6 Key Elements to Designing a Beautiful Porch
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6 Key Elements to Designing a Beautiful Porch

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Generations ago, the porch was the ‘living room’ of the home.  It was the social spot to converse with neighbors and watch kids as they played outside.  It was also a symbol of relaxation and taking time to enjoy life outside, rather than staying indoors.  As houses evolved families begun taking their activities inside and electronics replaced playing outdoors and the porch became an obsolete portion of the home.  The porch became a storage area, instead of an extension to the home.  Today, everyone is trying to bring back the elements of a great porch, and here are some key elements to include.

1.) Evaluate how much space you have: Some porches have an ample amount of room, while others are smaller and don’t allow for a lot of seating and conversation area.  Determine this first to ensure you will accurately design and layout your porch.

2.) Choose your activities: Depending on the amount of space you have your options for activities could be sitting, dining, and area for kids playing and possibly a corner porch daybed! Choose your activities by your lifestyle and the climate in which you live.  If harsh winters are common, permanent and expensive patio furniture may not get enough use to make the investment. Opt for more versatile furniture that can be moved and stored in a garage throughout this season.

3.) Choose seating to fit your wallet: Let’s face it; we all don’t live in an expensive outdoor furniture magazine! This doesn’t mean that your porch should be any less gorgeous to look at, as well as relax in.  Consider buying furniture in the fall, when the summer season is coming to a close and stores are trying to make way for holiday merchandise. Check garage sales, online classified sites, and thrift stores, they may surprise you!

4.) Porches feel better with added flooring material: When choosing flooring materials consider how much overhang you have on your porch.  If your porch isn’t covered consider using a porous area rug in the seating area.  Remove the rug and let air dry when not in use to prevent mildew. For covered porches, consider using jute, or seagrass rugs to bring color and texture into this normally dull and sterile space.

5.) Add greenery and live plants: Subconsciously humans enjoy porches because you can enjoy the outdoors, without having to be overly immersed in the outdoors!  Consider adding hanging basket plants, urns filled with flowers, and planters filled with plants.  Small herb gardens grown in planters and placed on tables are a great way to bring fragrance and nature to your relaxing oasis.

6.) Personalize the decor of your porch: Your porch should feel like an extension of your home interiors.  There are no formal rules, so go for it. Hang hammocks, porch swings or daybeds to have a place to take a nap and relax.  Use decorative wall hangings, throw pillows and outdoor baskets to store porch activities in.  Remember, you are outside, so materials like metals, and fabrics can rust and absorb moisture.  Bring in these items during inclimate weather to ensure your decorative items remain in their original condition.  The porch can always change decor, and atmosphere, depending on your mood!

Enjoy bringing back the use of your porch to your home.  Many of these tips can be used for apartment balconies, and high rise terraces.  Wherever you feel relaxed to enjoy life and nature going by – there is your great ‘porch’!

Freshome reader’s what makes your porch so wonderful to relax on? Share some of your secrets!

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One comment

  • sanjeev June 6, 2011 at 15:05 PM Login to Reply →

    While these are inspiring ideas for the porch, I was looking for gardening in balconies of multi storey aparments since I live in one of those. More and more people are yearning for being close to the nature while trapped in such high rise buildings. Suggestions and designs for gardens in such restricted spaces would thrill many interested people.