Homeowner and decorator Muffie Faith of Elizabeth Stuart Design, Charleston, SC, designed this front porch with paint, wicker, and florals.
Charming Southern Front Porch
"In Charleston, the porch is almost more important than interior rooms. I designed mine with company in mind." —Muffie Faith
| Credit: Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

1. Choose Classic Colors
Muffie chose Charleston green (so dark it's almost black) and white for the porch's structural elements and furniture. She painted the ceiling "haint blue," a Charleston tradition that's said to repel insects and scare away ghosts.

2. Soften the Light
Rather than relying solely on overhead lighting, try plugging in a lamp. Top it with an inexpensive shade that you can replace cheaply when it shows wear. "Lamplight makes the porch intimate and welcoming," Muffie says.

3. Incorporate Antiques
Shake up a trad design with an unexpected antique piece reupholstered in durable, weather-resistant outdoor fabric. Muffie found her antique chaise at a flea market and put it on the porch for a quirky touch.

4. Mix and Match Styles
Give a porch personality by using a variety of seating types. "I like my furniture to be a collection," says Muffie. Painting everything the same color, in this case Charleston green, gives a unified look.

5. Defer to the View
Because the porch is surrounded by a pretty garden, Muffie added color only with accessories, such as floral-print pillows that are treated for outdoor use and trimmed in grass green fringe.

Additional Resources:
Designer: Muffie Faith, Elizabeth Stuart Design, Charleston, SC; esdcharleston.com. Shutter, floor, and wicker paint: Historic Charleston Green (DCR099); duron.com. Ceiling paint: For a similar look try Atmospheric (SW 6505); sherwin-williams.com. Note: Items similar to all furniture and accessories are available through Muffie's store, Elizabeth Stuart Design; esdcharleston.com