The Home Beautiful

THE PORCH AND GARDEN LIVING ROOM

When full summer comes, the out-of-doors calls not only as a place for sports and activity, hut as the ideal spot for relaxation.

ANNE ELIZABETH WILSON July 15 1926
The Home Beautiful

THE PORCH AND GARDEN LIVING ROOM

When full summer comes, the out-of-doors calls not only as a place for sports and activity, hut as the ideal spot for relaxation.

ANNE ELIZABETH WILSON July 15 1926

THE PORCH AND GARDEN LIVING ROOM

When full summer comes, the out-of-doors calls not only as a place for sports and activity, hut as the ideal spot for relaxation.

ANNE ELIZABETH WILSON

The Home Beautiful

THIS year of all years seems to have been characterized by the carrying out-of-doors of the joys of gracious living.Never before have such galaxies of brilliant color, or such variety of setting been seen in the gardens, pergolas, tiled terraces and porches. Every garden seems to have its group of hickory, willow, rattan or painted wood—while here and there we find the graceful iron sets, the practical camp-chair lounges and arm chairs, and the occasional piece of stone. Shadowing the brilliant lawns, are the variegated sun-shades of sail cloth— orange, green, stripes of every hue—and the conventional dun colors of erstwhile popularity enlivened with vivid stencilling. Even the porch rolled shades are brilliant with color, and the awnings which appear on the windows as much a part of the garden setting as the actual furniture itself, for they are planned in many cases as a background for the garden effects. The whole impression is one of brilliancy and cool richness. It is most interesting to study the various elements which have contributed to these effects and to notice the wealth of attention given to making the outside atmosphere of the home a part of the actual life of everyday.

The Uses ol Garden Furniture

OF COURSE natural, rustic, furniture —the unstained willow and rattanhave always been in use. They still hold sway as ideal material for the furniture that will stand all kinds of weather and will dry quickly after rain. But where a pergola or protection of any kind offers the least excuse for it, it is the painted bit that is lending unusual interest to settings of the kind. Whether in the slender reeds, glazed and picked out with a bit of bright green here and a touch of orange there, or whether fashioned of solid cherry or flamingo with fillips of black, the incidental chair, in brilliant color, adds a touch of piquancy to most of the new garden and porch groupings. Sail cloth, too, has been employed in more ways than one.

It is found stretched, in many unusual colors, across the seats and backs of the glorified camp-chairs which have become so popular recently, and is now widely being used in porch swings, which usually were, in the old days, made only of the prosaic canvas. And cushions are everywhere—waterproof ones, too; which brings in the possibilities of the waterproof cretonne, a fabric now used in rolled porch curtains as inside facing on sailcloth; a weather defying combination.

The unusual piece is much in evidence where formerly it appeared only as an adj unct of the smart portico and sunroom. The hour-glass chair, for instance, is now made of material as inexpensive as ordinary willow or rattan; the peacok-tail chair of Chinese influence is also produced in popular reproductions of the fine and expensive strippings of the original Oriental workmanship. A chaise longue was once looked upon as a good deal of a luxury—now they are so reasonable and light as to be almost as inexpensive as an ordinary wicker chair. Small wonder that the garden is being given its full quota of attention, when such encouragement is forthcoming.

Rescued From the Attic

THIS exodus to the garden has done much to rescue from oblivion the denizens of the attic. The old blistered rocker that was wont to sit on the kitchen stoop until it got too shabby for even the reception of the iceman, may bloom forth as a prominent figure in the porch group when painted a fresh blue or apple green with a smart chintz cushion in its lap; the old high, rickety round-table that was banished for inadequacy years ago, may make a pet of a taboret with those spindly legs cut down to two feet, and its whole appearance changed by a coat of enamel or lacquer. There is even hope for a certain type of single iron bed which may have started on its way to moldering to dust in the deserted children’s room or maid’s quarters. By making a bright slip cover to be draped over each low head and foot piece, it may be converted into a very successful porch sofa, and pillows piled at each end will disguise any slight difference in height between head and foot rail, if such a difference exists. There are dozens of quaint and graceful old pieces in every attic simply waiting for the transformation of the paint pot. And there is nothing so suitable for the porch as painted furniture.

Grouping the Outdoor Setting

ONE of the chief points to be remembered in planning a porch, pergola or other outdoor setting, is that, as they are away from the usual near sources of supply, provision must be made for various small comforts and necessities. For instance, books. A little hanging book case is a great comfort on the porch. The big roomy pockets in the wicker chair sides are a haven for sewing, knitting or writing materials. A coverlet of some sort when the sun goes in, is always needed. For these, a good choice, colorful and serviceable and generally in keeping with the out-door feeling, is the habitant woven blanket. These are to be had in all colors; blue, lavender, pink, green, yellow, and mixtures thereof, and may be purchased direct from the Quebec workers themselves through the Canadian Handicrafts Guild in Montreal, or the Women's Art Association in Toronto. An essentially Canadian handicraft, they are picturesque as well as highly practical. Another attractive coverlet is easily made at home, crocheted from strips of varicolored old silk. The strips are. torn, tacked together end to end and rolled in balls. A large wooden crochet hook is required, and the length of the first chain, which gauges the breadth of the cover, may be as little as a yard-and-a-half. The finished work is not only decorative and rich looking, but adequately warm.

As summer groups are primarily designed for hours of relaxation, it is necessary that some comfortable provision be made for the feet. With a chaise longue as part of the picture, at least one individual is cared for, but others must be made comfortable as well. Hence the footstool or foot cushion. These are of various sorts, from the old-fashioned rushbottom variety to the stuffed carpet horror. This last, a relic of pure barbarism, may be most attractively brought into the porch scheme by a cretonne, sailcloth or denim cover. A quaint stool is the little “pig” which is sometimes found in old country houses and the handy man of the house will find quite simple to make. It consists of a cylinder of wood, exactly in the formation of a rolling pin, with handles at either end, twice as thick as those on a rolling-rim, on which have been placed in appropriate places, four small peg-like legs. The centre may be bound with any colorful material. The feet rest comfortably, either on the body of the “pig” itself or braced on the two “handles” at either end. Being solid wood, these little stools are not susceptible to weather as would be rush-bottom or stuffed foot-rests.

The Group for OutDoor Dining

POPULAR sets for dining in the garden itself are the rather heavy, white painted tables and chairs of wood, or the dainty iron ones, which are painted all the smart colors and designed with an eye for comfort. These may remain in the open through all weathers, and when renewal finally becomes necessary, all that is needed is a coat of paint, as no rotting or deterioration from damp takes place on their hard, metallic surfaces.

The tea-wagon plays an Important part in an out-door meal, which is almost always a cold repast, except for occasional hot breads, tea or coffee, and requires no connection with the kitchen. Outdoor tables being usually too small for much decoration, a charming adjunct to their setting is a basket of flowers moored by a slender stake into the ground. These are made extensively by various organizations of blind soldiers, as are all manner of dainty painted cake and sandwich baskets alluring for the summery table.

Linen for the outdoor meal is a joy. Damasks in combinations of white with all delicate colors—linens with borders of bright fruit and flowers, and serviettes to match, make the business of setting an outside table a happy lark for the housewife who finds interest in varying and refreshing the routine of her home. The sight of the tall, crackled and fluted glasses, which suggest a cooling draught add a distinct note of invitation, distinctly grateful.

The Background

THE rustic beauty of a garden is not complete without a trellis someway— and this year it is now possible to “go shopping” for them. Various types and shapes are on display, from rustic hickory to delicate white-slatted rose arches, ready to be chosen and transported to your garden as you find them. Another pretty idea which, while not new, has not, hitherto, been obtainable ready-made, is the porch flower-box for window sill or railing. All sizes are now on sale.