Friday, September 18, 2015

7 Simple Steps to Spruce Up Your Porch By Jennifer Tuohy

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this guest post,free of charge, from Jennifer Tuohy, via Home Depot,  for posting purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it


Ah Fall...

When we all come back outside to enjoy the cooler weather with our cups of coffee on the porch....

And realize we need to spruce it up a bit, right? 

Jennifer has some great ideas to help, to get you started this weekend!


A porch can be a Southern woman’s sanctuary. 

A place of respite from the hot sun and driving rain, it’s also the perfect spot for entertaining. Don’t let your porch become an extension of your mudroom, filled with shoes and soccer gear.

 Instead, turn it into a place for repose and recreation with some of these simple decorating tricks that will help you get the most out of this useful space.

1. Throw down a rug

Nothing pulls together a room faster than a nice, big rug. An outdoor rug is waterproof and mildew-
proof, meaning you don’t need to worry about it being exposed to the elements. Plus, when it gets 
dirty you can just hose it off. A bright, bold patterned rug with coordinating pillows is a simple way 
to instantly transform a humble porch into an outdoor oasis. It’s also a great way to break up your 
porch space, especially if it’s as long and narrow as many porches are. Put the rug at one end and 
place a couch and chairs around it to create an intimate conversation area. 

2. Distribute furniture freely.

Patio furniture is the classic go-to; what works outside works on your porch, too. However, the 
shelter a porch provides allows you a little more freedom to be creative with your furnishings. 
Throw in some whimsy with a pair of rocking chairs, accessorized with brightly colored pillows or a 
cozy cable-knit blanket for those chilly fall nights. A porch swing is always a hit with the kids, and it 
needn’t break the bank. If you have an old crib lying around, you can re-purpose it into a porch 
swing surprisingly easily.

3. Paint the ceiling…

In the South, people used to paint their porch ceilings a shade called Haint Blue to ward off evil 
spirits called “haints.” Now they do it for tradition and also because it looks lovely! (in Louisiana it's to keep the wasps from building nest, they stay away from light sky blue- it works!) Of course, you 
don’t have to go with blue—any color will instantly brighten up your porch and make it feel like an
extension of your home.

4. …And the floors.

While painting your indoor floors is probably not at the top of your list for home improvement 
projects (yup, not with a kid the practices Irish Dancing with hard shoes on the porch, they can tear up paint quicker than anything! LOL), painting a porch floor is an easy project to accomplish. From concrete to wood, whatever your porch floor is constructed from, it can be spruced up with a simple lick of paint. Consider painting some stripes if you want to really go bold, or just a nice soothing blue or green to complement the outdoor surroundings.

5. Load up on lighting. 

If overhead lighting isn’t an option, you’ll want to make sure there is ample soft lighting on your 
porch so that it’s usable in the twilight hours. Solar-powered lanterns hung from the ceiling offer a
quick and colorful way to cast a glow over your space. Battery-powered table-top lanterns designed 
for the outdoors are another nice way to distribute a soft glow, and, if you have the patience and a 
power outlet nearby, string fairy lights all the way around the porch for a magical effect. (my favorite- I love leaving fairy lights up year round!)

6. Wow with window boxes. 

Take advantage of the indoor/outdoor mash-up a porch offers and place window boxes planted with 
colorful perennials on the windows that face into your porch. Or, if there aren’t any windows, 
spruce up the blank walls with window frames hung on the wall, and place window boxes 
underneath them. This is another fun, whimsical way to coordinate the indoors and outdoors. (and to coordinate the holiday seasons too!)

7. Consider curtains.

Of course, half the point of a porch is bringing the outdoors inside, but occasionally you want some 
privacy or to block out the strength of the setting sun. Draping lightweight outdoor curtains around 
the porch is a great solution to that conundrum that also really brings the space together. 

How have you decorated your porch? 
Share your ideas in the comments below! 


About the Author:

Jennifer Tuohy is a mom in Charleston, South Carolina, who writes on home décor for Home 
Depot's HomeDecorators.com. Jennifer's spruce-up tips for outdoor porches are designed to provide  a convenient and easy way to boost your enjoyment of your home. To view a wide assortment 
of outdoor rugs for porches available at Home Decorators, you can click here.

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