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Summertime is all about the outdoors here at the farmhouse! We are spending so much more time outside these days, gardening, taking walks, playing in the water with the kids, and relaxing on the screened in porch!
When the weather is nice, we use our screened in porch as an extension of our home’s living area. But not having a garage, our porch tends to be a workspace too. So it was in need of some attention after the DIY fireplace project! And especially with the magazine shoot earlier this month, I really wanted to give our porch a mini refresh for summer. So today on the blog I thought I’d share 6 tips for how I created this cozy outdoor living area on our screened in porch!
Do a Seasonal Deep Clean of Your Outdoor Living Space
The first thing I did to refresh our porch was clear off the junk and hose everything down! Pollen, grass clippings and dead bugs are not the vibe y’all, haha! I even cleaned the windows on the porch! (I still need to clean the rest of the windows around the house) with this Windex outdoor window cleaner. I’ve shared this stuff before, but it’s worth sharing again because it is by far the easiest way to wash your windows. It hooks up to your garden hose. And you can then toggle between spraying the cleaner and rinsing with plain water.
Add Some Comfy Outdoor Seating
We have two different sets of black metal dining tables and chairs, one on each end of the porch. And they work great for us, but to me nothing beats having an outdoor couch or loveseat to cozy up on! Our couch isn’t technically outdoor furniture. It’s an old “This End Up” wood couch! We painted it years ago and used to have it in our living room. When I found these outdoor sofa cushions at Lowes, they were a perfect fit for the sofa so we moved it out to the porch. Ok, well they were almost perfect… I had to hide a pool noodle behind them because the couch is just a couple inches deeper than the cushions. So the pool noodle keeps the cushions from sliding back. But you can’t see it and if I didn’t point it out, you’d never know it’s there! I love how comfortable the couch is, and I love that it doesn’t look like your typical outdoor furniture!!
Keep the Bugs Out of Your Screened In Porch
Even though part of our porch is screened in, I find that bugs can always find their way inside. So I keep citronella candles on our screened in porch to help keep the mosquitos away, especially in the evenings! Recently at Target I discovered these citronella pillar candles and had to have them for our little porch refresh!! At the time I’m writing this post, the exact pillar candles I bought were out of stock, so I linked the closest ones in price below…
They work like any regular citronella scented candle, but they double as decor! We actually have a large, antique crock by the front steps that I have been using as a planter. It came with the original lid, but since the crock itself is currently filled with potting soil and my lavendar plant, I wasn’t using the lid until now. When I picked up these pillar candles I immediately thought about the crock lid! I arranged them around the handle and I just love how they look!! What do you think? Got an old crock lid laying around that you’re not using!! They make a great tray / candle display!
Cozy Up Your Outdoor Spaces with Lots of Texture
Cozy textures make all the difference when it comes to your outdoor spaces! You’ve probably heard the phrase “bring the outdoors in” in reference to decorating your home with flowers, greenery, and house plants as a way bring life and nature inside. This is similar but the reverse! You can extend your home’s living area outdoors by bringing the indoors outside! I like to do this by adding in some cozy textures. On the screened in porch, we added a neutral outdoor rug that invites you to kick off your flip flops and make yourself comfortable. It doesn’t take much, but adding in cozy textures to your outdoor spaces is a great way to bring the indoors out!
We also added this linen-like “P.S. I LOVE YOU” lumbar pillow from My Sister’s Cottage, which happens to be one of my favorite local boutiques in Wilmington for everything from clothes, gifts, and home decor accents! Click here to shop their website, or visit the Wilmington, NC location to shop their full offering in store. Use my code: “WHITEANDWOODGRAIN” at checkout to save 10% on your entire purchase! My code works in store too so you can save whether you’re shopping online or in person!! So if you’re local and you stop by, be sure to let the girls know that Brittany from White and Woodgrain sent ya…
Bring Life to Your Screened In Porch with Plants
Who says floral arrangements are just for indoors? This old galvanized bucket makes the perfect vessel for some fresh cut Queen Anne’s Lace!! I know it’s technically a weed. But it’s legit one of my favorite flowers! I look forward to seeing them in the ditchsides around our town every year! A few of the other plants we have on our screened in porch include herbs like rosemary, mint, basil, and chives. And then there’s that pretty topiary! The topiary is a rose of Sharon plant.
(Fun fact: this rose of Sharon is one of the plants the stylist bought for the magazine shoot! We were looking around the house for a vessel to place the plant in for the shoot when I remembered this big metal pot my papa used to use for oyster roasts. The stylist loved it! And she said it looked like it was meant for this rose of Sharon topiary, so she gifted it to us! Now here’s to hoping I can keep it alive!! Looking for some new planters for your home? Head to this post where I shared over 40 of my favorite cottage and farmhouse style planter pots!)
A Place to Recline & Refresh
This final tip is mostly about the functionality of the space! Will you want a place to recline and put your feet up? Is there a convenient spot to place your drinks and summertime refreshments? Think about how you will use the space. Think about how you would like to use it and make adjustments to the layout or even the furniture you’re using.
We have had this old trunk sitting on the porch for a couple years now! (Remember what I said about not having a garage and using the porch as a workspace?) To be honest, I mainly saw it as a DIY project yet to be started. But when I started giving our screened in porch a refresh, I thought the trunk would make the perfect outdoor coffee table! I cleaned up the outside of the trunk so that we could use this piece in our outdoor living area. Eventually I’ll start on that DIY project. But in the meantime the trunk is being utilized and our screened in porch is that much more functional!
What do y’all think about our summer porch refresh? I know I am looking forward to sitting out here with a glass sweet tea and a good book or magazine, with the fans on full blast because this Carolina heat is no joke!!
Whether your home has a screened in porch, a small covered entryway, a stone patio, or something totally different… I hope these tips inspire you utilize whatever outdoor space you have and create your own cozy outdoor living area this season! Be sure to check out an older post I wrote for more inspo and to see how I styled out screened in porch as an outdoor dining area last summer! Thanks for stopping by the blog today, and as always, thank you so much for following along…