Spring Fling
April 23, 2014

Our 2014 winter seems to never want to end, but it's time, and I think we may have finally turned a corner. Sometime around Valentine's Day, I usually start reminding clients that any orders for outdoor furniture need to be placed soon, in order to enjoy it by Memorial Day. This is usually met with a laugh as people jet off for President's Day and a week of sun or skiing. Who's thinking about Memorial Day in February? Sigh, we are, but we may be the only ones. Now here we are, Easter and Passover behind us, and suddenly the emails are flooding my inbox since we're now just six weeks shy of Memorial Day and yes, everyone's patios and porches need furniture and freshening. Memorial Day may be a tall order for some manufacturers but we always see what's possible. This year, Dedon, JANUS et Cie, and Barlow Tyrie are making lots of my clients happy. In fact, many brands do stock up for this season so we're usually able to work out some of the furnishings for May and June, and the rest by July 4th—oh, were you not there yet? We are. In fact, we're ready to dive into the pool by now… but let's focus on those decks and porches for a minute.

I love a beautiful porch. At some point in life I am determined to have a house with a front porch where I can have a swing or a rocker and flowerboxes all abloom in the spring and summer, pumpkins lining the steps in the fall, and boughs of pine wrapped along the railing in the winter. It seems like a simple goal but Brooklyn living doesn't come with a lot of front porch options. A stoop gets close though, and next year I'll finally be back in a townhouse where I'll get a little of the décor back on my stoop steps.

In the meantime, this is my favorite time of year to be sprucing up my clients' homes in Connecticut and Westchester. The snow has finally melted and we can actually see the lawn again. We're quickly pulling together grill patio furniture for a client in Greenwich. In a few weeks they'll be able to invite another family or two over for dinner, let the kids loose in the backyard, while the adults relax in a deep-seated teak corner sectional, candles lit in the hurricanes, drinks on hand, all while dinner's grilling nearby. When ready, everyone can move on over to a big round dining table and settle in to some seriously comfortable chairs for a few hours of conversation and laughter. I love that this could become a Saturday night ritual.

A couple weeks ago, I was up on Martha's Vineyard on a cold but bright Saturday morning. It was the first time on-site at a new-construction project and all the images that had been in my imagination suddenly came to life. Walking around a staked mud patch, I could see the garden that would soon greet my clients and serve as a welcome respite from the summer sun. An enormous tree will shade the lawn and I can already sit in the garden and smell the lavender. On top of the roof deck, the view of the ocean promises four seasons of New England beauty. Walking to the back of the house, the glorious sun deck awaits and views of the water and the dunes are telling you to kick back on the chaise lounge and delve into that perfect summer novel or get your game on for a little table tennis.

And then there's the simple heaven of a porch. At a client's home in upper Westchester, the back porch provides a stunning valley view and her soon-to-arrive lounge chairs and rockers will invite you to sit and take in the trees from spring buds and the lush fullness of summer, through the heart-be-still fall foliage, to the simple beauty of winter's bare branches. In lower Westchester, plans just made it into my inbox for a new house; they're breaking ground soon and an enormous wraparound porch is making my heart swoon. I think for that house I'll make sure most of the furniture can stay outside year-round, because being outside is glorious, no matter the season.