Outdoor Porch Ideas
Make the most out of your outdoor space
By Theresa Leschmann
Outdoor porches have a tremendous potential to be converted to functional living spaces. The size and location of the porch will have some bearing on how to best use it. Consider what you want from your porch before planning any remodeling. Some of the options may include entertaining, dining, reading or even sleeping areas. After you have chosen a use for your outdoor porch, you can begin to plan the makeover.
Outdoor Living Room
Using your porch area as expanded living space to welcome guests or relax by yourself is primarily a matter of decorating to suit your tastes and needs. Consider the amount of space you have. A larger porch will accommodate a dining area as well as a seating area. Purchase outdoor furniture on sale at the end of the season. Add cushions and an outdoor rug that complements the seat cushions. Add personal touches such as a plant stand and an outdoor clock or metal sign hung on the wall. A storage bench can stow the cushions when not in use and provide extra seating. Add lighting if the porch will be used after dark. For privacy or shade, add outdoor blinds that can be pulled up and hidden behind the porch's overhang.
Three-season porches let you add an indoor/outdoor living space that you can enjoy for three out of the four seasons. Without the added expense of heating for winter, it is simple to make use of the room for the remainder of the year. Enclosing the area with wooden screen doors, some secured permanently in place, others functional, gives the space a uniform look and still allows light and air to penetrate easily. The screens can swapped out for storm windows during periods of inclement weather to protect the contents of the room. Add ceiling fans and lighting to create a comfortable environment. The space can then be decorated with draperies or blinds. The furniture selection can include conversational seating arrangements, dining configurations, a reading area or some combination that suits your particular needs.
Sleeping porches provide a way to stay in touch with the outdoors while at rest. Often screened but not always, sleeping porches are sometimes on the second floor of a home and should always be located on a side of the house most protected from inclement weather. They should have a roof with large eaves to help prevent bad weather from disturbing the occupant. Window screens or screened panels that go from ceiling to floor should be added around the perimeter of the porch to keep out mosquitoes and other nighttime insects. Add a hammock or daybed, a night table and a ceiling or floor fan to add to the night breezes. The area is still useful during the day and invites sleepers to take a nap as easily as it invites them to spend the night.
Enclose the open walls with plexiglass or glass panels. Install a table to be used as a potting table. Position open-spaced shelves along the windows to support seedlings and young plants. Install a cabinet for potting supplies. Hook up a small work sink for plant care and washing up, if possible. Twist small hooks into the ceiling or wall support posts to hang tools from. Install shades to protect plants from too much sun.
About the Author
Theresa Leschmann is a regular contributor to DexKnows.
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Your habits dictate the furniture that's just right for you. If you like to have company over, opt for a seating arrangement around a table or a set of benches; bookworms may enjoy a porch swing with a footstool and end tables.... Read More