12 ways to refresh your porch
Neat and trim
One easy way to give your porch a fresh look is to paint your front door and the window trim that frames and provides a backdrop for your porch. A little elbow grease and a single afternoon spent prepping and painting can make a big difference in the way your porch looks and the quality of the time you spend there.
Get in the swing of things
Add a porch swing for hard-to-beat outdoor ambiance. What could be sweeter than rocking gently in your porch swing on a summer evening and watching the life on your street: kids playing tag or riding their bikes; neighbors watering their lawns or chatting on the corner; and everyone wishing they had a porch swing like yours?
Invest in a couple of Adirondack chairs to your porch a great place to relax. The sloped seat and back of the Adirondacks will put you into an instant state of relaxation, and the broad, flat arms are the perfect place to rest a book or a cold drink. Choose a couple of these classic chairs in teak, cedar or recycled plastic for maximum durability and easy maintenance.
Table for two
If you have enough room on your porch, add a cafe table and a couple of chairs to create a perfect spot for sharing morning coffee, evening cocktails or intimate conversation. You can get small café tables and matching chairs in teak, which is both beautiful and practical, or in wrought iron, which can be easily refreshed with a little sandpaper and spray paint if it begins to rust or show other signs of wear.
Nothing makes a porch feel more welcoming and appealing as an array of beautiful flowers. Add hanging baskets, pots of flowers on the steps, or flower boxes on the porch rails to transform your porch into a fragrant and colorful oasis.
Create a handy kitchen garden on your porch by planting herbs such as basil, rosemary and mint in ceramic pots or flower boxes for a practical and beautiful enhancement that will look great all year long. Choose herbs you know you'll want to use for cooking, and combine fragrant or savory herbs with others that are stunning as well as delicious.
Use wind chimes to create a special atmosphere on your porch and to help disguise neighborhood buzz and traffic noise. Wind chimes come in many different designs and sizes, and offer musical tones ranging from the gentle tinkling of spring rain to the deep-throated notes of a Chinese gong.
Change the floor
Spruce up the floor of your wooden porch with deck paint, or put a new surface such as slate or ceramic tile on a stained concrete porch to create a fresh look. Both are easy do-it-yourself projects that will transform a tired-looking outdoor space into a showpiece.
Throw down a rug
Place an area rug or an attractive new welcome mat on your porch for an inexpensive way to add a touch of color and extra coziness to your favorite outdoor space. Indoor/outdoor carpeting now comes in many different colors and patterns, so you can decorate your porch as easily as you would any other room in your home.
Make it shady
Install roll-up shades or awnings on your porch to provide shade and extra visual interest. Whether you choose inexpensive bamboo shades or top-of-the-line metal awnings that come with an electric motor and a remote control, having the ability to turn your porch into a cool and shady retreat whenever you like will make it a place that you and your family will want to linger.