How To Decorate A Porch

Spring is a welcome season every year, but this year it has been particularly glorious. Since the stay at home order was loosened, yesterday included a long-awaited reconnection. My 11 and 13 year old sons and I joined dear friends we hadn’t laid eyes on in weeks for an outdoor playdate under a bright blue sky and reassuring sunshine. The four boys moved from one activity to the next: basketball, tag, rip sticking, and climbing, while laughing, sweating, and soaking in together time. My friend and I chose to sit on her porch, and it got me thinking.

I love porches. Who doesn’t love a porch? It’s no surprise that the porch has become, even more so in recent years, an extension of the home. Whether screened in or open-air, porches enjoy frequent use. People are spending more time on their porches, and here’s my theory on why: the setting itself invites, and invokes a sense of calm that contrasts sharply with our busy lives.

I arrive on a porch and I instantly feel permission to relax, to linger, to follow the conversation where it might go. I don’t even want to check my phone. In contrast, when I am inside my home, even in our casual, put-your-feet-up great room, I don’t feel the same license. My to-do list hovers in my mind. I seem “available” to my family. It feels different. Universally, a porch conveys the message: “Sit down and relax. Enjoy yourself.” We obey its call. We know it’s good for our soul.

Given the importance of the porch as an extension of our homes, it deserves the same design attention we give to our interior spaces. For that reason, here are seven keys to decorating a porch that will make it a place to ‘stop and sit awhile’ for your family, guests, or even just all by yourself.


A porch must provide ample seating to feel inviting. A long and deep porch can accommodate more furniture and larger pieces. For cozier porches, look for hardworking pieces that not only have the aesthetic you like, but also function well. Along these lines, a bistro set offers seating and doubles as a place to put your drink down or share lunch with a friend. Calling to mind a French cafe, a bistro set invites conversation and exudes ambiance. Here is a great option: Wrought Iron Bistro Set

Our Cane Chairs ranks high on our list of seating suggestions. Their tasteful design, with interesting lines created by the criss cross back, along with the classic detail of caning on the seats, make this pair of chairs a favorite. Light and easy to move where needed, these matching chairs could reside on either side of a rectangular table situated along the wall of the porch when not in use.

Outdoor Lighting

Creating the right atmosphere on your porch can be achieved by using the right lighting. Unexpected wall sconces take the scene here and range from nautical to downright wild. We found sea horses, mermaids, dolphins…even the Statue of Liberty!


Tables play a key role on a porch. They serve as necessary resting spots for drinks, meals, stacks of reading material, and edited accessories, such as an ivy plant or a vase of hydrangeas. Your space will dictate whether you go for a large dining table and chairs, or if you mix it up by selecting smaller tables which can handle double duty. This teak table is such a conversation starter can serve as a side table, a plant perch, and even extra seating. The bonus is it translates as an artful sculpture.

How cool and unusual would this industrial drafting table be on a porch? Its narrow profile allows it to be up against the wall when not in use as a dining table, and repositioned when needed as a buffet or dining table. I envision this charming round wood and cane end table with a potted begonia and lamp on top, my summer reading stack in the middle, and favorite cooking magazines on the bottom.


Though way out of bounds where traditional Southern porch features are concerned, a wall mounted triceratops trophy head could easily find its home on a porch wall. Let’s face it, Southerners are colorful, and that’s a good thing. Personal style is in the details, so dare to be different when adding finishes to your porch.


Focus on changing out furniture hardware on porch pieces for a clever way to add distinction to your outdoor space. Good design is in the refined details, such as outstanding hardware, which a good eye picks up. (Cheap hardware is unfortunate and obvious.) With a wide array of choices,was a challenge to choose a just few, but take a look at these:

An antique dresser takes on new life with updated hardware, as do doors. Changing out hardware proves to be a design approach well worth the investment.


Even if your home might be a little bit tradition in terms of decorating, the porch calls for accessories with personality like this duck feet centerpiece. It is pure delight for the eyes and scores bonus points with its whimsical form and useful function. The same could be said of this wall mount bar with a fold down door. A cozy porch requires space conservation, so this smart porch “bar,” which only takes up a little wall space, is a winner.

Bar Cart

Speaking of bars, a porch is the perfect setting for a bar cart. This one is traditional, versatile, and not too serious. You’ll be inspired to outfit the cart with all you need for making libations on the porch. This cocktail shaker has the ideal blend of signature Southern style and everyday usefulness.

Incorporate these ideas when giving thought to sprucing up your porch for maximum enjoyment. Then, sit down, relax, and enjoy yourself. Porch time is always good for the soul.

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