A porch with wrought iron furniture and pastel cushions.
Thomas J. Story

Indoor/Outdoor Appeal

The wrought iron furniture is rugged enough to stand up to the weather, and so are the more refined elements -- the plush cushions and custom curtains -- thanks to the advance of outdoor fabric. Plates hung on the shingled wall add to the living room effect, but there's no mistaking the fresh air and unobstructed view.

A patio bar with roll away barn doors.
Jean Allsopp

Inside Out

Behind this clever pass-through lays an outdoor kitchen equipped with a sink, a grill, under counter storage, and a bar-height counter for serving. Barn doors on both sides allow the area to be closed off from inclement weather.

A balcony with parachute fabric curtains.
Tria Giovan

Catching the Breeze

The balcony off this Gulf Coast has full-length curtains on the waterfront side made of parachute cloth both for durability and for the way they ripple in the breeze.

A wrap around porch with wicker chairs and a fireplace.
Ralph Andersen

A Porch With Panache

A wide wraparound porch is the pinnacle of a Southern home. This one houses a cozy area for outdoor dining as well as the deep wicker chairs for more intimate gatherings. The gas fireplace, cozy on cool evenings, backs up to the one in the family room. When not in use, plants and candles dress up this space.

A porch with wicker furniture and striped cushions.
Jean Allsopp

A Well Appointed Porch

As this screened porch forms a bridge between the main house and its guest room, it serves multiple needs: extending the family's living space while also serving as a separate kitchen and living room for visitors. All of the fabrics -- including the fringe on the throw pillows -- are made for outdoor use.

A patio with a small pool and a firepit.
Jean Allsopp and Harry Taylor

Fire and Water

At the rear corner of the lot, a small pool is complemented by a firepit and a screened cabana fitted with the ultimate outdoor kitchen, including a professional-grade grill, draft beer dispenser, stainless counter-height fridge, and even a warming drawer. Diners have a choice between the wicker table and chairs in the cabana or the teak set with an umbrella on the patio.

A porch with daybeds and fans.
Van Chaplin

Enjoy the View

This second story rear porch provides a casual sleeping porch and takes full advantage of the home's golf course view. Wooden daybeds are perfect for an afternoon nap or overnight guests. The ceilings are equipped with fans for climate control and even with tiny misters that keep insects at bay.

A porch with stone walls.
Tria Giovan

An Opportunity to Lounge

When the architect of this home conceived of its curving stone half-walls, topped with columns, it was to tie the front porch in with the rest of the house, where the walls slope gently toward the ground. The designer saw them as a place to recline and had cushions made to fit, adding to the lounging opportunities already afforded by the rockers and swing.

A porch with brightly colored fabric cushions and sea grass rugs.
Tria Giovan

Living Room Al Fresco

When designing for the outdoors, why not use colors just as vivid as those you’d find in the garden? This covered porch takes exactly the same attitude as the living room that opens onto it: deep, plushy upholstered furniture. A generously scaled coffee table, low-maintenance rugs, contrast piping for an added punch, and stripes an accent fabric. The wide bar keeps cocktails and other treats handy for those reluctant ever to leave the porch.

Adapted from Design Idea Book, Oxmoor House 2007

Learn more decorating secrets from designer showhouses purchase Design Idea Book .

Printed From: