5 Essentials For A Practical And Delightful Porch

Front porch, back porch...any porch. Just the word porch sounds cozy and brings a feeling of relaxing and reveling in nature outside your door. In our home the front porch is pretty utilitarian and there isn't room for rocking as you might think that every southern home would be about. On the other hand, take two and head to the back and it's pretty heavenly out there and much more private! We've lived here as you know for a long time and the back porch has seen several reincarnations so I have some tips as a front porch back porch practitioner of sorts today.

5 Essentials For A Practical And Delightful Porch

comfortable and cozy front porch

Before we start...essentials are just that. Anything that is absolutely necessary and indispensable. You can obviously take any space that you are designing and do it up next level large or go plain.
My own patio design is not very fancy and much more on the practical side, since Miami is the mildew capitol of the world I'm pretty sure ;-) Here's what I feel is essential and again you customize these tips to your own home because it's your space and you deserve to enjoy your look!


  1. COMFORTABLE SEATING
  2. DINING
  3. WEATHER PROTECTION
  4. ACCESSORIES
  5. LIGHTING
florida patio with teak furniture

COMFORTABLE SEATING

Comfort is key and comfort is king in porch design and these days you don't have to just go the old fashioned rocker route in terms of seating. A great outdoor sectional sofa if you have the room or a pair of comfy chairs if space is limited are just fine. Look for indoor/outdoor fabrics on the cushions and they will last a lot longer. If you are handy you can purchase the weather resistant fabric and probably save some money, but shop around first because you may not have to bother. The best times I've found to shop for outdoor comfortable seating is preseason or postseason and I prefer to go and sit on them in person if it's a cushy upholstered seating arrangement. That's just me though, and certainly on-line shopping is a great way to find that perfect set!

patio dining from restoration hardware


DINING

Once again, you don't need anything fancy and a simple set of folding chairs and a flea market table will do for two. It's just so lovely to be able to dine outdoors, especially in the summer and under the stars! In our home we don't have a formal dining room and the dining area is really quite small. When we have guests over and weather permitting having a dining table under the covered porch we often move out there. We have a table and chairs that remains out on the porch all year since it's covered, so it's easy to use and just needs a quick wipe down when going outside to eat. In harsh climates like ours the most practical dining table that we found is made of painted cast metal and the chairs covered in weather resistant fabric that wipes clean. Teak is a great option as well as plastic and a GREAT PRICE on these- FRENCH BISTRO CHAIRS right now at my affiliate.

patio entertaining set with pottery barn lanterns

WEATHER PROTECTION

Unless your porch has a massive overhang your furniture and accessories might get wet. Keep this in mind when planning your porch and perhaps pick up some curtains or covers to toss over your furniture. Live where it freezes or snows? You probably won't be using your delightful porch if it's that cold so store what you can in your basement or shed.

poolside entertaining

ACCESSORIES

No room is finished without accessories and a practical porch should have them too! Lanterns, plants, pillows, candles, a birdcage, a clock...these are all things that bring an outdoor room to life. I change our outdoor accessories on a whim and seasonally and sometimes will change just the color scheme with flowers in pots. How about a bar cart to help you serve? Affiliate at a killer price-  FAVORITE BAR CART

twinkle lights outdoors

LIGHTING

You'll probably want to use your porch not just during the daylight hours, so proper lighting is key. There are so many options for porch lighting, but just don't stop there and go with ambient lighting like you do inside your home. A few lanterns with either candles or battery operated candles are excellent for outdoors as well as string lights for that cafe feel. Make it inviting to your guests and light up the night!

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