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A Refreshed Outlook from the Front Porch

What spaces in or around the home can get a facelift and provide a respite from the day-to-day of being at home? For interior designer Kerrie Kelly, the front porch gives her home and her spirits that lift. 

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Kerrie Kelly Design Labs Transforming the front porch
For Kerrie Kelly, the front porch has become another place to work and live.

For nine weeks we have been working from home and social distancing from our clients, friends and family. The first couple of weeks, we thought it was kinda fun to perch ourselves at the breakfast bar and home office, hosting Zoom calls with our business partners and homeowners. As time marched on, we not only craved some real-life interaction, we needed some sunshine, fresh air and vitamin D. While our home office and kitchen have plenty of natural light and windows to open, we personally needed to go next-level for our work-life and meal satisfaction.

Working outside is refreshing. To set the tone, I moved around the Adirondacks on our front porch creating a mini-lounge, adding in some throw pillows and blankets. Next we rolled out our kitchen nook bistro table and chairs and dressed the table with navy and white checked fabric that coordinates with our exterior palette. To me, every space needs an appropriate playlist, so my husband brought out a Bluetooth speaker to get the background music going. Finally, we cut some flowers from our garden for an arrangement and as a finishing touch, put a “reserved” sign out on the table so we felt a little VIP vibe.

Each day I bring out my laptop, air pods, paperwork and my iPhone and it’s new stand — a gift from the NKBA. Even when I am on a call, neighbors wave and comment, “Your house looks great.” or “I love the landscaping.” We have been doing this for so long now, it has become a habit and we look forward to waving to neighbors, having a new perspective on our neighborhood. We have discovered that connection is more important than we even realized.

Kerrie Kelly Design Lab Front Porch During Coronavirus

We have also enjoyed making dinners a little more special on the weekends by lighting candles, changing out the tablecloth or hosting a little happy hour moment. Who doesn’t love a little bubbly? The extra effort makes the series of shelter-in-place weeks seem a bit more “normal.”

Embracing our front porch as our new outdoor living room, dining room and office, we have achieved a way to live intentionally during a challenging time. To be on the porch, waving at passers-by has caused us to put ourselves together each day — at least a little bit. Having the ritual of setting up shop each morning, with coffee in hand and playlist at the ready, creates a certain level of engagement and creativity when you can’t go to the usual job site. Purposefully taking time to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner in a place that feels a little more like a restaurant than your kitchen table, has taken the edge off of missing our usual haunts, even if we are eating take-out. The change of scenery has done us well, reminding us of another place in our home that is valued and connected to people, even when at a social distance.Have you discovered any “new” areas of your home or celebrated a personal outdoor space recently? 


Kerrie Kelly of Kerrie Kelly Design Labs
Kerrie Kelly is a Board Member of ASID and on the editorial advisory board of Furniture, Lighting & Decor

With more than 20-years of experience, Kerrie Kelly is creative director for Kerrie Kelly Design Lab, an award-winning California interior designer, author and contributor; product designer and multi-media consultant, helping national brands reach the interior design market.

Kerrie is a Fellow, Board Member and Foundation Trustee of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID); Houzz Pro Advisory Board Member; and Member of National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). She is also an avid representative, speaker and on-air talent for Outdoor Living and Livable Design initiatives. Kerrie has authored two books: Home Decor: A Sunset Design Guide with Sunset Books and My Interior Design Kit, with Pearson Professional and Career Education.

We value Kerrie's input as part of our Furniture, Lighting & Decor Editorial Advisory Board. For more from Kerrie Kelly, you can visit her website, kerriekelly.com, here.


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