It’s been quite a while since my last post (January 1st.)
At the time, I was feeling discouraged and overwhelmed and very blue… a deep, full-bodied azure, as a matter of fact. I didn’t feel much like writing.
I plugged away as gamely as I could through the grey, cheerless months of January, February, and March. There were multiple changes in our lives and many distractions – some positive, some not. The long, dark winter slowly, slowly seeped into a short, cold spring. I felt like I, and everyone around me, was desperate for some sunshine.
I don’t know if there’s anything better than summer in Eastern Ontario, with its scattering of lakes on the Rideau System, and majestic pines and wildflowers growing out of the bedrock of the Canadian Shield. Tett House sits perched on one of these imposing rocky cliffs, with water and trees on every side. Living here, I feel as if we are at the very heart of every season as it passes.
And summer is one of the best.
In summer, the lilacs come out,
and the deer visit.
The time for sunset bonfires and ‘smores begins,
and I start making homemade iced tea with fresh mint and lemon.
When the storm windows come off in late spring, and we open the French doors to the porch, Tett House comes alive.
When I fell in love with this place, I fell hard, and its large screened-in porch is largely responsible for that. That porch is what made me realize this was more than just a real estate crush… this was a long-term commitment territory.
When we first saw it, the porch was sort of a leftover postscript to the rest of the house, but it had a lot of potential. The previous owners left some boring, Golden Girls-style wicker out there and I wasn’t having any of it. I had a vision of something cozier and maybe kind of old-fashioned, but in the best sense. I wanted to create a space that you escape to with a book, or a glass of wine, where you gather with friends and listen to music.
When we first moved in, the porch became a place to put a few pieces of stray furniture. It was the only place of calm in our stormy move, when everything was in chaos. Our cat liked it, too.
Decorating the porch was a bit of a challenge because it’s not enclosed, only screened-in. This meant that any furniture we put out there had to be resilient and able to withstand changes in the weather. It also had to suit the age and style of the home… a modern “outdoor living room” set from Home Depot wasn’t going to cut it.
My first stroke of luck was acquiring a pair of vintage rocking chairs from a friend who was moving and could no longer use them. They were a little worn and a little chipped and they were exactly what I was looking for.
Next, I found the perfect round pedestal table online and some very affordable indoor/outdoor rattan chairs from IKEA.
It was really starting to come together, but I still didn’t have my pièce de résistance. I needed a cozy reading corner… someplace I could curl up with a good book or fall asleep on a lazy day. The final piece of the puzzle was equal parts Kijiji and thrift shop, where I picked up a secondhand daybed and handmade quilt and bedding, respectively.
The porch is my favourite room in the house, of course, although it’s not even really a room. It’s that magical place where you can be both inside and outside at the same time. It’s a place for dreaming, for reading, for dining, and – since the daybed was set up – for napping.
The floor is slanted to an alarming degree. Things get damp in there, when it rains. There are sometimes ants, and once I interrupted a snacking squirrel, but when the weather is fine, it’s the only place I want to be in the world.
To read the story of our move to Tett House from the beginning click here.