Porch decorating styles

Attached to the front, back, or side of the house, a covered porch is a place from where we watch traffic pass by, enjoy a spectacular view, or put our feet up to relax. When envisioning a porch, we may conjure images of sitting on the porch, sipping lemonade or cold sweet tea on a hot summer's day. Expand your porch dream to include playing cards or scrabble with family or friends, or sitting in quiet solitude to enjoy a setting sun. How you decorate your porch should reflect your personality and design taste, from minimalist to luxury packed space.

Traditional

Traditional porch furniture includes chairs, rockers, couch, or love seat made from wood or metal. The comfort of this classic design furniture comes with thick seat and back cushions. Baskets of ferns hang over railings. A bench swing, suspended from the ceiling of the porch roof, is also a part of traditional porch décor. A trellis supporting climbing roses provides privacy on the side of the porch.

Country

Country porch design includes cottage. This porch design uses wood or wicker furniture. Fabrics are floral, striped, solid, or check designs. Mix it up. Think Laura Ashley interior design fashions where stripes and flowers work together. Use folded quilts for padding or drape the quilts across furniture to add charm and color to the seating area. Like a traditional porch, a suspended bench swing is part of country porch décor. Hydrangea or sunflowers in a pitcher, or small pots of pansies or herbs decorate tables.

Western or rustic

Wood furniture, especially a bench or bent wood chairs, are the hallmarks of western or rustic porch design. This no-frills design often comes with no seat padding, however, add seat padding if desired, but use plain fabric like gingham, ticking, or a tan-color broadcloth. A small barrel may serve as a side table. A touch of nature may display as wildflowers in a mason jar.

Coastal or beach

Enjoying water views and a cool evening breeze can turn a coastal or beach porch to another room of the house where family gathers. The coastal color theme covers a broad spectrum from dark to light blue, green, yellow, orange, or red. Adirondack chairs or white wicker seating is typical for a coastal design. A chaise lounge is a must to stretch out while listening to the sounds of the waves-and that may lead to a nap. Include a telescope to watch the boats. For a touch of whimsy, add a hammock. Accents may include seashells, starfish, oars, or other nautical decor.

Contemporary

Contemporary design, as described by Houzz.com, is "a catch-all term for any design that is current." Contemporary design may pull some aspects of the 1950s, like medal chairs or what may appear as country design, such as wicker furniture, but the furniture is uniquely designed. Colors for contemporary porch design may include white, red, brown, black, or gray.