Two New Benches for the Front Porch

A few days ago I blogged about ordering a couple of the Luciana benches from Grandinroad when they were having a good sale on their outdoor benches. (View that post here: Whimsical Garden Bench for the Front Porch)

Luciana Wood Bench for Porch

 

As mentioned in that previous post, my front porch was built from this photo found in a Southern Homes magazine many years ago. This is the beautiful historic home at Gainesway Farm. I loved everything about this porch (still do) including the benches on either side. I always thought my porch was too small to have benches but recently I reevaluated that and discovered that they just might work.

Beautiful Front Porch, Gainesway Farm

 

I decided to order the Luciana benches in black. The benches on the Gainesway Farm porch are 48 inches long, I was able to figure that out after shopping for benches and seeing those elsewhere. The Luciana bench is a little longer at 51 inches but it appeared it would still work for my porch.

Luciana Wood Bench for Porch

 

I don’t normally like black furniture but they don’t make the Lucian bench in white. Plus, black just seemed like the right choice for my porch sinceΒ I have black shutters, black lanterns and a door mat with a lot of black in it. As I waited for the benches to arrive, I began to second guess my color choice. (Photo below is from Christmas last year.)

Christmas Porch with Red Door and Cedar Garland

 

The benches arrived a few days ago.

Bench shipped from Grandinroad

 

When I opened the box and saw how loosely all the parts were packaged inside, I was concerned the benches would be all scratched up. There were a few very minor scratches, but surprisingly nothing major.

Grandinroad Luciana Bench Packaging

 

The benches came with wood glue, hardware and detailed instructions for assembly. It really didn’t take very long to put them together. Of course the first bench took a bit longer since it was my first time putting one of these together, but the second one went really fast.

Luciana Bench Assembly Process

 

Here’s how they look on the porch. Update: A couple of folks suggested I pull the benches forward a couple of inches. See how they look pulled forward in this post: Landscaping with Boxwood

Two Grandinroad Luciana Benches for Front Porch

 

The Gainesway Farm porch shows a small planter at the end of the bench nearest the columns. I measured and if I scoot my benches over a few inches toward the house, I could probably place a planter in the same spot as seen in the inspiration photo. My benches are about 3 inches longer, so it could be a bit tight. A plant/flower would help soften the hard lines of the porch, though.

Luciana Bench in Black

 

So what do you think, do you like them?

Bench for Front Porch

 

Was black the right color choice?

New Bench Seating for Front Porch

 

I’ll have to keep my eye out for some “outdoor” pillows.

Luciana Bench, Grandinroad

 

For these pictures I just snagged a pillow from inside. This one is too small I know, but it seemed appropriate for Memorial Day weekend. πŸ™‚

Grandinroad Outdoor Furniture, Luciana Bench

 

Couldn’t resist putting my rainboots out for the photo shoot. Wouldn’t they be cute out here at Christmastime? A porch is a little like adding on another room to your home, you get another fun space to decorate and play.

Luciana Bench with pillow and red Hunter boots

 

Remember when I planted these Green Mountain boxwood topiaries? (See that post here: Boxwood Topiaries for a Traditional Landscape)

Boxwood Topiaries in Lattice Planter with Annuals for aTraditional Landscape

 

They have really grown! I absolutely love them and can’t recommend them highly enough. They are so soft, so lush and so pretty! At the end of this coming winter, they will get their first haircut and it makes me nervous to think about it.

Two Grandinroad Luciana Benches for Front Porch

 

The 10 Green Beauty boxwood shrubs I purchased were all delivered yesterday morning and I’ve begun planting them. My lawn care company offered to plant them for half of what Pike Nursery was going to charge, but I decided that I need the exercise. One thing I’ve learned over the yearsΒ is–the less you do, the less you CAN do. The more you do, the MORE you can do. I used to throw 40 lb bags of mulch around like nobody’s business and I’ve lost a lot of that muscle over the years. It’s time to get some of that back.

I’m having to be careful since I fractured my tailbone a few months ago when my desk chair rolled away and out from under me. I thought it had totally healed, but the other day after I sat a long time in a weird way with my legs propped up on my desk, it hurt almost as badly as it did when I broke it.

Won’t be sitting that way again for a long time since it puts pressure on that area and it’s obvious that it hasn’t totally healed. Standing and digging is no problem, though. I got two shrubs planted this morning and may plant a few more this evening since it’s starting to cool off a bit.

Planting Green Beauty Boxwood Shrubs

 

Hardwood flooring has been installed in the guest room. It has been sanded and has one coat of poly on it, so far. Whew, the smell! lol Actually, it doesn’t seem as bad this time as it did last time. I wonder if they used a different type of poly. I’ve been able to work in my office across the hall today.

On Tuesday the guys will come back out and apply another coat, Wednesday they will apply a third coat and on Thursday they’ll come back and move the furniture back in. The color is a bit darker than it appears in this photo. I know this color isn’t the “in” color for hardwood flooring these days, but I love it. I loved how it looked in THIS house that I shared recently, too.

Hardwood Flooring After Install and One Coat of Poly

 

Looking forward to sharing how the guest room looks with hardwood flooring! I can’t even envision it right now!

Blue and White Guest Room

 

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend as we remember all those who have served and kept us safe. What a great country we live in…we are so blessed!




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Comments

  1. Claire Hallman says:

    I like the black, a nice contrast to your columns. I think the red boots are a must and some pillows but your needlepoint one is too precious [looking and durability] to leave for long.
    The bushes are wonderful, too. Good for you for planting them yourself.

    • Thanks, Claire! Definitely getting my exercise but it feels good.
      Yeah, I agree, that one is just for indoors. I just grabbed that one from inside to use for the photo. I’ll have to look for some cute outdoor pillows to use when I want a pillow out there.

  2. Laura T. says:

    I think the black looks great! It’s a nice contrast to the pillars. That’s one project you can scratch off your list!
    Those topiaries have really grown! We sometimes plant things that look cute & compact but then they take off & get huge! We need to pay closer attention to their potential size & how long it takes to get there!

    • Yep, one down, 485 to go. πŸ˜‰ I love the size they are right now, but I know they will keep growing so it will be time to trim them next winter. I guess if they get to the point I don’t want to trim them, I can transplant them to use elsewhere in the yard and purchase two new ones. I love the shape of those.

  3. The benches are amazing, I love them. What a statement they make. I also LOVE the hardwood floors. They are amazing too.

  4. Susan, I absolutely LOVE the benches! I know I was surprised you didn’t go white due to your inspiration pic, but the black looks classic and awesome.

    And, of course, if you ever change your mind, spray paint can change everything. : – ) But it looks absolutely perfect.

    I like the idea of putting some plants on the sides – you have a dreamy front porch to decorate!

    I cannot even believe how fast your boxwoods have grown, and they looks so so good framing that gorgeous porch.

    PLEASE don’t over-do it, a tailbone hurts a long long time. Please be careful and baby yourself. Craigslist ad brings someone affordable out to plant your stuff fast and cheap, so consider it and go back to healing. : – )

    Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs. β™₯

    • Thanks, Michele! I think I would have liked white, too…but the black kinda feels elegant…elevates the porch a bit. Yeah, I’m finding that out, and you can’t exactly put it in a cast. lol

  5. Renee Cook says:

    Love it, Susan …all of it! In my opinion, I think black was the right choice for your front porch benches. It feels grounded and is a nice contrast to the columns and door trim. It also compliments your shutters, doormat and lights. Your boxwoods will look great. You’re a trooper for planting them yourself! And, I look forward to seeing your finished guest room. You’re a busy girl!

  6. Peggy H. says:

    I think the benches are perfect in black! You have alot of white in that area and the black is a nice bit of punch and carries the shutters. Would love to see red pillows too.

  7. Susan….
    I love the benches! The black is perfect and I like the way the design on the back echoes the brick pattern in the porch floor. You are getting so much accomplished! Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Wow, hadn’t even thought about that…good point! Thanks, Susan…I think I have a good case of spring fever. Feels good to be getting some projects I’ve had on my to-do list, crossed off.

  8. The benches are perfect. I like these much better than the white Chippendale style. Once you get those boxwood planted your home will look so pretty! It reminds me of colonial Williamsburg, VA. Vikki in VA

  9. Ellen Sorce says:

    Love the black benches. Lately I’ve been thinking a pop of color can be black.

  10. I LOVE THOSE BENCHES!! I would really like to have one for my front entry. I thin k black is the best color for your house; be sure to use pillows that have red in them!

    • Yep, definitely need to have some red in them. The Luciana comes in a bunch of different colors. I think they change up the colors each year. At one time they offered it in purple. I would love a purple one for the garden…so whimsical!

  11. Love the benches and yes, I believe black was the right choice.

  12. Jon Anne Winstead says:

    Love the black benches!!

  13. Love the benches~whimsical and lovely! The black seems just right. Great choice!l

  14. melinda says:

    Love the look of your benches,you made a good choice for color!! Oh I can’t even think of Christmas yet.oh my:)

  15. LindaSonia says:

    I like the black benches but I think I would have liked the white as well. In this case, I don’t think there’s a wrong choice. I especially like the uniqueness of the bench – it’s an eye catcher!

    I’m going to print those words: –the less you do, the less you CAN do. The more you do, the MORE you can do and paste it on all my mirrors. I’ll remember your words the next time I start whining about some physically hard work I always get into because I think it’s going to be easy and then surprise it’s not!! lol!

    • Thanks, Linda! It’s so true, the secret is to keep moving! I think our muscles just melt away when we quit using them. I think I’ll be spending more time in the garden once I get some of these big projects done. I think the hardest part is just getting started. I noticed today that the longer I worked, the more I was enjoying the process.

  16. Janet Rountree says:

    The black benches are perfect! Love them!

  17. Kathy P. says:

    Love, love, love the black benches. You did good!

  18. The benches look amazing, Susan! Black was the best choice. They tie in with your shutters so nicely. We recently had hard wood installed in my husband’s den. I love it so much I want to crack up all the travertine tile in the rest of the living area and install the wood. So far my husband haden’t said a word. I’ll work on it! Lol!

    • Thanks, Nancie! I absolutely love hardwood flooring, too. If I ever move, if the house I move to doesn’t have it, I’ll add it to every room (except the bathroom) before I ever move in. It’s just some comfortable underfoot and so easy to care for. I love how it hides dirt, too…especially this red Georgia clay!

  19. Barbara says:

    Love the black benches!! They are definitely the right color for the house. Finishes everything off perfectly. And the boots look great too!! Society6 has some cute outdoor pillows for reasonable prices. And the floor in the guest room is beautiful. The color is so rich. Beautiful house.

  20. Carol Liebst says:

    I too love the black benches! They are perfect on your porch. Can’t wait to see all the ways you incorporate them in your porch decor!

  21. They are just perfect, Susan.β™₯β™₯β™₯

  22. The black benches are a great addition to your porch! I love the pillow! I need one!!

    • Wish I could remember where I found that pillow. I’ve had it so long, I don’t remember now. I checked and it doesn’t have a tag on it. It reminds me of a Charles Wysocki painting. Or maybe one of Warren Kimble’s lighthouse/ seaside paintings.

  23. Patricia Alexander says:

    Once again you have knocked it outta the park! Love the black benches and love, love the pops of red. I read somewhere awhile back, that a red front door in Europe indicates the house is without a mortgage…paid in full. Take care of you and keep on keeping on.
    From Texas with love,
    Patricia

  24. Love the black benches on the porch! The boxwoods look great! Can’t to see the yard when you finish! You are a busy little bee!

  25. Yes, yes, the benches are a must in black. White would be lost on that porch. How about some structured pillows made of moss with a monogram?

    • That sounds cool! Are you talking about live moss? And a red monogrammed letter? I’ve never seen anything like that!

    • Love monograms! Rosie, do you think it would be too much since the door mat is already monogrammed?

      • Look at the moss pillows online. Some have burlap trim etc., surely red can be brought into the mix. The pillow should be in proportion to the bench size. Black and white check ribbon tied around it would be fun and red and white for Christmas.

  26. Your new benches look wonderful. It adds the perfect touch to your front porch. Love your new hardwood floor. The guest bedroom will look beautiful when it’s all back together.
    Back problems. Try not to ever sit on a hard surface again without some type of padding. Steps, edge of pool, floor, etc. It will cause major back problems once you’ve fractured your tailbone. Trust me, I know. I speak from experience. lol
    Good job on planting the shrubs. Boxwoods add so much character to a Southern home. I have seven planted around the brick wall of my courtyard and I love them.

    • Yikes, I hope it doesn’t keep coming back to haunt me! Most of the time I don’t notice it at all. I guess they take a long time to heal.
      I agree…love boxwoods! Your’s sound beautiful, Anne!

  27. Love the black benches. All the black accents are beautiful and classic. Perfect!

  28. Kathy Hammett says:

    Black seems to be perfect for the porch. The entire porch, right down to the red Wellies, is gorgeous!

  29. Darcy K says:

    Love the benches and some pillows will be the perfect finishing touch. I saw that Costco has 2 packs of outdoor pillows for I think around $15. If you are lucky, they may have the perfect colors!

    • I used to be a member but I think I let it expire. The nearest Costco for me is about 20 minutes away near an insanely busy mall, so I don’t go there very much. I wish it were closer and not near a mall.

  30. eo jordan says:

    Black is perfect! What other color would do? I’m almost at 69 and still dig holes.. If I don’t my husband who is older does! If i had a penny for every hole I’ve dug, I’d be a rich woman!

  31. YES YES YES !!! on all of the things. Looks wonderful.
    Happy Memorial Day to all past, retired, present serving. Thank you for our freedom.

  32. Diane Anderson-Edwards says:

    Will add my two cents worth. I agree with your color choice. Looks appropriate for the style of the house and your other color choices.

  33. Wow, Susan! You’ve been working hard! I love the benches, and don’t even think you need a planted pot. You’ve got the topiaries, and it looks really good. Once you add toss pillows I think you’ll find it fills the space just fine.
    I agree with the more you do, the more you can do, etc, to a point. Yesterday I reached that point after doing a lot of garden work all week, and today I’m being a bum. Enjoy your work and enjoy your rest too – on the bench! πŸ™‚

    • That’s a good point about the topiaries being right there. lol Well, sounds like you totally deserve it. I need to be planting bushes tomorrow but a friend and I are going to spend the day visiting some garden nurseries we’ve heard about. Hope I can get a few bushes in tomorrow evening, though.

  34. Barbara Sawyer says:

    Love the benches in black….I must say however the pillow is too small in my opinion….
    The boots are a MUST and as you said at Christmas…….

    • Yep, I agree. I just grabbed it from inside to have something on the bench. Will definitely use bigger pillows. πŸ™‚ Thanks, Barbara!

  35. Black was the right choice! LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

  36. Black is perfect!

  37. I like the black benches on your porch. I think it would look good if they showed up a bit more when looking straight onto the porch, so I’m wondering if it would make any difference to pull them out from behind the posts a little bit, closer to the sides of the front door, without making entry to the house difficult. The benches are beautiful.

    • I’ll pull them out a bit more and see how it looks. I think I was so worried about crowding out the path to the door, I just pushed them way back. Thanks, Linda!

  38. Susan, the benches are perfect…so elegant and timeless for your entry. You have a lot going on…guest room hardwood looks great! I am so glad I am past thinking I have to have the latest fad, instead I do what I like and I believe you do the same. Take care, that takes time to heal, I know from experience. A snow boarder ran over me while I was skiing!!

    • Thanks, Pam! Yep, I do. I know my choices aren’t always popular but we have to do what we love since we’re the ones who will be living with it, right? Oh, that sounds painful! And scary! I hope you are healing now.

  39. FBenches look perfect and very rich looking ,don’t believe the white would have looked as uptown as the black .
    Enjoy your blogs but remember to take care of your health.

  40. Sandy Park says:

    I love the black. It was the right choice. I’m thinking that red planters at the ends of the benches would tie it all together with the door. I just love the red door.

  41. Susan, I was for black the first go round and give these a thumbs up. They are beautiful and truly add a new dimension to your front porch. I have to say I didn’t realize they would come in parts that you had to assemble. Once again, you amaze me. I don’t think I would have been so successful.
    I’m in love with the needlepoint pillow. Adorable!
    You might check Target for some outdoor pillows. I recently picked up a darling bee pillow for our outdoor terrace. They had a gorgeous butterfly too. All were on sale, but even full price was less than $20.
    What is it about accent pillows that calls my name. Same issue I have with lots of dishes. HA! HA!

    • Thanks so much, Sarah! The directions were really good. The only part that was tricky was driving a skinny screw in at an angle into the arm of the bench, while pressing down on the arm with the other hand. I got the hang of it after doing it a couple of times, then it was easy. lol
      That’s a good idea about Target, will check them out! Oh, those pillows sound beautiful! Yes! What is it about pillows that gets us? I guess it’s because they are such a perfect finishing touch for so many places in our home. If my next house is a cottage, I may purchase a white or neutral colored sofa and just change it up all year long with different pillows. I think that would be so much fun!

  42. I absolutely LOVE the black benches!!

  43. Linda S in NE says:

    Yes, you made the right color choice with the black benches. I think adding a plant at the end of them would be overkill. Two colorful outdoor pillows on each will bring the eye of visitors to the beautiful benches where it should be. Nice work, and I also am pleased with the new flooring. Pace yourself, please, on the outdoor planting. From what others are saying, a broken tailbone not healed completely can result in years of misery down the road. Enjoy this patriotic weekend. I, too, am grateful for all who serve their country.

    • Thanks, Linda. Once I get all these plants in, I’ll do some shopping for outdoor pillows. I know you’re right about the tailbone. Amazing how long it takes to heal!

  44. Stephanie says:

    Love the black…ties the lights and door mat colors together. What an elegant finish for your porch. Lovely…..

  45. Your porch is perfect & so are the benches, white would have been too much. I enjoy reading your blog very much!

  46. I would also leave the benches black

  47. Oh the black looks perfect! These are stately and very attractive. Looks like the new wood flooring is going to be beautiful. Have a great Memorial Day weekend too!

    • They do feel kind of stately. lol White ones feel a bit more cottagey, I think. Thanks, Liz, hope you’re having a great weekend!

  48. Sally Ide says:

    Wow! The benches look sensational! And black is the perfect color. It looks like there is plenty of space for them and they give the porch a wonderful finished look. Plus so fun to decorate with pillows for different seasons. Can’t wait to see your guest room!

  49. Rebecca R says:

    I live in Lexington, Kentucky where Gaineswsy Farm is located. One of the most beautiful places on earth. Come visit and tour the farm. Meet the celebrities who live there, they are the successful thoroughbreds of the horse racing industry. They live in style.

  50. I think the black benches are perfect and absolutely beautiful!

  51. Bonnie Schulte says:

    Only black could look this good, they go so perfectly with your black lanterns, and seem to be made for each other. LOVELY…love it ALL!!!! As for a few more plants, you can’t go wrong with them, if you decide it’s too much (I think not, but) what the heck, then move them to another area in your yard. Have a Wonderful weekend.

  52. the black benches are beautiful!!!!

  53. Susan, I LOVE the black!! They’re perfect!

  54. The black benches are perfect. White would have been too washed out to make any kind of a statement. As far as your tailbone is concerned, I’m not sure when we injure it, it ever actually heals. Mine was bruised (had to be manipulated to allow a big-headed baby to pass) in childbirth 50+ years ago and if I sit for too long or sit the wrong way on something hard, I am still reminded that it was damaged all those years ago. Looking forward to seeing your guest room put back together and your shrubs planted. Wish I had your energy, girl!

    • I think you’re right about the white, Pat. I was wondering about that because it seems like it should have healed by now. I think that happened a couple of months back. I had a friend who broke her’s once (fell on steps) and I think the doctor told her it could take six months, or something like that. Good thing is it never hurts unless I sit like I did recently where I had my legs up across the edge of my desk and it put all the pressure on that one spot. It felt like I was laying atop a tennis ball when I went to bed. So sorry your’s still bothers you after all these years. I wonder if mine will do that, too.

  55. Oh my! I think your black benches are stunning. I am so glad they don’t come in white or I would be so tempted. Last year I searched everywhere for white benches, but had to try to keep the price down, as I had purchased all new MS all weather wicker and the cost, well lets just say, more than I like to pay. We have a lot of boxwood around our home, but I don’t really know the name. Our landscaper was a friend and I told him I wanted pinks in the spring, and I never wanted to pay for Christmas greens again. We have boxwood, holly, white pine, hemlock and something called Japanese holly that looks a lot like boxwood. All of our boxwood grows fast but I don’t have them trimmed every year. Only when they start to encroach on the walkway, or get to tall to see the porch railings. We have a very southern inspired home, though we live in the northeast. Our front porch is 42 x 10. We also have a 10×10 porch that is only accessible from inside the house. I am a true sucker for front porches, probably because I grew up in houses that had them. I would make one tiny suggestion regarding your benches. They look very close to the edges of the porch and I would fear that someone sitting down could move them just a bit, and off they would go. I would move them in a few inches. They are beautiful.

    • Oh, the MS furniture is so nice! Mary Anne, I hadn’t thought about how handy the clippings will be for Christmas…love that! Your porches sound wonderful!
      Oh, and I did pull the benches in some. I think they look better that way, too. Now the back legs are kind of in a little grout groove so they shouldn’t slip, plus there’s more room behind them now.

  56. Edith Weldon says:

    I so agree with the other gal’s, black is wonderful and so classic! Your pillows do need to be a bit bigger and I change mine out with the seasons & holidays. My neighbors love it! As far as more plants, I would be tenative no. Less is more! If your heart says yes, try a seasonal planter and see how it goes! I agree my porch, very small is where I tend to experiment. The wellies are too cute and could be filled with so many things! Cheers for the flooring, it looks really great! As usual, your taste is impeccable and we can’t wait to see what is next!!!
    Tomorrow my hubby and I are placing flags in the National Cemetery for our brave service men and women! It is an honor to recognize all they did for us! (I am a former Navy brat and married to a former Navy man who proudly served!) I also will be celebrating my birthday too!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Yep, I just put that pillow out since I knew it had a patriotic vibe. I remembered later, I have a much bigger flag pillow, that’s the one I should have use! I need to purchase some outdoor pillows since those benches are going to get some sun out on the front porch.
      Hope you had a wonderful Birthday! Happy Birthday, Edith!

  57. Judy West says:

    Love the black benches I think you made the right decision. I don’t have a big enough space in the front but would love to have a front porch.

    Judy

  58. The benches are great and black is the perfect color for your porch! Your floors look wonderful too!

  59. Oh, Susan, I also agree with everyone else: the black benches look perfect: sophisticated and a perfect addition to the porch. How did you ever get benches assembled and get the guest room emptied as well? You’re amazing. Your floors are lovely and I can’t wait to see the room put back together. We had hardwood floors put into our bedroom last year and the room looked so much larger when it was done. Enjoy all your projects!

    • I only had to empty out the things that were in the secretary, they flooring guys moved the furniture. The bad part was I had to clear out the closet in that room. Ugh, that wasn’t fun! It’s forcing me to go through everything that was in there, so that will good. I needed to do that. Thanks! I’ve been wanting to hardwood the guest room for a long time so figured I might as well do it now while they were here revarnishing the screened porch floor.

  60. The benches look nice, Now you need some red pillows to pop like the door!
    It seems like there is so much going on right now and so much planned. It must wear you out!

    • lol Not really, I love anything that’s house related. So much fun seeing the improvement in the end. I would have all the bathrooms being renovated right now if my budget could handle it. Those will probably be next on the list.

  61. The floors look great!

  62. Diane Dixon says:

    I love the black benches…perfect on the porch. Not sure plants are needed there but your choices are always good. Wish I could see it.

  63. Jane Franks says:

    Absolutely LOVE the black, Susan! It really pops against the bricks and white columns; also really brings out the black border on the mat! And ties in wonderfully with the black shutters. Very good choice! Be careful with that desk chair! Mine scooted and landed me on the floor a couple of weeks ago, and I re-injured my mid back near right shoulder! I’m going through the pain when in bed stage again! I know it will heal, but I’m looking at another month probably! I had just felt really well again after my injury in January (same spot). But thankfully I got my trip to Indiana (5/6 to 5/13) and an overnight to Kansas City (5/18, 5/19) before the pain of the spill (5/16) hit me. Take care! Jane xo

    • Thanks, Jane! I had just put new rollers on mine and didn’t realize how much faster it rolled. New rollers are dangerous! lol Sorry you hurt your back, I’m lucky it was just my tailbone. Glad you did make your trips!

  64. I agree. The black benches are perfect and the red boots add more pizazz
    Hope you have a good Memorial Day.

  65. Catalynn says:

    oh Susan.. the benches are wonderful and look even better than I’d imagined… I really love them on your porch.
    Your porch is a beauty but you’ve managed to take it up a few more notches with the addition of those dramatic black benches!
    You’re a very clever lady… always such great ideas and I get to log in and see them all and use the ones that can be adapted to my home.
    Thank you for the inspiration and lovely pics, they’ve become a mainstay in my daily routine πŸ™‚

  66. Your choice was absolutely perfect! They look outstanding.

    Looking forward to seeing the guest room put back together. The floors look amazing.

    As always…thank you for sharing.

  67. Patricia says:

    Your entrance looks stunning! I can’t wait to see your holiday vision. Love the new flooring in your bedroom too- feels so fresh. You must have the metabolism of a hummingbird. Do take a moment to sip some tea from those benches and appreciate yourself!

    • lol I like that, a hummingbird. Too funny! I think I’ll do that today Patricia, just sit and relax a little. My muscles definitely need to recover.

  68. The black benches are perfect!! So are the red boots!! I don’t know about a planter, maybe too crowded?? Pillows would be wonderful……maybe a wreath or basket of flowers on the door would do nicely…….

    Love the new floors, can’t wait to see it put back together…….always a treat to see what you’ve been up to!!

  69. Cyndi Raines says:

    Very pretty Susan. I too like the black benches, they really make the white look extra crisp and the red pop. Boots add that extra special touch. Flooring is beautiful. Enjoy your holiday, eager to see the pretty shrubbery once it’s all planted. Happy Memorial Day! Let Freedom ring!

  70. Barbara says:

    Love the black chairs, just perfect in that setting. Don’t think white would look good at all and the red boots are lovely just the right touch.
    Just saw the price of boxwood in our local garden centre here in Australia. A 4 – 6 inch high pot was $20 they looked so small.

    • I know, boxwood is so expensive. I was told that it’s because it grows so slowly. Definitely an investment. It’s super easy to grow your own/rooted from clippings, but it would take forever to grow a full shrub from cuttings.

  71. Susan, as usual you are spot on with your choice of the black benches. I think the black benches compliment the lovely red door. I think had the benches been white they would have been lost against the white shutters, etc. The flooring in your guest room is beautiful, I love the warm tone.

  72. Susan, I LOVE the addition of your benches on your front porch! I’ve been looking for a bench for my Potting Shed under my window box. You pushed me off the fence to order one πŸ™‚ Happy Memorial Day weekend!

  73. Christina says:

    I love those benches. The black is perfect. They stand out. They make a statement. I like the curves on the back of the bench. Oh and you know what I like the boots. They belong sitting next to your bench.

  74. Those black benches look perfect on your porch! I also love your new hardwood floor. We’re going to have hardwood throughout most of our new home and I’ve been all over the map on color. I’m finally deciding to go with a color similar to our 1980’s house, just not as orangy. I’ve been advised by lots of people the dark stain, so popular today, is so impractical and shows dust. This is our retirement home and daily dust mopping isn’t my idea of retirement living. Lol! Can’t wait to see your guest room reveal.

  75. Eileen Jalet says:

    Okay I don’t mean to be repetitive but the benches are perfect and I think the black is outstanding. Now, the next thing Susan, when the guest room is finished let me know I’ll be there for the weekend and we’ll go and do some shoppin! Seriously, again the guest room will look amazing. Since you were always doing so many things I want to know what do you do in your spare time?

    • Travel and read mostly. I used to love biking on the a local trail, but it’s too dangerous now…one woman killed, another beaten severely. I also love hiking but can never find anyone up for it these days.

  76. Patricia says:

    I love the Black benches, perfect color and terrific design for your elegant porch. I have one black bench on my front porch with a cast iron dog statue & flower pot next to it. As you walk to front door & view from the street it looks so welcoming but not casual. If I could suggest, that instead of the boots, you need a nice flower pot or statue of a rabbit or something. Your porch is too formal for the boots. Youdid make a perfect choice with those elegant black benches.

    • That sounds really pretty, Patricia! The boots were just to play off the red door, just something for fun. I won’t leave them out there fulltime because I actually wear those during the fall and winter when it rains.

  77. The black benches are perfect. The boots are darling. They add just a little playfulness to the formality. The red door just pops even more with the black benches. I love your choice of color for the hardwood. I follow your blog because it is not filled with neutrality and what is “in”. I think you have great taste. I feel the good part of getting a little older is that we are more secure with our choices and don’t have to follow the pack.

  78. I was rooting for the black colour choice and now seeing them, I love how they look! Gorgeous!

    • Thanks, Rebeca! The black seems to show dust a lot but that may be because I’m stirring so much dirt up out there right now. lol

  79. The black benches are rich, exquisite and classic! Ramps up the WOW factor well. White, well they would have been just white.

    Susan, you are an inspiration for all! Keep moving, keep well and keep your innovations coming

  80. The benches are fabulous!

  81. The black benches are even classier than I had envisoned. The white benches would have looked good, but a really distant second.
    Hope you can make a field trip for us from the nursery tours.
    Work hard, but pamper yourself as well.
    Happy Memorial Day weekend.

    • Thanks, Mia! Hope you are having a great weekend! I’m trying to resist the urge to go plant something and I think my resolve is starting to go. lol

  82. Brenda Smith says:

    The black benches are the perfect “pop” and really draw attention to your pretty porch details! I cracked my tailbone when I was in jr. high and had to sit on a “donut” foam pillow (like those for hemorrhoids) for a couple of weeks… Too mortifyingly embarrassing, so I bought remnants of fabric to coordinate with favorite outfits, made them into square pillow covers to disguise the donut shape, and said I had hurt my “low back”..yep, REAL low!

    • I love that story, Brenda! You were so clever to think of that! I bought one of those pillows on Amazon shortly after it happened but the hole was cut in the wrong place. I couldn’t sit on it and lean back on the chair. Fortunately, my desk chair is pretty soft so I was okay once the initial swelling went down. It felt like I had a tennis ball under my rear when I tried to go to sleep at night on my back…strangest feeling!

  83. The new benches are perfect. They really complete the porch. Your planting are beautiful. The planters at the ends of the benches may detract from your existing urns. Some nice sized pillows with a touch of red or black will cimplete the look nicely. Always look forward to your posts.

    • Thanks, Ruth! Yeah, I think I’ll nix the plant idea for a while and just live with them. They are nice fit for the porch.

  84. The black benches are perfect for your front porch! They lend a classic feel and appear to have a more elegant look than the white ones would have been. Great choice as always! BTW, the red rain boots really add that extra punch of unexpected color. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    • Thanks, Gina! I think it will be fun to create something out there for Christmas this year. Hope you’ve had a wonderful long weekend!

  85. Soooo, I got curious about what Gainesway Farm looks like and googled it. The link to Gainesway Farm images – not far down the page – brings up some gorgeous photos – it’s a horse farm with stunning views of pastures, barns and there’s one photo of the house similar to the one you have in this post: the house is in the back round and there are 4 adorable children, holding hands, running across the lawn. (I’m thinking that you could snag a collection of these for a future blog post!) πŸ™‚

    • Yep, that’s actually the same picture I’ve shared on the blog, only I cropped out the children for their privacy. I would love to have seen more of the house. I’ve seen some back views online, but that’s about it. I bet it is gorgeous inside!

  86. WOW, you sure got alot of resposes on this post! I love, LOVE the black benches. When you were pondering about color I was thinking white but am so glad you chose the black! I think they are perfect.
    God bless all our soldiers who died to keep us safe.

    • It was definitely a stretch for me, Pinky…don’t normally order black furniture. I think that was the best choice for this porch, though. I have a lovely video I made in Italy that I need to upload to YouTube. It would be perfect to have shown today.

  87. Barbara says:

    I love your black benches from Grandinroad as they definitely add the wow factor to your porch. Just wondering if you have considered a brass kick plate to put a little finishing touch to your beautiful red door since you have brass hardware there?? πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Barbara! I used to have one on my front door for many years. It was a really nice one by Baldwin Brass. It’s funny because each time I’d post a photo of the front door, inevitably someone would leave a comment telling me I needed to remove it because brass was out of style. lol Of course, I always ignored the comment because I never care about “what’s in style” and I still love brass pieces.

      The reason I eventually removed it was because I noticed in photos, it appeared to shorten the door. I love brass which is why I’ve left the Baldwin Brass door knob and door knocker, but the plate just seemed to make the door feel short and squatty to me.

      It was a pain when I had it removed because the painter had a hard time patching all the screw holes (there were a lot!) and making them stay hidden when he repainted. If I had a taller door and not just the standard height door, I wouldn’t hesitate to use one again. I love how they look on a door, but I just don’t think it works that great on my door.

      You can see it on my door in THIS post and HERE.

      Here’s a post I created about brass that you may enjoy: Brass is Back, Baby!. I love the door on the Southern Living Magazine cover in that post!

  88. I have the same dilemma when it comes to choosing black or white accent furniture for my home. I really do love the black benches here! As mentioned above, they pick up the black colors of the lamps and shutters wonderfully and provide a contrast! Due to the size of the benches, I think adding potted plants would look too crowded. Also having potted plants right on the other side of the columns next near the boxwoods would look off-balance, in my opinion. If you would add a potted plant, it would seem more balanced to add it on the house side vs. the column side. Ugh, take care of your back until it’s properly healed! I spent an hour assembling a glider chair yesterday and the constant bending over through my back out a bit. Once you’ve injured that area, it doesn’t take much to re-injure it! As always, love everything you do with your home! πŸ˜€

  89. bobbi duncan says:

    Susan, the porch looks marvelous, my dear!!!!! I just love red, white, and black together–stunning! I know you must be so thrilled with all the new changes, and I am so happy for you. Your inspiration was the magazine, mine was YOU–I am getting the same benches to match our black shutters. Can’t wait to see how they’ll look–has to be an improvement, for sure. Yard is looking great, too. Enjoy it all.

  90. Gorgeous benches! Just the perfect touch. Enjoy them!

  91. The black is perfect. They look great

  92. Chrystal says:

    The two black benches look great!

  93. Susan the two benches could not look more perfect!! Good job on the boxwoods too, you are a stronger woman than myself, keep it up!! Kudos to YOU!!

  94. Jill from Southern New Hampshire says:

    Susan, So sorry to hear about your tailbone. That must have been scary. I did something similar to mine last month – I fell backwards (while on rollerskates for the first time in 30 years!) at a close friend’s milestone birthday party at a roller rink. It was either land on my head or my back, so I quickly chose to fall in a sitting position and fell – bounced – right on my tailbone. Somehow I fractured my forearm in the process – I must have yanked it so my elbow wouldn’t hit the ground. So, I feel your pain – especially when I get out of the car or a comfy chair – ouch! Those slight reclining positions are the toughest on my tailbone. It takes a while to heal, I’ve heard, and also that walking is good for it!

  95. Katherine says:

    I LOVE the black benches! Don’t be afraid to trim your potted boxwoods. Just make sure that when you trim them you got back with hand clippers and remove some of the thicker branches in order to allow light into the interior of the bush. Otherwise the interior will die and the bush will be kind of hollow.

  96. Vickie H. says:

    Oh my goodness! Those benches are beyond wonderful! Great choice! I know you are also very pleased to have your hardwoods almost completed in the guest room! The “in” color is whatever color YOU love……! So sorry about your tailbone! DO take good care of yourself! You are so ambitious with your projects! Can’t wait for the final reveal!

  97. Susanna says:

    Regarding benches- I wasn’t really enamored of them in the first catalog picture, but I am so impressed with how well they suit your porch. Bravo! Great choice.

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