- How do you make sure the porch looks like it was built for the house it is attached to in terms of design?
As with any design weather you are building the porch as you are building the rest of the home or adding the porch on later, you want everything to flow and work well with one another. This is where the details matter within the design. Using materials to match the other parts of the home is a given, but attention to detail and color matching stains and products will take it to the next level.
- How can you make the porch have personality without it becoming overcrowded or cheap looking?
There is a fine line in what all to include in your porch design. Weather it is furniture or antique pieces, sometimes less is more. Make sure you have ample amount of seating and space for who you want to entertain. A conversation piece or two tucked away in a corner with some nice potted flowers always make for a cozy porch setting, but it isn’t overpowering and crowded. For instance, if you love all flowers and want every variety there is (I realize you couldn’t have EVERY variety but you get what I am saying) have some on the porch, group some even in like matching pots,
- Do you have suggestions about choosing paints, stains, etc. Talk about incorporating paints into the design and decor.
When planning the perfect porch design, most often it starts with a color of material of a furniture pad or your favorite pot of flowers. I love using color outside, it just makes the space feel even better when the colors of the outdoors make their way to your porches. When choosing which color or colors you want to incorporate, make sure they will go well with your home and the other items you are using. Painting your older furniture and bringing it back to life is always a great and cost effective way to add color to the porch. If there are things to be stained, treat that the same and use like colors from other parts of the home.
- Are there considerations for porches that are secluded as opposed to porches on homes with neighbors?
If you are out in the country of tucked behind tree far from the neighbor’s eye, the sky is the limit on what you may do in your own back yard. If, however, you are within eyesight of your neighbor, it is always a good idea to not be over the top when it comes to your porch design. You want to be considerate of the folks around you when planning your perfect porch.
- What are some of the interesting decor pieces and architectural elements you’re finding people incorporate into modern porches?
Looking at a more modern porch you are seeing lots of water features, either a stand-alone object that is more like a sculpture or a nice soft waterfall feature from several pots and bins. Also, fireplaces and fire pits. The newer fad I am seeing is fire-rock pits. They put out heat without the mess of wood and ashes. You can choose from different color rocks and tons of options on the actual look of the pit itself.
- Any ideas for lighting?
Outdoor lighting always helps any space. The most popular are string “café” type lights. They give you just enough light to see but doesn’t blind you and you can still see the stars. Most homes are usually equipped with outdoor flood lights and wall lights beside the exterior doors. It is nice to turn those off and enjoy the twinkling of the café lights and take in the lights from the night sky.
7. What is most important about choosing furniture.
You always want to choose the right amount of furniture for who all will be sitting out on the porch, especially on a regular basis. You can always bring in extra chairs for large gatherings and family barbecues. It is also nice to have the perfect little side table to sit your morning coffee on or nice glass of iced tea on those hot days while you’re out playing in the flower beds. Always design the space to grow with your family. Even if you must seep into the yard, your furniture should be able to move with you. Choose furniture that is safe for the outdoor (obviously) and has a long life of porch sitting and gathering by the fire, making memories with those you care for most.