Transform a basic porch into an open-air dining room that will impress your guests.
1 of 5Photo: Howard Lee Puckett
Simple, Chic Style
Furnish the space with stylish, weather-resistant pieces. This long trestle table’s crisscross base mimics the diamond floor pattern, and the white finish maintains a minimal look. The chairs, made of clear-sealed metal, add a touch of industrial chic, and they stack for easy storage. Add a hanging lantern for a touch of elegance.
Table: Newport Table by St. Barths Home; stbarthshome.com.
Chairs: Buckshot Chair by Design Legacy (design-legacy.com), available at Leaf & Petal; (205) 877-3030.
Lantern: Medium Kensington Hanging Lantern in Bronze from Circa Lighting; circalighting.com or 877/762-2323. Trim paint: French Gray (18), by Farrow & Ball; farrow-ball.com.
2 of 5Photo: Howard Lee Puckett
Paint the Floor
Ground the room with a graphic floor design. Instead of an outdoor rug, which can be pricey, use porch or floor paint to create your own pattern. To make this diamond pattern, we coated the entire floor with pale green porch paint. After it dried, we used painters tape to outline a design, and then filled in with darker greens.
Floor paints: French Gray (18), Lichen (19), and Folly Green, (76); by Farrow & Ball; farrow-ball.com.
3 of 5Photo: Howard Lee Puckett
Simple curtain panels made of durable, weatherproof outdoor fabric soften the space. We hung sheer panels with large grommets by Jaqlene, a South Carolina textile company, on repurposed plumbing pipes.
Curtains: Custom Parchment Sheer 100" Drapes with Matte Nickel Large Grommets by Jaqlene; jaqlene.com or 866/950-3528. Ceiling paint: Skylight (205), by Farrow & Ball; farrow-ball.com.
4 of 5Photo: Howard Lee Puckett
Set the Table
Rope place mats layered with textured porcelain dinnerware and twine-tied utensils create a laid-back mood. Keep it casual—the stemware is plastic, just in case.
Place mats: no longer available; for a similar look, try Nautical Rope Placemat (1975) from Seaside Inspired; seasideinspired.com. Plates: White Oak Dinner Plate by Sophie Conran for Portmeirion; portmeirion.com. Bowls: White Oak Cereal Bowl, also by Sophie Conran for Portmeirion. Flatware: antique; for a similar look, try Vintage Hotel Flatware from P.O.S.H.; poshchicago.com. Cups: no longer available; for a similar look, try Polycarbonate Wine Glasses and Double Old-Fashioned Glasses by Target; target.com. Napkins: antique; for a similar look, try eBay; ebay.com.
5 of 5Photo: Howard Lee Puckett
Add Fresh Flowers
Fragrant lilac bouquets in galvanized-metal cups along with simple candlelit hurricanes make a relaxed alternative to a fussy centerpiece.
Hurricanes: no longer available; for a similar look, try Avery Hurricanes by Pottery Barn; potterybarn.com or 888/779-5176.