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Front Porch Appeal
Enjoy the Dog Days of Summer on Your Porch!

Issue #68 July 2015
July - hot humid days, sprinklers, afternoon thunder storms, summer vacation trips, and kids riding bikes (or playing lots of video games hopefully on the porch). July is also for porch sitting and taking time to watch the world go by.

It's the perfect time to celebrate porches and Mary and I have a special offer for you. We've teamed up with our friend Leisa Collins, a renowned watercolor artist who is giving away a special gift (details below) that will be treasured for years to come.

summer porch with wicker furniture and pink cusions
Summer Porch Splendor in Pink

We'll also share our latest porchfest pictures from Westhaven in Franklin, Tennessee. You never know just how much fun a porchfest can until you attend one; Amy Grant was one of the artists who sang from a porch! Check out the schedule below to see if a porchfest will be playing near you this summer or fall.

Fairfield Illinois held a porch decorating contest and we are delighted to share some photos.

Building a house soon? Check out these latest house plans online for lots of ideas and wonderful home plans.

Celebrate Summer by
Entering Our "Pleasant Summer Porch Contest"

You could win a free water color portrait of your home by renowned watercolor artist Leisa Collins!

collage of watercolor portraits by leisa collins

A painting to be greatly appreciated
A Leisa Collins Watercolor House Portrait

All we need is a photo of your porch; it's that easy to possibly win a custom watercolor portrait of your home.

Our rules are simple:
  • Three independent judges will choose one winner based upon an appealing summer porch whether that be via your furnishings, landscaping or colors! The winner will receive a handcrafted watercolor painting of their porch or home by Artist Leisa Collins.

  • You must be at least 18 to enter

  • Contest runs from Wednesday July 15th through Friday July 31, 2015 Don't delay - take your porch photo today!

  • Please only submit photos of your own porch

  • You may enter up to three photographs of your summertime porch. For example two close-ups and one that shows your house in the photo. Show off your porch however you like. Please send original photos.

  • No people pictures please

How To Enter

  • Send one to three original-sized photos of your summer porch to this email address:

  • Not sure how to send the photos? Contact us through the email address and we'd be glad to assist.

  • Please include your name and email address. Put "Pleasant Summer Porch Contest" in the subject line.

  • You are welcome to tell us about your porch or share a porch memory. This is optional and not part of the contest.

  • We will only use your email address for the contest and to share the winning homeowner's information with Leisa Collins Art, our contest sponsor.

  • We know we'll get lots of wonderful porch entries, so please no whining allowed if your porch is not chosen. It's all in good summer fun.
Learn more contest details and see a sampling of Leisa's artwork.

watercolor portrait by leisa collins

A gift that would be greatly appreciated
A Leisa Collins Watercolor House Portrait

Whether you enter the contest or not, would you like a house portrait of your childhood home, the church in which you were married, or perhaps your parent's home as an anniversary gift? See samples of Leisa's work and contact her for a custom house portrait.

Build Your Dream House with Plans Online

Thinking of building a house this year or remodeling your existing home? You can get amazing ideas from viewing house plans online.

From exterior elevations (showing wonderful porches) to the latest interior layouts, these plans are ideal for anyone contemplating building their dream home, transitional home, screened room, and other structures as well.

country home with wrap around front porch plan from
Country Porch Home Plan 75102 by

country home interior schematic drawing by
Country Home Interior Schematic 75102 by

craftsman style home built from plan by
Craftsman Style Home Built from Plan 65800 by

Check out the interior layout of this beautiful home design!

10 Planning Factors To Consider In
Your Screen Porch Design

Thinking of building a screened porch this summer or fall? Now's the time to start planning your special outdoor space.

interior of spacious and beautiful screened porch
Spacious screen porch interior
(photo courtesy of JA101)

decorated screen porch by The Porch Company
Luxurious Screen Porch By The Porch Company

Before you begin, learn how wind, geography, and even your HOA can affect your new structure. Check out our 10 planning factors that will definitely help make your porch project enjoyable for years to come.

Screen Porch Options

Screen Porch DIY Kit

You might want to consider a screen porch kit. They come in a variety of options and styles that you can easily install yourself. Prolong your outdoor time with a screen porch kit like the one below from

screen porch kit by

Screen Porch Plan

Another option is to build your screen porch from a plan like the ones we found at If you have basic carpentry skills and the time, this may be just right for you.

screen porch plan by

Porch Design Idea

Know what the enclosed balustrade (railings) on a porch is called (answer at bottom of page)? We are often asked that question and thought we'd share two photos of those we've spotted from across the country.

stone kneewall in California
Beautiful stone "balustrade" in California

unique kneewall design in Florida
Aesthetically pleasing "balustrade" design in Florida

See more photos in our porch railings design section.

Porch Events Across the Country

From jumping off porches to playing music on them, porches are popular places for all kinds of events.


Mary and I attended a porchfest near us a few weeks ago and wanted to share a few photos. Be sure to check out the national schedule of porchfests occurring later this summer and fall.

collage of porchfests

westhaven franklin tennessee porchfest 2015
Neighbors Enjoying Westhaven Tennessee Porchfest 2015

neighbors enjoying westhaven franklin tennessee porchfest 2015
Everyone Enjoys Porchfest!

people watching westhaven franklin tennessee porchfest 2015
Sit Back and Listen to the Music!

If you are in the area be sure to check one out. Here are just a few of the many porchfests happening soon - learn more about specific porchfest events near you.

Upcoming Porchfest Events

  • Napa Valley, CA; Sunday, July 26, 2015 from 1:00 - 6:00 pm

  • The Old Town section of Erie, PA; Saturday, July 25th

  • Gilroy, CA, Saturday, September 15th, 1-6 p.m.

  • Mapleton Hill - Boulder, CO, September 20th, 1-4 p.m.

  • Minneapolis, MN, Powderhorn Porchfest, Saturday, September 12th, 2015

Pretty Up Your Porch

The folks in Fairfield, IL recently held a porch contest that they aptly named "Pretty Up Your Porch Contest". And we are happy we can share their pictures with you.

As you can see, they take a lot of pride in their porches. Here are just a few and we'll share more later.
White wicker furniture on this pretty porch

Black rocking chairs and gorgeous flowers on this wraparound porch

Wide porch with two conversation areas

We love the fact that Fairfield had their first porch contest. We heard from them that they were inspired by the porch contests held in Brigham City, UT. How nice is that!

Please Visit Our Fine Sponsors

We truly value our sponsors and the products and services they provide.

Shop for Porch Parts at Vintage Woodworks.
Vintage Woodworks
For handcrafted porch parts

Porch Store
Porch Store
Custom porch products

Learn more about screen porch windows from the Rekal Company
EzePorch It!
Don’t Just Screen It.

Aluminum screen doors from PCA Products
PCA Products
Amazing Custom Screen Doors

Answer to Porch Design Question Above

Enclosed balustrades are called: knee walls

Join Our Porch Community on Facebook

You're invited to be part of our Facebook community. We share ideas with one another for decorating and using our porches. We have over 7,200 members and would love to count you among them.

Mary and Dave

Happy porch sitting from your friends,

Mary & Dave

Life is short. Enjoy your porch.

/ / / July 2015

small rocking chair

Our Sponsors

Shop for Porch Parts at Vintage Woodworks.
Vintage Woodworks
For Your Porch Parts

Screened porch windows at
DIY Eze Breeze
Screen Porch Windows

The Porch Store
Porch Store
Custom Porch Products

Aluminum screen doors from PCA Products
PCA Products
Complement Any Home!

End sponsor section

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