Out Southern Front Porch
Instead of just showing you photos of our southern front porch I thought I’d answer some of our most frequently asked questions I get about our porch! A few days ago I reached out to you on instagram and asked if anyone wanted to throw any questions out, and y’all were amazing and gave me all kinds of material to discuss!
A Front Porch Direction
A wide front porch is on a lot of people’s must have list, but more important than that is the direction the porch will face! Placement dictates how you will live on the porch.
Our previous home faced due west, which meant you could always see the sunset from the front porch, but most of the year it was too hot in our North Carolina sun to stand out there in that intense sunlight. It was pretty miserable. The sun will make your door hot, fade the stain or paint on your door, and shrivel up potted plants that can’t take the heat, despite any efforts to keep the soil wet.
In this home our porch faces East, so we get a nice morning sun. The trade off is that shade all afternoon (ideal for hydrangeas in a pot!). All afternoon and evening the sun is in the other direction, and Jose and I can actually enjoy our rocking chairs (only with a cold beverage and the fan spinning on high of course).
My sister in law’s doodle, Winston
Q: Are you afraid of your white brick getting dirty and what do you plan to do to care for it, especially with NC’s pollen and nastiness?
As far as the brick on the house, after our second spring here I started noticing parts of the brick (closer to the ground) where mud had splashed and left stains. Especially by my son’s basketball goal. The soil here is red, which makes everything worse.
We waited until pollen season was over and had the house power washed and the brick was looking bright white again. I don’t know if anyone else would notice the difference, but I’m always paying attention to the brick. I think if you’re going to have a white house it’s just part of the cost… power washing every few years would be good enough for the average home owner I would guess!
As far as white brick on the steps and the border around the porch, the white steps get dirty from time to time. I take a hose with a power nozzle to the steps when they get muddy. The brick porch floor was painted with a white wash effect on it and it hides some dirt.
Q: Where is your door mat from and how big is it?
I love our oversized Hello doormat I found on Wayfair! I bought this on mega sale on Way Day. It’s huge- 3’ x 6’, but comes in standard and smaller sizes too. Perfect size for double doors, but it could also be centered in front of one door if you have the space on the sides.
Q: What is that wood called on your porch ceiling?
It is called a tongue and groove ceiling. It was already in the plans so I don’t really know much more than what it’s called and that it is one of the most common things people comment on. You can find tongue and groove material for sale at Home Depot.
Q: What plants do you have out that are real?
Of course in the south it gets hot, so a southern front porch must have the right kind of plants. Far be it from me to be anti faux plants, but the morning sunlight is ample enough to keep everything in bloom, but with the afternoon shade the pots don’t dry up as quickly. I have a gardenia in the metal pot that is doing okay so far. I’m crossing my fingers because they are fickle plants to keep in a pot.
I couldn’t resist trying because I love the shape! If you are looking for a lifelike faux tree I really like this one from Crate and Barrel. It comes with a heavy price tag, but if you’re in it for the long haul it might be a good commitment. It’s a nice faux looking tree.
Besides the gardenia I have this short and wide pot and another aluminum pot with hydrangeas in them. We have a ton of deer here (they eat hydrangeas), but knock on wood so far they don’t come up on the porch at night. I just water these guys every few days to keep the soil damp.
The wreaths on the door are not real.
Q: How do you keep your wreaths stuck to the door?
We use the biggest command hooks you can find. Theses are big and stick to the glass. They hide fairly well behind our wreaths.
Q: I know you must love all the light from the glass doors, but does the lack of privacy bother you?
So, I thought it might. We actually meant to go with seeded glass but forgot to do anything about that until it was too late and the doors were ordered (whoops). When we moved in, I realized even if we had a solid front door it would make no difference for privacy because we have windows everywhere.
Our living spaces are towards the back of the home. This style of glass door is pretty common in our neighborhood. A few of our neighbors have the seeded glass doors (they blur everything looking in/out) and they seem to let just as much light in. That’s a nice idea. But clearly I’m a sucker for light so… no, no regrets although it was not intentional. I can see how it could be bothersome with a different floorpan.
Q: Rocking chairs are a must on a Southern front porch. Where are yours from? Do you leave them out year round? What about the cushions- do they get mildewy?
Rocking chairs are essential to a southern front porch! But no, we don’t bring our rocking chairs in in the winter but that is only because our winters are mild. We do store the cushions inside during the off season. They don’t get mildewy (probably because they are Sunbrella fabric) and we shake the dust off them. The blue stripe pillows are new this season from Target and we will see how they hold up. They’re a fun touch.
I do want to mention how pleased I have been with these two Nantucket rocking chairs. I was nervous to order them without actually seeing them first, but they are made well. They were easy for my husband to assemble and I’m relieved I didn’t go with something cheaper!
The seat itself is roomy to sit in, because I always have little people crawling into my lap. Our chairs are covered under the roof so I am sure that keeps them in better condition than if they were exposed, but after 1.5 years in they are doing great.
Q: How long do the batteries last the lanterns you have on your steps? Have they run out yet?
I have these white lanterns and these navy lanterns out there and they pretty filthy right now. But the automatic flameless candles inside the lanterns have been awesome. Since buying them one candle has gone out… and I have a total of 5 candles out there. I believe I have had them out on the porch for roughly two months now. Each lantern takes a few batteries.
These candles turn on and off by themselves for 5 hour increments each night- I have them set to light up at 7pm, and then they go off at midnight! I love that I don’t have to think about that.
Q: Do you let your kids eat on your rocking chairs and cushions?
This one made me laugh. I do… because everything out there can be hosed down except the cushions but they are made of sunbrella fabric. The kids have a habit of eating their popsicles in the backyard where we don’t have furniture yet and I am quietly grateful for that.
Q: What do you love most about your front porch?
Totally random, but it happens that that directly in front of our house is the spot in the sky where rainbows always form. (Have you ever noticed rainbows always appear in the exact same part of the sky? They do.) So I guess what I love most is how the kids run outside after it’s raining and sit on the porch and look up. It’s the little things!
Rocking chair and cushions linked above.
Side Table is Serena and Lily and no longer sold
Shop the post below: