Sunday, May 30, 2021

Spring Front Porch: Le Jardin Brocante

Come along for our spring home tour as we share our vintage French inspired front porch

Since it's springtime, our home tour just had to include a refresh to our porch and potting bench for the season. I carried my theme of vintage French farmhouse and blooms to this area, and it created a dreamy feeling for our outdoor living space.

My goal for this space was to combine a French brocante vibe with the feeling of a farmhouse garden.

I'm using lots of spring blooms and vintage touches to decorate our porch this season

WHAT IS BROCANTE?

The French word brocante means second-hand, and during the fair-weather months, you'll find open-air brocante markets (vintage flea markets) nearly every weekend throughout France. 

Here in the states, we call second-hand items 'vintage' when they are at least 20 years old, or 'antique' when they reach 100 years old. 

These open air brocante markets are recognizable by the white pop-up tents that will appear in common areas during the weekends. 

The vendors in a brocante market are called brocanteur/brocanteuse. This is what we, in the US, call 'dealers'. And you, as a brocante shopper, are called a chineur, or bargain hunter. 

If you visit France, be sure to also watch for events called vide-grenier, which literally means "empty attic". While brocante markets tend to be professional dealers, a vide-grenier is more like what we call a "garage sale" in the US--these are individual sellers getting rid of items they no longer want or need in their home. 

Although a vide-grenier is going to have a mix of all sorts of goods, you might find some truly spectacular bargain antiques and family heirlooms in these events, as well!

There's no question that I love to hunt for vintage treasures, so this season, I decided to bring that theme into our front porch decor, as well!


I'm using lots of spring blooms and vintage touches to decorate our porch this season

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THE PORCH

The first thing I was drawn to about our farmhouse was the large covered porch that runs the full length of the house. While we were waiting to hear if our offer would be accepted, I would lose track of time staring at photos of the porch and dreaming about fixing up the house.

A higher power must have been listening to what was in my heart because eventually, it became ours!

I'm using lots of spring blooms and vintage touches to decorate our porch this season

I love to decorate the entrance area at the front door because I really believe that these welcoming points of a home are so important. These are the areas that invite us inside, so it's crucial to make sure that they match the energy you want in your home.

The main inspiration for this area is the old, chippy watering can that I picked up at a vintage market a couple of years ago. I was so thrilled when I found that piece, and I carried it around quite proudly as I shopped that day.

I'm using lots of spring blooms and vintage touches to decorate our porch this season

I've really been missing attending vintage markets this spring because, usually, our calendar is full of them this time of year. Maybe that's why I was so drawn to this piece for the porch? Who knows!

No question about it, though, I have been incredibly inspired by the spring blooms around our farm this year. It started with the tulips in our family room, and then continued to two large floral arrangements I created in our breakfast nook.

It's no wonder that I would end up bringing them to this area, as well! 

Classic farmhouse touches with loads of blooms are great inspiration for spring decor

If you caught the spring tablescape I created in our breakfast nook, you know that I have been very drawn to a feminine, romantic, vintage French aesthetic this season. This is quite a departure from the way I usually decorate.

I tend to opt for farmhouse simplicity, so there are rarely any frills or lace in our decor. But this season, I had a creative itch, and so I brought in a few elements--like the vintage crocheted doily--that are outside of the norm for me.

I'm using lots of spring blooms and vintage touches to decorate our porch this season

To make sure I incorporated some personal touches, I stacked some old books from my collection to add height and color. 

And, the chippy vintage chairs are like an invitation that says, "Welcome...sit a while...we're glad you're here."

A chippy chair for removing shoes is perfect near the door

I also used an abundance of blooms in this design. Again, this is different from the way I normally style our floral arrangements. Typically, I'll use just a few stems for simple beauty...but this season, I wanted those blooms to be overflowing from every container. 

{Related: 15 Faux Floral Favorites Under $5

Decorating this way was a bit of a creative challenge for me because it's not really within my comfort zone. But, I'm just tickled with how everything turned out, so my advice is to try new things! Stretch your abilities! It's good for the soul.

I combined a rustic wood table with a chicken nesting box to create our potting bench

THE POTTING BENCH

Further down the porch, I have my potting bench set up for spring, as well. If you haven't already caught the story of how I came across this amazing table at a barn sale, be sure to check that out.

I use a chippy old chicken nesting box on top of my table to sort and store pots and gardening supplies. The cubbies are perfect for keeping things organized...and they're cute to decorate, too!

Don't you just love things that are both pretty and practical?!

A chicken nesting box creates cubbies for storing our gardening supplies

{Related: How to Build a Nesting Box}

I have a number of old vintage boxes and containers on my potting bench for storing things like seed packets, tools, twine, and other small items. These keep my bench looking tidy, and everything has its place.

Vintage and barn sales are such a great place to find funky old containers like these. Plus, you can find some great rusty and chippy garden items at the same time!

I use a chicken nesting box to organize the supplies I need for the garden

{Related: How I Score the Best Authentic Farm Finds}

Eventually, I would love to build a greenhouse (and you can see my inspiration for that future project here), but until that happens, this little area on our covered porch is perfect for planting pots and doing small tasks. 

Our potting bench ready for spring on the front porch

Want to see more of our spring home tour? Continue on with any of these posts:

Spring Blooms in the Family Room

Vintage Spring Tablescape

And, P.S., in case you have spring cleaning on your mind...right now, I'm giving all of my newsletter subscribers a copy of my printable Spring House Keeping Guide. Everything you need this season for maintenance inside, outside, and the garden!

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16 comments

  1. This is lovely! I love all the details on your porch. I love all the tid bits about vintage shopping in France too. Hopefully some day soon! XO- MaryJo

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    1. Thank you so much for the love, MaryJo! Looking forward to the day when we can get out into the world again...but love recreating those memories until then! xo

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  2. The green chair and colors of your porch are just so soothing and inviting to me. I enjoyed reading all of the things about the French markets. So very entertaining. Hope you can get out and enjoy the garages sales soon. #HomeMattersParty

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    1. Me too, Donna! I just love hunting for treasures...I definitely miss it! xo

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  3. Your porch looks great! I love the green chair and watering can!

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    1. Thank you so much! Both of those finds were so exciting...I love unique vintage pieces like that! xo

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  4. Your front porch decor is absolutely beautiful, Kristi! I just saw a table that my neighbor had put on the curb for trash and my mind started going wild with ideas to strip it down, ditch the broken legs on it, and make some kind of wall painting on it. But I am not that artistic to pull it off! However, posts like these really do get me inspired to make more of a creative effort. Thanks for sharing and linking with me.

    Shelbee
    www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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    1. This fills my heart, Shelbee! I hope you go grab that table before anyone else gets it--can't wait to see what you create, and I know it will be beautiful! xo

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  5. I would so love walking up to your door and seeing all those pretty goodies. I might not every want to leave! Thank you for linking up at Farmhouse Friday! Hope you link up again. Pinned!

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  6. Your porch decor is gorgeous Kristi! I love your color choices and the attention to detail. I also loved the story about vintage shopping in France. Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Farmhouse Friday - we're featuring you in this week's party!

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    1. Oh my goodness, Michelle--thank you! You're so kind! xo

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  7. I love it all Kristi. That shade of green is so soothing and creates such a welcoming front porch.
    Thank you for sharing this post at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather this week. I'm delighted to be featuring your spring brocante farmhouse porch at the party tomorrow and pinning too.
    Hugs,
    Kerryanne

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    1. Wow, Kerryanne! What a delight to have our porch featured by you--thank you so much! xo

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  8. Visiting from Farmhouse Friday and I had to pop over and take a closer look at your gorgeous porch. The chippy green chair caught my eye first and this French loving gal is swooning over all the elements used to decorate your spring porch. Very inviting!

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    1. Isn't that the sweetest little chair? I just love it! Thank you so much for dropping by to brighten my day, Marie! xo

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