Kristy Alley, a Memphis mother of four, looked to Hunter Fan Company for the best outdoor ceiling fan. A pair of our newest rustic fan design, Coral Bay, worked wonderfully on her craftsman style bungalow porch.

My family spent most of last summer house hunting. As we searched, I thought a lot about the way we live in a home, and the rooms that would become our favorite spaces to enjoy family time. We made a list of must-haves, and right at the top were a formal dining room and a front porch. Sure enough, when we finally found “the one,” it had a big, open dining room, but the craftsman-style bungalow porch may have been what sealed the deal. Wide, deep, and shaded, inspired visions of lazy hours spent talking, reading, and sharing a cool drink with friend. We moved in just as July ended, hung the porch swing, and got ready to enjoy outdoor living.

Unfortunately, August in Memphis means the dog days of summer. This porch was fabulous, but it was missing something essential: ceiling fans. We would make our way to the porch in the evening, only to be driven back inside by mosquitoes and the lack of a breeze. We vowed that when spring came, we would have outdoor fans installed and turn the porch into the haven we knew it could be. We spent the winter dreaming, once again, of warm and lazy evenings on the porch. Since it goes across the entire width of the house, we decided to install two fans for balance and coverage. And as spring drew near, I started doing my research.

Having seen the drooping blades of indoor fans incorrectly installed on neighbors’ porches, I knew we needed an outdoor ceiling fan. It didn’t take much searching to figure out that the best damp-rated fan meant a Hunter outdoor ceiling fan. After browsing their selection of gorgeous outdoor fans, we decided on the Coral Bay. The vintage look of dark bronze paired with a seeded glass, lantern-style light with Edison LED bulbs was perfect for our historic home, and the reversible barnwood/drifted oak blades gave us options for the overall look of the fan. The remote control with preinstalled receiver was icing on the cake.

Just as we expected, having fans on the porch has made a huge difference. Weekend mornings, my husband and I settle in with our coffee and a book or the Sunday paper. Our late-sleeping teens drift out gradually, insisting we make room for them on the swing or the daybed. We wake up slowly, talking over plans for the day or recapping who did what the night before. Evenings we head out to the porch after dinner, winding down as we chat and laugh together. Our outdoor ceiling fans create a breeze when there isn’t one and keep the mosquitoes at bay. They keep us sitting and talking just a little longer, enjoying our time together as a family.

Now, remember that big, open dining room I mentioned? It’s situated in the very center of the downstairs living spaces in our craftsman-style bungalow, and it also functions as the center of a lot of family time. Because of our preference for historic homes, we have never had great eat-in kitchens, but we’ve always had great dining rooms. That means we eat most meals at the dining room table. Early in our marriage, I surprised my husband with a solid oak Mission-style dining table for Father’s Day, and we envisioned all the meals our growing family would enjoy sitting around it together.

That vision has certainly come to pass. Sitting down to meals with four children is a decidedly informal affair, and our “formal” dining rooms have always become an informal setting for all those breakfasts and dinners together. Food and comfort go together in our dining room, and we wanted a ceiling fan that would fit the way we use the space as well as our aesthetic. I also needed to solve a problem: the existing light fixture hung low in the center of the square room, but we prefer to have the table offset to the side for better flow between rooms. That meant that anyone passing from the living room through the dining room on the way to the kitchen was likely to have a run-in with that light.

Once again, I turned to Hunter to find the best low profile ceiling fan to fit our needs. Since both the house and our dining room furniture are craftsman style, I looked for an updated take on a traditional look. The room itself is light and airy, so I wanted a fan that would complement that feeling. We chose the Bennett low profile fan with LED light, and it couldn’t be more perfect. The fact that it mounts close to the ceiling means no more bumped heads, and the WhisperWind® motor gives us the air movement we want without a sound, so we hear each other and not the fan. On low, the fan keeps us cool and comfortable at the table, and I love the way its higher speeds improve air circulation through all the main living areas no matter what room we’re in. I can worry less about the oven heating up the house in summer and focus more on enjoying cooking and eating together as a family.

This post is a collaboration with Hunter Fan Company and Kristy Alley. All opinions are that of the guest blogger entirely.

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