Simple curtain rods and outdoor-friendly drapes shield a section of a porch from too much sun or nosy neighbors.
A glass-and-metal lantern offers a beam of light for the entry and porch.
If a porch floor is wood, it can be stained or painted; either way, it will require periodic retouching or refinishing.
Oversize cushions provide casual, flexible seating.
An eclectic mix of furnishings maintains visual consistency by relying on similar colors, including rich browns and greens.
A Place to Unwind
Classic details dress up a roomy screened porch.
Whether for show or for structure, columns offer an interesting detail inside a screened porch.
Three layers of light -- overhead, task, and accent -- provide plenty of opportunities to set varying moods.
An outdoor rug protects the floor and supplies a softer surface underfoot.
On a porch, a ceiling fan increases ventilation during still, warm days.
Accessories such as baskets -- used to stash blankets and pillows -- can eliminate the need for shelves or other storage.
A Dose of Sunshine
Details welcome visitors to this cheery front porch.
Three rectangular pieces of lattice shield the porch from the side.
Painted a pretty spring green, a trio of vases hung from the lattice supply a place to display an array of fresh flowers.
Window boxes are often placed on the outside rail of a porch; here, they hang toward the inside to provide a pretty backdrop.
To maintain a degree of material consistency, pieces of lattice frame the outside of the window boxes.
Ordinary but interesting yard elements transform into art when hung in an interesting way. Here, a piece of iron fence dresses up a wall.
White finishes and furniture brightens a covered space.
Typically used inside a home, a mirror on this porch provides a unique accent and bounces light around the space.
Beaded board is a porch staple; here, the planks are painted a bright white to keep the porch from feeling dark.
Ceiling fans come with or without lights; if you want to include a fan in your porch design, have an electrician install an on/off switch for more resourceful use.
Even in a space that receives plenty of natural light, such as a porch, layers of light are still important. Here, spotlights offer overhead illumination while a portable lamp supplies task light.
If a porch is mostly covered, as this one is, it's still important to choose furniture and fabrics that can withstand outdoor conditions.
A rustic feature warms this screened porch.
A fireplace can extend the use of a porch; here, the dramatic design of this stone version gives the porch a focal point, too.
If the railing to a porch is placed inside screens or porch openings, it shields the screen from holes and tears.
Contrast draws the eye around a space; here, a ceiling stained a lighter tone stands apart from painted trim.
To create a color scheme for a porch, start with one hue -- here, a warm, rich brown on wood and floor -- and add pops of color, such as the yellow cushions and bright striped throw pillows.
Another idea to warm the floor of a porch? Consider including radiant heat under paving stones.
Restrained tones and furnishings greet guests in this screened porch.
If a porch is mostly shaded or secluded, consider a skylight to brighten a space.
Since a porch is typically attached to a home, it's important to maintain consistency in either paint or stain. This porch follows the warm gray palette used on the house.
Subtle contrast adds visual interest to a porch, too; here, the stained wood floor adds warmth.
Furnish a porch as with any other room -- utilize pieces that work together and complement a home's style. Here, the vibe is definitely minimalist and easygoing.
A sturdy, outdoor-resilient rug underfoot can help to grab dirt from outside.
Roll Out the Welcome Mat
A wood porch welcomes with chairs and a dining set.
Ceiling fans offer flexibility and a minimal footprint; this one contains two adjustable fans.
Part sculpture, part light fixture, wire orbs illuminate from above on this porch.
A porch may need additional sun protection only on one side (often the west). Here, a pair of cream-color curtains shield from late-day sun.
A sleek metal railing guards the base of the screen and adds a minimalist detail.
Porches have six surfaces to address: four walls, a floor, and a ceiling. Use paint to complement, contrast, or -- as this porch exemplifies -- unify all the surfaces.
From inside this wide-open porch, the countryside beckons.
An overhead chandelier serves as a dramatic ceiling-height sculpture.
Screened porches often include rails for security and protection. Eliminating them, as this one does, opens up the view.
Shelves (here, above the fireplace) provide a spot for display of accents or other knick-knacks.
While many porches are located off the front of a home, consider the best place for a dramatic view -- in this home, at the back -- before choosing a site for a space.
Opening a porch up to the ceiling timbers provides dramatic architectural interest as well.
Accents supply bursts of color in this neutral, finished space.
Hung from support beams, a series of intricate metal light fixtures supplies pretty accent light.
Composite wood is another option for flooring; it offers durability and doesn't need periodic refinishing like painted or stained wood flooring does.
An interesting pattern provides visual relief at a porch's rails.
A bright ceiling lightens a space; here, the beaded board is painted bright white.
Turquoise, orange, and green in furniture and accents pop against the mostly neutral color scheme.
A compact porch deftly segues a house from outside to inside spaces.
Porches needn't be large; a small screened area can provide a nice transition to either a front or back space, as this intimate room does.
A five-panel door offers a rich design statement for the porch's entry.
Planks on the floor visually connect the porch spaces with the exterior stairs.
Since the wood frames on the porch are stained, accent colors in the furnishings pick up the accent colors on the house
Protect a porch floor as you would a floor inside a house by elevating planted containers to prevent damage from water accumulation.