Exterior & Garden The Victorian House

A Groovy Kind of Porch

We reused what we already had for our front porch, and it looks pretty good out there right now. We’ve been sitting out there a lot though since I set it up, and it’s clear that what’s missing is a comfortable chair with arms and a back high enough to rest one’s head on. Everyone appreciates a comfy seat, yes? Like, maybe a hanging swing type of seat?

Hanging Rattan Chairs

I like the idea of something that hangs from two ropes or chains, as I imagine less crashing into the house possibilities with the kids around. Serena & Lily has a hanging rattan chair that I’ve admired for a while, and now they have a wider double version too. Then while I was out walking in the neighborhood, I spotted a version in the window at Pier 1. Turns out, they have several “Swingasans” to choose from right now. Anthropologie has one too, but it’s a little too mod for me. Because yeah, turns out I’m kinda into seventies’ and eighties’ style wicker and rattan for the outside of the Victorian.

Peacock chairs are so trendy right now, but they really would work well here. There’s a house nearby with a set outside that has a his-and-hers vibe with different bases. There are plenty of new and vintage options online and locally to choose from.

Peacock Chairs

Peacock Chairs
12345 (kid-sized!)

I know, that second one above (the Handwoven Boline Chair) isn’t really a peacock chair, but it is pretty amazing. Or ZOMG, something like this, below, would be adorable! Actually, it wouldn’t really work out front — I just wanted to share this pretty picture, ha! Anyway, I saw a vintage set of these years ago, cheap, in Palm Springs. I doubt they pop up that often here in Chicago.

Pink Vintage Patio Dining Set

More realistically, I still like these chairs that I blogged about several years ago. Here are a few similar styles. Only some have a high-back, but even just having a chair with arms would be an improvement over what we have now.

Rattan Seating

What do you like? A hanging rattan swing, peacock chair, or the more simplified style of the last set of chairs and benches? I’m about to leave for a trip and won’t be back for a couple of weeks, so I’m going to take a little time to think it over.

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  • Janine
    June 12, 2014 at 9:21 am

    I like the idea of the swinging chair for the front porch! Nothing says “peaceful home” like a pretty chair. Although, if it gets empty and kinda grey with age and swings on its own in a breeze, it’ll get “Evil Dead” front porchy-y pretty fast.

    Kinda off topic, but did you know that Peurto Rican baby showers have big wicker chair mom-to-be thrones? I read about this on the Fosterhood blog and was amazed and then JEALOUS. These giant throne are FABULOUS.


    This is a thing!! So when I think of your potential front porch chair, I now have this secondary thought that runs “also, if you have any Peurto Rican friends who become pregnant, you could loan them your giant wicker chair for their baby shower”.

  • Sarah @ 702 Park Project
    June 12, 2014 at 9:38 am

    I love the idea of hanging chairs, but get really worried about their stability when hung on our 112+ year old house. I know you understand that feeling! And peacock chairs are so fun…keep an eye out for them at thrift shops and antique stores. I’ve been able to find a few around here for under $100!

  • Terri
    June 12, 2014 at 9:43 am

    What a fun roundup. Loving these peacock style chairs lately. Might be because of my southern upbringing, but I think every front porch needs a swing. Your kids will love it!

  • Jules
    June 12, 2014 at 9:52 am

    I’ve been pining for the black IKEA chair for a while now. I really need to work on our front porch, but there always seems to be other places to spend money. Books, for example. Because, apparently, an entire roomful isn’t enough.

    I had a peacock chair, and we ended up getting rid of it because it was so uncomfortable. The one I had was narrow in the neat and obscenely straight backed. It was more fit for interrogations than relaxing.

    The Boline chair gets an unequivocal, resounding NO from this seat in the gallery. It looks like something that should be on a Tim Burton set. Like, if Edward Scissorhands opened a shop in a strip mall in the valley, this is what I would sit in to get my roots touched up.

    p.s. I’d like to thank God for the gift of procrastination that made this long and pointless comment possible.

    • Making it Lovely
      June 12, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      Oh, there are plenty of other places to spend the money instead of the porch. I get weirdly fixated on things — you know. Though you may be worse with books than I am!

      I was a little concerned about the narrowness of the peacock chair. It looks comfortable, but I like to sit cross-legged, or with one leg tucked beneath me, and I don’t know if they’re conducive to that. But I will disagree on the Boline chair, because the Tim Burton-esque quality is probably what I like so much about it. That is one crazy perch!

  • Lizzy
    June 12, 2014 at 10:47 am

    I vote for a swing chair. We actually have the brown single swingasan from Pier 1. It still looks like new after being left outside all year long (in Chicago) for two years. It is super comfortable and peaceful – my husband and I fight over it! I’m thinking about getting a second one so we can each enjoy one. ;)

  • Terry
    June 12, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Agree with Jules – we received a beautiful peacock chair as a wedding gift, and had to give it away after a few years because it was uncomfortable and also, unstable when the kids came along. My now men sons still use the swinging chairs to reach for peace and serenity.

  • Sarah
    June 12, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I’m digging the idea of either two swinging chairs and that couch from west elm or a “swingasan” and two (or more chairs)!

  • Laura
    June 12, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Peacock chairs are to look at, not to sit in. I’ve seen them on porches (especially in the 70s) but never saw anyone sitting in them! Same with the egg-shaped swinging basket chairs. Not comfortable for adults; hard on the back. So pretty; so non-functional.

    • Making it Lovely
      June 12, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      I have a friend with one of the more egg-shaped hanging chairs. I’ll have to ask her how comfortable it really is (since the only Serena & Lily store is in California).

  • Lauren
    June 12, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    I love number 2 of the peacock chairs, but $998 is just so much money. If you are going to do peacock chairs (and I say do it), there are plenty of vintage options out there, like the ones from Charish. And I really like all the Pier One swings–makes me wish I had a place to put one!

    • Making it Lovely
      June 12, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      That’s the most expensive of the entire post I think, and beyond that, kind of scary to put a $1000 chair outside that can be walked away with.

  • Starr
    June 12, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    I always think hanging chairs look more beautiful than comfortable. I’d pass on those. I’d test out every option possible before committing. If you’re going to sit out there, it’d better feel good, right?

  • Traci
    June 12, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    I love ALL of the hanging chairs, and that second “peacock chair” is just crazy, in a great way! I don’t know how one would justify that price, though.

    • Making it Lovely
      June 12, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      I know. I’d keep my eye out for it to go on clearance, and there’s a floor model at my local Anthro that will likely get marked down as a floor sample eventually.

  • kate
    June 12, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    I like the swing chairs, especially 5, who could resist! The peacock still screams Huey Newton to me – I remember the 60s:)

  • Lena
    June 12, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    I’m currently in the process of remodeling our backyard. This post is really motivating!

  • brianne
    June 12, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    World Market has some colorful ones similar to those ones you’ve got at the bottom. Might not be victorian enough, but definitely a fun alternative!


  • Crissy Perham
    June 12, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Hi there! I read your blog everyday! I was really excited to see you post the picture of the woven fiberglass patio set…until I saw you didn’t need it! I have a nice set (4 chairs, table and all the original cushions)…was hoping that you would love them! If you change your mind, be sure to reach out!

    All the best

  • colleen
    June 12, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Why not go classic and timeless…buy a good traditional porch swing. The good ones are are worth the money and will last a lifetime and, you’ll actually use it.

  • Peggy-Sue
    June 12, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    We have a Pier 1 Swingasan in our back-yard and looooove it, so do my kids (it also wins points for having somewhere to put a drink and stash a few books – extremely handy when you plan on bunking down for a good long read). Personally, the sensation of gently swinging wins out over every other type of chair out there. We also have an IKEA Svinga in our basement and I’m working on putting a two seater swing on our front porch!

  • Jessica
    June 13, 2014 at 12:46 am

    Oh yes! Any of these would do but one that swings would be incredible! I picked up a set of six of those white chairs (the ones you saw in Palm Springs) on the side of the road last year. What a find, right?

  • Hilary
    June 13, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I considered the Ikea storsele, but they aren’t rated for outdoor use and I was worried they wouldn’t hold up. I opted for the Hanalei from world market for my back yard. They are a little bit bright but so SO comfy! Like you could sit in them all day comfy.

  • merlin513
    June 13, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    I’ve got the exact #1 rattan swing chair you’ve got pictured…hanging from a tree branch in my back yard with a chain w/a porch swing spring attached. As long as you’ve got a couple of cushions thrown in it for the seat and your back it is EXTREMELY comfortable!

  • Chelsea
    June 14, 2014 at 8:09 am

    I have the single swing chair from Serena and Lilly and I love it! I did get a cushion for it from pier 1. However I would suggest getting the double because it’s the favorite seat in our home. I can just imaging all three kids wanting to swing and the chaos it may create. I have a two year old and we can comfortably sit together in the single.

  • Amy
    June 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    If anyone is in the Springfield MO area and is enamored of the peacock chairs, I just saw one yesterday for only $15!! It was red and came with a cute (although dingy) floral cushion. It was in a booth at the Urban Market on Trafficway. (Located behind another, much crappier flea market at almost the exact same address.)

    I would have bought it myself but I don’t have a porch. Maybe someone here will enjoy it!

  • Caroline Calcote
    June 16, 2014 at 6:55 am

    Just saw a vintage set of those spun fiberglass chairs/table at a monthly vintage market here. It was $299 for the table, two arm chairs, and two side chairs. It was in great shape and I think it was a steal…too bad I didn’t have a use for it. You can see the set I’m talking about in this post: http://carolinecalcote.com/2014/06/07/brocante-vintage-market-june-2014/ (pretty far down in the post, but it was a fantastic set)

  • Zareef Hasan
    June 16, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    My favorite is egg-shaped hanging chair with cushion. I have hanged it in my garden beside flower beds. I love to swing in fragrance. Thanks for sharing lovely ideas!

  • Jennifer Fuchs
    June 17, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Nicole… we have the Pier1 Swinging chair and I absolutely love it.
    I will tell you that I bought the stand because I didn’t want to wait for husband to get around to hanging it under the deck, ;) And the stand is awesome…it still feels as if your hanging like a regular swing and its super sturdy!

    And the best part is I move it inside in the winter to the family room so we get to enjoy it all year long.
    You will love it, I promise!

  • Jennifer Fuchs
    June 17, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Oh and I will add……I did take the floor model, it only had one piece ‘unraveling’ and it was discounted $84.00 off for that..worth every penny.

  • Mera @ Red House West
    June 17, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I vote for the Serena and Lily hanging chair! I have one, and I sit in it every day. It’s my favorite! You can see it here, if you’re curious: http://redhousewest.com/2014/06/09/room-tour-the-adult-lounge/

  • Angeline
    June 18, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    I see you might be out the country and this tip is out-of-state for you, but I have been stalking these chairs for a while – someone give them a loving home :)

  • liat liat
    April 8, 2016 at 11:07 am

    I bought the swingasan last year and I have to say it is a purchase that I regret not for the comfort of the chair (which was absolutely wonderful) but for the fact that the frame of the chair is wrapped in the thin resin strip that tears at the drop of a hat and then unravels into long loops like mummy bandages. It does not change the integrity of the chair but it has made it absolutely hideous. I’m hoping to return it to the store today but have a feeling I am going to be stuck with this peeling mess.