80 Breezy Porches and Patios
Charming Farmhouse Porch
Furnishings with an interior influence like the rug, sofa, and lamps look great in an outdoor room too. Colorful blooming containers in varying sizes create a garden setting. With plush furnishings, you can elevate the traditional farmhouse porch into a vibrant place to relax with a cold beverage, watching the sun go down on a warm afternoon. Here, shades of coral adorn pillows, which play well with the bustling, flower-filled containers. All of the flower displays are housed in neutral containers, which blend seamlessly into the porch setting. The neutral hues, with a bit of subtle, visual interest added by gray and tan bands at the top, ensure that the containers are always prepared for an evolving color scheme.
Classic Charleston Porch
- On this porch, or piazza, classic white wicker furniture is dressed with zesty, bold pillows in a fun pattern. Together, the classic white wicker and the modern India-inspired motif are marked by striking color, natural textures and materials, and classic Southern design with a modern, upbeat edge. The elegant white, barrel-style garden stools are multi-purpose. In this porch vignette, they are positioned in front of the sofa, creating extra seating or a perfect place to rest a book, lamp, or drink. The plants on this porch are subtle, with a red flowering planter that complements the hues included in the sofa pillows and a classic fern in an earthy golden pot.
- Tour this Charleston Single House
- The stone fireplace creates a focal point, adds a heat source, and visually links the porch with the rock columns inside. The fireplace is practical and stunning. Flanked by container-columns which hold chopped wood, it is a year-round focal point for the room, and in winter it becomes a practical feature, ensuring that no one will need to go outside to chop wood in the col weather. The light-wood furniture is arranged in a "U" formation to create an optimal seating arrangement for the space. The cushions are covered in a lovely, soothing, ocean-toned fabric, which complements the light wood of the furniture and the earthy, light sandstone hues of the fireplace.
- Tour the Nature-Inspired Lakehouse
Modern Cottage Screened Porch
Just off the kitchen, this Athens, Georgia, screened porch connects the interior to the patio for seamless entertaining. An enormous, dazzling wall of windows brings the outdoors inside for the sensation of al fresco living and dining. This porch is a master class in print and pattern mixing. The bench cushions are upholstered in a sea-inspired print, which, while a pattern, serves as a grounding, neutral base for the panoply of patterns represented in the porch's throw pillows. The cream base ties it all together, providing a soothing and connective backdrop for the pillow hues—assorted peaches, greens, blues, navies, and grays. A distressed table and chairs add to the ambience.
Texas Farmhouse Porch
The ideal place to watch Texas sunrises and sunsets, this porch makes the most of its surroundings. A traditional white wooden porch swing is made cozier with blue-and-white cotton pillows from HomeGoods. Below, a warm, tan-toned rug with a subtle, neutral pattern grounds the space. A rustic bench serves as a side table, which is styled with a functioning lantern—perfect for adding ambience to starry, midsummer nights—and a simple, fuschia flower arrangement which adds a pop of color to the blue, white, and tan color scheme. A basket underneath the bench is a nice place to tuck away extra pillows and a few cozy blankets for crisp nights when the Texas weather turns slightly cooler.
Colorful Texas Porch
Wicker has officially transcended its stereotype. We've heard rumors that wicker can be seen as old-fashioned and fussy, but we think that, styled with bright, modern details, there's nothing prettier, more delicate, and porch-perfect. These small-scale white wicker seating pieces were purchased at Pier 1 Imports. Their size and style ensures that the furniture will not overpower this small back porch. This condensed vignette doesn't trade scale for style though. Beige-and-white striped cushions were made to fit the chairs and sofa, and the effect is one of a polished, inviting outdoor space. Clusters of bright flowers in vases and porch corners filled with low-to-the-ground green plants in woven baskets complete the scene.
An Editor's Escape
At only 130 square feet, Southern Living Editor Sid Evans' porch is too small for a dining table or sofa, but it's the idea place for conversation and a cocktail. The solution: a stunning coffee table made from four slices of a maple tree, a set of four casual leather-wrapped rattan chairs, and a bright cobalt rug to cover an unattractive brick floor. Two fiddle-leaf figs frame the space, which are ideal plants for a small space with great light. Two small, simple potted plants are set atop the cross-sections of maple, as well as a few favorite books. Not pictured: a simple stocked bar with all the fixings for a classic Old Fashioned.
Coastal Entertaining Porch
With surroundings as elegant as these—oaks dripping with moss and stately columns—less is more in terms of porch styling. A zinc-topped cypress tree-trunk table blends seamlessly into the landscape, as do the weathered urns and pots the designer found at Atlanta's Scott Antique Markets. Topped with an arrangement of gorgeous, vibrant hydrangeas; the flowers provide one pop of color, and one is all this porch needs. The rest—white and beige and green—create the most sophisticated Southern scene. For evening lounging, the chandelier is lowered on a rustic rope; when its candles are lit, the magical scenario is complete.
Watch: Essentials of a Southern Porch
Classic Nautical Porch
- With surroundings as elegant as these—oaks dripping with moss and stately columns—less is more in terms of porch styling. A zinc-topped cypress tree-trunk table blends seamlessly into the landscape, as do the weathered urns and pots the designer found at Atlanta's Scott Antique Markets. Topped with an arrangement of gorgeous, vibrant hydrangeas; the flowers provide one pop of color, and one is all this porch needs. The rest—white and beige and green—create the most sophisticated Southern scene. For evening lounging, the chandelier is lowered on a rustic rope; when its candles are lit, the magical scenario is complete.
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Front Porch Outdoor Dining
Substantial, sturdy outdoor furniture sets the scene for front porch dining. Transitional styling—simple lines and natural teak—make this lovely dining set at home anywhere, including the primitive exterior of this cottage. It complements the tree trunk columns without exactly matching the woods of the cottage's exterior. This adds additional visual interest and intensifies the rustic theme of the setting. With a porch long and wide enough for different furniture moments, here we have one side of the porch ideal for a breakfast, lunch, or dinner for six, and a casual seating area on the other side of the porch, perfect for mid-day lounging or after-dinner drinks.
Refined Rustic Back Porch
- Decorator Cindy Smith of Circa Interiors, Charlotte, NC, used purple accents in addition to wood, metal, and stone to create a refined, rustic back porch design. Vibrant violet creates a beautiful counterpoint to the cream upholstery of the sofa and four chairs. The symmetry of the furniture arrangement sits easily and elegantly underneath the sweeping arched columns of the porch's upper architecture. Ornate, medieval-inspired sconces frame the brick porch. Small touches, like this, add visual interest to the smooth blend of colors and textures in this sophisticated but comfortable porch escape. Just plush enough, the pillows and cushions create some contrast to the hardness of the brick porch, furniture edges, tables and clean-lined columns.
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Natural Woodland Porch
Outdoor furniture rests comfortably on this small back porch, just big enough for two chairs nestled against a verdant forest landscape. This durable design blends with indoor decor, such as the Tiffany lamp and rag rugs made from recycled blue jeans. Quilts are at the ready for chilly evenings. Bedroom windows open onto this serene space to catch the sound of Whisper Creek. The integrated limb and branch touches in this porch design bring nature into the structure of the home, and the wooden furniture intensifies this effect. It's cozy and homey, without too much effort. And, as you can see, it's a lovely place to hang your hat.
- Deck out your screened porch for dining. Overlooking the woods and lake, dinner music is the chirping of birds and the splash of fish. The tin roof and vaulted ceiling overhead make light rain the most delightful weather—a tinny tinkling becomes the partner to the chatter of dinner guests. Add seasonal sparkle with a string of your favorite lights. The owners of this porch strung a few strands of spherical copper lights. The rose gold hue of these lights sparkles with a gorgeous evening glow and casts a rosy filter over the entire porch. The understated furniture, painted with a pretty garden green accent, is supremely inviting day or night.
- Tour this Nature-Inspired Home.
Georgia Brick Porch
- An extra-large bed swing invites lounging on this porch. Vintage items salvaged from almost anywhere—antiques stores, hand-me-downs, and side-of-the-road treasures add immense character to the space, giving this porch an effect that is equal parts lived-in and stylish. This porch seems traditional upon first glace, but its special touches take this space from ok to extraordinary. A shiny green garden stool brightens up the space, as does an eclectic planter. The clean mix of beiges and browns works well with the authentically distressed table. A woven ottoman moves around the space, creates additional seating, and serves as a perfect place to rest a book or beverage.
- Tour the Abercorn Place Idea House
- For year-round lounging, this enclosed sitting area boasts candle chandeliers and a fireplace. Filling the fireplace with candles instead of firewood is a great idea for adding light and charm in warm summer months. This candle-fireplace effect looks especially nice with a cluster of assorted candle sizes, all in the same hue. The candle chandelier pops and glows against the backdrop of this porch's pretty brick design. Brick is a durable base for any design, and the owner of this porch accented the dusty red brick hue with bright pops of marigold, which look lovely and romantic underneath the glow of candlelight.
- Choosing Your Porch Style
Appalachian Round Porch
- An unusual feature, a bar-inspired drink ledge, winds around this circular porch and gives you a practical (and stylish) place to rest a cup of cocoa, tea, your favorite brew, or an icy cocktail. The style of this porch takes relaxing to new heights, literally. Hanging candle lanterns can be lit during evening outdoor entertaining, and this porch's lofty rafters—formed in a deep wood compass design—pop against the cream roof and columns. This design feature gives the porch an airy, cathedral like quality, which is then made modern with help from the bold, dark wicker furniture and cheerful coral toned color and pattern mixture below.
- Tour the Davidson Gap Idea House
- This South Carolina-inspired piazza has definite pizzazz. This porch is filled with comfy wicker furniture in traditional Charleston green, recognizable by its deep forest, almost black, color. Durable, all-weather materials, such as wicker-type resin for the frames and outdoor fabric for the cushions keep the space low maintenance and perfect for all seasons. A few luxuries add comfort; plush, pretty pillows and throws can be quickly pulled inside when the weather turns bad. Iron-base tables with honed marble tops are the perfect sidekicks because they combine simple lines with elegant materials. It's an ideal place to lounge and wait for a soft Carolina breeze.
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- An extra-long porch swing anchors this porch space and, at 7 feet long, invites stretching out for long afternoon naps. It's twice as nice to fill this swing with friends and family too. The swing is hung in the space by thick ropes instead of the typical silver chain links, which gives the entire area a more natural, cohesive look. A brightly patterned outdoor rug pops against neutral tones. A mixed and matched collection of furniture styles and colors add to the vibe, which exudes a sense of "natural meets eclectic." Nothing in this space feels overdone, thanks to the casual mix of colors, which lend a comfortable, collected feel to this bungalow porch.
- Tour this Vintage Style Bungalow
Bright Red Porch
- Do you know any Southerners who have chosen red as their go-to color? We do. Red is a fantastic choice for bold décor with major impact. It is the defining color throughout this outdoor space, which uses pattern, textile, and paint to bring red into each corner of the porch. Using a single hue as inspiration is an easy way to tie the look together and creates a space that coalesces with color, exuding energy and continuity. Extra pillows add color and comfort to this bench swing, which is low to the ground and laden with plush, patterned color. A bench cushion in a floral fabric contributes to the red theme in a subtle way.
- Outdoor Rooms
Classic White Porch
- A couple of elegant hanging ferns have become the classic look for any Southern porch, especially one with clean-lines and a smooth white color scheme. This porch utilizes two hanging baskets to frame the space and mirror the two lamp sconces that frame the front door with a warm glow. Container gardens and a lush border add color to this space. Symmetry is the name of the game with this porch, and it is a classic example of how symmetrical design features can add elegance to an outdoor space. A row of rocking chairs couldn't be more inviting when accentuated with bright yellow seat cushions. We can imagine rocking here with family, enjoying the Southern summer.
- Porches: Creating the Space
Coastal Front Porch
- An ideal place to bask in salty ocean breezes, this porch is a coastal oasis. Two woven rockers, positioned next to the stucco fireplace on the front porch, create the perfect place to unwind on a warm summer night, listening to the sound of the sea, the waves breaking on the sandy shore. This porch is functional and practical. It maintains its appeal while also serving as a great place for sandy feet and wet towels. Easy-to-clean flooring and furniture ensures that when you and your family retire from an afternoon at the beach, you won't worry about keeping things on the porch pristine.
- Tour the Tarpon Run Idea House
Colorful Potted Porch
- Brighten up your porch by accenting with colorful containers of foliage and flowers. If you have a one-dimensional space, injecting some excitement could be as easy as adding flowers. They bring life and color to the area, and they are so easy to add, change, and build with the space. Here, a simple bistro table and chairs offers seating and a breakfast nook for morning meals al fresco. Assorted containers of flowers and foliage bring energy and cohesion to the space even though each container is slightly different. Use the flowers you love and you'll see how they bring everything together and offer the easiest and most visually impactful porch statement you could make.
- Container Gardening Ideas
Cozy Brick Porch
- This porch creates a hybrid indoor-outdoor space thanks to the substantial walls and brick accents. Comfortable and cozy, this porch is composed several features—one is made of a brick chimney, mantel, and firebox. This exterior fireplace is covered with stucco. This touch not only distinguishes it from the surrounding brick walls, but it also creates a focal point. The hearth is raised for additional seating. Plus, by centering the fireplace between a brick opening and the exterior living room wall, it provides a handy nook for firewood. A gas starter takes the hit-or-miss process out of starting a blaze.
- Porches: Seating Arrangements
Cozy Side Porch
- Inspired by Charleston side porches (called piazzas), this outdoor-friendly furniture arrangement provides a great place to socialize with neighbors or to take in the fresh air while reading a book. Shades of green are soothing and evoke nature. Light green accents open up the space, creating a spacious, airy feeling in this small area. Far from feeling cramped, this porch is cozy; it invites nature in and, with copious plants and greenery, creates a space as beautiful as it is soothing. A neutral rug provides a versatile base and allows for playful color in the sofa, chair, and panel fabric above.
- Tour the Abercorn Place Idea House
- French doors open directly from the kitchen to a front porch dining area that acts as an extension of this home's interior. It's an inviting place for a morning paper and evening entertaining alike. This area is awash with morning light. Its simple table and chairs, plus drapes in a hue somewhere between cornflower and seafoam, create a lovely, soothing outdoor oasis. There's space for everyone on this dining porch, even the family dog, who has plenty of options for settling down in a warm slant of light across the carpet—this space is set aglow at all hours of the day.
- Tour this Coastal-Style Home
- We like to make the most of every space. This pretty patio is adjacent to a small storage outbuilding that can easily be transformed into a bar or buffet for patio parties. With the addition of one simple shelf, the area takes on a brand new lease on entertaining and outdoor life. During the day, it's a rest for garden gloves and pretty plants, at night, it can be a bar, a garnish station, or a place for bottles and glasses. There is no end to the potential of a shelf, especially a substantial one strategically placed (and seamlessly integrated) on the outer wall of a shed as cute as this one.
- Tour the Habersham Idea House
- A patterned accent rug adds visual interest to this entertaining porch finished with brick pavers and stuccoed walls. A grill is set in a custom cabinet. A retractable awning keeps it all in the shade, which is always a welcome design feature during sunny Southern summers. The bright, patterned rug infuses the space with infectious energy and a casual, stylish Mediterranean vibe. It's incredibly easy to recreate this effect in your own porch, with a simple set of bistro chairs, a small table, and fuchsia flowers, you can create your own entertaining oasis. Add a grill in anticipation of breezy nights making burger dinners and grilled kebabs..
- Tour The Abercorn Place House
Garage Patio Transformation
This deluxe patio room actually used to be a rundown garage. You'd never guess what this comfortable space looked like in its previous iteration. Undaunted, owners wanted to make the structure feel more intimate, cozy, and liveable. To do this, the large, open space needed to be divided into more manageable rooms. Large containers of lush plants are grouped at varying heights to give this outdoor retreat scale. Pops of yellow do what they do best—brighten and add cheery color to a monochrome, neutral area. An overhead fan ensures a reliable breeze and means of cooling guests during visits outdoors.
An outdoor fireplace, decorated with items that the homeowner acquired in his travels through the Southwest, dominates this sunken garden patio. A tropical mix of coral and golden pillows add a color blocking effect to the wicker rocking chairs and complement the Southwestern decor. The owner has created a transportive place to curl up thanks to the abundance of greenery and a flickering outdoor fire. A hammered copper plate acts as subtle decoration and shines a rose gold glow when glimmering pillar candles glint across the dips and peaks of its rugged texture. The sunken garden feels like a fusion of influences and colors, reflecting the vibrancy and diversity of travel.
Gracious Side Porch
- Lined with handsome box columns and accessible to the indoors through pairs of French doors, this side porch functions much like an interior room, complete with comfortable seating and durable outdoor rugs. This gracious extension of living space contains a teak dining table for informal meals. A very modern, relaxing décor choice, the owner of this home painted the ceiling of the porch a gorgeous sky blue, evoking the serenity of a cloudless day and giving a brush of visual interest at a high elevation, drawing the eye up and intensifying the airiness as well as the sense of height in the space.
- Tour the Abercorn Place Idea House
Historic Blue Porch
- A popular design choice in the South, this porch ceiling is also painted blue for a playful nod to traditional Southern style. Porch ceilings across the South are painted blue, a tradition that began with Gullah culture. The color evokes the water and was said to keep evil spirits away from the home. The traditional ceiling color is a soft greenish blue hue known as "Haint Blue" across the region. This tradition has spread north, and blue porch ceilings can be found across the country. A fan keeps this lovely area cool on warm Southern days, and curtains add privacy to the space.
- Make the Most of Your Porch
Jazzed-Up Porch Doors
- These solid-panel shutters add color to the porch and offer extra protection for two pairs of porch doors. The shutters fold back flush against the wall when opened. Few colors are able to transcend the traditional-modern divide so seamlessly, but this bright, bold green is a perfect example of an exterior paint color that is just as versatile as it is statement-making. With a color like this on your shutters, you only need simple wicker furniture and wooden accents to create a bold and beautiful tableau. Equally bold and classic, these shutters are a showstopper with definite, uncompromising curb appeal.
- Add Style with Shutters
- This is the perfect place for playtime, if we do say so ourselves. This porch is so inviting and functional for families, especially those with small children—as you can see from the toys and playtime remnants left on the floor. An extra-deep porch swing makes lazy Sunday afternoons on this porch a must. The small pops of subdued color provide the porch a laid-back, beach-like atmosphere. There are few things kids love more than a porch swing, and this one will grow with the family. With a durable, mattress-like topper, this makes a great place for afternoon naps and nights spent pseudo-camping on the porch.
- Coastal Decorating Ideas
Live-In Back Porch
- This 35-foot-long by 9-foot-deep back porch respects Southern porches of the past by using traditional shading devices such as a trellis at one end. Comfortable rattan chairs, cushioned in red, yellow, and green, add cheer to this outdoor living room. Ceiling fans help cool the space during sultry summer days, while three copper-finish lanterns contribute to the ambience. The clean-lined lattice shed gorgeous shadows across the porch's brick wall in the afternoons, and it is a beautiful setting in which to spend a lazy summer afternoon. The plush patterned cushions perched in the rattan chairs don't steal the show, but the do add a familiar, traditional Southern touch.
- Read more about the Abberley Lane Idea House
- Durable accessories and furnishings give this porch a cozy living room feel. Patterned pillows and a faux zebra-skin rug are paired with natural colors and textures for a striking effect. This porch's impactful accent color is a zesty yellow-green hue. It melds gorgeously with the brick walls, lending an unexpected, but so aesthetically pleasing, blend of colors on the walls and ceiling. The furniture adds a sophisticated cream-cushion base, and the dark piping on the sofa cushions elevate the neutral base with elegance. A subtle pattern and color mix in the array of sofa cushions add a playful infusion to the space's bold use of color and elegant decor choices.
- Key Elements of a Great Porch
- This two-level modern patio extends the family's living space to include an outdoor dining room. Modern planters mirror the clean lines of the house and add juxtaposition with the quirky, interesting shapes of the plants within. This variety of plants and natural shapes adds visual interest and breaks up the modern, spacious horizontality of the design. No need for overhead additions, this open space is low-maintenance and ideal for cloudless climes. The multi-level porch setup gives the impression of even more space; the horizontal lines draw the eye out, widening the porch-scape and expanding the scope of this modern, livable area.
- Tour this Modern Nashville Home
Natural Screened Porch
- This comfortable screened porch is sparsely decorated, making the surrounding woods the focal point. It invites the outdoors in, and it draws the eye to the décor of its natural surroundings. This is a perfect place for enjoying the weather and nature while shaded from the elements. Stylish contemporary white chairs are a great alternative to outdoor furniture, and they are just as durable, all-weather, and all-purpose, ideal for this indoor-meets-outdoor space. Tiny potted plants in varying sizes perch on the sills of the screen frames and add a touch of whimsy. They also demarcate the screens, adding depth and delineation to where the porch stops and untouched nature begins.
- Tour this 1930s Cabin Makeover