If relaxed and informal style is your design aesthetic, take that outside with these must-haves for a country porch.
Country-influenced design holds allure for many homeowners due to a variety of reasons. Some people love its casual, comfy feel, while others have a special passion for vintage items. Whatever the inspiration, a country porch can be a special place indeed -- a repository for beloved items that help to welcome friends and family to a relaxing outdoor spot. If you're hoping to redo an outdoor space or want to add a new lounge area that has the special flair only a country porch can provide, read on for inspiring ideas to help in its creation.
Although many country porches rely on lighter hues, some focus on bright pops of color that can be a fun way to integrate focal point hues. If you've got a rustic table, surround it with primary-color chairs, for example, as a way to provide contrast and warmth.
Pick Your Plants
Certain flowers and foliage -- hydrangeas and daisies to name just two -- have a rustic, romantic appeal that's perfect for country porches. If you have a country porch that backs up to an established bed, consider including containers with plants that exude a relaxed, colorful feel. If you have space to establish a new planting area, try using plants with soft lines that are more appropriate for a country porch.
Add Vintage Elements
No country porch would be complete without a repurposed element or two -- either a vintage hand-me-down or a flea market find. Look for metal chairs, wood tables, signs, and other accents to include in your country porch collection.
Embrace the Eclectic
Part of the country porch design aesthetic is blending items that wouldn't typically go together. Try a contemporary coffee table, for example, with an oversize sofa and found side table. Complement it with blooms in rustic galvanized containers and an old sign to complete the country porch look. Or, around an outdoor dining table, supply mismatched chairs in metal and wood.
By its nature, any country porch invites rest and relaxation. To do that, it must include items that encourage longer stays. So, stash extra pillows and throws in a basket. If budget allows, consider including an outdoor fireplace. Opt for oversize cushions on wicker chairs, and supply a large surface, courtesy of a reclaimed table, for drinks and meals.
Focus on Fabric
Fabric offers a great way to integrate pattern, color, and even a little texture into a country porch. Feel free to mix-up motifs -- gingham with floral, for example, and a striped rug. To establish commonality, carry one hue throughout your selections. Fabric also supplies a good way to break up big pieces of furniture -- think an oversize sofa accented with throw pillows.
Don't Forget Lighting
Pillows, throws, rugs, furniture, tables: You may think you're all done creating a country porch, but lighting plays an integral part in an outdoor space's overall design. For a country porch, think about adding the curving arms of an oversize chandelier, or the pastel hues of a pretty portable lamp.
Include a Little Romance
Unlike contemporary or traditional outdoor spaces, country porches offer a little freedom for homeowners to include those special extras that add charm and allure. In place of ordinary rolling shades to screen the sunshine, consider sheer, flowing drapery panels. Poufs or throw cushions encourage casual gathering, lanterns boost ambient light, and outdoor table linens can supply a final, perfect finish.
We see lots of stunning hanging baskets every spring. Planting your own is a fantastic way to add color and [unk] appeal and save some money too. The first step to a successful hanging basket is to choose the right plants. Concentrate on plants that have spilling or mounding habits. Plants that are very tall and upright tend to fill out of proportion. Resist the urge to overfill your basket. The more plants you have the more often you'll have to water. Most hanging baskets easily accommodate about 3 to 5 plants. Make sure the plants you pick are good neighbors too. If you have a vigorous variety like the sweet potato vines, make sure that you have a strong plant that can keep up such as [unk] potunia petunia. Otherwise, the bigger faster growers could cry out the small ones. Start by filling your basket with a high-quality potting mix. Don't use garden soil. It doesn't drain well. It gets heavy and it can contain pests or disease organisms. Once your basket is about filled with potting mix, carefully remove your plants from their nursery pots by gently squeezing the pot and pulling the root ball out. Try not to pull the plants out by the leaves or stems. This could damage the plants or break it off. After the root balls are out of the pot, gently massage them to spread the roots. Add more potting mix around plant's root balls, filling the basket to the top. Keep in mind that your potting mix will settle a bit. After the mix settles, you'll have some thing of a lip between the potting mix and the top of the basket so that when you water, the moisture pools there inside of running over the side and getting you wet.