Remember when Allie asked Noah for a wraparound porch in The Notebook? And he built one for her even though he didn't know if she would ever come back? And then she came back, and they grew old in it together? So do we (clearly), and we've been dreaming of a real-life wraparound porch with coastal Southern charm ever since. Well, leave it up to style influencer and world traveler Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam to design a porch that's, dare we say, even better than Noah's labor of love.
Located in Charleston, South Carolina, her new porch is bursting with relaxed yet sophisticated alfresco vibes, plus some contemporary touches that give it a decidedly chic and preppy appeal. In a few words, she describes her "front porch as a wraparound style inspired by low-country coastal homes," and we'll just add that one look at it will make you want to throw a summer soirée. Keep reading to hear more from Engel and learn about her style choices and tips.
Coastal Color Scheme
"We didn't make any renovations to the actual porch other than painting," and since outdoor spaces don't allow for as many style opportunities as interiors, the color scheme was really important. She went with "warm neutrals with splashes of blue" and a fresh coat of crisp white paint. We also love that she brought in green accent pieces to reflect the foliage and plants dotting the porch.
Setting a Foudation
It's always a good idea to start with the most basic, important items and then go from there. "The wicker dining chairs and round teak dining table were the first pieces we selected to set the foundation for our outdoor living space," she tells us. The decorative accents like outdoor lighting, throw pillows, and planters are where you get to have fun and introduce bolder pieces that speak to your personality. Plus, neutral staples will work with a variety of accents, so you can swap them in and out over the years.
A Sense of Purpose
"We love having an outdoor area where we can work and enjoy our morning coffee while watching the neighborhood come alive. We have a bit of a view of the water as well, which really adds to the coastal feel," she says. Aside from designing a space that feels rooted in local styles, we love how the sitting area is customized to her lifestyle. For example, the laid-back rocking chairs are perfect for a relaxing morning or evening drink.
It's In the Details
If you're thinking about whether you want to invest in really sprucing up your outdoor space, consider how much time you spend there and who you spend it with. "Nine months out of the year we live outdoors, so we wanted to create a true outdoor living space where we could spend time enjoying our yard and neighborhood," Engel tells us. We love how it's set up to accommodate guests and entertaining while also not feeling overcrowded and styled.
All About the Greenery
"We did, however, add shrubs, foliage, and flowers around the base of the porch to frame it, and we added décor to create an outdoor living space that feels comfortable and inviting," Engle tells us. Aside from functional things like lighting and furniture, greenery is a great way to give the front porch life. It's also the perfect setting to start your own little herb garden at home.
And now, get inspired by these designer-approved patio décor trends.