Joni's Old Porch
There's nothing quite like the look of an old porch.
Together with comfortable chairs, soft cushions, and an old swing, a farmhouse porch is as inviting as it gets!
Beckons Us to Sit a Spell
Sit back as Joni, author of "Old Centennial Farmhouse" tells us about her farmhouse porch.
When you are done here, you will also enjoy Joni's tips on decorating for fall.
Hi, my name is Joni!
Welcome to the porch at our Old Centennial Farmhouse.
This old porch was one of the main reasons this home appealed to me so much when we first pulled in the drive to look at the old farmhouse one fall afternoon in 1991.
Our home is a fairly typical Michigan farmhouse and is a designation centennial farmhouse because the original farm was farmed by the same family for one hundred years.
There's a process that the original family had to go through with the state of Michigan to get this special certification and a sign on the land,
all once they proved the farm's longevity with the same family.
History of Joni's Old Porch
Our home was built in 1898, by a carpenter who earned a dollar a day for his work.
Fortunately, we were told a lot about our old house by a gal who was born here and grew up here with her family.
She is now over ninety years old and she lives just a mile across the field out front in her own farmhouse!
We are still in the process of restoring the place.
Luckily for us, most of the home had not been altered or any of the original woodwork destroyed or covered with multiple layers of paint and the basics of the home are mostly as they were in 1898.
We happen to be just the third owners in 111 years!
The old porch had been restored before we bought the house, but due to using the wrong materials, rot took over because of Michigan's heavy snows and improper draining from the floor of the porch.
About eight years ago, my sweet husband tore it all off and patiently remade all the gingerbread and re-did it again.
I think of the porch as one of the treasures of our home.
It's sad to me that new homes often overlook one of the most pleasant places to spend some time on a spring, summer or fall evening.
Why Joni Loves Her Porch
My porch is so pleasant mostly because of the big silver maple planted here (by that same little girl who grew up here)
when she was eight that shades the porch and is home to many birds.
It provides a pleasant sound when a breeze is in the air...which is most of the time here on the "prairie" of Mid-Michigan...an open land of farm fields surround us.
Many evenings we can sit in the wicker rockers and watch deer or wild turkey or pheasant in the surrounding fields.
It's a favorite place to sit and share a glass of homemade lemonade
and visit and rock in the wicker with a friend, it's somewhere that overlooks our front flower garden and an expanse of green lawn,
and when the crops are in the fields, those are pleasant to watch grow up and mature.
We enjoy this porch in the daytime, or at night when the stars are out and the fireflies flit around the yard on a summer evening,
if you're chilly, just pull a small quilt or throw off the back of your chair and cover up! (That patchwork one came from a garage sale for $3!)
How Joni Decorates Her Porch
Of course, I have a lot of fun decorating this ol' porch with found treasures,
either those found here at the farm as we tore down old barns, or finds from our own attic used in a new way,
or from pleasant days spent either at flea markets, antique stores or yard sales.
There's always a flag flying year-round and I try to keep it bright and cheerful.
I like to have a small wind chime
to provide pleasant music that you can hear in the living room, dining room, or the bedroom overhead.
In the summer it changes with a whim, as the pole barn has a stock of neat old props like an old red tricycle, a wooden carriage wheel, barrels and galvanized items and old crocks.
The shade-loving annuals and varieties of hosta provide lots of color during spring and summer in the border surrounding the porch.
Spring is wonderful with lacy leaves and bright emerging bulbs and the carpet of emerald velvet to feast your eyes on after a long, dreary winter.
What you see here in the photos for spring are some fun vintage displays in the corner and one near the main door.
For Flag-day and the Fourth of July,
there are buntings to drape the railing and a special old '76 flag from our country's bicentennial celebration flies from the front railing.
Small garden flagsdown near the steps carry a patriotic theme In the fall, there's lots of maple leaves drifting in to kiss your cheek while you enjoy the bright colors of pumpkins, scarecrows and corn shocks.
As I change what's on the old porch with the seasons or the holidays, Christmas stands out as a favorite time when the railing
is adorned with real evergreen garland and old-fashioned Christmas lights and red bows,
as well as evergreen wreaths and vintage sleds and snow decorating the porch railing is a perfect bonus.
I'm glad you stopped in.
Let's take our lemonade to the porch and get to know each other.
Antique wash tub on porch
Look how Joni incorporates antique wash tubs on her porch, too.
Wonderful country decor.