The porch is a great place to enjoy time with family and friends. Whether you are chatting with passing neighbors or watching a summer storm roll through, a covered porch is a fantastic outdoor living space. Here are a few tips and tricks for ensuring that you are making the most of your front or back porch.
Make it comfortable
When it comes to porch furniture, be sure to invest in comfort. Perhaps the most iconic piece of outdoor furniture, the rocking chair, remains a staple of porches across the U.S. thanks to the calming effects of the gentle rocking motion. Kick it up a notch with a porch swing. These swings combine the comfort and capacity of a sofa or loveseat with the motion of a rocking chair, creating what is sure to be one of the most hotly contested seats in the house. Take advantage of your home’s view and orientation when deciding where to hang your porch swing. Try to avoid a spot that receives too much direct sunlight as it is likely to fade your upholstery and make anyone resting there uncomfortably hot.
One of the biggest obstacles to enjoying a glass of sweet tea on the porch on a late summer afternoon is the inevitable arrival of pesky bugs. Luckily, there are a few options for reducing the intrusion of pests without resorting to an off-putting electric bug-zapper. One method is to take advantage of the natural ecosystem by attracting animals that feed on bugs. Installing bat houses and bird feeders in your yard will cut down on insect intrusion by attracting their natural predators. Ceiling fans are also a good way of keeping the air moving, and any flying insects along with it. Perhaps the most effective bug-prevention measure is to install retractable screens in order to enclose the porch. Those who would like to maintain the open-air feel of their porch can use motorized retractable screens for ultimate insect control while maintaining the view and natural ventilation.
Embrace natural beauty
The porch is a natural median between the interior spaces of your home and the exterior. Half inside, half outside, it should celebrate your home’s connectivity to nature. You can do this by including many plants in your decor. Hanging flower baskets look great suspended from the outer edge of your porch overflowing with fragrant blooms. Not only are they visually pleasing, but they also serve to perfume any breezes that happen to blow through. Hanging flower baskets can be made of a wide variety of materials and look best when planted with flowers that tend to mound or droop, such as petunias, geraniums and fuchsias. In addition, small, ornamental evergreen topiary is a great option for flanking entrances. The combination of natural plant with a man-made structural shape creates a fantastic balance between the various natural components of your yard and garden and your home’s interior.
Create a place to dine
Dining al fresco is a great use for a porch. Invest in an ample table and set of chairs that can stand up to a season’s worth of barbecues and dinner parties. Creating a location for groups to gather will promote a communal sense to your porch, providing the opportunity for friends and family to share the space.