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80 Breezy Porches and Patios

It’s no secret that we Southerners live for our porches. Is there any memory sweeter than those of childhood suppers on screened porches, or swinging the night away on the perfectly-designed porch. Face it: we pay for our mild winters with our sultry summers, and while modern air-conditioning may have made those deep porches of the past unnecessary, our Southern spirit just can’t imagine our homes without our porches, whether they’re wraparound, screened in, or a whole new porch design idea. A farmhouse porch just begs for a deep swing, piled with pillows and a tiny place to plant your iced tea. Maybe the classic white porch, with a row of inviting rocking chairs, is your style. Trust us, porch design ideas are something we take very seriously down here. We love a cozy Charleston piazza just as much as a natural screened in porch that invites the landscape “inside.” Take a look at some of our favorite porch designs; maybe you’ll find some ideas for your own perfect perch.

Charming Farmhouse Porch

Furnishings with an interior influence like the rug, sofa, and lamps look great in an outdoor room too. Colorful blooming containers in varying sizes create a garden setting. With plush furnishings, you can elevate the traditional farmhouse porch into a vibrant place to relax with a cold beverage, watching the sun go down on a warm afternoon. Here, shades of coral adorn pillows, which play well with the bustling, flower-filled containers. All of the flower displays are housed in neutral containers, which blend seamlessly into the porch setting. The neutral hues, with a bit of subtle, visual interest added by gray and tan bands at the top, ensure that the containers are always prepared for an evolving color scheme.

Classic Charleston Porch

On this porch, or piazza, classic white wicker furniture is dressed with zesty, bold pillows in a fun pattern. Together, the classic white wicker and the modern India-inspired motif are marked by striking color, natural textures and materials, and classic Southern design with a modern, upbeat edge. The elegant white, barrel-style garden stools are multi-purpose. In this porch vignette, they are positioned in front of the sofa, creating extra seating or a perfect place to rest a book, lamp, or drink. The plants on this porch are subtle, with a red flowering planter that complements the hues included in the sofa pillows and a classic fern in an earthy golden pot.

Nature-Inspired Porch

The stone fireplace creates a focal point, adds a heat source, and visually links the porch with the rock columns inside. The fireplace is practical and stunning. Flanked by container-columns which hold chopped wood, it is a year-round focal point for the room, and in winter it becomes a practical feature, ensuring that no one will need to go outside to chop wood in the col weather. The light-wood furniture is arranged in a “U” formation to create an optimal seating arrangement for the space. The cushions are covered in a lovely, soothing, ocean-toned fabric, which complements the light wood of the furniture and the earthy, light sandstone hues of the fireplace.

Modern Cottage Screened Porch

Just off the kitchen, this Athens, Georgia, screened porch connects the interior to the patio for seamless entertaining. An enormous, dazzling wall of windows brings the outdoors inside for the sensation of al fresco living and dining. This porch is a master class in print and pattern mixing. The bench cushions are upholstered in a sea-inspired print, which, while a pattern, serves as a grounding, neutral base for the panoply of patterns represented in the porch’s throw pillows. The cream base ties it all together, providing a soothing and connective backdrop for the pillow hues—assorted peaches, greens, blues, navies, and grays. A distressed table and chairs add to the ambience.

Texas Farmhouse Porch

The ideal place to watch Texas sunrises and sunsets, this porch makes the most of its surroundings. A traditional white wooden porch swing is made cozier with blue-and-white cotton pillows from HomeGoods. Below, a warm, tan-toned rug with a subtle, neutral pattern grounds the space. A rustic bench serves as a side table, which is styled with a functioning lantern—perfect for adding ambience to starry, midsummer nights—and a simple, fuschia flower arrangement which adds a pop of color to the blue, white, and tan color scheme. A basket underneath the bench is a nice place to tuck away extra pillows and a few cozy blankets for crisp nights when the Texas weather turns slightly cooler.

Colorful Texas Porch

Wicker has officially transcended its stereotype. We’ve heard rumors that wicker can be seen as old-fashioned and fussy, but we think that, styled with bright, modern details, there’s nothing prettier, more delicate, and porch-perfect. These small-scale white wicker seating pieces were purchased at Pier 1 Imports. Their size and style ensures that the furniture will not overpower this small back porch. This condensed vignette doesn’t trade scale for style though. Beige-and-white striped cushions were made to fit the chairs and sofa, and the effect is one of a polished, inviting outdoor space. Clusters of bright flowers in vases and porch corners filled with low-to-the-ground green plants in woven baskets complete the scene.

An Editor's Escape

At only 130 square feet, Southern Living Editor Sid Evans' porch is too small for a dining table or sofa, but it's the idea place for conversation and a cocktail. The solution: a stunning coffee table made from four slices of a maple tree, a set of four casual leather-wrapped rattan chairs, and a bright cobalt rug to cover an unattractive brick floor. Two fiddle-leaf figs frame the space, which are ideal plants for a small space with great light. Two small, simple potted plants are set atop the cross-sections of maple, as well as a few favorite books. Not pictured: a simple stocked bar with all the fixings for a classic Old Fashioned. 

Coastal Entertaining Porch

With surroundings as elegant as these—oaks dripping with moss and stately columns—less is more in terms of porch styling. A zinc-topped cypress tree-trunk table blends seamlessly into the landscape, as do the weathered urns and pots the designer found at Atlanta's Scott Antique Markets. Topped with an arrangement of gorgeous, vibrant hydrangeas; the flowers provide one pop of color, and one is all this porch needs. The rest—white and beige and green—create the most sophisticated Southern scene. For evening lounging, the chandelier is lowered on a rustic rope; when its candles are lit, the magical scenario is complete.

Classic Nautical Porch

With surroundings as elegant as these—oaks dripping with moss and stately columns—less is more in terms of porch styling. A zinc-topped cypress tree-trunk table blends seamlessly into the landscape, as do the weathered urns and pots the designer found at Atlanta's Scott Antique Markets. Topped with an arrangement of gorgeous, vibrant hydrangeas; the flowers provide one pop of color, and one is all this porch needs. The rest—white and beige and green—create the most sophisticated Southern scene. For evening lounging, the chandelier is lowered on a rustic rope; when its candles are lit, the magical scenario is complete.

Front Porch Outdoor Dining

Substantial, sturdy outdoor furniture sets the scene for front porch dining. Transitional styling—simple lines and natural teak—make this lovely dining set at home anywhere, including the primitive exterior of this cottage. It complements the tree trunk columns without exactly matching the woods of the cottage’s exterior. This adds additional visual interest and intensifies the rustic theme of the setting. With a porch long and wide enough for different furniture moments, here we have one side of the porch ideal for a breakfast, lunch, or dinner for six, and a casual seating area on the other side of the porch, perfect for mid-day lounging or after-dinner drinks.

Refined Rustic Back Porch

Decorator Cindy Smith of Circa Interiors, Charlotte, NC, used purple accents in addition to wood, metal, and stone to create a refined, rustic back porch design. Vibrant violet creates a beautiful counterpoint to the cream upholstery of the sofa and four chairs. The symmetry of the furniture arrangement sits easily and elegantly underneath the sweeping arched columns of the porch’s upper architecture. Ornate, medieval-inspired sconces frame the brick porch. Small touches, like this, add visual interest to the smooth blend of colors and textures in this sophisticated but comfortable porch escape. Just plush enough, the pillows and cushions create some contrast to the hardness of the brick porch, furniture edges, tables and clean-lined columns.

Natural Woodland Porch

Outdoor furniture rests comfortably on this small back porch, just big enough for two chairs nestled against a verdant forest landscape. This durable design blends with indoor decor, such as the Tiffany lamp and rag rugs made from recycled blue jeans. Quilts are at the ready for chilly evenings. Bedroom windows open onto this serene space to catch the sound of Whisper Creek. The integrated limb and branch touches in this porch design bring nature into the structure of the home, and the wooden furniture intensifies this effect. It’s cozy and homey, without too much effort. And, as you can see, it’s a lovely place to hang your hat. 

Entertaining Porch

Deck out your screened porch for dining. Overlooking the woods and lake, dinner music is the chirping of birds and the splash of fish. The tin roof and vaulted ceiling overhead make light rain the most delightful weather—a tinny tinkling becomes the partner to the chatter of dinner guests. Add seasonal sparkle with a string of your favorite lights. The owners of this porch strung a few strands of spherical copper lights. The rose gold hue of these lights sparkles with a gorgeous evening glow and casts a rosy filter over the entire porch. The understated furniture, painted with a pretty garden green accent, is supremely inviting day or night.

Georgia Brick Porch

An extra-large bed swing invites lounging on this porch. Vintage items salvaged from almost anywhere—antiques stores, hand-me-downs, and side-of-the-road treasures add immense character to the space, giving this porch an effect that is equal parts lived-in and stylish. This porch seems traditional upon first glace, but its special touches take this space from ok to extraordinary. A shiny green garden stool brightens up the space, as does an eclectic planter. The clean mix of beiges and browns works well with the authentically distressed table. A woven ottoman moves around the space, creates additional seating, and serves as a perfect place to rest a book or beverage.

Candle-Lit Porch

For year-round lounging, this enclosed sitting area boasts candle chandeliers and a fireplace. Filling the fireplace with candles instead of firewood is a great idea for adding light and charm in warm summer months. This candle-fireplace effect looks especially nice with a cluster of assorted candle sizes, all in the same hue. The candle chandelier pops and glows against the backdrop of this porch’s pretty brick design. Brick is a durable base for any design, and the owner of this porch accented the dusty red brick hue with bright pops of marigold, which look lovely and romantic underneath the glow of candlelight.

Appalachian Round Porch

An unusual feature, a bar-inspired drink ledge, winds around this circular porch and gives you a practical (and stylish) place to rest a cup of cocoa, tea, your favorite brew, or an icy cocktail. The style of this porch takes relaxing to new heights, literally. Hanging candle lanterns can be lit during evening outdoor entertaining, and this porch’s lofty rafters—formed in a deep wood compass design—pop against the cream roof and columns. This design feature gives the porch an airy, cathedral like quality, which is then made modern with help from the bold, dark wicker furniture and cheerful coral toned color and pattern mixture below. 

Charleston-Style Piazza

This South Carolina-inspired piazza has definite pizzazz. This porch is filled with comfy wicker furniture in traditional Charleston green, recognizable by its deep forest, almost black, color. Durable, all-weather materials, such as wicker-type resin for the frames and outdoor fabric for the cushions keep the space low maintenance and perfect for all seasons. A few luxuries add comfort; plush, pretty pillows and throws can be quickly pulled inside when the weather turns bad. Iron-base tables with honed marble tops are the perfect sidekicks because they combine simple lines with elegant materials. It’s an ideal place to lounge and wait for a soft Carolina breeze.

Bungalow Porch

An extra-long porch swing anchors this porch space and, at 7 feet long, invites stretching out for long afternoon naps. It’s twice as nice to fill this swing with friends and family too. The swing is hung in the space by thick ropes instead of the typical silver chain links, which gives the entire area a more natural, cohesive look. A brightly patterned outdoor rug pops against neutral tones. A mixed and matched collection of furniture styles and colors add to the vibe, which exudes a sense of “natural meets eclectic.” Nothing in this space feels overdone, thanks to the casual mix of colors, which lend a comfortable, collected feel to this bungalow porch.

Bright Red Porch

Do you know any Southerners who have chosen red as their go-to color? We do. Red is a fantastic choice for bold décor with major impact. It is the defining color throughout this outdoor space, which uses pattern, textile, and paint to bring red into each corner of the porch. Using a single hue as inspiration is an easy way to tie the look together and creates a space that coalesces with color, exuding energy and continuity. Extra pillows add color and comfort to this bench swing, which is low to the ground and laden with plush, patterned color. A bench cushion in a floral fabric contributes to the red theme in a subtle way.

Classic White Porch

A couple of elegant hanging ferns have become the classic look for any Southern porch, especially one with clean-lines and a smooth white color scheme. This porch utilizes two hanging baskets to frame the space and mirror the two lamp sconces that frame the front door with a warm glow. Container gardens and a lush border add color to this space. Symmetry is the name of the game with this porch, and it is a classic example of how symmetrical design features can add elegance to an outdoor space. A row of rocking chairs couldn’t be more inviting when accentuated with bright yellow seat cushions. We can imagine rocking here with family, enjoying the Southern summer.

Coastal Front Porch

An ideal place to bask in salty ocean breezes, this porch is a coastal oasis. Two woven rockers, positioned next to the stucco fireplace on the front porch, create the perfect place to unwind on a warm summer night, listening to the sound of the sea, the waves breaking on the sandy shore. This porch is functional and practical. It maintains its appeal while also serving as a great place for sandy feet and wet towels. Easy-to-clean flooring and furniture ensures that when you and your family retire from an afternoon at the beach, you won’t worry about keeping things on the porch pristine.

Colorful Potted Porch

Brighten up your porch by accenting with colorful containers of foliage and flowers. If you have a one-dimensional space, injecting some excitement could be as easy as adding flowers. They bring life and color to the area, and they are so easy to add, change, and build with the space. Here, a simple bistro table and chairs offers seating and a breakfast nook for morning meals al fresco. Assorted containers of flowers and foliage bring energy and cohesion to the space even though each container is slightly different. Use the flowers you love and you’ll see how they bring everything together and offer the easiest and most visually impactful porch statement you could make.

Cozy Brick Porch

This porch creates a hybrid indoor-outdoor space thanks to the substantial walls and brick accents. Comfortable and cozy, this porch is composed several features—one is made of a brick chimney, mantel, and firebox. This exterior fireplace is covered with stucco. This touch not only distinguishes it from the surrounding brick walls, but it also creates a focal point. The hearth is raised for additional seating. Plus, by centering the fireplace between a brick opening and the exterior living room wall, it provides a handy nook for firewood. A gas starter takes the hit-or-miss process out of starting a blaze.

Cozy Side Porch

Inspired by Charleston side porches (called piazzas), this outdoor-friendly furniture arrangement provides a great place to socialize with neighbors or to take in the fresh air while reading a book. Shades of green are soothing and evoke nature. Light green accents open up the space, creating a spacious, airy feeling in this small area. Far from feeling cramped, this porch is cozy; it invites nature in and, with copious plants and greenery, creates a space as beautiful as it is soothing. A neutral rug provides a versatile base and allows for playful color in the sofa, chair, and panel fabric above.

Dining Porch

French doors open directly from the kitchen to a front porch dining area that acts as an extension of this home’s interior. It’s an inviting place for a morning paper and evening entertaining alike. This area is awash with morning light. Its simple table and chairs, plus drapes in a hue somewhere between cornflower and seafoam, create a lovely, soothing outdoor oasis. There’s space for everyone on this dining porch, even the family dog, who has plenty of options for settling down in a warm slant of light across the carpet—this space is set aglow at all hours of the day.

Entertaining Patio

We like to make the most of every space. This pretty patio is adjacent to a small storage outbuilding that can easily be transformed into a bar or buffet for patio parties. With the addition of one simple shelf, the area takes on a brand new lease on entertaining and outdoor life. During the day, it’s a rest for garden gloves and pretty plants, at night, it can be a bar, a garnish station, or a place for bottles and glasses. There is no end to the potential of a shelf, especially a substantial one strategically placed (and seamlessly integrated) on the outer wall of a shed as cute as this one.

Entertaining Porch

A patterned accent rug adds visual interest to this entertaining porch finished with brick pavers and stuccoed walls. A grill is set in a custom cabinet. A retractable awning keeps it all in the shade, which is always a welcome design feature during sunny Southern summers. The bright, patterned rug infuses the space with infectious energy and a casual, stylish Mediterranean vibe. It’s incredibly easy to recreate this effect in your own porch, with a simple set of bistro chairs, a small table, and fuchsia flowers, you can create your own entertaining oasis. Add a grill in anticipation of breezy nights making burger dinners and grilled kebabs..

Garage Patio Transformation

This deluxe patio room actually used to be a rundown garage. You’d never guess what this comfortable space looked like in its previous iteration. Undaunted, owners wanted to make the structure feel more intimate, cozy, and liveable. To do this, the large, open space needed to be divided into more manageable rooms. Large containers of lush plants are grouped at varying heights to give this outdoor retreat scale. Pops of yellow do what they do best—brighten and add cheery color to a monochrome, neutral area. An overhead fan ensures a reliable breeze and means of cooling guests during visits outdoors.

Garden Patio

An outdoor fireplace, decorated with items that the homeowner acquired in his travels through the Southwest, dominates this sunken garden patio. A tropical mix of coral and golden pillows add a color blocking effect to the wicker rocking chairs and complement the Southwestern decor. The owner has created a transportive place to curl up thanks to the abundance of greenery and a flickering outdoor fire. A hammered copper plate acts as subtle decoration and shines a rose gold glow when glimmering pillar candles glint across the dips and peaks of its rugged texture. The sunken garden feels like a fusion of influences and colors, reflecting the vibrancy and diversity of travel.

Gracious Side Porch

Lined with handsome box columns and accessible to the indoors through pairs of French doors, this side porch functions much like an interior room, complete with comfortable seating and durable outdoor rugs. This gracious extension of living space contains a teak dining table for informal meals. A very modern, relaxing décor choice, the owner of this home painted the ceiling of the porch a gorgeous sky blue, evoking the serenity of a cloudless day and giving a brush of visual interest at a high elevation, drawing the eye up and intensifying the airiness as well as the sense of height in the space.

Historic Blue Porch

A popular design choice in the South, this porch ceiling is also painted blue for a playful nod to traditional Southern style. Porch ceilings across the South are painted blue, a tradition that began with Gullah culture. The color evokes the water and was said to keep evil spirits away from the home. The traditional ceiling color is a soft greenish blue hue known as “Haint Blue” across the region. This tradition has spread north, and blue porch ceilings can be found across the country. A fan keeps this lovely area cool on warm Southern days, and curtains add privacy to the space.

Jazzed-Up Porch Doors

These solid-panel shutters add color to the porch and offer extra protection for two pairs of porch doors. The shutters fold back flush against the wall when opened. Few colors are able to transcend the traditional-modern divide so seamlessly, but this bright, bold green is a perfect example of an exterior paint color that is just as versatile as it is statement-making. With a color like this on your shutters, you only need simple wicker furniture and wooden accents to create a bold and beautiful tableau. Equally bold and classic, these shutters are a showstopper with definite, uncompromising curb appeal.

Laid-Back Porch

This is the perfect place for playtime, if we do say so ourselves. This porch is so inviting and functional for families, especially those with small children—as you can see from the toys and playtime remnants left on the floor. An extra-deep porch swing makes lazy Sunday afternoons on this porch a must. The small pops of subdued color provide the porch a laid-back, beach-like atmosphere. There are few things kids love more than a porch swing, and this one will grow with the family. With a durable, mattress-like topper, this makes a great place for afternoon naps and nights spent pseudo-camping on the porch.

Live-In Back Porch

This 35-foot-long by 9-foot-deep back porch respects Southern porches of the past by using traditional shading devices such as a trellis at one end. Comfortable rattan chairs, cushioned in red, yellow, and green, add cheer to this outdoor living room. Ceiling fans help cool the space during sultry summer days, while three copper-finish lanterns contribute to the ambience. The clean-lined lattice shed gorgeous shadows across the porch’s brick wall in the afternoons, and it is a beautiful setting in which to spend a lazy summer afternoon. The plush patterned cushions perched in the rattan chairs don’t steal the show, but the do add a familiar, traditional Southern touch.

Luxurious Porch

Durable accessories and furnishings give this porch a cozy living room feel. Patterned pillows and a faux zebra-skin rug are paired with natural colors and textures for a striking effect. This porch’s impactful accent color is a zesty yellow-green hue. It melds gorgeously with the brick walls, lending an unexpected, but so aesthetically pleasing, blend of colors on the walls and ceiling. The furniture adds a sophisticated cream-cushion base, and the dark piping on the sofa cushions elevate the neutral base with elegance. A subtle pattern and color mix in the array of sofa cushions add a playful infusion to the space’s bold use of color and elegant decor choices.

Modern Patio

This two-level modern patio extends the family’s living space to include an outdoor dining room. Modern planters mirror the clean lines of the house and add juxtaposition with the quirky, interesting shapes of the plants within. This variety of plants and natural shapes adds visual interest and breaks up the modern, spacious horizontality of the design. No need for overhead additions, this open space is low-maintenance and ideal for cloudless climes. The multi-level porch setup gives the impression of even more space; the horizontal lines draw the eye out, widening the porch-scape and expanding the scope of this modern, livable area.

Natural Screened Porch

This comfortable screened porch is sparsely decorated, making the surrounding woods the focal point. It invites the outdoors in, and it draws the eye to the décor of its natural surroundings. This is a perfect place for enjoying the weather and nature while shaded from the elements. Stylish contemporary white chairs are a great alternative to outdoor furniture, and they are just as durable, all-weather, and all-purpose, ideal for this indoor-meets-outdoor space. Tiny potted plants in varying sizes perch on the sills of the screen frames and add a touch of whimsy. They also demarcate the screens, adding depth and delineation to where the porch stops and untouched nature begins.

Outdoor Dining Porch

Designed for entertaining, the back porch offers indoor comforts and outdoor style. A teak dining table and casual seating encourage leisure time and easy conversation. There are no overwhelming features in this porch space, and all of the elements work together to cultivate the impression of comfort and smoothness. It is a welcoming space, with shades of warm beige and soft garden green melding together in a visual picture of ease and balance. A few plants and touches of yellow in the potted flowers add life to the space and make it more welcoming. Little embellishment makes for a simple, inviting space that is weather-proof, guest-proof, and kid-proof.

Outdoor Living Porch

This space mirrors both the function and the layout of an interior living room. An outdoor sofa and club chairs are arranged around a central hearth. This design makes visiting with friends outside seamless and just as comfortable as sitting indoors. No need to fear pattern when upholstering your furniture—a bright green and white swirl-patterned fabric brightens up this space. The light fabric and flooring balances the gravity provided by the ceiling, which is painted in a dark green hue, and the fireplace, which is built from an array of rounded stone. The effect of these additions is balanced, snug, and welcoming.

Party Patio

Taking center stage in this patio is a half-circle of cushy, deep seating with clean lines. This makes for a comfortable place for hanging out, while sheers suspended from supports create the ultimate chill zone. In lieu of a coffee table, this patio offers planters filled with ice and beverages—perfect for a party. The white sheers draw the eye upwards; their purpose is threefold: they are beautiful to look at, they offer some structure and diaphanous delineation in the space, and they also allow openness and airiness, playfully blowing amongst the dramatic floor-to-sky columns of greenery. The plants really steal the show in this patio tableau.

Patchwork Quilt Patio

This patio was created from recycled materials. Just as a quilter sews together fabric pieces, these homeowners married stone, brick, and cobble pieces to create a charming space. It is rustic and cheeky all at once. There is a cheerful playfulness created by mixing so many heavy stones with different colors, patterns, and textures. It is a lovely foundation for any patio décor, and it is pretty enough to stand on its own, plain, awaiting guests to fill up the floor for a party. Thanks to the stone, brick, and cobble mixture, this pattern is durable and all-weather. It is also cohesive, a hybrid of materials that becomes, practically, a piece of artwork in your backyard.

Covered Personal Patio

Evocative of an individual secret garden, this flower-filled, snug space is a natural oasis. A portable cabana provides a place for reading and visiting on this patio while remaining shaded from the sun’s rays. This cabana evokes the striped tents on the beaches of Brighton on the southern coast of England. It is cheery, with a lovely pattern infusion. The garden chairs are a bright cobalt; this is a color that plays well with the verdant greens of a lush garden. If you have chairs of this material and style and you would like to get them painted, find a painter who does powder coating. No matter what color you choose, the powder-coated chairs will retain their integrity while stationed out in the garden season after season.

Game Inspired Patio

Chess pieces the size of children await visitors’ opening move on this game board patio. The enlarged chess game will delight kids and adults alike. To recreate this effect, you could paint the chessboard design on the patio boards themselves, or you could construct and paint your own large, movable chess set. With one swap of the pieces, the board become a checkers game as well. Here, green lattice disappears into the mass of plants beyond and demarcates the spacious, open porch within. A garden arch opens up to the backyard and allows for easy movement between the game area and the grassy yard.

Patio Living Room

This unique patio includes a pergola with a retractable canopy of outdoor fabric that is great for protection from sun and rain. That one feature extends the appeal of this outdoor space and allows the family to take advantage of it in more days, more seasons, more varied weather scenarios. Comfy seating is centered around a fireplace and creates an outdoor living area that is great for parties and entertaining. This sort of versatile, spacious patio is ideal—and has the square footage—to add a grill, a pizza oven, a fire pit, or any other outdoor features that increase the functionality and fun of the space even more.

Arbor Covered Patio

This small space, tucked on the side of the house, packs a big punch of design. It’s a gorgeous feature. Four 6- by 6-foot posts across the front of this patio arbor give the structure a substantial feel and creates a border, making the space feel like a cohesive, contained area without diminishing its openness and airiness. Two lattice panels, which support Armand clematis vines (Clematis armandii), provide a sense of enclosure, and with just a few cascading, winding tendrils, they evoke the sensation of a romantic, untamed garden in a few square feet. Greenery at the ground and a bright pink pillow add additional vibrancy and life. The effect is one of energy and beauty—it’s a lovely outdoor escape.

Dining Patio

Classic blue hydrangea blooms take center stage around this neutral-toned patio dining space. This botanical oasis couldn’t be more inviting for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and drinks taken al fresco. It’s spacious and cozy all at the same time, with visual depth and design features inspired by nature. Clusters of plants and flowers add pretty nooks and countless garden vignettes that the eye can’t get enough of when scanning this sanctuary. From a screened porch to an ivy-adorned wall to a tree growing, canopy-like over the space, it is an outdoor paradise, a garden escape in your backyard, tucked unassumingly in your neighborhood.

Planed Patio Perfection

Outdoor rooms change over time. The homeowners built this arbor the first year they were in the home. When the wisteria covered the top, they realized it was a great room. The garden's structured design plays off of the free-form look of the wisteria. There are so many pretty moments in this patio, all provided by pretty, lush plants deployed in different styles and areas of the space: the hedgerow, tamed into a design (a smile, perhaps?) with flowers interspersed; plants growing in a verdant crown atop the trellis; hanging baskets…we could go on and on about the memorable garden features found in this paradise.

Polished Outdoor Room

Thoughtfully chosen fabrics for the upholstered outdoor furniture give this porch polished appeal. Touches of burnt orange play off of the undertones in wood details. The burnt orange adds warmth and mixes well with the pops of leafy green in this beige-toned space. A large, metallic-framed mirror adds a bold focal point. The fireplace is framed by simple pillar candles and, in lieu of a fire, another tropical, leafy plant resides in the firebox, beneath the simple, warm wood mantle. A large central ottoman serves a trio of purposes—it can be used as an ottoman, as additional seating, or as a place to rest a book.

Porch With Privacy

These shutters not only add interest and texture to this house, but they also offer privacy and protection from the elements. They can close off the porch or be opened to let in the Gulf breeze.

Pretty Back Porch

You don’t need immense square footage to make a lovely porch space. This covered porch is large enough for a pair of chairs in a pretty muted cornflower shade. Pretty, white outdoor draperies frame the space. These draperies pull closed and offer shade, privacy, and protection from the elements. This welcoming spot is the perfect place for morning coffee for two. Adirondack chairs with cutouts of the South Carolina state logo―a palm tree and quarter moon―give this Lowcountry cottage an even greater sense of place. This back porch oasis allows you to recline, enjoying the morning paper and rising sun, or soaking in the ocean breezes and cool coastal nights.

Private Porch

Louvered shutters add a little privacy to this porch space and fresh apple green accents punch up the color scheme. The creaminess of the white columns and louvered shutters create a beautiful base for the fun—slightly cheeky—brightness of the apple green upholstered cushions. The mix of cream and apple green mirrors the contrast between the cream paint and verdant greenery beyond the patio. This porch’s furniture is constructed in a dark, versatile charcoal gray hue, which offers a stoic simplicity, another nice contrast to the playful green accents. Painted brick—here, in white—offers another way to customize your home, brighten it up, and add some modern flair.

Raised Patio

In this picturesque porch scene, the vaulted pitch of the arbor mimics the lines of the garage roof behind it. This effect makes the garage more background than feature. The brick chimney helps to draw the eye upward, creating height and keeping the attention on the fireplace, which features a mix of fieldstone and brick for added interest. The entire seating area is elevated, improving views of the surrounding property and offering a lovely, raised view of the blue swimming pool below. A ceiling fan under the arbor assures year-round comfort, even in the swelter of August. It’s ideal for pool parties, afternoon lounging, and leisurely dinners.

Reclaimed Porch Doors

Mix reclaimed materials to get the look you want. This homeowner combined cypress siding from an early-1900s Sears Craftsman painted green, wood from a 100-year-old barn, and wrought iron fencing to create the porch’s sliding doors. The doors slide on a new track to ensure ease and comfort, but the rollers are antique meat-hook wheels from a meatpacking plant. This mix of age and materials really gives the space a sense of place. There’s lovely architectural and material history in this accent feature, and it becomes a focal point of the porch, infused with a great story and an eye-catching design.

Screened Family Porch

Comfortable lounge seating makes this screened porch a perfect place to relax and take advantage of the summer breeze. A mix of rustic and traditional, the choices in wood and fabric colors give the space an overwhelmingly cozy sense of inviting warmth. Two roomy pieces of bench-seating style furniture offer plenty of space to sit or recline, and an abundance of pillows ensure that these pieces can double as daybeds or places to sleep for indoor/outdoor camping nights that are inevitable with kiddos for birthdays or weekends. No central table allows for more flexibility in the room; you can push the furniture about, customizing the design depending on the day, and always ensuring that you have enough floor space for your guests.

Screened Porch With Style

Decorate your porch as if it’s a room in the house. That’s what this family did. This porch is decorated with pieces that flow with the rest of the furniture in the house, ensuring a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor, home to porch. This offers all the comfort of the home and furthers the home’s thematic designs. In designing this porch, the family was aiming for a collected-over-time look. A stone-and-iron table pairs with wooden chairs. Rattan wicker chairs sit underneath copper lanterns. It’s a blend of materials; it’s a blend of old and new. The overall effect is one of distinct style and collected elegance.

Screened-In Comfort

Cozy seating areas all around this porch keep the conversation flowing. Here, a porch swing turns into a favorite reading nook with a warm throw and cushy pillows. An abundance of places to sit create small, plush vignettes sure to invite guests to stay and relax awhile. It is essential to keep the space still feeling open, though. The flow of people an conversation can be cultivated across areas through intentional furniture placement and design. Imagine that you are walking onto your porch for the first time. What is the first thing you see? What areas are you drawn to? A bit of imagination will allow you to see your space in a new way and then arrange accordingly.

Second Floor Porch

With a view like this, few people will be looking at your furniture, but you’ll want to be sure this space is just as inviting as the view. This second-floor porch has a sense of privacy, with solid railings and overhanging eaves. The designer chose dark woven furniture to create casual seating areas on the house’s porches. The cushions, in aqua, green, and white stripes—ideal colors for this setting—are nice complements to the ever-changing colors of the sea. The woven frames are made from durable resin to stand up to the corrosive salt air so that this family could decorate their space and not constantly worry about keeping it looking nice.

Simple & Chic Porch

This porch is furnished with stylish, weather-resistant pieces that will look nice—and inviting for guests—on this porch for years to come. This long trestle table’s crisscross base makes an impact and also mimics the diamond floor pattern—a vintage-style, classic flooring finish with an infusion of lively color. Also, the white finish of the table’s base maintains a minimal look in this space, which draws its stylish power from minimal design moments. The chairs, made of clear-sealed metal, add a touch of industrial chic to the space, and they stack for easy storage. A hanging lantern adds a brush of elegance.

Simple Porch

A second-floor porch at the beach always feels further from the earth but closer to the ocean. This second-floor Gulf-front porch with two Adirondack chairs facing the water is an ideal spot from which to watch the sun rise and set and listen to the ocean waves lapping on the shore. The horizontal rail, chosen here rather than the conventional vertical pickets, which are often used as railing, provides a seamless view and a clean, stylish look. It’ couldn’t be a simpler space, but when you’re at the beach, what else do you need? A book, a cocktail, and a view like this provides the ultimate seaside evening.

Sleeping Porch

Wooden daybeds, treated to withstand outdoor use and outfitted with pillows, let this open-air area function as a sleeping porch. Fabric shades sewn from a weather-resistant fabric can be raised or lowered between the porch posts.
And to make activities mosquito free, this porch and all outdoor entertaining areas are equipped with tiny spray heads mounted in the ceiling. The system dispenses a mist of nontoxic chemicals that repels insects.

Small Side Patio

This family is making the most of this slender space on the side of their home. The space is long and thin, but since it is bounded by a fence and has great landscaping in the form of rows of trees, ferns, and shrubs, this space is truly multi-functional. 

The pebbled border adds texture in this cozy side yard path and patio. A pair of planters and a bench halfway down the path breaks up the space and adds visual moments as well as seating for guests. It is a small escape, but it adds an impactful outdoor space to this home.

Stone Porch

The use of stone in this space is stunning. Sprawling, randomly placed stepping stones crafted from local granite lead to this front porch’s wide steps. Hand-hewn posts and railings, along with graceful brackets, are crafted from regionally harvested locust wood to further enhance this cottage’s connection to the land. Local fieldstone clads the porch walls. Rustic plants—ferns and potted plants with small blossoms—aren’t too vibrant. They add dimension and blend seamlessly into this rustic stone mise en scene. The blend of materials and textures in this space is special; it enriches the curb appeal of this cabin style, a home that is practically teeming with character.

Stylish Porch Foyer

This breezy front porch doubles as the foyer for this coastal-style home. Even though it may be far from the beach, its design brings the coast’s airy, sun-drenched style right into the rooms of this home. This foyer is decorated with coastal flair. The sofa is flanked by lamps that look like sea-weathered wood washed up by the waves, warm-toned sisal rugs, and throw pillows with wavy and coral-like patterns inspired by the Atlantic Ocean. Palm plants and ferns call to mind sandy beach dunes and, when these green shutters are open to the sun, their fronds and leaves waves with the wind. We can almost feel the ocean breeze.

Sunny Screened Porch

The textures and colors of the furniture and flooring in this porch were chosen to complement the Spanish moss-draped live oaks outside. It looks like a perfect pairing. The roof of this porch, which consists of translucent plastic panels attached to wood framing, mimics the hut’s roof and provides both abundant, glimmering natural sunlight and unobstructed views of the area’s romantic marshlands. A full set of simple porch furniture offers the ideal place to sit and stay awhile, with the marshland views providing the most stunning décor we could imagine. No decorative wall covering or accents needed here. A fan ensures that this is an escape all year long.

Sunset Porch

This second-story porch is an extension of the master suite and offers a great view of the surrounding land. A copper light fixture complements the warm wood accents. Sitting here, elevated in the surrounding treetop canopy, this family can watch the slow morning sunrise through the branches, the quiet drift of daybreak fog. It is a peaceful, meditative place for a cup of coffee and it is couched on the second floor, both a cozy place and an optimal vantage point for the landscape, which stretches, rolling, dipping, and rising in all directions through the woods. Lively container plantings complete the scene.

Tranquil Stucco Porch

This porch wall contains the fireplace, cabinets, and a spacious wood storage cubby, surely expansive enough to store enough logs for the entirety of winter, and then some. This array of attractive features gives the porch a main focal point, and it also serves to offer some privacy, screening it from neighbors and the harsh sun. Freshly cut firewood is stacked high to add texture and contrast to the clean white stucco wall. There’s certainly no need worry about running out of wood before the end of the night for this family. Floral printed fabric adorns the seat cushions, adding to the visual texture and vividness of the scene.

Vintage Brick Patio

The brick in this patio came from buildings that were torn down in the area, giving the brick areas of the space a gorgeous, faded, lived-in quality. The biggest problem with using antique brick is that the sizes aren’t uniform. That can make it tough to lay out a patio, so set the brick in sand, rather than concrete, to give a relaxed and aged look. The sand also helps level odd-size bricks. The brick design grounds the deep coral-orange toned walls and brings a lovely contrast to the outdoor room. Plenty of plants and rustic accents play up the energetic vibe.

Colorful Coastal Porch

Never be afraid of color, especially in a coastal space. Clean lines can take bold color and this lime green is a hue that, in this space, is both soothing and playful. The space is furnished with DIY furniture painted in bright colors; lavender and blue punch up the seating and create an uber coastal color palette. These seaside hues evoke the colors of sea glass, only brighter and punchier, as if the gleaming transparency of colored sea glass has gone opaque. This screened porch has a sofa swing; a great place for swinging and soaking in the salty sea breeze, it’s also a perfect place for reading a book. Better pack your beach reads for this coastal oasis.

Texas Zen

Simplicity is the key to this space’s style. Inspiration for this deck was drawn from a trip couple Michael and Patti Rogers had taken to Bali. “We fell in love with the architecture there and wanted to find a way to re-create it here while still being true to this region,” Patti says. The couple calls the resulting East-West fusion “Texas Zen,” and it provides the ultimate space for simplicity of style, plus a meditative, relaxing effect. It's clean lines straddle the threshold between classic and modern, making this space its own unique design. Simple furniture and accents add to the spaciousness of this porch, a beautiful airy retreat.

Enclosed Porch

Floor-to-ceiling windows, a hanging porch swing, and bright fabrics create an outdoor feel for this enclosed space. The windows that enclose the space offer abundant light and are framed in clean white, which magnify and reflect the bright morning light. A soft ocean blue hue washes the ceiling with a peaceful glow. Traditional furniture offers a collected, comfortable feel to the sitting areas, and a bench swing hung with rope is the perfect place to sit and swing awhile for adults, kids, or even the family dog. Deep, honey-colored wood accents—like the bench swing, large doors, and furniture—warm up the space, which is airy and cool-toned near the windows and ceiling.

Canopy Patio

Humble materials can pull off a high-end look. A small investment created a big impact in this outdoor space. This gorgeous backyard transformation began by installing a 10-foot-wide by 30-foot-long iron pergola. Then, wisteria was planted, which, thanks to nature and time, turned into a lush, shady, and supremely leafy canopy overhead. When it blooms, this space is magical, with heady fragrance and leaves rustling in the breeze. But, thanks to the plant choice and pergola design, the area is it is eye-catching all year round. To anchor the space, an outdoor fireplace was constructed from cinder blocks lined with fireproof brick and covered in stucco.

Garden Oasis Patio

This 20- by 20-foot terrace sits about 2 feet lower than the surrounding grade. Stepping down into it feels like entering a room, a sophisticated secret garden escape. Oklahoma flagstones cut into various-size rectangles form the floor, grounding the space and giving it a sense of age, history, and romance. A low stone wall around the terrace adds a sense of enclosure—while maintaining the open, untamed feel of the space—and it also offers extra seating. Maple trees flank the space, offering shimmering shade on a sunny day, plus a showy leaf change when summer gives way to fall.

Charming Southern Front Porch

High ceilings are the name of the game in this charming front porch design. Designer Muffie Faith of Elizabeth Stuart Design, Charleston, SC, created this front porch with a little Southern charm in addition to paint, wicker, and florals. This gracious and inviting porch welcomes company in to sit and stay awhile. A sophisticated palette of brights and neutrals mix subtly, without overpowering the space. The dark wicker furniture grounds the design, maintaining a deep hued continuity with the flooring and dramatic slatted shutters, which open up to smooth South Carolina breezes. This porch offers a tropical/traditional hybrid design which is perfect for the space, honoring the panoply of waving palms and ferns beyond while also inserting some clean-lined, bright-hued order to the porch. 

Freestanding Summer House Porch

Architect Norman Askins and interior designer Craig Duncan created this sophisticated summer house patio in Atlanta. Their inspiration came from the work of designer Dorothy Draper. The bamboo picture molding added to the mirror references her furniture designs. The retro black and white checked flooring add an infusion of 1950s charm, which is expanded and elevated by the diverse, well-implemented furniture choices. The featured furniture works so well together; it is mixed and matched to perfection. From coral side tables to white and wood seating, it is anchored by the clean white accents and the beige, pattered ottoman, a plush alternative to a coffee table.

Lush Loggia Patio

Miami designers Mimi McMakin and Ashley Sharpe of Kemble Interiors were inspired by the surrounding gardens and vintage Palm Beach style when they created this tropical patio. A touch of the tropics and a touch of Mediterranean style blend in this outdoor space. Verdant leafy palms frame the central seating space, adorned with a bright green sofa and warm woven chairs. The overall effect is breezy, somewhere between playful and sophisticated thanks to the color choices and bold, ornate wall accent. A lime green garden stool—a favorite of porches, patios, and gardens everywhere, offers additional seating or table space.

Treetop Terrace

Give plain decking an instant upgrade by painting stripes with durable porch or floor paint like designer Michelle Nussbaumer of Ceylon et Cie did with this Dallas terrace. The floor design, achieved with just floor paint, adds an immediate modern flair to the space. It draws the eye down and emphasizes the boldness of pattern in the space’s fabric accents. Bold blue patterned fabrics are mixed with confidence, complemented by an assortment of beautiful, mismatched blue and white china vases. Clusters of white hydrangeas and lime green flowers add contrast and freshness to this treetop escape. A reclaimed, repurposed chandelier is hung from above, offering glowing, flickering light on evenings spent in the tree canopy.

Elegant Colonial Porch

With its natural palette, the bluestone floor blends right in with its outdoor surroundings. Plus, it stays cool in the summer and lasts forever. Keeping all of the furniture the same style allows its defining lines to have a stronger impact in the small space. The cool-toned ocean blues of the ceiling, sofa, floor, and accents lend a peaceful, dreamy quality to the otherwise traditionally designed space. Patterned pillows and vibrant purple and green plants pop against the cool blues. Symmetrical design adds a sense of order, with matching lamps and ferns in bold containers flanking the sofa, plus two matching chairs with whimsical patterned cushions facing the sofa space.

Gothic Farmhouse Porch

It's easy to be convinced that this screened porch has been a fixture there since the house was originally built in the mid-19th century. But that's the genius of homeowner Furlow Gatewood. When he added the screened porch just a few years ago, it was important to him that it match the house and evoke its 19th century origins, so he worked with his builder to copy the latticework columns on the front of the house and the exterior board-and-batten walls. And because he just happened to have a pile of salvaged shutters on hand, he decided they would make ideal walls between the columns. 

Breezy River House Porch

That endless front porch! Nothing says “Southern home” quite like a spacious porch. Its irresistible and inviting, especially when it looks as subtle and seamless as this one. Nestled into the hipped roof's overhang and accented with louvered shutters on one end, this shady spot features all of our porching must-haves: an iconic hanging swing for leisurely afternoons, simple white wicker furnishing—ideal for maximum curb appeal—and a tranquil color scheme that doesn't distract from the lush Southern landscape surrounding the home.  Cool-toned beige shutters bordering the home’s four front doors add just the right amount of sophisticated contrast to the silver roof and white porch.

Candle-Lit Patio

This freestanding patio fireplace creates an instant cozy gathering place. The mantle is decorated with a row of tea lights for extra sparkle when the sun goes down. The tea lights are a small touch in the grand scheme of things, but the scale and placement in a long line on the porch mantle creates a beautiful effect with just a few small glittering flames in tiny glass containers. Well-placed and beautifully grouped plants also create an impact. They are a bold, seasonal addition to the upper mantle, which is deeper than the ledge on which the tea lights are placed.

Sew-and-Go Carpet Screened Porch

Small seagrass squares form a wall-to-wall carpet over a linoleum floor in this green, screened porch. They add visual interest, and they are an extremely durable flooring choice. With kids and families trailing in and out of this space on the way to the river outside, this small river house can stand up to the traffic thanks to the flooring and sturdy, dirt-resistant furniture. A bold green ceiling adds a cheery touch to the porch. It mirrors the green outside—which can be seen through large, open-panel windows—while also deepening and heightening the impact of the lighter green-accented interior.



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