When we entertain, inevitably everyone ends up on our front porch. It’s pretty hard to resist sitting a spell with cocktails or homemade lemonade in one of our white rocking chairs or at the red bistro table. To quell the oppressive heat, we have a ceiling fan and when that doesn’t work, it helps to fill our red beverage tub to the rim with ice and cold beer. Japanese boxwoods, a trellis loaded with Confederate Jasmine, a few ferns and, during spring and summer, a sno-ball door hanger, as well as a rustic wooden ladder in the corner with candles and small plants contribute to the atmosphere and — I hope — distract from the heat. The ceiling is, of course, painted the requisite haint blue and a Bluetooth speaker or two has us covered when it comes to enhancing the auditory environment. We spend countless hours on the porch whether or not we have guests. Often, we’ll take our coffee there in the morning and read or just enjoy watching the streetcar ramble down St. Charles Avenue. On temperate evenings, rigging up the laptop to watch a movie al fresco is a treat, but mostly we post up in the rockers and shoot the breeze over whatever our beverage of choice is at the moment. Like most New Orleanians, our porch has certainly become another room of the house, which isn’t uncommon when you live in a subtropical climate.
In this issue, we are celebrating well-designed, well-appointed and well-loved outdoor spaces. From porches and patios to pools, the Crescent City does open-air living like no other. We hope you’ll find all of the inspiration you need to decorate and accessorize your own outdoor spaces this summer. Our entertaining feature takes the party to the park for those who prefer picnics to porch-sits. Whatever your pleasure, cheers to long summer days and cool nights recovering in the air conditioning
— Melanie Warner Spencer, Editor
If there is one “accessory” we can’t resist including in the magazine’s home stories (and our own homes) whenever we have the chance, it’s a dog. New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles contributing photographer Sara Essex Bradley also can’t resist and has a knack for capturing our best friends in chic settings. Bradley’s “Dog Décor: Canines Living Large,” is a fun and stylish homage to our furry friends.