Porches That Pop!

Create a warm, welcoming space for dining—or dozing!—with these inspired ideas.
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Photo By: Photo copyright © 2010 by Chia Chong and Adam Kuehl

Photo By: Photo by Emily Followill Photography

Photo By: Photo by Helen Norman

Photo By: Photo by Helen Norman

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Pamela Crawford

Photo By: Photo copyright © 2010 by Chia Chong and Adam Kuehl

Photo By: Photo by Helen Norman

Photo By: Photo by Helen Norman

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Photo By: Photo copyright © 2010 by Chia Chong and Adam Kuehl

Photo By: Photo by Emily Followill Photography

Photo By: Photo by Helen Norman

Gimme Shell-ter

Gas lights from New Orleans and oyster shell lamps light the way on this Point Clear, Alabama, rain porch featured in Perfect Porches: Designing Welcoming Spaces for Outdoor Living by Paula S. Wallace.

Beaming with Pride

A screen separates porch sitters from the elements in this photo from On the Porch (The Taunton Press) by James M. Crisp and Sandra L. Mahoney, but wood beams, flooring and driftwood give the area a natural, outdoor feel. 

Cabin Fever

Big bowls of fruit are a subtle reminder of the season on this wooden porch. Use big baskets of pillows and stacks of books to invite guests to linger longer. 

Southern Accents

This island porch in the book Porch Living by James Farmer uses bold pops of color to add a twist on traditional fabrics. Coral-themed lighting and shell vessels give a nod to the surrounding landscape. 

Hay There!

Hang an antique hay rack over a bed and fill it full of blankets to create a cozy sleeping corner. 

Bench Warmers

A bench bookended by planters creates a lovely vignette framed by a Pamela Crawford living wall planter above and outdoor rug beneath. 

Curtain Call

Beneath a corrugated steel roof, this rustic picnic table at Brown Woods Farm in Stamping Ground, Kentucky doubles as a display table for drinks and seasonal flowers. Perfect Porches author Paula S. Wallace says the smell of the owner’s 35 varieties of roses scents the air.

Seasons Meetings

Mums and pumpkins say fall, but light, bright blue pillows against a white background keep spring and summer alive all year long. 

Fired Up!

Palmetto fronds and ferns from the garden create nice accents to this porch, where seating frames the fireplace. 

Fern the House Down!

Hanging Boston ferns adds a lush look to any porch. Just keep an eye on them in windy weather to make sure they don’t dry out. 

Hoop Dreams

In Philo, California, metal barrel hoops, a potters wheel, a pig and wooden box of succulents make for an eclectic, artistic outdoor area. 

All About Brown

This airy mountain porch uses a variety of brown tones in wicker furniture, chair covers, wood walls and flooring for a comfortable cabin atmosphere. 

Head of the Table

From the book Porch Living by James Farmer, banquet seating on this dining porch can accommodate intimate dinners or casual brunches under a chandelier of candlelight.