Friday, July 11, 2008

Fabulous Flamingo Front Porch

During the first summer in our Condo, I wanted to sit on our front porch and watch the world go by. (That is, until the temperature hit 90+ degrees, then I’d watch the world go by looking out of the window from the comfort of my air-conditioned Condo.) For that, I needed chairs. I didn’t know what I wanted other than:
  1. Something pretty
  2. Sturdy enough not blow off the porch during high winds
  3. I wanted them now
At the time, I was working on painting and decorating our bedroom. I didn’t have time to search for The Perfect Set of Porch Chairs. As a cheap and easy stopgap, I repainted Husband’s ugly bachelor dining room chairs (once upon a time these heavy monsters may have lived in a doctor’s waiting room) green to coordinate with the green shutters on the house. I also did a little staple gun upholstery to upgrade the fabric on the seat and chair back. The revamped chairs looked better. I didn’t hate them with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns anymore.

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Next I needed a table to sit my frosty ice-cold glass of lemonade upon. When I was living in our rental, I bought this mosaic from The Lost Viking’s Hoard thinking it was a table instead of a wall hanging. Well, a new house and a couple of plant stands later – it’s now a free table!

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Where are the Flamingos? You Promised Us Flamingos!

I like the kitsch factor of flamingos. I’m sure it's a hold out from my college days when I was going though my Art Deco design phase. The interesting thing about decorating with pink flamingos is that there’s a fine, fine line between tacky/kitchy=good and tacky/crappy= what the hell where you THINKING?!!!. For example, if you put a tacky plastic pink flamingo inside of your house (in say, an inherited pink 80’s style bathroom in a rental that you can’t change and your gay friends name it The John Waters Memorial Bathroom after his movie Pink Flamingos) it’s considered kitsch. However, if you put that same tacky plastic pink flamingo outside of your house in your yard, it’s most likely considered crap - unless you’re holding a luau.

However, Mom didn’t get the memo on my No Flamingos Outside design policy and gave me this metal flamingo as a gift. It’s welcoming (because it says “Welcome.”) The blue in the sign coordinates with the blue in the table mosaic. It’s a metal flamingo, not plastic (note to self: ask gay friends for second option on its kitsch or crap factor because I'm not sure of it myself.) It stays. (For now.)

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In the summer, many of the neighbors fly flags from their front porches. Once upon a time, Husband had a custom flag made for me for my birthday. Apparently, Mother Nature doesn't like my taste in porch flags because shortly after flying the flag, Gaia the Earth Mother sent a gust of wind that ripped the flagpole and its holder from the porch and broke it .

But I still wanted to fly the LisaLand flag. Husband gave it to me as part of a weird in-joke gone horribly a rye that resulted in the “creation” of my own city-state named LisaLand where I rule as the Benevolent Dictator (please note the intended irony of the adjective Benevolent being applied to the term Dictator) and is the roughly the area of our sofa (which I wisely claimed for LisaLand enough though it was Husband’s sofa.) I used my, “let’s see if I can reuse something I already have because I don’t want to go to the store right now” powers of creativity to install a new withstands high winds flag pole. I hung the flag from a long tension curtain rod between the porch roof and the house. I screwed two large teacup hooks on either side of the curtain rod flagpole to keep the rod in place during gale force winds. Once again, my neighbors could gap at the LisaLand flag flying from our porch in all its kitschy splendor and wonder,"who are these people and how long will they be living here?

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Lastly, my front door has a wreath on it even though it’s long past Christmas. I don’t generally like most nonholiday door wreaths. I’m not quite sure why I have one. Maybe it’s some sort of internal Midwestern Parental Front Door Decorating Ordinance. Because it couldn’t be there to cover up the fact that the front door now needs repainting. Oh, no.
Long ago, I decorated this grapevine wreath with flowers from a bridesmaid’s bouquet I carried in a wedding and hung it on the front door. This summer, the flowers were faded and past their prime. I liked the grapevine wreath itself and wanted to reuse it. However, I didn’t want to just slap a bow on it and call it done. Nevertheless, my sad little wreath needed a temporary makeover while I worked on a more permanent decorating solution.
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Courtesy of a few tacky kitschy flamingo patio lights (a housewarming gift from the men who named the rental's former John Waters Memorial Bathroom – even though we all know that John Waters is very much alive and is very much turning the movies he made that set Hollywood on its ear into award-winning Broadway musicals), greenery from the original wreath, and some fishing line, I have a temporary white trash flamingo wreath revamp.

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So there you have it. My temporary tacky fabulous flamingo front porch. It was a cheap because I had everything I used to deocrate the porch with the exception of the paint and fabric I used on the chairs (I'm sure it shows.) It’s not the outdoor room of my dreams but it works. The question is should I keep the theme and eventually build upon it or should I ditch the current decorations and go in another direction? Like up?

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