12 Ways to Create a Relaxing Porch
Take your meals outside
Transform a summer meal into a memorable affair by taking it outside. At this table, a mix of flea-market chairs gives the party a laid-back country feel. Slipcovers made of outdoor fabric dress up hosts' chairs. Paper parasols in pastels create an inexpensive casual "chandelier."
Make easy summer-inspired decor
For simple centerpieces, arrange potted succulents or herbs under glass cloches. A floral all-weather tablecloth echoes the outdoors.
Try a dish display
Keep extra dishes in open storage for quick access during meals--and a colorful summer display.
Brighten with flowers
Highlight each place setting with a summer bloom, such as these dahlias, floating in a dessert bowl.
Have sweet spots
Carve out serving areas from other parts of a porch. Delight guests with a dessert and beverage table topped with treats. Frosted cupcakes look even sweeter with mini paper flags that spell out seasonal messages. Elevate a lemonade dispenser on a cake stand to make pouring easy. Shade it all from the sun with a paper parasol.
Fashion outdoor accents
Shade seating with removable fabric panels, constructed of outdoor fabric. To make: Back patterned fabric with a second fabric layer for stability; add grommets at the top, and hang from cup hooks. To prevent blowing, clip weights to panel bottoms.
Accentuate the look with low-cost details. Large paper lanterns create the effect of pendant lights. Pillow shams double as pretty covers for plain chair cushions.
Use smart serveware
Repurposing flea-market finds gives your porch a clever and personal twist. Here, a collection of Mason jars gathers summer blooms. Set on a vintage-look tray, they're portable and ready to add a colorful accent to any porch corner.
Turn shutters into art
A simple way to dress up a porch: Lean a colorful reclaimed shutter against the wall and use it as an easel for vintage art.
Relax in a quiet corner
A hammock piled with pillows serves as a relaxing, shaded afternoon nap spot.
Go for cozy
Hinge together flea-market shutters to create a tall backdrop, such as this room divider, to make a lone bench feel sheltered and cozy.
Reflect the view
Hang a mirror to artfully reflect outdoor views.