Decorating for the soul: The comfort of a friend's porch

In a time when we are all searching for comfort in some form, I think of porches. For me, porches help to make sense of a world that has gone off the charts.

A friend's porch.

I think about one of my closest friends who decided it was time to make an addition to her home. She wanted to add an L-shaped porch that wrapped around the entire back of the house.  A place that would extend the living area and add another dimension to this already charming, vintage home in Winter Park.  

I was happy to be asked to help because there is nothing more fun than coming up with a decorating plan for a friend whose taste you know. Hers: a combination of eclectic, cottage chic with very cool accessories collected from her travels and living abroad. It is much more than just a porch.

Today, it is a place where friends gather. Family celebrations take place. Important decisions are made. Friends have shared happy times on this porch. Solved world problems and a few of our own. Planned road trips. Shared dreams and concerns. It is always a place of comfort.

Big wicker chairs, candles, tables filled with beautiful orchids, comfy pillows, breezy fans. It is a place where you can get off the treadmill and enjoy the peace and quiet. Simple and uncomplicated.

It is one of my favorite places. My home away from home. They say the distance to a friend's house is very short. The same goes for the back porch.  

So, on a day where we still cannot make sense of it and the horror of 9/11 still lingers heavily, I think of the comfort of a friend's porch. 

Home Inspirations: There's no place like (a comfortable) home

Photo of living roomCheck out my latest Home Inspirations column in the Fort Myers News-Press for a list of quick and easy ways to love your home!

News-Press, September 25, 2010 by Wrenda Goodwyn

When it comes to interior decorating, there really are no rules. Well, I have one rule: It must be comfortable! But for the most part, anything goes as long as you love it. A few gentle guidelines will help you get to that point. Whether you have an empty nest or a house filled with family, an apartment condo or home, are upsizing or downsizing ... these suggestions work wherever you live.  

Dorothy said it best in the Wizard of Oz, “There is no place like home.”

And yours should be a place that you love.  If you are not quite feeling the love for your home, it may be time to shake things up a little.  Make a change. Redefine your style.  Correct decorating mistakes.  Decide on a design plan.

When it comes to interior decorating, there really are no rules.  Well, I have one rule:  It must be comfortable!  But for the most part, anything goes as long as you love it.  A few gentle guidelines will help you get to that point.

Whether you have an empty nest or a house filled with family, an apartment condo or home, are upsizing or downsizing…these suggestions work wherever you live: Have a plan before you leap in to a design project.   What is the end result you wish to achieve?  What is the budget?  What do you love in your home?  Not love?

The test: will you love it in five years? 

Before making a major purchase, ask yourself this question. 

Go classic.  Avoid trendy.  Furniture purchases should be like a Channel suit:  timeless.

Declutter.  Less is more. No amount of design overcomes clutter.  Find a place for everything or delete it. You will feel much better.  Show off collections.   Group by subject or by color.  With photo collections, use the same color and type of frame.  You will be amazed at how terrific the photos look.  My favorite frame:  black or silver.  Small investment. Immediate result!

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