Tuesday, March 22, 2011

More Inspiration for the Front Porch

I'm still busily collecting information and inspiration for the final design of the ornamentation for our front porch, and I thought today would be a good day to share some of what I'm thinking about.

This is to remind you of what our porch currently looks like.

In the photo above, all of the flooring and trim and the beadboard ceiling are new.  All that's left to do is to decide on a design for the posts and railing and brackets and the rest of the decoration.  Unfortunately, no evidence exists to give me any clue about what our porch looked like originally, so we are making this up as we go along.

In my LAST POST about this, one lovely reader reminded me about the Historic American Building Survey collection online at the Library of Congress web site.  I dug through hundreds of photographs looking for details that I could use as inspiration, and I found this wonderful porch on a house in California.

Photo of the Andrew Landrum House from HABS site.

I love how the brackets and posts are ornately decorated, but the decorations are not the first thing that catches my eye.  It's the way each element is used in perfect proportion that I love about this porch. 

HABS photo

My favorite porch so far is one that I saw on a trip to West Virginia earlier this month.  If I could teleport the decorative elements from this porch to my house, I would do it in an instant.  It is totally, completely perfect!!  Perfect enough, in fact, that I would make a return trip if I had the time to trace the brackets and balusters and use them as is on our house ... this is saying a lot, because I rarely copy anything.

Isn't this gorgeous????

I love the chamfered posts, and the brackets are perfect.  The barge boards that were original to our house had a motif on them that is similar to the three-winged design on these brackets.  They seem more Gothic than Victorian, and that's exactly what I'm hunting for.

If I decide to copy some brackets or balusters (that aren't already available commercially) I ran across a web site yesterday for Victorian Woodshop, a woodworking shop in northern California that specializes in reasonably priced Victorian brackets and other ornaments ... and he does custom orders and historic reproductions!!  I imagine he will be getting an order from me, when I finally decide what I want. 


  1. I love the simplicity of the Andrew Landrum house porch. :-))


  2. The West Virginia porch is totally worth copying. Very good looking.

  3. Connie, The last porch would be wonderful on your home. How are the wedding plans going?

  4. Sherry, it's funny that you mention wedding plans, because The Husband and I were just discussing how we are going to modify our pavilion to be the ceremony site. I'm on my way outside right now to gather up materials to get started.

  5. I am partial to the WVA Porch and I don't think she would mind if you copies. I can ask her. ;)

  6. Which of my 'Anonymous' friends are you ... because I just may take you up on your offer.

  7. These are lovely and I know whatever you choose will be beautiful!

  8. I'd go with the West Virginia porch. Are you willing to expand to cover the whole of the front? I desperately want a wrap around porch. Never mind that I live on the 3rd and fourth floor;)

  9. The W VA porch! COPY! Love them all, really.

  10. Good luck Connie... I'm no help. As you know I can't even decide what to plant... that decision looks harder!

  11. I wonder if the dentil molding detail on the California porch would look good on the West Virginia porch? I love the detail that the additional shadow line provides. They are both beautiful. I admire your sense of style!

  12. Oh, I have the perfect book recommendation for you! It is called "A Field Guide to American Houses". It is a great treasure trove of information about styles and origins of motif in American homes from all generations. Hope this helps :)


  13. Ken made a great suggestion. I have that book too. Your porch is scaled similarly to the HABS house. But both porches are nice.

  14. I like both very much, Connie, but I really like the first one. I like the dentil mold, and I like the squarer trim (looks like crown mold) & all the brackets at the top of the columns on the first one better. The curvy corner brackets are nice, but the first one struck me as out of the ordinary. The only thing I would change is the separation between the inner posts. They look too close, probably making it difficult to move large items in and out or two people side by side. The inner posts on your porch could be closer. Then you'd have more room for balusters (which I like). Hope you get a good price on them.

  15. My vote is for the West Virginia porch...the details are amazing. We were fortunate when we bought our house that the original gingerbread was still intact. That's pretty amazing for a house built in 1869. It's been well preserved. Our problem is that the house is white and the trim is white, so the beauty and intricacies of the trim is lost. We will be painting our house again in a couple of years, so I'm planning on changing the color of the house to historic color scheme to bring out those details. With yours being brick, it will stand out well. I can't wait to see what you decide!! I know whatever you choose will be lovely.


  16. I'm just glad it's you that has to decide. LOL! I'd be stumped.

  17. Tough choice..both are lovely! Either one will look really nice I think! Sorry I'm not much of a help.

  18. Ok, I LOVE that porch on the house in WVA. As soon as I saw it I thought, man that looks perfect for your house!

    I left you a rambling voicemail yesterday on your cell. I'm running around all day today, but we "need" to catch up. Too much to tell you in just an email.

    Kat :)

  19. I think the WV porch detail would be lovely on your porch. I hope you place your order soon because I can't wait to see the results!

  20. Hi, Connie~
    thanks for stopping by my blog with the kind comments!
    Oh, You home~ I love it~ I was checking out your other posts!
    One of my favorite things about home is the porch~ I am one that thinks a house is not a home without a porch to sit on!
    Any porch would be beautiful~ We redid our porch in the early 2000's oh, the decisions~ my hubby did it~ the summer we did it~ funniest thing~ we had the roof propped up with small trees from the woods we cut down~ oh, we had so many people comment~ but it was so worth it!!
    So I can't wait to see your porch!


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