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Create a Farmhouse Porch

Classic architectural details and vintage furnishings give this outdoor living room timeless style. Here's how you can duplicate the look at your house

Get This Look

Photo by Bruce Buck

Passing the afternoon on a comfortable front porch is one of life's little pleasures. At this Victorian-era farmhouse, the open-air room faces the street, visually inviting neighbors up for a chat. But it wasn't always so welcoming: Previous owners had ­enclosed it. So when interior designer Irwin Weiner bought the Bucks County, Pennsylvania, home, he set about restoring it with details that fit its turn-of-the-century period. He painted the original beadboard ceiling sky blue and used flea market finds and new materials to finish and furnish it, with results that feel pleasantly aged. Rattan chairs from the 1920s rub elbows with a '70s-era metal coffee table that's grounded by a faded rag rug.

How to achieve a mix that meshes rather than clashes? "Find pieces that seem as if they've been passed down over generations, and the space will look as if it evolved over time," says Weiner. Here, elements you can put together for a similar look.

Rattan Armchairs

Photo by Courtesy of Pier 1 Imports

Natural rattan looks at home outdoors, but since it isn't weatherproof it

needs a porch roof for cover from the elements. Add cushions to up the

cozy factor.

About $150; Pier 1 Imports

Classic Swing

Photo by Courtesy of Home Decorators Collection

A shiny bright red finish gives this hardwood porch swing a cheerful look. If you're going to hang one, be sure to use eyebolts attached to a support beam or ceiling joists.

About $180, with hanging chains; Home Decorators Collection

Outdoor Pillow

Photo by Ellen McDermott

Covered in washable, fade-resistant Sunbrella fabric, these pillows offer low-maintenance comfort.

About $35 each; Ballard Designs

Vintage Fan

Photo by Mark Weiss

Old desk fans were often made with a notch on the back so they could hang from the wall. Look for antique models, such as this 1950s-era aqua-blue GE fan, at online auctions.

About $30; eBay

Metal Table

Photo by Ellen McDermott

A low, round, lacquered steel coffee table provides a handsome contrast

to the natural materials in the room.

About $200; Room & Board

Rag Rug

Photo by Ellen McDermott

Traditionally pieced together from cotton fabric scraps, these woven rugs add soft color and texture to the floor.

About $130 for a 5-by-8-foot rug; Rugs USA

Decorative Brackets

Photo by Ellen McDermott

When installed in pairs, these large pine brackets create charming arches that soften the angles on an otherwise straight-lined porch.

About $55 each; Vintage Woodworks

Pro Advice: "To get period details right, research the vernacular architecture in your area. Look for antique postcards of your town on eBay. They're like snapshots of an earlier era."

-Irwin Weiner, homeowner