Porches are a main staple of life on the coast. Creating an outdoor living space is a great way to enjoy the beauty outside. When we bought our home on the coast of NC, one of the things we loved was all the porch and patio space. After several years here, we are ready to tackle decorating and furnishing our coastal porch and the approach we are using is quite simple.
Break up the areas
We have a long porch off the back of our house that extends the full length of our home. In order to think about how to furnish this space, it has helped me to break it up into 3 different sections. Our homes have “rooms” in them and you can usually do the same outside. You may only have a couple, but it is still helpful to treat the “sections” like rooms. Right now, I am just focusing on our swing area. This will be like a mini living room. This really helps when selecting furnishings and decor for this space. Later on, we will work on the “eating” area of our porch.
Using a swing for a “couch” is super fun for a porch area. I have had this swing from Ballard Designs for several years. It has held up nicely. I also love the custom day bed swings. This piece served as the foundation for this space. If decorating your entire space is too much right now, consider buying your foundation piece now and completing the rest another time.
Incorporate the same principles As indoors to capture coastal feel
If you saw my post about how to incorporate a coastal vibe in your home, you can carry those same ideas outside. Basically, stick with a blue, green and/or neutral color scheme. Bring in some natural elements like wicker, cane, etc. I find that mixing these textures adds even more interest. Keeping the furnishings light will continue that open and airy feel. You can read more about these principles in the full blog post here.
use a lot of plants
Beautiful porches are not only furnished nicely, but they are flourishing with plants. Using flowers is one of the great things about decorating an outdoor space. Flowers and greenery make spaces even more beautiful. I like to keep the color scheme fairly monochromatic when choosing plants. So, I’ll do all white flowers with a lot of greenery, for example. I do love to add in a splash of one color here and there sometimes, too. So, maybe with the white flowers, I’ll add one or two that are pink or purple.
It is important to think about the sun exposure of your outdoor area and choose plants that fit. Plants could be an entire post of its own (maybe one day!). For now, I’ll just let you know that I’m going with ferns, palms and New Guinea impatients, and maybe a hydrangea. We get partial sun on our porch and these plants work well in that type of space.
Don’t forget lighting & details
The lighting and the details are important indoors. In order to create a coastal porch that feels like outdoor living, you don’t want to forget these details. You can think lanterns, citronella candles and a rug to pull it all together. Buying neutral larger furniture pieces and mixing in color with rugs and pillows can allow you to have flexibility to change things up without a big budget down the road.
I am including some of my favorite outdoor pieces right now in a few different porch swing looks, from traditional to more bohemian. Blue is almost always my fave, but I threw in a neutral look and I’m loving that one, too! Target, World Market, Wayfair and Home Goods are great outlets for affordable finds. Lowe’s is always a great place for plants & accessories to keep your budget low. The thing about patio decor is that it sells out quickly so if you love a piece, don’t wait. Additionally, you will want to get it now so you can enjoy it for those Suuuummmer Niiiggggghts (those words always have to be sung a-la Grease)!
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porch look one
porch look two
porCH LOOK three
porch look four
porch look five
I hope these looks will help you become inspired to create your own porch space. I am definitely excited to finalize our space so we can start enjoying the great outdoors!!