I’m a New Englander, through and through. But there’s one aspect of Southern culture that I truly admire: their hospitality which is epitomized by their embrace of the classic front porch. With perfectly staged rocking chairs and porch swings topped by plush pillows, tall glasses of iced tea sweating atop a wicker side table, and enough shade to take the edge off of a hot summer’s day, neighbors strolling by an idyllic Southern piazza will feel called to settle in for a relaxing chat. If, like me, you want to take a cue from this quaint American setting, here are a few ways you can track down the necessary goods at Goodwill!
Image via instagram.com/thatcodygibson
Perhaps the most important part of pulling together the perfect porch is choosing enough seating. You’ll want your guests to linger, so you’ll need at least two chairs. A rattan peacock chair like this one shared on Goodwill of North Georgia (Atlanta)’s Instagram account has a bohemian elegance that will be a refreshing accent on your front porch. Scope out your local Goodwill to see if you can find your own! Not a fan of the natural color? Try painting the wood to match your decor scheme. You could also dress it up with a custom cushion or thrifted throw pillows to further personalize the design.
Image via http://houseofturquoise.com
Next on the list, a welcoming porch needs a table or two to rest drinks and dessert. You could choose a large, low coffee table to anchor your space or a breezy side table like this one that was shared on Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, Inc. (Baltimore)’s Pinterest page. Can you believe this used to be a trash can? Recreate your own just by flipping a thrifted waste paper basket upside-down and giving it a fresh coat of paint! Add a lantern on top so you can enjoy your porch late into the night or style it with books and magazines to provide easy entertainment.
Image by Donald Wilson via southernliving.com
But I can’t close out a post about Southern style without mentioning Mr. Goodwill Hunting himself, blogger Rashon Carraway. He was named one of Southern Living’s 75 Most Stylish Southerners and it’s no secret that he does an enormous amount of his shopping at Goodwill. This dapper gent states that “Southern style is distinctive in that oftentimes it complements the manners of the South. It is warm, bright, and welcoming—the same as a true Southerner.” Whether that style is displayed on a person or their porch, the mood is the same. Scroll through his blog for more inexpensive fashion and decor inspiration!
Goodwill’s 162 independent, autonomous social enterprise organizations in the United States and Canada meet the specific needs of their communities, so by shopping at your local Goodwill, you’re supporting the people and aspects of culture that, like front porches to the South, make your region unique. Between cold temperatures and maddening bugs, we New Englanders don’t get a lot of time to enjoy our porches, but with these quick ideas, I’ll be able to cram as much summertime leisure into the month-or-two window I do have. Join me, won’t you?