My Great Outdoors: Magpie's Outdoor Room

My Great Outdoors: Magpie's Outdoor Room

Janel Laban
Jun 15, 2009

Name: Magpie Vintage Finds

Location: Menlo Park

Type of space: Front Porch

Tell us about your outdoor project and how you enjoy it: It's an outdoor room of sorts with seating and tables. A kind of life-size diorama with cozy view of my living space without actually looking inside the cottage. Lots of details. Mirror on wall across from door for one last look. Plants and succulents tucked in old silver-plate place in tabletop groupings. Metal gas heater box with Victorian details and faux wood painted as a plant stand. Vintage concrete deer. Wooden carved mushrooms. Big candle sits on old garden pottery piece. Antique trunk has library card catalog resting atop. "Gnome Sweet Gnome" on door. . .

I enjoy the porch most in the late afternoon when my teenage son bikes in with his friends to hang out there. There are so many teens on our street that it's nice to have a place for them to perch out front and greet the passersby.

How did you create it?:
As a vintage furniture dealer, I have lots of pieces coming and going. The setup on the porch is constantly changing. Sometimes I bring home a piece and stick it on the porch temporarily before taking it into the shop and it looks so good, I decide to keep it for a season. That's what happened with the vintage gas heater box. My favorite piece is the mirror, it's funky and practical at once- that will never leave.

Recommended store, site, product or resource?
On the first saturday of every month, I attend the flea market at Palo Alto High School. I buy and sell there and it's always a lot of fun.

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