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Interior Design & Decor
Now is the time to make the most out of your home’s outdoor areas, and if you have a porch, why not add a few simple touches to fully enjoy the sounds, scents and traditions of summer? Knowles Building Centre has gathered some easy ideas to make your porch a comfortable, beautiful and inviting sanctuary with added privacy and protection from the sun’s strong rays.
The number one task is to clean your porch to prepare for the warmer days and evenings ahead.
Gather your cleaning supplies, then roll up your sleeves and use some elbow grease to remove any dust, grime and cobwebs from the ceiling, floor and walls. Don’t forget to clean the windows and doors, and inspect the condition of your porch in case you need to do any repairs to the door, threshold, stair rail, floor boards, or supporting posts and soffits. Once you are sure your porch is structurally sound and clean, and have made necessary repairs, the fun of dressing it up can begin!
If you are lucky enough to have a large or wrap-around porch, why not create different rooms for different uses? Transform one area of your porch into a cozy al fresco dining nook, and add a lounge chair in another spot for an afternoon snooze or to read a book. Position chairs to look out at different views, for example, the street or the garden. Another “room” can be for entertaining guests, complete with a coffee table and comfy chairs. A farmhouse bench gives you more seating, perfect for when a larger group drops over.
If you are noticing that your porch ceiling is looking tired, with peeling paint or varnish, revive it by painting it a soft white or robin’s egg blue to create a brighter, cleaner look.
Sand and restain your wood ceiling to bring it back to its original warm tone.
Clean vinyl or aluminium panels easily with a gentle household cleaner and long-handled sponge mop.
Paint your porch floor in an accent colour to complement your porch’s ceiling, trim or wall. Cape Cod blue goes nicely with grey siding or a red brick wall. Select paints specifically designed for concrete and wood that hold up well in the outdoors and give your porch floor extra protection in extreme weather conditions. Top off your porch floor with a sisal or jute rug.
Add some magic to your porch with a pendant light. Even if your ceiling has no wiring for a light fixture, you can suspend a no-wire, battery-powered pendant light or chandelier from a hook for the same effect.
Another idea is to hang an electrified chandelier on a hook in the ceiling, and plug it into an outlet. Or, for softer lighting, weave a string of battery-powered fairy lights around a grapevine ball and hang it from a hook in the centre of your porch ceiling.
Ever-popular string lights, most often seen illuminating backyard patios, are also a wonderful way to brighten up your porch. They come in a variety of long-lasting, energy-efficient bulbs to complement your porch’s style. Hang them from your porch’s handrail, or suspend from hooks in each corner to instantly create a cozy atmosphere.
Give new life to old gas lamps and lanterns by rewiring them as hanging light fixtures or sconces for one-of-a-kind porch lighting. Install a dimmer switch and purchase dimmable bulbs so you can adjust the brightness to create the mood you want ? a romantic evening or a fun evening of cards or board games with neighbours.
Beeswax candles will warm your porch with their honey scent and golden glow. They burn cleaner and longer than typical paraffin candles.
Dreaming of those lazy, hazy days of summer? Then it’s time to find a comfy lounge chair for your porch. Stretch out and read a book on a full-length sofa designed for the outdoors.
Splurge on new cushions and warm throws for those chilly nights. Set the mood with tropical prints in fade/water-resistant fabrics that stand up in hot sun and on damp days.
If you love finding interesting pieces but their colours and styles don’t match, painting them all the same shade is the fastest way to create a calming ambience. An old wicker chair, a modern table, and a metal bench can all work well together when painted the same colour.
Add an element of surprise by painting one item a bright colour to match your blooming plants. Picture a small pedestal table in bright orange or yellow to contrast with your other porch furniture.
Display your collections from travels around the world or around the neighbourhood; stones, pebbles, sea shells, sea glass, pine cones, and interesting driftwood will all add a personal touch of beauty to your porch, in shadow boxes or on shelves.
Hang a mirror on one wall to create the illusion of more space if you have a smaller porch. You can frame a mirror with a salvaged window frame to make it look like part of your home’s design.
A water feature is the ultimate way to turn your porch into a soothing summer retreat. Your fountain will attract dragonflies, butterflies and birds as you relax to its musical tunes. It also helps drown out noise from nearby traffic or neighbours.
When you want privacy and shade, hang some curtains or blinds from the front and sides of your porch eaves. Curtains can be easily hung with rings on poles, and roman blinds or shades in bamboo. Easy to open and close, you can quickly adjust your curtains and shades to suit the weather and the sun’s direction.
Surround yourself with nature by letting plants and trees flourish on your porch. If your porch is open to the street, why not create privacy by adding climbing vines planted beneath a trellis for a beautiful and fragrant privacy screen?
Create a tropical paradise with flowering, sun-loving tropical plants. Beautiful choices that will bloom all summer are hibiscus, bougainvillea, and mandevilla. Boston ferns are an attractive plant for privacy on partially sunny to shady porches. Hang them from your porch eaves or place on tables for a private and leafy oasis.
Put your large and heavy tropical plants on wheels so you can quickly rearrange them if you need space for entertaining or the plants need more or less sunshine. You can find back-saving plant pot caddies for all pot sizes.
If you have any questions or need more information, visit Knowles Building Centre. Our team is always available to help in any way we can.
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