Porch living -- a newer term coined describing the happy space nestled between nature and your home, a spot to enjoy the benefits of an indoor space while outdoors! Porches are making a grand comeback in the home market as homeowners look to have a relaxing, inviting space for both entertaining and leisure. While decorating this transitional space can seem daunting at first with some basic ideas it’s easy to customize your porch to meet your needs and decorating style.
The first thing to think about when decorating your porch - whether a front porch or back - is how you intend to use it. Will it only be for you? Your family? Or will it be utilized for entertaining any chance possible?
For most people, they want to create a sitting space where they can lounge and relax by themselves, or entertain friends and family. This may include a designated eating space complete with a table and chairs or simply seating with some small tables for drinks.
Let’s start by creating a seating area, or areas, first as they take up the most space and should be the focal point. Then we can add the extra decorative elements in after.
If you have a large porch space and like to entertain plan to design a space that provides as much seating as possible for guests. Big spaces can accommodate a couple of sofas, a sofa, and some chairs, or just chairs circling a table. A long and narrow space can be divided into more than one sitting area to break up the area. And don’t forget to include larger furniture conducive for porch naps on lazy afternoons!
Smaller spaces can benefit from a bistro table and chairs to define a dining space or simply add a couple of patio or sitting chairs and install a railing table using brackets that attach to the balusters. The railing table can then hold drinks or a plate of appetizers without taking up any floor space.
Textiles help to soften up the porch space while adding pops of colors and a variety of textures and patterns. Fabrics can be incorporated on pillows, cushions, and even privacy curtains to create a modern, contemporary feel or a homey, cozy space. Look for heavy-duty, weather-resistant fabrics if they will be exposed to the sun and/or rain.
Chances are, your porch doesn’t have much for lighting. Adding it may mean bringing in an electrician if you’d like fixtures hard-wired into your home or you can find creative, less expensive ways to light up the space.
Think about adding solar-powered lanterns or full-sized floor lamps to act as your main lights for brightening your porch. Strings of lights can be hung from the ceiling or spanning across support posts to create a soft light that isn’t harsh or overly bright. Candles and tiki torches are great options too as long as you are cautious to make sure flames don’t pose a danger or are left unattended.
Adding living plants to your porch gives it another layer of texture and color while providing extra benefits of improved air quality. Plants also help to dampen sound from neighbors or traffic and can add intoxicating scents that may even attract hummingbirds or butterflies.
Plants can be grown in containers scattered around your porch or grouped in a single area together, or you can attach brackets to your railing for a planter box. Containers are available in an endless variety of colors and materials; mix and match them for contrast or carry out a single color scheme for cohesiveness.
Keep in mind the front porch is the first space people see when they come to your home, so it’s a great place to make a good first impression. Adding plants to your porch makes the front door seem more inviting and welcoming. A large pot (or pots) of colorful flowers brings color to the porch while upping the curb appeal. Place them on rolling plant caddies to add an extra decorative element, while simultaneously making the plants easier to move around.
A back porch can benefit greatly from creating privacy screens using container plants. Depending upon your style you can build living screens using bamboo, climbing roses, ornamental grasses, or even dwarf fruit trees.
Lastly, add personal touches to make the space reflective of you and your family.
Metal accents or artwork are becoming increasingly popular in home decor, especially when decorating outdoors. They meld seamlessly with all decorating styles from contemporary to rustic and are available in a wide range of finish possibilities.
Signs can add whimsical sayings to your porch, display your family name or monogram, or simply greet visitors to your home. Hang them directly on a wall, next to the front door, or prop them up against container plants to express your personality.
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