We've all seen those forlorn back porches, the ones with a few leftover plastic chairs and a mishmash approach to layout and finishes. But porches with a "wow" factor -- those that function well and offer lovely arrangements of fixtures and accents -- are spaces that make homeowners and guests want to relax and stay awhile. Fortunately, creating this sort of space isn't that hard. Here are seven design ideas for back porches.
- Rely on the color wheel for guidance. Color vexes many people, but it's simpler than it might seem: Use a color wheel as a guiding design idea for a back porch. A monochromatic scheme simply varies the shade of a single color -- white to gray to black, for example. A complementary color scheme blends hues that are directly across from one another (think yellow and purple) while analogous finds harmony with colors that are next to one another -- green and blue. Choose what you like and use it as a design base for your back porch.
- Define zones. To increase the use of your backyard porch, introduce a simple design idea: zones. You may have one area set up with a dining table and chairs for mealtime, and another with a few seating choices for relaxing. A shift in furniture or the introduction of a rug or other visual item, such as a screen, can be a great way to shift from one zone to another.