Wednesday, March 11, 2009

To Rail or Not to Rail...That is the Question

Hello sweet blogging friends. For those of you that frequently visit and those of you that have just happened to stumble upon my blog, I have a question to pose...should we add porch railing to our wrap-around porch? I seems like a fairly straight-forward decision, but for the life of me, it is one that I am absolutely indecisive about! My dear husband wants to add railings so that, as he puts it, we create a more intimate setting. I, on the other hand, sort of like the open, airy feel that the porch provides without railings.

When I drive through neighborhoods and subdivisions, most of the porches I do see have railings, but most are not nearly the size of our porch (seven-feet deep running three sides of the house). I'm also quite concerned about the cost...believe me, this is not happening anytime soon! As much as I would love to stimulate the economy, our "mommy-stay-at-home" budget just doesn't allow for it. I would appreciate your comments/opinions though for future reference.

In addition, (oh, I cringe as I type this) I would appreciate any thoughts on the front porch swing. Upon returning from St. Louis, this is what I saw:

I am most appreciative of the fact that dear husband finally hung the porch swing that was his gift to me on my first mother's day, BUT he didn't ask my opinion on where I wanted it to be hung. Men! I sort of had a different vision in mind...perpindicular to the porch and back against the one enclosed side (basically where you see the ugly PLASTIC adirondack chairs). Am I an unappreciative wife if I ask him to move it? (Keep in mind that this will not happen in the near took 4 years to get the swing hung, it will probably take that many years to get it moved, maybe at the same time that we can afford railing!)

Regardless, I am so exicted about Spring/Easter pics with the babes on the swing in their little coordinating outfits with Easter baskets, and chocolate bunnies! Although it was a balmy 21 degrees today, I'm positive that my newly hung porch swing will bring about warmer temperatures.


  1. Hi Val! You are so nice! I know how hard it is to make a big decision like this. Since you asked, I would love to help you with this railing decision.

    I would say to go for the railing, and if cost is a factor, perhaps you could do the front, then later do the sides? (We made our own gingerbread on the front porch and it's a neat pattern, we just took down the previous railing and trim and traced it. Perhaps you could find something you all could cut out and make and then stain yourselves to save some money?)

    Here are the reasons that I like to have a railing.
    First, the most favorite thing to me is the visual look of it.
    Second, it's FUN to decorate that railing with garland and lights at Christmas time
    Third, I know it doesn't actually provide any privacy, but it FEELS more private
    Fourth, it defines the space
    Fifth, I've taken lots of good pictures with our railing as the background.
    There's probably more, but I think it would make your porch feel finished and more like an outdoor room!

    I think it would be a lot of work but you will in the end think it was worth it! If it would help you, I would be happy to email you some more photos of the railing of our porch. Our porch is more narrow than yours, I'd love to have the width of yours! It's a wonderful space, and would be so much fun to decorate for all the seasons!

  2. Those are exactly some of my husband's reasonings. He thinks that the railing would definitely define the space, create intimacy, and allow me to deocrate with more lights and garland than just around the door frame! Thank you so much for your insight and I would love some more pics of your front porch railing. Feel free to email me at

  3. Hi Valerie...thanks for visiting me again! I think you have a beautiful home either way, but I think it would look great with railing, but what do I know??? I don't even have a porch! I totally understand about the husband part. Sometimes my husband will do something and I am just amazed at how different our brains work sometimes! (Of course, I always think mine is right). Atleast he hung it for you, I would give him major points on that, all except for the 4 year part!

  4. Good Morning, Valerie,
    Thank you so much for visiting and your sweet advice. I would say the railing! I know that when we had a our large porch, the railing is what made a huge difference. It is much more fun to decorate and makes even more precious pictures of the little ones. I love the swing! I'd can't say where I would want it, but knowing my husband, it would go right where your hubby hung it up too! Hope you have a beautiful day today! Hugs and Blessings,

  5. The Swedish point of view :-) I would say that a railing is needed. But on the other hand I like it when it´s open. Not much help I´m afraid :-)

    Thank You for visiting my blog! If You leave a comment there I´ll always answer at the same place.

  6. Val, Could you use some of your scrapbooking tools to make the railing on your porch.(in a pic) that way you could see if you like looking at it before doing it. Just a thought!

  7. Well aren't you the most crafty/creative one!!! I didn't even think about doing that! will have to try it out and see.

  8. If you try it I would love to see it!

  9. I would have put it where your green chairs were stacked- but not facing the street-
    *shout out "hi!" to Old Centennial Farmhouse!!....see: I love giving my advice :)

  10. You definitely had the right vision for the porch swing. I can just see you swinging back against the front of the house. Ha! Men are sweet, but sometimes they just don't have the vision.

    I think you can go either way on the railing, but I do think it would add something to the house.

  11. Valerie-
    I didn't know how else to contact you, but wanted to tell you what an awesome testimonial that was that you left on my blog-
    you are JUST the kind of mother we need in this country right now :)
    AND that I have some great video recipes and storytime and crafts and SO MUCH more at my video site....just go to my blog and click on the cowpoke and me there on the left....*the kids will love the site too*

  12. Just had to stop by and say hi to a fellow Kansan. I saw your post on Kelly's blog. We live in Houston now. What a beautiful family you have! Have a great weekend.

  13. Hope you are having a great weekend! Thank you for stopping by! I know it has been a really warm winter, and lately the temps have been flipping back and forth! We ended up having snow last night, and yet this morning it was really near nothing! Hugs and Blessings,

  14. Hi Valerie,
    Thanks for coming over and visiting my blog. My hats off to you for figuring out how to design your own blog. I bought Blogger for Dummies, so that tells you my technical skills! Your house is lovely. I can see where trying to make a decision about the porch is a tough one. I usually base decisions like that on things like "can I hang more twinkle lights" and if the answer is yes, than just do it! I have to agree about the porch swing...make your husband his most favorite dessert and then see if you can get him to position it between the two post. Tell him you want to enjoy that front porch view with him for a lifetime and you want the maximum view you can get! Your kids are beautiful!

  15. I think that is a good question -- with railing you won't be able to see the furniture as well, hanging plants look better without railing IMO, but the railing does make it seem more like a "room". I'm not sure I would know what to do either!

    And BTW, I'm also close by -- 100 miles south of KC -- so we're neighbors!

    Found your blog from Nancy at Acorn Cottage


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Your kind words are appreciated! As Mother Teresa said, "Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."