If you’re lucky enough to live in a home or apartment with a screened-in porch, you know what a luxury such a space can be. Not only is there another room in which you can work, dine, read, and relax, but there are also so many decorating possibilities.
I have truly enjoyed spending more time on my own screened porch over the course of the past year, and as spring returns, I want to ensure my space is ready to go and living up to its full potential. Here, five designers share the tips you should keep in mind if you’re looking to tackle a porch makeover.
Address Walls and Floors
I was thrilled that my porch already boasted beautiful blue and white tiled floors, which make a major statement. And the good news is that this type of feature is easy to add in at any time.
“If budget allows, adding shiplap wall panels and an interesting weather appropriate floor tile would definitely elevate the space,” Joan Enger, principal interior designer at J. Patryce Design & Company, says. “If not, a coat of fresh paint and indoor/outdoor rugs can work wonders.”
Such changes will make a major impact in the long run, adds Louis Duncan-He, the principal designer and creative director at Louis Duncan-He Designs. He's a fan of using FLOR squares as a budget-friendly tile solution.
“Overall, I’d spend the energy on updating the room as a whole as opposed to trying to spend tons of money on just newer furniture,” he notes. “No matter how much money you spend, if the baseline elements are not up to par, you won’t be able to really make a difference.”
“The significant difference between a regular and a screened porch—aside from the impact on the furniture’s longevity—is the amount of light the space encounters,” Keren Richter, co-founder of interiors studio White Arrow, explains. “Screen porches can be quite dark, but there are ways to make the space feel light and breezy."
Richter suggests hanging sconces, string lights, or lanterns. “A ceiling fan is also an excellent addition to keep the air flowing and the room breezy in the summertime," she says.
I love my strand of plug-in globe lights on my screened porch. Turning them on while enjoying dinner al fresco makes me feel like I’m dining at my own private restaurant.
You’ll want to ensure your porch is a space where you can spend a lazy afternoon lounging or reading in the sun, so say goodbye to those plastic patio chairs once and for all.
“Most important is to ensure you have some great comfortable seating to enjoy the early wonderful days of spring,” Sascha Lafleur, the principal senior designer at West of Main, says.
Don’t forget about cozy layers of throw blankets, either. Whether you opt for a rattan egg-shaped chair or a more traditional lounger, you’ll thank yourself later when you have a cozy spot to relax.
Now that you’ve covered the basics, it’s time to make your space shine with a few artful finishing touches. “Don’t forget to include seasonal trees or potted plants, ambient lighting, and interesting art and accessories,” Enger says. “With the right ambience, you’ll want to be out there all year long.”
Residing in a city with four true seasons, I opt to decorate my porch with faux plants rather than live ones, which would likely suffer due to frequent weather changes. A faux olive tree in a beautiful stone or wooden pot will elevate your space instantly.
Looking to add an unexpected touch? Why not hang a disco ball, says Hattie Collins, owner of Hattie Sparks Interiors. “Someone in my neighborhood has a disco ball on their screened porch, though the rest of the porch is super classic and neutral—it looks really cool and fun," she says.