Monday, July 12, 2010

How to improvise an outdoor room

I keep hearing people say 'I was ____ on the porch when...", insert 'reading the paper', 'knitting', 'chatting', 'spinning' etc. and it's been making me annoyed.

My house has a perfectly good porch on it that hardly gets used - lately, it's only housed spontaneous picnics on a polar fleece blanket thrown over the floor. The very nice chairs that sit on it all winter for protection from the elements head down to the front lawn come spring, so the porch has nothing on it in summer but the ugly back of the window air conditioner so necessary during heat waves. And it can't have, really, because where would I store whatever I put there when the other chairs come back?

Well, yesterday I decided I'd had enough. I brought some chairs from the back yard patio set that rarely gets used by more than two people anyway, and I shook out the front hall carpet I use to catch snow from boots in the winter, and dug through the rafters in the garage for a couple of the 60s wire tables I keep not resisting at flea markets and people's curbs on garbage day. Ahem.

Let's take a closer look at one of those wire tables, shall we?

I love these things. I used to keep some in my living room before I ran out of space for such luxuries, and lately they've supported pumpkins at Halloween. They are indestructible and versatile and I really don't know why people keep throwing them out, but I wish they'd stop because I'm running out of room in the garage. You don't want to know how much stuff I had to shift to get at the cupboard where I keep little pots to keep little plants in.

(the plant was a present from my mum. Cute, yes? and so matchy with the rest of the front garden.)

Okay, so my improvised porch won't win any design awards, but it's highly functional. I know because within hours of setting this up the porch saw spinning, reading, and snacking. I wonder what will happen out there today?

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