (After living in Vietnam, however, you may not find New England summer humidity so heavy!) I love green and white colors on a covered porch--so fresh!

    I just finished "Swimming," by Nicola Keegan (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009) and found it an entertaining, beautifully written and deeply moving novel.

    Blue skies (literally and figuratively) on your upcoming journey! Leslie in Portland, Oregon

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    1. I think you are right Leslie...I am well conditioned to humidity after living in Vietnam but must say that if I was not able to duck into AC I would be a wreck. I will bask in the chill of 80F-90F in New England. Thank you so much for your book suggestion, another new one! My lucky post!! xx

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  19. Jeanne,

    You are off on quite an adventure! I am so excited for you. As for the netting...I would love to see a few photos if you are going to be buying it. I agree with Debra, the Bounce dryer sheets work great.

    Also, the beds are a priority, you can sleep, sit on them to read, and even have a bed picnic if you have to. The rest will come.

    The porch is a dream. I love the idea of a swing, but I have also seen in blogland a swing/bed that looked very cool. I also love the idea of the nice comfy wicker chairs, I have two of those with ottomans on my front porch and four on the back around a small round table, great for conversation, reading, snacking, etc.

    The museli looks yummy...I will have to try this but for lunch of dinner as I am not a breakfast eater. Hot chocolate is how I start my day.

    I have read, The Art Forger and I enjoyed it. Just finished The House of Fortune Street by Margot Livesey.

    I would love to help you JEanne! Say the word and I will pick up Debra and come to help as will many others I am sure.

    Enjoy your weekend! xx Elizabeth

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    1. Hi Elizabeth.. Agree..the Bounce suggestion of Debra's is a great one. The beds are in..we are moving forward. I have since put a few swing beds into my 'Shop' file..loving the suggestion. The thought of you and Debra coming over to Tahilla Farm sounds wonderful...one day for sure! xx
      Thx for the book recco!

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  20. If it was me I'd choose the Adirondack chairs in black or charcoal.
    I love the striking uniformity of a whole row of them - AND you can put a drink and a book on one arm and a plate on the other once you've padded them up nicely with good canvas cushions.

    And a porch swing at one end. I like the mint green bottom left one.

    I have only ever once decorated from scratch - I was 25 and arrived in London with a hot pink backpack containing a few clothes, my knives and the white cotton bedspread my grandmother crocheted me.

    All other times we have had shipping. Are you tempted to buy some things in Vietnam and ship 'em over?

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    1. I am very tempted Charlotte...I have my tape measure out, sizing up things here, in the shops and plan to size up a few things in the USA. Love your suggestions...the exterior of our house in Auckland was brilliant white with the deepest black shutters we could find. Black became a theme from that point onwards..no surprise considering the popularity of the colour in New Zealand. :)

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  21. I love reading your blog, but never comment, however when I saw that lovely screened porch I thought wow, how amazing it would be to decorate this! I would decorate and furnish the entire porch area, with day beds for lazing around and reading books, deep creeking wicker chairs and tables, plump cushions, lots of greenery to create a little bit of 'Out of Africa' ...the possibilities are endless, do enjoy!

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    1. Hi Sharon...I am so glad you came out to comment! I must do more of these types of posts...they are so much fun! The 'Out of Africa' theme works with our eclectic belongings..once the African and Papua New Guinea statues come out of the boxes..it will feel like home. Thank you! :)

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  22. Dear Jeanne,
    your new home in New England is a fantastic place to be happy...as I scrolled down your wonderful post of Tahilla Farm there were a lot of *aah`s* and *oooh`s*...how beautiful is this surrounding?
    I can see watching you deers and rabbits every morning from the porch,while holding a perfect cup of coffee in your hand....:)

    I`m very sorry for answering so late, cause I`ve seen your *hello* last month....but my father just passed away in March and it was for me a very sad time with no words.

    There`s a lot of change going on this year....as it seems....and it has for everybody a different meaning.I*m an optimistic person who loves life, all colours of this world and of course my yarn which allows me to live my creatifity.
    I`m very thankful for that.

    So...dear Jeanne,I`m sure, as far as I know you, you`ll gonna handle all the upcoming demands for your removal just perfect.Half year ago...and you`re sitting on a very inviting and cosy porch, holding a cup of fine coffee in your hand and deers and rabbits are waiting for your morning greeting....(what a nice picture!)

    All the best to you from sunny germany (first day today...spring is very absent this year!)!!!
    Beate :) XX

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    1. Dear Beate...I will carry this note on in an email...xx

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  23. I decorated a house in Florida from scratch and did all the leg work from afar. I would start with the biggest and best sofa you can afford with feather seats and backs and build from there. Try www.wayfair.com They have great prices on just about every leading manufacture and great reliable delivery and 2% bonus points which add up if you are needing a lot. I ordered a sectional from Pottery Barn online in white slipcovers and it is very comfy. After beds and sofa, the rest I bought locally at vintage shops and flea markets. I would do all the walls in a white paint and bring color in with acccessories. The porch if it to be an outdoor sitting room, in my opinion, it needs to have some upholstered pieces done in an indoor outdoor fabric so you can really lounge here. The house looks beautiful.

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    1. Chania...thanks so much for your suggestions. I came across Wayfair when I was looking for beds. The selection and prices are great. I am on the hunt for some deep and comfortable arm chairs and sofa for the study. I think I know which Pottery Barn one you are talking about. It is good to hear that you are happy with it. I find it tricky selecting furniture without sitting in it. I can see already this will take some time. First stop..always vintage and flea markets. They are so much fun... thanks for your thoughts, loved them! :)

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  24. So much to read on your post today!!! I absolutely love the swing seat and am now tempted to get one for our front porch, or under some large trees in the back garden. Neither space is partlicuarly large or has a great view, but a swing seat would be perfect. I would pick a white swing and white Adirondack chairs too. I bet you could have a field day in local stores and estate sales too. And good luck the black fly too!

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    1. Thank you Victoria...I am staring to read a theme...the swing seats are a must! xx

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  25. Love, love, love to have a screened in porch. I'd go for a swing on the end .... make sure to get one that will accommodate some comfy pillows, and also make sure the front edge of seat is rounded so that it doesn't cut into the back of your legs. I believe the porch ceiling should be painted either a green or blue, I can never remember which color it is, to discourage flying critters, such as wasps, that come in when the screen door is open. Being me, I'd probably go for a medium to light teal color. Then some high-back comfy rocking chairs, and a nice swinging glider, with comfy pillows, is nice to stretch out on for a nap. Maybe a few hanging planters outside, underneath the porch overhang; finches love to make nests in the greenery in the summer.

    Your porch is going to be a heavenly place to while away the hours. I grew up in a little house next to my grandparents, whose house was a big old two-story built around 1900, maybe earlier. The porch wasn't screened in, but extended around two sides of the house and it always had a swing. I have many pictures of myself, with my mother and other family members enjoying that swing. It's still there to this day. The porch view was of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Big Ivy River was close enough to throw rocks from the porch. At night, in the summertime, we would put on a sweater and sit on the porch after dark and listen to the frogs sing.

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    1. Judy...your childhood porch sounds lovely. That is one of the reasons why I love a porch..the memories and they are such wonderful ones. A great place to collect as people seem to instinctively leave their worries aside when they sit on a porch. Light blue is the colour to deter bugs..it has been mentioned several times to me. The ladies from the south seem to have the inside scoop. Lovely to hear from you...as always.. xx

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  26. I think its all in the mix and I would certainly include a porch swing at one end and some other comfy seating. My girls are still bereft that our porch at our beach house just didn't have room for one! I've used a dark green paint to unify all kinds of vintage wicker I have been buying and it looks great, so that might work for you if you want to choose a color like red. And surprisingly, the right rocking chairs can actually be as comfortable as chairs with cushions. Really looking forward to seeing what you do with this space - I have been a lurking reader for a while - but I am so excited to see what you do with Tahilla Farm!

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    1. Jacqueline..so glad you came out to comment. Love the idea of dark green paint to unify vintage wicker..great idea. I agree with you on the rocking chairs, I can't seem to let go ..old desires die hard. Glad to have found you via Instagram. :)

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  27. Wow! This will be a beautiful project!

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  28. Oooh, this brought back a lot of happy memories. Watching thunderstorms roll through, counting between thunder and lightning, all while rocking back and forth on the porch swing that my Dad had made. Happy, happy memories...I know you will make many of your own...And I don't see why you couldn't make a mix of a few styles? Some folks like rocking chairs and some like to stay put!

    Such wonderful comments for this post, aren't there? :)

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    1. Love happy memories Heather..mine go back to Nancy Drew...we shared many an exciting moment together on a porch swing. Good suggestions and to be honest..mixing styles is what we are all about. I tend to freeze in homes that match perfectly..I don't work well with the 'do no touch' style. Agree...the best kind of comments. xx

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  29. Welcome in this part of America ! Beautiful images, I cannot wait to sit on MY own porch when the weather warms up more !

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    1. Here is to us sitting on our own porches Joanne.. I am a Boston girl from the seashore setting off into the woods. A different kind of experience but once a New Englander...always a New Englander.. :)

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  30. Oh, for the love of porches. I'll throw my 2 cents in the ring. I love all of them. I was surprised, however, that I stopped and gasped at the porch with the red wicker set. I thought I would suggest to your one of the more subtle "looks" but I just loved how completely well-thoughtout that set up looked. That red accented approach would probably have to spill over onto the entire exterior of the house so that might be more of a dominating look that what you may want. Ironically, I walked into "Sam's" here in Houston the other day and stopped short right in front of these gorgeous "teak/wooden/?" rocking chairs. They are beautiful and only $150 a piece. I came really close to picking up 2 of them. They are probably gone by now...but what a fun find. Good luck coming to the U.S. You'll be greeted with lots of sadness but support all at the same time. I will be looking forward to seeing what decisions you make...that is one grand and beautiful porch space!!

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  31. I saw a porch wood ceiling painted a light robin's egg blue. The outdoor room/porch opens up like a surreal painting. Consider painting the ceiling of your screened porch.
    Happy New Home

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  32. My new porch is 12' x 24' and I could not bear the thought of furniture with a color scheme or matching anything. I went to local garage sales, estate auctions and the Goodwill and found wicker chairs and twig furniture that fit with my idea of relaxed, aged, comfortable living. The chairs are various styles and colors, all are worn looking and I made cushions with subdued or faded colors to round out the look. It works for me. Simplicity has awesome power. Ann

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  33. I've done this!! We traveled the globe with the army for 20 years, then lived in Asia for almost 14 years. We bought a 200 year old farmhouse in central PA 13 years ago and 3 years ago began to live in it on a permanent basis. Between the reentry, reverse culture shock and adult kids in and out plus our younger 2, I finally feel like I know "her" and how to make us live in harmony together.

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. Just a few words or a few paragraphs, no matter. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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