Sunday, May 15, 2011

HOME REPAIRS: Front Porch Maintenance

The kitchen may be the heart of the home, but the front porch is like a handshake, welcoming visitors, serving as a connection point with the neighborhood and role-playing as the first impression for passersby and neighbors.

“The porch is the calling card of your home,” says Susanna Salk, a design expert and author of “Weekend Retreats” (Rizzoli, 2009). “Don’t neglect it or, worse, use the space as storage.”

Creating front-porch style is a simple weekend project. First, Salk says, look at your porch. How is it used? Salk believes a small porch that functions as a transitional space into the house itself should echo the overall style of your home. Alison Gelb Pincus, co-founder of One Kings Lane, a home decor and accessories website, advises going vertical on a small porch. “Make the most of the walls and ceiling,” she advises.

Her top three improvements include:
1. Paint the front door with a new high-gloss coat of paint, preferably in a color that pops. “If your
house is white, paint the door red. A gray house is gorgeous with a deep-purple door.”
2. Change out your hardware. “Slicker, stronger-looking house numbers really change the look of the house,” Gelb Pincus says. “Add a beautiful, sculptural door knocker.”
3. Hang a canvas or print specifically formulated for the outdoors to one or both walls (such as the outdoor art collection at

High Point Market
Twice a year, retailers make the pilgrimage to High Point, N.C., for the High Point Market.
For the past few years, it seemed like everything shown at market was brown. This year was drenched in vibrant hues, like marigold yellow, clementine orange, parrot green, and fuchsia.
There was also a fresh take on traditional designs. C.R. Laine showed a furniture grouping that included a Chesterfield sofa covered in black menswear herringbone fabric paired with spool side chairs, the seat cushions done in parrot green.
Painted furniture is still huge. Today’s wingbacks have smaller wings, lower arms, and less girth. Covered in hip fabrics like a geometric pattern in marigold yellow, the pieces fit in well with decor that ranges from modern to classic.
- Scripps Howard News Service
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