a fresh start: our (first) porch!

Hello, have we met? No? Please let me introduce you to . . . our new porch! AC and I found a new apartment last week, and if you guys knew the degree to which I was squealing last Thursday night after I got the news, your ears would be ringing like crazy. Last week, AC and I drove up to Greenpoint to see a promising space (remember the one I dreamed about?), and we put in an application almost immediately. It has skylights, a washer and dryer (I can barely breathe I’m so excited about that) and a pretty porch with a covered trellis structure. We are going to live on that porch after we move in, so of course, I decided to stay up late last night imagining how I’d decorate it. I’ve always been a cart-before-the-horse sort of girl, so why not jump the gun and start dream decorating? I cannot wait to finally be able to have friends, family and colleagues over for meals and celebrations. As someone who has always loved to entertain but has never had the space, this new outdoor area makes me the happiest I’ve ever been, house-wise. Hopefully I can meet some of you in the neighborhood (we’re moving back to Greenpoint!) and have you up for a drink on the porch. xo, grace

Images above, clockwise from top left: This rug is JUST my style — Dash and Albert’s Lakehouse Indoor/Outdoor Rug, $38+. Filigree Sphere Lights, $498. Tolix Chair, $275 (I love bright pops of red against navy). This table is an antique, but I’d love to find a more affordable version of this farmhouse-style dining classic. Agate Candle Holders, $110 (for romantic outdoor meals). After the vertical garden is done, I want to plant some flowering trees in my collection of vintage boxes. Dahlia Placemats from Chilewich (can be left outside in the elements), $64 for 8. My biggest inspiration for the porch is Saipua’s Red Hook Shop and Terrain’s Cafe outside of Philadelphia.

Images above, clockwise from top left: My first goal is to build a vertical garden on the side wall of the porch (like the one at Flora Grubb). I want to hang some minimalist feeders to attract small birds in the area (Disc Bird Feeder, $32). Eva Solo To Go Grill, $330. Cats need to lounge, too, right? I have a feeling Ms. Jackson would love this hammock from Fickle Feline, $89 (I don’t think AC will let this in the house, though. You should have seen the face he gave me when I showed him.). I’d like to swap out the current sconces for these bright red ones, $174.

  1. Patsy Ann says:

    Oh my gosh! I’ve been researching that area a lot lately. Both of my mother’s parents were from there. 128 Milton Street was my grandmother’s address. I found this on a letter sent to her in 1925 booking her for a modeling assignment. I researched the property, but unfortunately the building at that address was built in 1927, two years after the letter and her marriage and move to Dallas. If the original building still existed, I would have considered buying it as an investment. Oh well.

    Here’s some of my grandmother’s modeling photos from the flapper days:

    I am looking forward to following your move in future posts!

  2. Liz says:

    Oh my gosh! That exists in Greenpoint?!?! My bf loves his back patio over on Driggs in Greenpoint, but yours even undecorated is already loads more awesome (his unfortunately has AstroTurf). Can’t wait to see it decorated!!

  3. That’s an amazing space – congratulations!

  4. Jessica says:

    Wow that looks amazing!

    I absolutely love Tolix. While spending nearly one grand in chairs wasn’t in my budget I found some adorable chairs similar to those on overstock.com to use as dining chairs.


    Also, Pottery Barn has the real ones on sale but still a bit pricey.

    Have fun decorating!

  5. db says:

    wow great space! that treillis is amazing – so exciting! good for you (and the cats!)
    the only thing missing is a lovely blanket for cool spring evenings! wonderful decorating list. love the stripes and pops of red.

  6. claire says:

    Oh my god! Grace that looks amazing!!! What an awesome porch! Love the wood slats and the open, modern feel. You can even sit out there in the rain. Woo hoo! So excited for you :)

  7. Congratulations, the porch looks divine! I love your outdoor decorating ideas – I just bought two vintage Tolix chairs and am considering similar lamps for my living room!

  8. margaret says:

    congrats! that is an amazing porch. you will enjoy it immensely just as you are anticipating.

    i lived in brooklyn for 17 years (bay ridge, fort greene, and park slope) before moving to pasadena, ca. now i have a patio and my hubbie and i enjoy a lot of “outdoor living”. its the best.

  9. Carolina says:

    Like everyone else, Im SO excited for you. For now I can only dream about the day when I have my very own porch. (its sacrilegious to not have one in Cali) I will be sending you some more inspiration if i come across it!

  10. Heather says:

    Grace, I’m so happy for you! This porch looks perfect! To find an apartment with one and that lovely horizontal modern fence! What luck!

    Thanks also for the suggestion of padmapper! My husband and I are moving to Portland, OR and this website will be a huge help!

    1. grace says:

      thanks heather! and how exciting! have fun in portland, it’s an amazing town.


  11. susan says:

    what a great porch!! yay for spring and summer and fall outdoors in your new place!!!

  12. Hi Grace! My friend had a place on Berry Street that had a very similar porch. Beautiful. Congrats! I may sublet in BK for awhile just to familiarize my self with the area. My friend bought a similar table to the one you liked at Old Good things which I loved.
    I love this site:
    And i’m sure you can find a tressle table on Etsy also . Good luck!

  13. Heather E. says:

    Congratulations, Grace! Funny enough, I am relocating from Boston to Park Slope next month…now I know a pretty sweet apartment is about to be on the market! Thanks for the Padmapper recc…I could really use it as I navigate the Brooklyn neighborhoods.

  14. that tolix chair is amazing, If I had a garden, Id put them outside in a heart beat!

  15. joy says:

    Congratulations on the new home! I am certain you will enjoy the openness of your outdoor space. I have a narrow terrace (3ft x 30 ft) and I appreciate my “porch” everyday!

  16. Katherine says:

    I ordered the overstock chairs (in white) a few weeks ago and love them! I would definitely recommend them to anyone who loves the Tolix chairs but is looking for something more affordable. as of a few weeks ago they were available in white, red black and silver.

    congrats on the new pad, grace!

  17. Congratulations! That’s going to be beautiful.

    New column devoted entirely to your interior design process, maybe?


  18. so excited for you!!! plants galore! kitty haven! looks gorgeous and spacious. a lovely place for dinners- exciting!

  19. I adore the vertical garden! And the filigree spheres!

  20. Meredith says:

    So much fun- congratulations on the new space! Here’s to hoping spring comes quickly so you can enjoy your porch!

  21. Llubav says:

    Grace, I’m loosing sleep over here! I’m so excited for your move to Greenpoint! I can’t believe we are going to be neighbors! Can’t wait to see how you decorate your porch. Congratulations!! xx

  22. lieludalis says:

    ooh, congrats on the porch. We had a patio/balcony while living in Milan and the cats were out lounging on it every chance they got (as was I).
    Having a little outside private space is a little bit of paradise in the city.

  23. Andrea B. says:


    Thanks for keeping us posted, Grace. And why is it I’m not surprised that you, a fellow stripe-lover, would claim your spot on a porch with stripe-y slats?

    So happy for you!

  24. able mabel says:

    Better start early, there is a ton you can do with that space!

  25. I seriously want that cat hammock for my cats!! So cute!

  26. Julie says:

    Such a gorgeous porch! Can’t wait to see it when everything is put together. Love the idea of the vertical garden, very unique!

  27. Loveeee the porch ideas…..
    love how simple they are and i can easily procure the things…thanks!

  28. Great bones! I will look forward to seeing what you do with it! I am busy imagining what to do with my flagstone patio at the new studio……. I can’t wait to put together some planters.

  29. It’s just nice to be talking about porches and being on them…given the winter we’ve all had.

  30. Henriette says:

    The vertical succulent garden is really nice and easy to maintain, I have some succulents which i removed from a roof and just placed them on the ground and in pots and they grow without any care! Thanks for your inspirations!

  31. Peaches says:

    Congrats on your new space.
    All great stuff, but that kitty hammock is effin rad!

  32. Janie says:

    How wonderful! Can’t wait to see more.
    Just a note (sorry it’s a negative one) My stomach did a flip flop when you talked about the cat. Those walls are pretty low and easily jump-able — especially from any furniture. We have a terrace and our calm, well-behaved mature lazy fat cat goes nuts when a bird lands on the terrace. She loses her mind and any caution, and just hurls herself after them! We eventually had to put up green wire fencing – which doesn’t block the view as much as it sounds, but it stopped the nightmares I was having about her going over the edge. If you’re going to put bird feeders up, PLEASE consider the cat. It’s impossible to watch them all the time and it only takes a second…
    Again, sorry to be a downer. It’s a wonderful space! Glad for you

    1. grace says:

      Hi Janie!

      Not to worry- my cats are like my children and I’d never put them in harms way- we are going to test out fencing and other things to make sure they can’t jump out or fall ;)


  33. That porch is going to be amazing! I’m so jealous of your future vertical succulent garden!

  34. Ellie says:

    Your porch is making me uncharacteristically and whole-heartedly envious. And of course it’s going to be the most beautiful outdoor space imaginable when you’re done! Congratulations :)

  35. Miz.Jo says:

    As a country girl, I could never imagine living without a porch. But my husband and I had to rent an apartment with no yard or porch for a while and I was miserable. So I can totally share your excitement. I hope your porch provides you many content hours outside.

  36. Megan says:

    Grace I’m so enamored with your porch! Congrats on the new apartment.

  37. abby says:

    Hot damn, that is one fine porch! I would be excited and scream-y too. And I would instantly start buying seeds!

  38. Kate says:

    What a stunning porch. I am a huge believer in outdoor entertaining – and that looks like the perfect place to have lots of lingering dinners with friends!

  39. I can see a wonderful roof garden in the making !!So much space, you can have clematis climbing up, and box balls all along the side and will still have tons of space- – and you can spend summer and winter there if you want!There is nothing like a bit of outdoor space when you live in the city!! It just makes life so much nicer.

  40. brandeye says:

    wow, that is GORGEOUS! terrain IS the best place to get outside inspiration. love that place.

  41. Stacey says:

    Love dream-decorating – it’s one of my favorite things to do! I have my not-yet-built screen porch almost decorated already. :)

    My husband and I are buying this for our regular dining table, but this reclaimed barnwood table on Etsy seemed a lot like the farmhouse antique you were eying: http://www.etsy.com/listing/61892507/reclaimed-barnwood-dining-table.

  42. Whitney says:

    tremendous! having just moved from GP out of the whole damn state, I’m officially green with envy.

  43. Bridget says:

    Congratulations Grace! Everyone need an outdoor space. I know it will be amazing. I looove to dream decorate, I wish I had a new space to do, I’ll have to settle for changing my home accessories seasonally. In with the white & weathered beach woods & touches of living green! Can’t wait to see your porch in the after picture!

  44. Eva says:

    cool grace, happy for you guys!

  45. peggy says:

    that’s amazing grace… congrats on finding such a gem! we have a deck too and we literally live out there when the weather is nice. how about a hammock? we really enjoy ours :)

  46. grace, congrats on the new digs! i love greenpoint so many fun memories with friends there. and a terrace/ patio that is totally to die for in that area. i KNOW you are going to have so many lvoely get togethers there. ps i love vertical gardens and hope you can share how to keep hens and chicks alive in the NE.

  47. Shashi says:

    Grace, welcome back to the neighborhood! I think we live around the corner from each other. I echo your thoughts Eastern District, it is amazing and such a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

  48. smot kesato says:

    you give me idea to decor my home, thanks


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