Come rain or shine your porch should somewhere you want to sit and watch the world go by - not just a place you pass through on the way elsewhere. If you have a porch that feels less than welcoming then check out our 10 easy ideas for transforming it into a more beautiful, usable year-round space that you’ll love.
Image from Findinghomefarms.com
Check your layout
Think of your porch as an outdoor room, and draw out the layout you currently have, including steps, windows and doors to the inside. Just like any room, you should make sure there is adequate circulation space to move around in, and that its clear what each area is for.
Rearrange the furniture
Have a look at your plan and see what could be improved. Maybe adding a small bench at a right angle to your existing seating will create a more cosy, convivial space for socialising. Or perhaps installing a love-seat in an unused corner will encourage you outside in the twilight…
Add shutters for sun screen
Too much sun – or too much wind and rain – can be a problem on your porch, so think about fitting screens to provide shade. Shutters make a wonderful solution. Closed they can protect you and make the space feel more enclosed, the slats half-open can let light filter in gently – or you can just fold them right back and enjoy the view. Pick from coloured shutters for a beach-house vibe, wooden for a country look or sleek monochrome for an urban scheme.
Light up the space
Whether its with large huricane lanterns or by adding wired-in outdoor lighting, extend your porch life long into the evening by adding light around the door and dining area.
Install a fireplace
No need to retreat indoors when the weather turns autumnal. Instead find a qualified local contractor to install a simple fireplace, rustic chiminea or full-on pizza oven to add a whole new dimension to your porch area.
…or a ceiling fan
A simple job for an electrician, putting in a ceiling fan will not just cool you down, it can also provide an authentic architectural detail to your porch too, drawing the eye upwards and emphasising ceiling height.
Add some character
Adding architectural details to your existing porch can give it a whole new lease of life – and help tie it in to the rest of your home too. From traditional beading to add to rails to rustic shutters at the windows, adding a few quirky details can make a huge difference.
Switch up the flooring
Traditional porch floors are hardwood, but they don’t have to be! Changing the floor will have a huge impact on the look but also the feel. Poured concrete can look edgy and industrial or be colored for a fun, funky look. Stone is great for adding a rustic touch, or patterned ceramic tiles can add a taste of the exotic.
Find a place for everything
If your porch has become a dumping ground then invest in some storage. Hide away toys and gardening kit with outdoor tables and benches that conceal storage inside and your porch will feel calmer and more welcoming.
Just add plants
Don’t forget the foliage! Plants will soften your porch, and depending on what you select, even make it smell nice. What you plant is up to you, but our tip is to play with levels. Shelving for pots or window boxes will both help lift your plants above ankle level, the better for you to enjoy them.
For more porch ideas visit our Pinterest board, or see more shutters in our gallery.