Marcia Strykowski

Welcome to my Porch

We all have our favorite activities and places and one of mine is spending time on my back porch. Porches seem to be an extension to a home where the dreariness of day-to-day tasks can be left behind. Our porch was built on ten or so years ago, first only screened, and then later the windows were added into the same slots for a maximum outdoorsy feel in all kinds of weather. I designed it to be a round porch which is tricky to get into one picture so I merged two (hence the warped beam which in real life is straight).I liked how the ceiling looked with wood between the beams except as they are wont to do these days, it was stamped with bold lot numbers. We put up with this look for a few years but my longing for a sky ceiling became stronger. Trouble is I didn’t want to lose the beams, didn’t want to do it the easy way. There weren’t many options for covering the rough wood in between each beam, but eventually we decided on ceiling panels. They were easy enough for me to paint the pieces after we measured and sawed them. But the real chore was for my husband who put them all into place. Many hot hours were spent on a ladder with a cramped neck, as he painstakingly screwed each panel into its homemade system.One of the last additions was a grass green rug which brings an added coziness to the porch.“Nowadays, people are so jeezled up. If they took some chamomile tea and spent more time rocking on the porch in the evening listening to the liquid song of the hermit thrush, they might enjoy life more.” Tasha TudorNow we’ll go out the back door and visit the little patio garden.Here’s a recent picture of my sister and I helping our mom celebrate her June birthday. It was a chilly day and just right for enjoying the porch.

Back Yard
by Carl Sandburg (1878 – 1967)

Shine on, O moon of summer.
Shine to the leaves of grass, catalpa and oak,
All silver under your rain to-night. 

An Italian boy is sending songs to you to-night from an accordion.
A Polish boy is out with his best girl; they marry next month;
to-night they are throwing you kisses.

An old man next door is dreaming over a sheen that sits in a
cherry tree in his back yard. 

The clocks say I must go—I stay here sitting on the back porch drinking
white thoughts you rain down. 

   Shine on, O moon,
Shake out more and more silver changes.

75 Comments

  1. You know where I would be if I visited you? Lying on the grass-green rug looking at the ceiling it’s beautiful!
    I adore your rabbit (or perhaps it’s a hare?) I have a passion for hares and have a really pretty one on the fireplace but none in the garden. Yours just looks so welcoming sitting there with his lamp. Do you put candles in it?
    I saw something the other day which would look lovely in your porch. Hot-air balloons (about the size of your lanterns) all painted in different colours/designs. Some had people in the baskets others had animals or other crazy things. That might sound tacky, but they were really beautiful and all hand finished. I wish I could remember where I saw them.
    Lovely photo of the three of you, thank you for sharing a little bit of your home it looks warm and friendly.
    We’ve been busy moving furniture this morning, a little spring cleaning as it’s raining out, and we didn’t get it done earlier in the year. I’ve just sat down to while away an hour while lunch cooks and there was your delightful post, thank you.

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    • Oh, thanks, Barbara! I’m so glad you enjoyed your visit. The hot air balloons sound wonderful. As for my rabbit with the lantern, there’s a small candle inside. I don’t usually light it though, and sometimes I put a battery-operated one in instead. Have a lovely rest of the day!

      Like

  2. Michele

    We need more porches in our lives! I’d love to be sitting in yours right now, having a cup of chamomile tea with you. It’s just lovely, Marcia…a lot of planning and work, and well worth the effort! Love the photos of you with your Mom and sister. Thanks for sharing with us.

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    • Thanks, Michele! If you’re ever again in the area, you’ll have to come by. I love porches, too, back, front, wherever. 🙂 Enjoy your day!

      Like

  3. Reblogged this on jenniesjoyfuljots.wordpress.com and commented:
    Refreshing moments!

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  4. What a beautiful and cozy porch. Love those ceiling panels!!!

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    • Thanks, Jama. They took a lot of work, but now a few years later, I think we’ve recovered. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Perfect sky light solution…and grassy carpet. I think I’d be spending most of my time on your porch. With a view to those lupine. Beautiful spot!

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    • I wish everyone didn’t live so far away from me; we could have a porch party!

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  6. Beautiful, Marcia!

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  7. I LOVE your porch. What a great place to relax in and to entertain guests. We had a porch in our first house growing up on a farm. No porch here in Spain but a lovely terrace so I’m OK.

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  8. Anonymous

    Very beautiful and I love the picture at the end.

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    • I don’t know who you are, Anonymous, but I appreciate your kind comment!

      Like

  9. Paula

    Hi Marcia, Started my day on your porch! Can’t think of a better way! Now for my cup of coffee and…Paula : )

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  10. How absolutely gorgeous. When the sun shines through, it must be amazing. Your husband did a great job, and your garden and flowers are stunning. Thanks so much for sharing a part of your home. Enjoy the rest of the day and have a fantastic week ahead. 🙂

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    • Thank you, Lynne. The garden blooms are rather off and on, but the rose bushes seem to keep steady. Have a wonderful week!

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  11. Louise Pryor

    I agree–porches are the BEST places in the world. I now have a tiny one–but tiny is OK. I love what you did with the ceiling–kudos to you and your husband. And your bunny with book is lovely, as is your garden outside the porch. You’re very lucky to have these beautiful spaces.

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    • You’re right, no matter what the size, a chair on a porch is a great escape. Thanks for your kind thoughts, Louise!

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  12. Colleen

    I LOVE the sky ceiling! I have a sky wall -but a ceiling is so much better! Also i have the same little wrought iron table with two chairs- yours reminds me that mine need painting! What a gorgeous post! You must be having an ENCHANTING summer spending time in that beautiful round porch. Thank you for sharing your lovely space!

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    • Ah, a sky wall sounds interesting. One other addition I might put in one of the porch corners is a big tree branch reaching up to the ceiling with mini lights on it, we’ll see… Happy summer, Colleen!

      Like

  13. I love our porches -either front or back with friends and family and of course sweet tea

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  14. Donna Carlino

    Beautiful space! So inviting. I love my porch as well. Im sitting in it as I write. Ours was a screened in one at first as well. Hubby did all the work putting the windows, door and floor in.

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    • Oh nice! Fun to hear you’re on your porch right now, Donna, it’s a great day for it. From my porch to yours!

      Like

  15. clarehelenwelsh

    Wow! What a beautiful home Marcia xx

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  16. What a stunning porch! I enjoyed your photos and was feeling quite at home there. The mom/daughters ending was perfect. I enjoyed the Sandberg poem, too. His home is a short drive from us, but we haven’t been there yet.

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    • Oh, interesting. I’ll have to look up Sandberg now. I didn’t realize his home was out your way and open to the public. 🙂

      Like

  17. Wow, that is an amazing space!! Definitely a place to relax & forget about the day. And that bunny statue reading is just the cutest.

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    • I had to grab that bunny as soon as I saw it a couple years back. I think it might have been at Marshalls. 🙂

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  18. Bette Norton

    Love your post on porches! What a beautiful porch you have with the sky and the grass inside! I love the shape of it! I am in the process of moving. My current home has a closed in porch with many memories of family gatherings and twilight nights. Last night we were at our new home and had supper for the first time in our new screened in porch. We were surrounded by trees with birds everywhere. I love sitting in a porch being one with nature. It is true it is a nice retreat from daily tasks and the busyness of life. Enjoy the rest of your summer in your beautiful porch as will I! Thank you for another delightful post! 🙂

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    • Enjoy your new porch, Bette, it sounds perfect. And thanks for your comment!

      Like

  19. Ashley

    This is the best porch ever!! Great job fixign up, I love the yellow bench and table!!

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    • Thanks, Ashley. For those who are curious, the bench was from Lowes (which has since closed…at least the one nearby) and the table, which is shaped like a fish, was from Christmas Tree Shop. Fun to shop for bargains when there’s a new room to fill. 🙂

      Like

      • Ashley

        Thanks! I was curious!

        Liked by 1 person

  20. What an inviting, summery porch, Marcia, with the open windows and beautiful flowers outside. I can imagine the breeze drifting through. Perfect poem to go along with it, too.

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    • A breeze drifting through is my favorite part, brings back memories of bygone days for some reason. Thanks, Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Love the roundness of your porch!

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    • It works well for entertaining with everyone able to see each other easily. 🙂

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  22. I love your porch, Marcia. You told me about your ceiling, and I’m so glad to see it. It really gives the effect of the sky. Perfectly lovely! A porch is THE best place for just being.

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    • I remember seeing your great porch, too, Jennie, now that you mention it (maybe that’s where I got the idea to share mine 🙂 ) Even on a rainy day like today, it’s fun to hear rain on the roof.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Anonymous

    We had a front porch, wood-paneled like yours when we gave up trying to remove decades of wall paper. It’s a favorite room still, and I think much is lost in new homes without a porch.

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    • Front porches are wonderful (especially when a parade is going by!) to sit and watch the world carry on.

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  24. Michelle

    Wonderful post, Marcia! Love all the photos you shared with us!

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  25. Hi Marcia! wow- you and your mother and sis all look alike! Fun to see you together. And the porch is so bright and welcoming– the green grass rug is perfect!! And kudos to you husband for doing the ceiling–what a job!! And lastly, love love the lupine! It looks so strong and healthy. We have it grown wild here up in the high mountains and it’s so cheerful. So glad you included this post! Hope you get lots more summer days out there! Always love to read all you come up with! xox

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    • Lupines do seem pretty hardy, good for all climates. 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, Rhonda. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! xo

      Like

  26. I love this stunning post, Marcia! I love your porch, it looks so cozy, tranquil and relaxing. I love your plants. I love everything in there. And you three look alike, and I’m happy to see you all looking happy and beautiful. xoxox

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  27. Deborah Nolan

    Oh Marcia your porch is gorgeous…it would certainly be a place I’d spend a great deal of time. Your pic with sister and Mom is wonderful. Just lovely post with great poems. Take care and may you enjoy some restful time on your porch. Hugs!

    Like

    • Thanks so much, Debbie. I hope you’re having a nice summer, too. 🙂

      Like

  28. What a charming porch! And Tasha Tudor is one of my favorite illustrators. I think she got to live her own Victorian fantasy on her farm in New England.

    Finally, lovely poem by Sandburg!

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    • Thanks, Sharon. I’ve seen pictures of Tasha’s beautiful estate and I hope to explore it someday, it looks very idyllic and charming.

      Like

  29. mirkabreen

    How beautiful you and your sister look with your mom. As to the back porch, now I wish I had one!

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    • Thank you, Mirka. I hope your future holds many back-porch sittings!

      Like

  30. Oh, your porch must be a lovely place to read, write, and visit! Good Housekeeping has nothing on the perfect little refuge you have created. 🙂

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    • Ha ha, thanks, Lynn. This past weekend was perfect porch weather so it was nice to spend time out there.

      Like

  31. P.S. As always, I love the colorful photos!

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  32. Oh Marcia, your porch and the gardens are just beautiful. And I have read and re-read the poem. Clearly I must read more of his. Wonderful!

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    • I’m glad you enjoyed the poem. It inspired me to revisit some of his work, as well. Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  33. What a beautiful porch. It looks so cozy and inviting. 🙂 I think it is nice to have a spot like that to sit and relax. Love the pictures of the flowers and such a sweet picture of you, your mom, and your sister. 🙂

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    • I appreciate your lovely comment, Stephanie. We should all sit and relax more often!

      Like

  34. Wow! I love that sky ceiling! It reminds me a bit of our fake skylight, a tromp l’oeil painting which we had in our house and took with us to the condo.

    What an inviting, cozy place to sit and read or write. Your garden looks magical. And the family photo is great, too. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Like

    • Hi Barbara, your ‘skylight’ sounds wonderful; I can almost picture it. I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the post!

      Like

  35. Thanks for a beautiful post. So this is what you call porch. Here it would be called conservatory. I have one myself only with more insulation to floor and such for winter. Yours is so beautiful and warm in furnishings. At the Apex ( same type of roof as you ) I have hung a storm lamp that takes a candle.:) Seafarer….
    I feel I use this room more than any, the lights are wonderful in these rooms with almost wrap around windows.
    Thanks for inviting us to see.
    miriam

    Like

    • Interesting, I like the idea of a storm lamp. I guess I usually think of conservatories as having more glass, with sometimes even the roof being glass. Your room sounds wonderful, it must be especially great to be more insulated, too. It would be so nice to be out on my porch in mid-winter. I have a tiny space heater which might bring the heat up 10 degrees or so, but that isn’t warm enough when it’s only 10 degrees outside. Thanks so much for your visit to my blog, Miriam!

      Like

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