How to arrange your porch furnishings for optimal enjoyment.
<p>[BLANK_AUDIO] Hi, I'm Jennifer Cuff, home editor at Southern Living. Porches provide social outlets and personal retreats. And the best ones always welcome lounging and long conversations. The furniture you choose for your porch, and the way you arrange it, can ensure both. If your porch is narrow it's best to arrange your seating in a single row facing outward. You can still cluster chairs to create separate seating areas but just keep the general direction the same. [MUSIC] Gallery seating is also the perfect choice when the view is the star. Line up the rockers so no one misses out. [MUSIC] This outward facing arrangement is also a good choice for porches where you only have room for a few chairs. The porch where you'll most often welcome your friends and neighbors. So it's important to create an inviting gathering spot where everyone will feel at home. Choose a combination of seating such as lounge chairs, rockers, and a sofa, and arrange them so that they all face each other to allow easy conversation. Be sure to include enough seating to comfortably accommodate at least four people. And don't forget lots of comfy cushions and throw pillows. Choose durable outdoor fabrics for easy care. [MUSIC] Lastly, include a cocktail table decorated with a plant or fresh flowers. The table can hold reading material, drinks or even do double-duty as a serving place for snacks. While it's important to have a comfortable place for your guests, it's also desirable to provide a personal retreat for yourself. It's easy to create your go-to spot with a couple of comfy chairs paired with a side table where you can set your drink and your book. [MUSIC] Create a cozy spot in the corner. Or if your porch is long and narrow off to the side of your other seating area. No matter what the layout or the look of your porch a swing brimming with pillows works in any situation. If your porch is extra wide consider a custom length swing to keep it all in porportion. The extra length will also give you plenty of room to stretch out and nap. A swing doesn't have to always be reserved for the front porch. It's just as enticing in a screened space. Be creative in the style of swing you choose. Hang a traditional looking swing with rope instead of chain. [MUSIC]. Or if you feel playful consider a bright color. And for the ultimate in relaxation you can't beat a hammock. For more porch inspiration pick up Southern Living and visit southernliving.com.</p>