When it comes to interior design, homemaking, and all things house related, I can’t help but notice that you put your time where you put your money.
That is to say, if you put all your money into stuff for the TV room, chances are you’re going to spend more time in the TV room than elsewhere. If you want your family to spend more time outside, you may need to spend some money on outdoor living to make that happen.
When we first moved into our home here in OK, we had two adirondack chairs, and that was it. If I went outside to sit, the kids fought over who could sit in the other chair, and it made for an unpleasant experience. Having enough places for the family to sit seems like a no-brainer, but it also costs money.
I knew I wanted a porch swing for the back porch, and I managed to get one for free from my wonderful Grandma who had a swing she wanted to get rid of. The only money I spent on it was for new chains and hanging equipment. Aside from that, I used leftover paint from the front door and just tightened all the hardware myself.
As you can see, Buffy has chewed on the swing a little bit, but that’s okay 😀
The swing is a great place to sit and watch the kids play in the back yard, but now I have a different favorite seat…
Ah, my hammock chair. Me likey a lot.
In order to facilitate sitting outside, we purchased two metal side tables: one for the front porch and one for the back.
They’re very simple, but the little basket weave top is cute. They do exactly what they need to do without drawing unwanted attention to themselves, and it actually makes a pretty big difference to have a place to set books and drinks. (Also, budget note: we got these two-for-one from Wayfair by purchasing ones that had been opened and returned. The tables had no damage whatsoever, and we got them for less!)
Our front porch is long, and the adirondacks were on one side of the front door, leaving a large open (and unused) space in front of the dining room window.
One day, I had the epiphany that a picnic table would be the perfect fit for that space, so I got one from Lowe’s for 98 dollars. I put it together myself and stained+sealed it the same cedar color as the swing set and the chairs. The picnic table is already a favorite place for the kids to drink smoothies in the afternoon.
With the most recent additions of the hammock swing and the picnic table, I’m noticing a definite increase in the time spent just sitting outside instead of inside. I’ve taken to setting up a small fan on the end table and writing or editing in my hammock swing during the afternoon. The kids love having places to sit, and I enjoy them not fighting over places to sit!
Our living room will probably always part of our property that sees the most action. It has comfy seats, natural light, and the television. It’s a great place for talking, reading, or watching TV.
That being said, now that I’ve put a little time, effort, and money into making use of our wonderful porches, we’re definitely going to spend more time outside, too 🙂