Porch-Sitting Season: How We're Making the Most of It

C'mon over and sit a spell.

Neutral Cottage Porch Swing With Patterned Pillows

Neutral Cottage Porch Swing With Patterned Pillows

Comfortably nestled under the covered porch, this swing provides a relaxing spot to enjoy the home's outdoor space. Patterned pillows in hues of beige and blue create a splash of color on this cream-colored porch.

I know a thing or two about porch-sitting season. I'm a Southern lady, after all. Here's how to embrace the heat, secure some precious "me" time and gain a reputation as the hostess with the mostess this summer — all without stepping off your stoop.

Take a Load Off

Porch Swings

Porch Swings

Outdoor drapery helps blur the lines between indoor spaces and exterior porches filled with upholstery, swings and places for lazy napping next to the saltwater pool, all keeping a fresh, clean and neutral palette. And after the sun goes down, the party moves to the lakeside fire pit. Everything is upholstered in Sunbrella, including the outdoor drapery, which all gets a heavy hose-down in advance of every visit. The couple and their guests can nap, lounge, party and relax there.

Photo by: John Bessler

John Bessler

Porch sitting is all about slowing down to enjoy good weather and good company. First thing's first: Find something to sit on. No one wants to sit cross-legged on the floor, this I can promise you. I'm obsessed with how designer Heather Garrett incorporated a classic, white porch swing alongside trendy, black chairs. The results look oh-so-comfy, oh-so-stylish and, most importantly, oh-so-inviting.

Gussy It Up

Outdoor Sitting Spot

Outdoor Sitting Spot

“The front porch is about 8 feet deep by roughly 20 feet wide,” says interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn. “It’s enough to function as an outdoor room.” An all-weather rug, teak sofa and colorful coffee table carve out the conversation area.

Photo by: Sarah Dorio

Sarah Dorio

In the South, first impressions are everything. What’s your front porch saying about you? View the porch as an extension of the interior of your home and design it as such. Allow your favorite colors and textures to spill onto the porch, and grant guests and passersby a taste of who you are without even stepping through your front door. Hang airy drapes, add textured throw pillows, string a pair of pendant lights and don’t be afraid to nest this space and make it your own.

Morning Well Spent

Start the day with a street view and a fresh cup of cold brew. Summer is synonymous with sweat, but the mornings are mild so why not take advantage? Let the morning serve you as some much-needed "me" time before the start to another hustlin’, bustlin’ day.

Not Your Average Cup O' Joe

Raspberry Coffee Pick-Me-Up Smoothie

This vegan smoothie will give you the energy you need.

7 Cold Coffee Drinks We're Sipping

Your cup of joe just went up a notch.

Play Catch-Up

Chip and Joanna Gaines on the Porch of the Flip House

Chip and Joanna Gaines on the Porch of the Flip House

Who needs sugar in their tea when you can get all the sugar you need from your beau? Smooches as seen on Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna Gaines on the front porch of the remodeled Flip house.

From: Fixer Upper

Photo by: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

I don’t have scientific backup here, but playing catch-up on the porch just feels more personal. What better place to make that long overdue call to your mom? Better yet, what better place to sit across from her and tell her about your week? Call her, invite her over or ask your long-lost BFF over for an afternoon of (sweet) tea. If you had a doozy of a day, go ahead and bring out the rosé. It should go without saying, but the porch is a judgement-free zone. Rosé away, y’all.

Read a Book

Plump and Pretty Pillows

Plump and Pretty Pillows

Pillows are a great way to make a porch feel more like a real room, extending the square footage of your home. Use pillows with quick-drying polyester fillings as well as fabrics that are fade and mildew-resistant.

Photo by: Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Not off your smartphone, and not off a tablet, either. If it emits some type of light, it’s a no-go. Grab a good, old-fashioned hardcover and flip through the pages. Learn something; get inspired. Take the time to reflect on what you’re reading. It almost sounds like a foreign concept these days, doesn’t it?

Sip On Something

Photo by: Jason Kisner ©Copyright Scripps Networks, 2016

Jason Kisner, Copyright Scripps Networks, 2016

Go ahead and go for something a little stronger than that cold brew from this morning. Bring out a pitcher of our boozy berry patch lemonade, jam-packed with summertime sweetness courtesy of whiskey, blackberries, strawberries and tart lemonade. Grab an extra set of glasses — you’ll want to toast your neighbors over small talk, after all.

More Big-Batch Booze

See All Photos

Grapefruit Gin and Tonic

Our twist on the classic gin and tonic combines muddled mint, fresh pink grapefruit and sweet elderflower liqueur for a refreshing summer brew that will prove to be a major party pleaser. 

Make This: Grapefruit Gin and Tonic

Photo By: Jason Kisner ©Copyright Scripps Networks, 2016

The Lime in the Coconut

Made from coconut vodka, coconut water, pineapple puree, fresh-squeezed lime juice and a splash of cherry-lime sparkling water, this refreshing big batch cocktail is a summery twist on the classic vodka soda.

Make This: Lime in the Coconut Cocktail 

Photo By: Jason Kisner ©Copyright Scripps Networks, 2016

Coconut Mango Margarita

Not too sweet — but not too spicy — a blend of jalapeño, mango and coconut milk is a winning combination. You can make it in 10 minutes from start to finish, and no need for a high-powered blender because the recipe uses frozen mango cubes in lieu of ice cubes. 

Make This: Coconut Mango Margarita

Photo By: Jason Kisner ©Copyright Scripps Networks, 2016

Boozy Berry Patch Lemonade

Fresh, ripe berries + whiskey + tart lemonade = a not-too-sweet cocktail that's sure to please a crowd.

Make This: Boozy Berry Lemonade

Photo By: Jason Kisner

Coastal Citrus Punch

This refreshing punch can be made in a large glass jug and placed in a pail of ice for your summertime gathering. Place additional fruit and ice in glasses for a fun, decorative touch.

Make This: Coastal Citrus Punch

Pineapple Hibiscus Punch

Hibiscus tea, pineapple juice, rum and ginger simple syrup are the perfect mix of sweet, spicy and refreshing.

Make This: Pineapple Hibiscus Punch

Photo By: Jason Kisner ©Copyright Scripps Networks, 2016

Honeydew Green Tea

Blend fresh honeydew melon with ice and add it to green tea for a new fruity-flavored drink. 

Make This: Honeydew Green Tea

Photo By: Photographs by James T. Farmer III and Maggie Yelton from Sip & Savor by James T. Farmer III, reprinted with permission of Gibbs Smith

Oranges-and-Cream Punch

The flavors of this festive punch will bring you back to your childhood. Perfect for an outdoor gathering, bridal shower or Sunday brunch, this sunny concoction is easily doubled and great for a crowd. 

Make This: Oranges-and-Cream Punch

(Watermelon) Keg Party

Make a big batch of your favorite watermelon sip then turn the shell into a party serving vessel. Sweet!

Make This: Watermelon Keg

Sparkling Sunshine Punch

Adorn this tart and bubbly punch with pretty, yet simple to make, floating ice flowers.

Make This: Sparkling Sunshine Punch

Lemony Summer Shandy

This beer punch couldn't be easier to whip up, and its light, lemony flavor helps cool down hot summer days. Careful, though: The Canadian whiskey packs a punch. 

Make This: Lemonade-Beer Punch


Rose and Lemon Sparkling Punch

Sparkling rosè and cranberry juice give this lemony punch its blush-pink hue, making it perfect for a summer picnic or bridal or baby shower. 

Make This: Sparkling Rosè Punch

Sparkling Summer Sangria

Dress up white wine and Prosecco with summer's freshest fruit and herbs. To keep the mixture cool, freeze the fruit unitl your party begins. 

Make This: Sparkling Summer Sangria

  1. sangria

Photo By: ALX Creatives

Red, White and Blue Sangria

For a patriotic take on sangria, decorate your pitcher with cookie-cutter fruit shapes in red, white and blue. 

Make This: Red, White and Blue Sangria 

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Refreshing Muscadine Sangria

This Southern spin on sangria features thick-skinned muscadine grapes, lime and white wine. 

Make This: Muscadine Sangria 

Photo By: Reprinted from the book "The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen" by Matt Lee and Ted Lee. Copyright © 2013 by Matt Lee and Ted Lee. Photographs copyright © 2013 by Squire Fox. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.

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