How to Spruce Up a Back Porch

See how a bare back porch came alive in the pages of HGTV Magazine with the addition of color, color, and more color!
By: Jennifer Berno DeCleene

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Pump Up the Porch

Head over to Hooper and Read Patterson’s house in Wilmington, N.C., and chances are you’ll find the family of five hanging out on their back porch. That’s because Hooper, an interior designer and blogger (Birds of a Feather), turned the once-empty space into the home’s go-to spot. "I didn’t want the back porch to feel like an afterthought," she says.

Entertaining Space

Hooper says "the rest of our house is bright with lots of turquoise, and I wanted the porch, which is right off the living room, to be lively and inviting, like an extension of the inside." With cheery colors and patterns, comfy seating and some clever DIY projects, their poppy porch is now the envy of the neighborhood. Luckily, the Pattersons like to throw parties.

Woven Furniture

The polypropylene loveseat and chairs have cushions covered in durable El Greco Calypso fabric by Sunbrella.

Punchy Rug

This synthetic chevron rug ($179, Shaw Floors) is made to withstand the outdoor elements like rain and sun, so spills are no problem.

DIY Coffee Table

Paint two urns with two coats of semigloss paint-plus-primer. Let dry, then fill with pebbles for weight. For the tabletop, have five 4-by-4s cut 3 feet long. Lay boards parallel to one another on the ground. Using Liquid Nails, glue them together, then glue two strips of wood down the center, so they cross all five boards. Paint the tabletop with two coats, and let dry. Apply Liquid Nails to the urns' rims, then set the tapletop on them, making sure the strips are on the bottom. Paint: Dragon Fire by Behr; Urns: Italian 13"-tall stone urns in limestone finish, $15 each, homedepot.com for stores

Outdoor Pillows

Look for ones that have the same colors as your rug like these from Company C and Kaypee Soh.

Candle Chandelier

This iron fixture holds pillar candles of various heights. Hooper climbs a stepladder to light them.

Plenty of Plants

Palms and ferns feel lush and cool in these painted pots. Chevron pots: Paint smooth clay or terra-cotta pots with two coats of matte white paint-plus-primer, and let dry. Use 1-inch painter’s tape to make a chevron pattern, then paint between the tape with three different colors—each stripe should be 1 inch wide. Remove tape before the paint is dry. Palm pots: Apply decals — the pieces come in various shades of green — to painted pots. Coat with outdoor Mod Podge. Paint: Thyme Green, Gem Turquoise, and Rolling Hills, all by Behr; Decals: Philodendron wall decals, $30, allposters.com

Another Spot to Sit

This aluminum armchair was spray-painted gray and got a cushion that matches the other chairs.

Easy Bar Table

Hooper coated a metal console with exterior paint (Tropical Oasis by Valspar) to make it outdoor-friendly. It sits on the edge of the porch, but it’s lightweight enough to move around.

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