The front porch: it’s been a community gathering place for generations, and it continues to be an outstanding place to eat a lazy weekend breakfast. If you have an older home with a porch or if you have a new home with a retro feel, here’s how you can spice up your front porch and make it into a functional living space.
Fine Dining, Front Porch Style
If you’re going to dine al fresco, prepare your space. Add a small table, and place cushions and tablecloths in an attractive, closed bin outside so that you don’t need to move them in and out. You can even store a picnic kit outdoors if you wish, or have dishes that are less breakable that you use for this space.
The All Weather Porch
Front porches are all well and good in the summer months, but what about spring, fall, and winter? You can get your porch ready for the cooler season by adding warm blankets or a heat lamp to the porch. A small lamp can make it easier to read outdoors on spring and fall evenings. Make sure that everything on your porch is secured for windy days, and ensure that all of your accessories are water resistant or waterproof.
Make it Social
Traditionally, the front porch was the place where you could socialize informally with your neighbors. You may or may not want to do this, but you can certainly invite guests or family members to relax on your porch. Add a swing or comfortable seating, and make sure that there are shady and sunny spots to sit for those who like the cool or the heat.
Create a Lovely View
When you’re sitting on your front porch, you may be looking out into the garden, but chances are you’re also looking at a road or path. If this isn’t a pleasant view, you won’t want to use your porch. Add vines on a screen, windowboxes, or taller landscaping plants that shield you from the road and provide you with a more relaxing environment.
Keep Your Front Porch Tidy
One of the keys to a pleasant porch is a tidy porch. Add small storage areas or tables where you can tuck away items that you use on the porch, such as magazines. As you design your porch, think about ways to minimize your mess by minimizing the number of items you have in the space. If you have children’s toys or pillows on the porch, tuck them away in boxes with lids that can double as seating. Make sure that your landscaping around the porch complements it as well. Maintain hedges and flowerpots around the porch, and make sure that your downspouts and gutters are well-drained to avoid leaks.
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