Too many front porches are outfitted with only a chair or two. If that describes your front porch, here are ways to make it a comfy, cozy space in any season.
Photos by Weinrauchphotography.com
With spring right around the corner, now’s the time to prep the porch and get your outdoor spaces primed and ready for longer and warmer days ahead. If you have a porch, but it’s not so comfy, here are 10 tips to turn it into a place you’ll love to linger.
1. Cool down. On hot days, keep air moving with ceiling fans and hang breezy curtains from simple rods to create shade. Use trellises with living plants to block off afternoon sun. Solar shades and blinds are another option.
2. Play off paint. Choose colorful flowers, pots and accessories that complement your exterior paint to unify the porch with the rest of the house.
3. Light it. Exposed overhead bulbs are a no-no. Try soft, cozy lighting like chandeliers, outdoor candle hangers, strings of popcorn lights, or decorative lanterns.
4. Be ready for guests. Stock a yard-sale hutch or credenza with everything you’ll need for impromptu meals al fresco, including cloth napkins, stoneware plates, glasses and real cutlery — “porch” doesn’t have to mean “plastic.”
5. Plan for weather. Wicker, plastic and metal are weather-resistant furniture choices, and the wide variety of weather-resistant cushions in different fabrics means you don’t have to settle for plastic-covered cushions or, worse yet, no cushions. Think style and comfort.
6. Swap it out. Switch out pillows, cushions, rugs, lamps, sconces, mirrors, candles, pictures, wall hangings and other inexpensive accessories to match the season (or your mood). Think florals in spring, bright colors in summer, harvest tones in autumn and warm colors in winter.
7. Look down. Don’t neglect the floor. In exposed areas, paint or stencil the floor. In sheltered areas, use carpet, throw rugs, faux animal skins or sisal rugs to create a smooth transition from outdoors to in. Or lay pavers, stones or other hardscape materials to give the floor added oomph.
8. Connect to the outdoors. Fill the porch with potted plants, hanging planters and trained vines to play off the outdoors. Choose lightweight planters you can easily move elsewhere when you want a fresh look, or bring indoors in winter.