Happy May my friends! It’s the first Wednesday of the month which means we’re due for a round of My Five Favorites, the monthly series I co-host with Pam of Simple Details, Jennifer of Dimples & Tangles and Kris of Driven By Decor, who is taking this month off while she’s in the throes of a major kitchen renovation.
Today we’re so excited to have Amanda of Dixie Delights joining us as our guest host of the month! We’re talking about ideas to zhush up your porch or patio now that the warm weather is here to stay (hopefully?!) and Amanda just so happens to have one of my favorite porches of all time! Just look at this beautiful space (complete with a fireplace on the other side!)…..
That oyster shell mirror? The clever way to hang the art? The summery color palette? I love it all! We’re so happy you’re hanging out with us today Amanda, welcome!
Late last night I returned from Martha’s Vineyard, where my daughter Hannah had a high school lacrosse game. The ferry to the Vineyard, an island off the coast of Cape Cod, is about an hour from our house and this annual tradition is tons of fun for both the kids and the parents, many who take the day off from work to attend. This year the daughter of one of my best friends is a freshman and a lax player, and Hannah is a senior, so we took advantage of this one year that our girls would both be going over to the Vineyard and went down the night before.
Day break from our hotel was so beautiful!
Have you visited the Vineyard before? Talk about porch and patio inspiration!! There were so many pretty ideas everywhere that I thought I’d share a few of them with you today (and incorporate them into my own outdoor spaces this year!)
USE LARGE FLOOR PLANTERS FOR DRAMA
I love this idea of using a huge planter box on the floor of a deck or patio, or on either side of your front door for a dramatic pop of flowers en masse!
Painting a wooden planter a fun color is a great way to freshen up what you already have and give it a whole new look. This bright blue color is so pretty and has my wheels turning about adding a bit of color to our newly white house!
Here are a few large rectangular planters that would make a statement on a patio. I’m thinking of two big ones for my deck!
ADD WINDOW BOXES FOR A LITTLE CHEER
It’s amazing how cheery and happy a house with window boxes of flowers appears!
If the thought of maintaining a bunch of window boxes throughout the summer is daunting, consider one or two on a window on your deck, or attach one of these slim boxes to your deck rail.
I was recently in Home Depot and noticed they have a great selection of both synthetic and wooden window boxes, and if you’re an Amazon Prime member and love to use it for any and every purchase you make (me too!!!) there are plenty of great options over there. I put a few of my faves in the Shine Your Light Amazon Shop!
PLANT HERBS ALONG WITH YOUR FLOWERS
While you’re filling your floor or window boxes with gorgeous flowers, throw some herbs in there too for fresh goodness you can use all summer long. I typically plant rosemary, thyme, chives, mint and basil.
Basil grows like crazy if you place it in a sunny spot and take care to nip the little flowers that cause the plant to slow down it’s growth and make the leaves bitter. Pruning throughout the season encourages new growth so when you’re clipping basil for recipes, cut the leggier vines right above where two leaves meet, and you’ll have regrowth from this point to enjoy throughout the whole summer.
I absolutely love when our basil starts to grow like crazy over the summer, and I can make a big batch of pesto. I use it on grilled chicken, make pasta salad with it, and drizzle it over tomatoes and mozzarella, sooooo good!!!
Check out this post for planting herbs in containers for your deck or patio, and a few tips for making those easy peasy wine cork herb markers here.
UPDATE OR SPRUCE UP YOUR OUTDOOR LIGHTING
The town we stayed in on the Vineyard, Edgartown, is full of beautiful old homes, most of them either clad in weathered grey shingles or painted the classic New England white with black shutters. I could have house stalked all day long but I felt a little creepy taking pictures of people’s houses!
One of the many things I noticed and loved where all the pretty lights. Changing your lights or freshening up the ones you already have is a great way to update your outdoor spaces for spring and summer. If you like your lights but they’re looking a little forlorn, consider spray painting them!
I painted all the lights by our front door, around our garage and on our deck and it made such a difference. It’s really easy to do – just remove the glass, tape newspaper all around the light fixtures and give them a few light coats of spray paint. Such an easy update!!
If you’re in the market for new outdoor lighting, there are so many pretty (and affordable) options out there. Here are a few of my timeless favorites…….
PAINT YOUR PORCH CEILING
One last pretty outdoor detail from my quick trip to the Vineyard – painted porch ceilings. I have always loved this idea, how about you?
Painting a porch ceiling blue is a long standing tradition that is said to ward off ghostly spirits, fool wasps and insects into thinking the ceiling is the sky, and bring good luck. Many older homes, from the South all the way up the East Coast, especially in classic New England towns like Martha’s Vineyard’s Edgartown, bear the blue ceiling, typical of the nature-loving Victorian era.
While the traditional blue porch ceiling is a soft blue, I love this robin’s egg blue one above that I spied yesterday, and Carmel’s beautiful blue ceiling over at Our Fifth House also comes to mind!
I looked through my paint fan decks and there are so many pretty blues and greeny-blues that would be amazing on a porch ceiling. The one up above is similar to this color which would be fun! –
Benjamin Moore Florida Keys Blue #2050-40
– and these colors are more traditional “haint blues”:
Benjamin Moore Watercolor Blue #793
Benjamin Moore Breath Of Fresh Air #806
Benjamin Moore Soft Sky #807
Benjamin Moore Blue Haze #1667
Every Mother’s Day weekend I take advantage of the occasion and get the kids to help me set up our deck, plant flowers and get our outdoor spaces ready for the warm weather ahead, and after seeing all sorts of beautiful homes and gardens on the Vineyard I am feeling so inspired!
Thanks so much for stopping by today – I hope you enjoyed this peek at Martha’s Vineyard and some ideas for your outdoor spaces! I’ll be back tomorrow with an update on my One Room Challenge, only a week to go until the reveal!!
I can’t wait to see what ideas Amanda, Jennifer and Pam have for us! Let’s go for a visit.
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