Here in northern California so many front yards are beautifully designed and lovingly maintained, but rarely used. While traveling a few summers ago in Istria, I was struck by the very different form that a ‘front yard’ took there: a bench against a wall by an entry way. A potted olive tree. A shady spot under a simple trellis. These areas are used because they are so central and necessary. A spot to tie your shoe, pause with a friend, set your bag down to get your keys.

Our front yard is a transit hub and a stage. Comings and goings to school, errands, soccer. After homework gymnastic and dance parties. Nary a moment to sit. But on those gorgeous golden evenings in the fall and early spring and crisp clear weekend mornings, the yard is an oasis of calm. And what better way to pause, linger, and enjoy than on a proper bench.

We found this bench at an estate sale at a gorgeous mid-century house up the hill. Returning from travels I was inspired to make it our own by painting it red to match our front door. Now it’s our very own Golden Gate Bench. Come sit!

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