Free Style


I love, love, love the big wraparound porch on my house. You don’t see big front porches very often anymore in home design, and a key attraction to me in choosing this house plan was the old-fashioned focus on the porch along with a modern grasp of open, airy spaces inside. Rocking chairs were bought for this front porch before we even moved in. An outdoor dining table has been a long time coming–but it’s here!

And it was free!

Free, free, free!

Somebody else was getting a new patio dining set and was ready to unload this one–for the taking. So. Now you know–if you want an outdoor dining set, just meditate on it for approximately two years and one will appear!

I love that this dining set is not new. It’s well-loved, a little banged up, perfect. A couple kids grew up with this table. It had a happy former life, and now it’s mine.

I see long summer evenings and meals on the porch. I see candles and pretty dishes–and oh, yes, flowers!!!

Multiflora rose is generally considered a scourge for its invasive habit of taking over fields and pastures (though did you know that it is good fodder for goats?), but it’s blooming like crazy right now and it’s quite pretty.

It makes a nice addition to a vase of wildflowers and wild grasses.

Which, after a good washing, was just about all this second-hand, cast-off table needed to put it in a party mood.

The flowers were picked from our farm, the salt and pepper shakers were a gift, the dishes came from my grandmother, and the dining set was free. (The glass pitcher was a hand-me-down, too.) This is how you live in style on nothing but a little elbow grease and a walk with clippers.

My number one go-to method of preparing for company, any time, in any season, is to walk outside with clippers.

It doesn’t matter what else you have–or don’t have–in your home. If you have some fresh flowers or greenery or even an artful arrangement of winter-bare branches or twigs–you can make your house a candidate for House Beautiful, and an inviting, comfortable place for guests, or just your family, without spending a dime.

I picked all of these flowers within a few feet of walking down my driveway. Nature is so generous in West Virginia.

My second favorite part about this dining set, aside from the free part, is that it came with this luscious lounge chair.

Look! And it came with a puppy, too!

Okay, the puppy was here already, but he’s pretty cute, isn’t he? I enjoy admiring him from my lounge chair. I can also look down over the goat yard and admire the goats from my lounge chair. I admire the chickens from my lounge chair. I admire the green all around me from my lounge chair.

In fact, all I want to do now is lounge in my lounge chair and admire. I can’t do chores anymore. I have a lounge chair. I can’t cook anymore. I have a lounge chair. I can’t drive kids around anymore. I have a lounge chair. In fact, I’m sorry to report this news, but I don’t think I can write this blog anymore. I have a lounge chair.

And all I want to do is lounge.





Oh, shoot.

Oh, well.

Okay……. If you insist. I shall lounge while I write. But maybe you could do the chores??? I’m LOUNGING!!!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on May 26, 2010  

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33 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 5-26

    You can lounge, Suzanne, as long as you post your blog! Has the crooked little hen seen the lounge chair? :chicken:

    Good job of finding the set!!! :hungry:

  2. 5-26

    :pinkbunny: I WANT A LOUNGE CHAIR TOO!! and fuzzy slippers!! lol
    Hugs Granny Trace

  3. 5-26

    Boomer looks like he’s been lounging too. Too much puppy food stealing maybe? I love the dog photo of all three of them. Hey, where’s Dookie?

  4. 5-26

    Sheila, Dookie’s around, he just wasn’t there in this photo!

  5. 5-26

    Perfect table for your porch — FREE! It looks so pretty with those flowers…….. I need some more fresh flowers. Think of all the creativeness that you will have, now that you’re comfortable and all lounged back…..don’t let the dogs or CLH or Rooster take it over! :snoopy:

    There are so many people that throw things out that have good life — at least some advertise that they’re giving them away before it’s actually thrown out. Craigslist and Freecyle are great sources :yes: Also a trip through town on junk day.

  6. 5-26

    Oh, to lounge, perhaps to sleep? Heaven!

  7. 5-26

    Love free!!! :snoopy: I am dreaming of a lounge chair. lol. Heck I am dreaming of your porch!! I keep telling my husband the next house I get is going to have a big front porch.

    Have you ever tried freecycle?? Its Get free stuff all the time. You give stuff away there as well.

    Have a great day lounging in your chair. :)

  8. 5-26

    Good luck keeping the dogs and cats (and chicken) off of it! We can’t even leave our lawn chairs unfolded because the cats sleep in them and get them furry.

  9. 5-26

    Oooo, perfect! You deserve a nice lounge and the lovely lounge chair is just the thing. Of course, with all your furry, and feathery children, as well as, the teenager kind, you may have to get on a list to have a turn. I am sure that Clover will demand one also, or she will want yours. I can just see goats resting all over it having a tete-a-tete.

  10. 5-26

    Nothing beats the scent of multi-flora rose and honeysuckle. I know they take over, but I wish there was a rose bush on my creek bank. I’m tempted to plant one!

  11. 5-26

    Your porch looks so inviting and I love the wildflower arrangement! I can’t wait to see pictures of the porch after “puppy” decides that the cushions are wonderful chew toys. :bugeyed: I know puppies!

  12. 5-26

    Now I will think of you when I eat on our patio (which we do quite often), because I have the twin to yur table! We’ve had it for at least 8 years – still looks fine. And our chairs are almost like yours- stripes and all. Sadly I do not have a matching lounge chair.

  13. 5-26

    I just discovered your blog and website…I love it! I am helping a friend publish her first book, a compilation of stories from her childhood. She grew up on Chickenfoot Road in Fayetteville, NC, and I was looking for chickens in the road and found your blog! I have told all my friends about it!

  14. 5-26

    Nothing that a little cleaner and a good spray down with the hose can’t fix. I Love free stuff! :shimmy:

  15. 5-26

    We don’t have a front porch anymore; my parents enclosed it to make an entry which we use for our “library”. Yours is a dream come true. Enjoy it and the “new” furniture; no one deserves it more. Lounge away.

  16. 5-26

    Country living at its best. There is nothing like a porch…and it all looks so comfortable and inviting. My kind of place. Also, glad to see that your chicken has recovered!

  17. 5-26

    What a wonderful blog! I stumbled on it from some other link and I’ve stayed to enjoy the posts and pics and to vicariously move to West Va. and dream I too live on a farm with mud and chickens and country paved roads…
    Just pure joy to read. thank you!

  18. 5-26

    The puppy is cute but I just have a soft spot for that Boomer.

  19. 5-26

    Your porch is lovely, as is the new-to-you furniture, especially that lounge chair!

    If you don’t mind sharing, how did you find your house plan? And what is that style called? I’ve been entranced for some time by the airiness (if that’s a word) of your interior space and am compiling designs for my own dream home. Mostly I’ve looked through the big books they have at the library, but I haven’t seen anything remotely resembling your place.

  20. 5-26

    morningstar, here is a post with some details about our house plans, and changes we made to the original house plans. In this post, there is also a link to the actual architectural plans where you can see the layout and even purchase the plans if you want to:

  21. 5-26

    Ahhh, multiflora, it blossoms in June here and is intoxicating on a warm evening. My Dad had pretty much wiped it out of the yard but I have let it come back in all it’s glory at the edges of the wetlands that edge our property. Beautiful flowers, never ending supply of rosehips and safety for small critters. Pretty good “weed” I’d say!
    I LOVE your dining set…we got a new one a couple years back and it’s STILL too shiny and clean for my taste!!!

  22. 5-26

    IF you live in WV, the multiflora rose is “banned” from importation into the state. It was originally sold to farmers as a “natural fence.” But, the ideal climate for it in WV caused it to have EXPLOSIVE growth here, destroying pastures and choking out native plants. The rose gets spread because birds eat the seed and “deposit” it all over the country-side.

    Otherwise, Suzanne, now that the yellow truck is running, I am going to come over more this summer. I will bring crochet and we will sit and talk on the porch while you blog and I create! Sounds like fun to me! :happyflower:

  23. 5-26

    Love it! I just told my husband the other day that we need lounge chairs for the back deck. Not sure when I would get to use them but I bet I could find a few minutes if I had them! That is if I could get the basset hounds off of them long enough!

  24. 5-26

    That’s funny!!!! You sound like me!!!

  25. 5-26

    Free stuff is awesome! I need a lounge chair for our deck. I will start meditating right now. :turtle:

  26. 5-26

    Ahhhh…Bliss! You go right ahead and do a bit of lounging Suzanne – you’ve earned it! Well, except that we all want you to keep up with the blog don’t cha know! But otherwise, let them dang dust bunnies run riot for a little while. :smilerabbit:

  27. 5-27

    Looks very it !!

  28. 5-27

    No,no,no. Writers don’t lounge, they “Organize their thoughts”. With their eyes closed. And a big glass of iced tea. ON their lounge chair. Often. :sun:

  29. 5-27

    I LOVE the set! Free is my favourite kind! I love getting things for free that have had former happy lives!

    I also like cutting flowers from outside. I want a cutting garden. I had planned to start one this spring, just had no time to put one in.

  30. 5-27

    Every farmer needs a lounge chair, and cute fuzzy shoes!!

  31. 5-30

    Suzanne, You need a beautiful hand woven rug for your porch. Here is the blog to see Hilary’s porch.


  32. 5-30

    I LOVE the set! Free is my favourite kind! I love getting things for free that have had former happy lives!
    I also like cutting flowers from outside. I want a cutting garden. I had planned to start one this spring, just had no time to put one in.

  33. 6-3

    Who’s gonna milk the cow while you lounge? You have a cow, now!! :moo:

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