5 Charming Porches & Patios
April 4, 2018 | Wendy Cline
Summer is nearly here and it’s no secret that we Southerners live for our porches. Is there any memory sweeter than those of childhood suppers on screened porches, or swinging the night away on the perfectly-designed porch. Face it: we pay for our mild winters with our sultry summers, and while modern air-conditioning may have made those deep porches of the past unnecessary, our Southern spirit just can’t imagine our homes without our porches, whether they’re wraparound, screened in, or a whole new porch design idea. A farmhouse porch just begs for a deep swing, piled with pillows and a tiny place to plant your iced tea. Maybe the classic white porch, with a row of inviting rocking chairs, is your style. Trust us, porch design ideas are something we take very seriously down here. We love a cozy Charleston piazza just as much as a natural screened in porch that invites the landscape “inside.” Take a look at some of our favorite porch designs; maybe you’ll find some ideas for your own perfect perch.
Charming Farmhouse Porch
Furnishings with an interior influence like the rug, sofa, and lamps look great in an outdoor room too. Colorful blooming containers in varying sizes create a garden setting. With plush furnishings, you can elevate the traditional farmhouse porch into a vibrant place to relax with a cold beverage, watching the sun go down on a warm afternoon. Here, shades of coral adorn pillows, which play well with the bustling, flower-filled containers. All of the flower displays are housed in neutral containers, which blend seamlessly into the porch setting. The neutral hues, with a bit of subtle, visual interest added by gray and tan bands at the top, ensure that the containers are always prepared for an evolving color scheme.
Nature-Inspired Porch
The stone fireplace creates a focal point, adds a heat source, and visually links the porch with the rock columns inside. The fireplace is practical and stunning. Flanked by container-columns which hold chopped wood, it is a year-round focal point for the room, and in winter it becomes a practical feature, ensuring that no one will need to go outside to chop wood in the col weather. The light-wood furniture is arranged in a “U” formation to create an optimal seating arrangement for the space. The cushions are covered in a lovely, soothing, ocean-toned fabric, which complements the light wood of the furniture and the earthy, light sandstone hues of the fireplace.
Modern Cottage Screened Porch
Just off the kitchen, this Athens, Georgia, screened porch connects the interior to the patio for seamless entertaining. An enormous, dazzling wall of windows brings the outdoors inside for the sensation of al fresco living and dining. This porch is a master class in print and pattern mixing. The bench cushions are upholstered in a sea-inspired print, which, while a pattern, serves as a grounding, neutral base for the panoply of patterns represented in the porch’s throw pillows. The cream base ties it all together, providing a soothing and connective backdrop for the pillow hues—assorted peaches, greens, blues, navies, and grays. A distressed table and chairs add to the ambiance.
Refined Rustic Back Porch
Decorator Cindy Smith of Circa Interiors, Charlotte, NC, used purple accents in addition to wood, metal, and stone to create a refined, rustic back porch design. Vibrant violet creates a beautiful counterpoint to the cream upholstery of the sofa and four chairs. The symmetry of the furniture arrangement sits easily and elegantly underneath the sweeping arched columns of the porch’s upper architecture. Ornate, medieval-inspired sconces frame the brick porch. Small touches, like this, add visual interest to the smooth blend of colors and textures in this sophisticated but comfortable porch escape. Just plush enough, the pillows and cushions create some contrast to the hardness of the brick porch, furniture edges, tables and clean-lined columns.
Colorful Texas Porch
Wicker has officially transcended its stereotype. We’ve heard rumors that wicker can be seen as old-fashioned and fussy, but we think that, styled with bright, modern details, there’s nothing prettier, more delicate, and porch-perfect. These small-scale white wicker seating pieces were purchased at Pier 1 Imports. Their size and style ensures that the furniture will not overpower this small back porch. This condensed vignette doesn’t trade scale for style though. Beige-and-white striped cushions were made to fit the chairs and sofa, and the effect is one of a polished, inviting outdoor space. Clusters of bright flowers in vases and porch corners filled with low-to-the-ground green plants in woven baskets complete the scene.
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