My mom's birthday is this coming weekend, but we treated her a week early by buying her a ticket to the Holiday Homes Tour sponsored by the local preservation society. So last Sunday afternoon she, Cecilia and I spent several hours driving through the countryside to tour various houses. I was most eager to see the two 1830s Greek Revival homes included in the tour.
I had my camera along, but did not take any pictures of the homes' interiors. There were two reasons for this - first, I didn't want to take advantage of the homeowners' generosity; and second, every house was packed with people. Any interior picture I took would have revealed more about current trends in winter appearal than it would have about the architecture of the homes in which the pictures were taken.
But I did take a few exterior pictures. : )
The picture below is a bit bittersweet for me.
That is very similar to the side porch that our house used to/should have. Granted, our side porch was smaller and a bit less ornate. Our porch had only one window with the door (although my picture cuts it off, the house porch pictured above had two windows with a centered door) and our porch had only two pillars (compared to four), but still the idea and the feel is exactly what I hope we can someday bring back to our house.
This is what we've got now:
But in my mind...
I'll start by taking out the paneled wall with the window. Put two simple square pillars flush against the stone walls to the left and the right. Give the pillars some simple molding on the very top and bottom. I might even add some decorative wood trim like pictured above, but it's nothing too intricate or ornate, this isn't the Victorian era yet. The porch is, say, five or so feet deep. Its back wall consists of a door (into the dining room) to the left and a window to the right. Now - I'll put a divided pane window back into that shuttered hole in the small stone wall. Add appropriately-sized louvered wood shutters. (Yes - they have to be wood shutters.) With shutter dogs. (I love shutter dogs!) Now, I'll settle into a rocking chair on my lovely porch. There's a terra cotta pot on the top step in front of me with some red flowers in it - geraniums, maybe, or begonias. My handsome husband steps out from the dining room, joining me with a glass of cool lemonade to sip while we enjoy the view. (It's almost always mid-June in my imagination.) The kids are laughing while playing on their swingset to our right while to our left a barn cat or two - or five - lounge on the stone walls in front of the springhouse. Our whole view is framed by the tree lined creek, which can very faintly be heard gurgling in the background....
It's going to happen someday. Might take 30 years, I'll admit. But it'll happen. Even if it's my grandkids playing on the swingset.
(Which reminds me of one of the guests at our open house last October. While looking at some pictures of the house taken just after we bought it she looked up at me and said, "Wow. You must have had some, uh, imagination when you bought this place." If she only knew!)