I like to take my coffee mug and my chocolate lab to the front veranda on sunny weekend mornings. Sometimes my family joins in, and other times it’s just me and my dog. The birds chirp their sweet songs, the wind rustles the leaves of the maple tree and I can quietly watch the world go by.
A couple of generations ago this was common place. Neighbours would stop by and catch up on the news and gossip. Somehow our grandparents seemed to have more time to take it slow. Even without all of our modern conveniences that are meant to save us all so much time.
In the world today, we seem to have gravitated to the privacy of our back yard patios. Sheltered from the street and passersby we take refuge in our concealed sanctuaries. In our cyber-heavy society we seem to search for more seclusion. That’s just fine. There is a time for that, but sitting on the sunny “porch” brings me back to a time when it was okay to take time out to just sit and “be” and feel like part of the community.
The front veranda is a nice feature on a house and adds architectural interest. Many houses are still being built with covered front verandas, decks or porches and my clients, in most cases, want to decorate them. Some people have the best of intentions to use them, and others just want them to look attractive and welcoming to add some curb appeal.
Porches and verandas should be decorated with the homeowner’s style preferences in mind. I approach the project the way I would for an indoor room. However, I take care to make sure that the materials and fabrics selected are appropriate for our unpredictable climate.
Seating should be comfortable and weather resistant. As the veranda will be part of the entry to the house, adequate lighting will be important. Accent lighting can also be used if the client will be using the space into the evening. Candles or a lamp suitable for outdoor use can be added. I like to incorporate a small table if possible; a spot to place one of those lamps, a plate or a coffee cup.
Colour can be included with the addition of accessories. I like to add some pretty potted plants. I always feel free to experiment with tropicals. Think of them as you would an annual plant; they will thrive throughout the summer; but I do advise clients to be sure to bring them in for the colder months if they don’t want to replace them the following year. It is always interesting to incorporate unexpected exotic flora like a palm tree or flowering hibiscus on a veranda.
There are numerous outdoor rugs available to use to anchor the space and seat cushions can make seating more convivial and cosy. There are scores of ready-made outdoor accent pillows, and endless collections of custom fabric options. I like to make the space even more special by adding some of my clients’ personal items like shells collected on a family vacation, or a basket of wooden games like dominoes or Jenga. A soft and durable throw blanket draped over the back of a chair can help make a veranda more inviting on those fresh mornings when someone might find they have wandered outside just to sit and appreciate our Nova Scotia summer (and their beautiful veranda).
Kimberley Eddy, Susan Mills
Evolve Interior Decorating
Kimberley Eddy, owner of Evolve, is an Accredited Interior Decorator and holds the designations of IDDP (International Design and Decorating Professional) and ISRP (International Staging and Redesign Professional) from the QC Design School. In addition, she holds two degrees from Saint Mary's University; B.A. and B. Ed. Kimberley sits on the Board of Directors with the Nova Scotia Interior Decorators' Association and believes that professional development plays an integral part in this continually changing and evolving profession.
Kimberley has a keen eye for detail and colour. She loves to combine beauty with practicality and in doing so creates spaces that truly reflect the owners' personality and lifestyle. In addition, Kimberley creates custom artwork on canvas and wall murals for clients.