Thursday, October 6, 2011

Picture Perfect Porches: History of the Front Porch (Part 1)

I'm always interested in the history behind things (especially iconic things/people in the history of the United States) and so when I started this series (waaay back in January), I decided that in addition to finding images of porches I loved, I wanted to do a little research on the history of porches, specifically porches in America. I found several great resources by just Googling and I felt like it was an interesting topic to explore.  However, this is basically a research paper on porches, so if it's not your thing, I won't take offense!

The word "porch" originally derives from "the Latin word porticus, or the Greek word portico, both of which are associated with a classical temple from around this time. . By Victorian times, the word "porch" was analogous with the words "veranda," "piazza," "loggia," and "portico," each of which could imply individual differences. By the close of the of the nineteenth century, the word "porch" began to represent its current meaning, which generally refers to a "roofed, but incompletely walled living area" directly adhered to the frame of a house.

The porch can really be traced back to the overhanging rock shelters of prehistoric times. It's first appearance in the modern world was in Ancient Greece and Rome. . North of Europe, porches were rarely used, but to the south in Africa, porches were often found in the shotgun houses of West Africa. Finally, by the early eighteenth century, porches spread in the Americas. A century later, porches had become an important element of American architecture.

Because porches were not popular in European architecture at the time, porches did not appear in the colonies until the late 1700's, when some of the first porches in America were built by the immigrants from Africa. Probably inspired by the houses of West Africa, the shotgun house, built by the African slave, appeared as one of the first American houses to consistently exhibit a front porch. Climate also impacted the rise of the porch, which is supported by the fact that porches in America grew first and most quickly in the South. Of course, the climate of America was hotter than in Europe in general, making the porch an instrumental architectural form throughout the whole country.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Picture Perfect Porches: Dining Porches and Entertaining Patios

I'm picking back up my porch series, which seems to be an ongoing project that will probably end up following me into my thirties.  In the next few weeks (hopefully), I think I am going to finish a draft I started months ago- the first of several describing the actual history behind porches.  This week I'm just going to share a few images I loved.  This week's features came entirely from this Southern Living article.  I think the whole concept of having a dining porch or an entertaining porch is so neat.  They're so elegant.  I'd love to have one some day!

I love the French doors on this one.  It's sort of like our sunroom, but way more sophisticated.

The idea here is to use the little building as a bar for patio parties! 

The rustic style could be my favorite!

Images: 1, 2, 3

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fashion Flashback: Saddle Oxfords

Sweet Baby Graves recently became the proud owner of two sets of the most adorable little shoes.  The best part is that together they came in at under ten dollars. Buying them reminded me of the Fashion Flashback series I started.  You may remember way back, almost a year ago, I blogged about the history and cultural significance of Jon Jons.

Well, today, we're on to shoes.  Some people call these saddle shoes, but my mom always refereed to them as saddle "oxfords". So first, a brief history on Oxford shoes.  This type shoe is "...a style of laced shoe characterized by shoelace eyelet tabs that are stitched underneath the vamp, a construction method that is also sometimes referred to as 'closed lacing'".  In other words, in contrast to a Derby shoe, an Oxford has the little round eyelets on the inside of the shoe.
[Oxford style shoe]
[Derby style shoe]

Oxfords first appeared in Scotland and Ireland, where they are occasionally called Balmorals, after the Queen's castle in Scotland, Balmorals.  The Oxford is derived from a shoe called the Oxonian, a half boot style that became popular at Oxford University in the 1800s, thus the name.  Oxfords were traditionally formal shoes, but now they have many variations, some more casual than others.

The saddle oxford is an oxford style shoe characterized by a plain toe and a unique, saddle shaped panel placed mid foot to add interest.  They are typically white with a black saddle, but there are many other color combinations.  They first came to prominence in the 1950s, when teen girls, especially, would wear them with their poodle skirts.  They were considered "sporty" and worn in lieu of loafers, before sneakers became popular. By the 1960s, the shoes became fashionable for boys to wear with their letterman jackets.

Saddle shoes can be worn by both men and women and are also frequently seen as golf cleats and children's shoes. They have enjoyed a recent resurgence in the United States in males in their teens, twenties, and thirties, especially in big cities like Los Angeles and New York City and in the Southwest.  And in the Herrington house!

I think Graves will look just dashing in such a classic shoe!  

Sources: Wikipedia and
Images: my personal collection, 2, 3, and 4

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lovely Little Excuses

I'm full of excuses for why I don't update this blog regularly, but I know a big part of it is just that I don't have time each day to devote to my personal blog, this one, and my other "peripheral" blogs.  I do want to try again, though, and start doing better because I think it's a neat "niche" and when I make the time, I really do enjoy posting.  Here's to no more excuses!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lovely Websites- The Littlest

My friend Allison shared this website with me and it is adorable! The Littlest is an online shop full of authentic vintage children's clothes. There are some really precious things and I was so excited to find it! Check it out!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Picture Perfect Porches: Back Porches

Well, I neglected my poor little throwback blog AGAIN. I'm sure I'm the only one feeling any sadness about the matter, but I had to get back to it because it is something I care about. I decided I'd just start where I left of- the porch series. However, I did decide that I'm not going to do the post about the history of porches that I initially planned to do. I started looking into it and there is SO much information. It's fascinating and it's something I really want to "study", but I just don't have time for it right now. Instead, I'm going to share more images of my favorite types of porches.

Here are some back porches that I love:

I really like the white furniture, especially the wicker!

This isn't typically my style, but I thought it was unique and I particularly love the hammock.

The swing is a little more traditional and I really like how soothing it is! The description on the website called this look "nautical/coastal" and declared "Turn your home into a sea side retreat no matter your locations..."

Another light and airy porch! The pillows aren't my favorite, but I love the Adirondack chairs and idea behind the curtains

This circular porch is so neat and different!

This is one of my favorites!

This one is PERFECT for the beach!

I think this is my ABSOLUTE favorite.

I love what they did with these shutters!

Aren't these reclaimed doors gorgeous?

The lattice really draws me to this one.

I love the chaise lounges and again, the curtains. This porch looks perfect for a party!

This one is neat because it's like a real room that just flows from the rest of the house.

Okay, so those are my favorite back porch pictures. I'll be continuing the series with more types of porches, but I may do a few other posts in between!

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
[Note: About half of these images were taken from a Southern Living post- I encourage you to check it out. There are so many great ideas!]

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Picture Perfect Porches: Front Porches

There are so many really neat types of porches, but I thought I'd start with the obvious: the front porch, since it's what you see first. I think a really pretty porch makes such an inviting home!

My childhood home had a long beautiful brick porch on the front of the house. It perfectly complemented the white columns on the front of it and the dark green shutters on the windows. It was beautiful.
I know you can't really see the porch in this picture, but it gives you an idea. It was brick like is lining the driveway.

When my parents moved, their new house had a much more rustic feel and the porch was smaller and simpler in a way. The walk way to the front door has lots of foliage surrounding it, though, and it's gorgeous in an entirely different way.
[front porch at Christmas]

[Me and Peyton leaving our wedding reception at my parents' house for our honeymoon via the front porch ]

Now that Peyton and I have our own house, our "porch" is one thing that really doesn't satisfy me. It's pretty much just a little slab. Although there's not a whole lot we can do, I am planning to one day add a little rail and banisters to make it look a little more like a true porch.
[Our porch area at Christmas. Leaves a bit to be desired, no?]

In the next installment of this series, I'll share a little about the history of porches, but first I wanted to share a few images of front porches that interested me.

The quintessential classic American porch:

A couple with a bit of a modern spin:

As far as furniture goes, I think rocking chairs are very classic. I do like for there to be at least a pair, though!

The front porch overlooks a grassy hill to Antioch Rd, a quarter mile below.

I love wicker furniture, too. I think it has such a Southern feel to it!

Or you could go a little bit more "fun" and casual and use Adirondack chairs.

One of my absolute favorite things is a porch with a swing!

One neat idea I saw when I was looking through these images was hanging drapes on the porch:

Another really cute porch I found had basically a "picket fence" banister.

Lastly, I found this double porch I really like. I don't always like they way they look, but I like the idea of double porches. I think this one is really pretty!

[Images: 1, 2, 3, and 4 were taken with mine or my dad's little point and shoot;
5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21]

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lovely Things: Porches

One of my favorite things is a big, pretty porch. I think they're so Southern and such a beautiful addition to a house. One of the things I picture my "dream house" having is a wrap around porch. I decided over the next few weeks to do a little series on different kinds of porches. Here are just a few images to start out with:

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5