Back Porch Ideas – If you have a back porch, you probably have been as guilty as the rest of us by not doing much to provide a welcoming environment. Your back porch should receive the same level of attention as any room inside your home. By adding a little creativity, you can transform your porch into a beautiful, welcoming setting that will be enticing family and friends alike.
First off, take an honest look at your back porch. Is it lacking dull, lacking any color or in dire need of a paint job? Do you have a few plastic chairs flung every which way with no thought of comfort? It’s actually not difficult and will not take a professional decorator to turn your forlorn back porch into a great place that will have you spending more time enjoying the fresh air in a really comfortable environment. Here are a few really great back porch ideas to bring it up to an amazing level that others will envy.
Pick Colors That Work Well Together:
This actually is quite easy to do but for many, understanding what colors work with what colors is just out of reach. One of the best approaches is to get your hands on a color wheel to find what colors work best with another color. All colors, including white, have different hues depending on the base color.
Meaning, some whites have a yellow base which produces shades of beige while a touch of black will turn that white toward a silvery-gray. A complementary color scheme blends hues that are across from each other on a color wheel, while corresponding colors bring harmony because they sit next to each other on the wheel.
Pick the colors you really like and then start designing. Because there are so many shades of one particular color, you might want to pick up color swatches and play around with them to find what seems best for you. If you need help, your local home improvement center will be happy to give you some ideas.
Create Different Areas On The Porch:
If you have a large porch, you could assign one area as a dining area with a table and chairs and another area with cushioned, comfortable chairs for just relaxing with family and friends. A good way to separate the two areas would be bringing in a separation screen.
There are so many different patterns and designs for you to choose from. Arrange plants with a nice open area to go from one part of the porch to the other. Just write down some ideas and think what would really work best for your back porch.
Incorporate A Style & Design:
When designing your back porch, consider your interior home to bring it all together. If your home has a country flair, carry that same style out to your porch. If you have a very modern, Art Deco look, than bring that out to the porch.
You might consider placing tiles on the floor that bring out the theme of your home while adding a really nice complementary color that pulls everything together. Keep in mind, your flooring should fit the style you are looking for. In some cases, you might want to stay with wood or the concrete you now have.
Consider design motifs such as trimming that will tie in with the main structure of your home. The style and theme of your back porch should allow it to be an extension of your indoor environment.
Look In Your Attic Or Storage Space For Back Porch Ideas:
We all have stuff that has been stored away somewhere with items that would work perfectly on your back porch. Rugs that you don’t really have a place for, floor lamps that just don’t work in your indoor rooms anymore, vases, statues or even a bookshelf. The idea is to look at these hidden treasures and discover what might work perfectly on your porch.
The same pains taking efforts you have used indoors should be applied here as well. You want to grab elements that will complement this area and works well with the furniture you have placed on your back porch. Pick one main item on the porch (such as chairs or a couch) and decide what will complement that main item.
Pick Your Materials To Match Your Theme:
If you have set up your furniture to accommodate your family and guests, mix in some materials that not only work with these items but match your theme. Materials can include wood, wicker, metal or a plush cushioned couch. Let’s say your theme is late Victorian or early 1920s, a very popular choice for outdoor living was wicker!
Wicker pieces of furniture with great cushions will give you that perfect look of yesteryear! If your back porch has a roof, look for a hanging wicker ceiling lamp to bring in the wicker theme while being functional!
Keep in mind, if your back porch is open to the elements, the materials you choose should be able to withstand various weather conditions. There are weather protection sprays for cushions and furniture. If your wicker is painted, consider adding a coat of all-weather paint to these items for added protection.
Roofed Back Porch Ideas:
Whether you are going to have a roof added or already have one, it’s a great design that opens up a world of possibilities. You can turn your back porch into an outdoor kitchen, dining room, living room, and even a bedroom! Just like indoors, you can let your imagination run wild in designing. Add potted plants and flowers to add an atmosphere that blends with the outdoors. You might consider purchasing a portable fireplace or fire pit. There are many wonderful designs for you to choose from and will match any décor you have in mind. If you are not into installing screens, consider curtains for added privacy!
Screens For Your Back Porch Ideas:
Incorporating screens in your new back porch ideas are very popular and serve many valuable purposes. If your porch is designed so you can add permanent screens, decide if you are able to do the installation or bring in a professional to do the work, it will be well worth it. Simple screens will keep outdoor elements away from your family and friends. Let’s face it, you don’t want to entertain friends and night with the lights on and get invaded by bugs! If you have pets but don’t want them wandering outside, screens will let your kitty enjoy the day or night time views while staying safely inside. There are many styles to choose from so look around and get some ideas.
Possibly you have screens but want a certain level of privacy while providing a really nice look. You might consider bringing in bamboo shades that easily roll up for the day hours and roll down in the evenings. Bamboo or other materials come in a large array of colors and styles, they are very easy to install and will provide you with privacy or block out the hot afternoon sun. You will not be at a loss to find the perfect shades to match your décor.
Why Bother Adding Style To Your Back Porch?
Your back porch gives you the golden opportunity to take this space and turn it into something very special. Let’s face it, it’s attached to your home, it’s a part of your home so make the most out of it. Look at examples of remodeled porches and discover many added touches that are not difficult to do. You might want to add a really unique railing that matches your décor while serving as the gateway to your backyard. You might just find improving your landscaping will be the next project to tie everything together. Visitors will be really impressed with your hard work and your back porch might just become the envy of the neighborhood!
Other Excellent Back Porch Ideas:
Some back porches are shady and away from the sun. These porches are perfect for getting away from the blazing rays of the sun and just enjoy a cool breeze. If your back porch looks out on a lake or a pond, it’s time to turn your porch into an open air oasis. Visitors will love stopping by for some refreshments while enjoying your magnificent view. Dress up your back porch with accessories that will tie in the lake or pond with your porch. Sea grass in pots, bamboo furniture, and wall hangings that have nautical themes like seashells or wooden anchors. If you do not have a roof, add a round table with an umbrella to block out the sun’s rays. If you are going for a nautical theme, look for umbrellas that come in thatched, tropical designs.
Swings & Other Porch Furniture:
If your porch is large enough, you might want to look into swings, outdoor gliders, and rocking chairs. They all come in a variety of materials from red cedar to recycled plastics. Colors and designs that will keep you quite busy in deciding which one you want. If you have good size trees in your backyard, consider a nostalgic tree swing to complete your back porch design. Porch furniture have a large range of prices so there is something for everyone.
Let’s look at some porch styles that might just be what you are looking for to give you some back porch ideas. Even though you might not have these particular styles, by using your imagination, you can create your own version of one of these porch styles:
The Victorian Porch Style:
Like everything that came out of this era, designing and decorating can go overboard but the style works if you stick to it. Many Victorian homes have wrap-around porches so you would have a front porch as well as a back porch. Victorian porches are usually quite ornate because they were originally built to impress those passing by. During the late 1800s, machines for woodworking became even more advanced making it affordable for everyone. Therefore, more homes were popping up with these gorgeous designs.
If you are fortunate to have the fretwork, beveled corners, etc, still in great shape you might want to sand and repaint to bring them back to their original grandeur. If, like many of these homes, pieces are missing or damaged they will need to be replaced. Victorian mill-work is still very much available but you might consider getting these pieces made from a high-density urethane material instead of wood. They will hold up over time and you don’t have to repaint them every few years.
Other common features to Victorian porches include fish-scale shingles, masonry that comes in many patterns as well as ornate doors, etched windows, and very decorative trimming. Though it might take more time to turn your Victorian porch around, it will be well worth the effort! These porches offer the greatest amount of space for entertaining outdoors.
Consider some really great additions such as wrought iron for railings or fencing and a few rocking chairs or a swing made from wicker! Incorporate containers for plants that are colorful and blend nicely with your revamped Victorian porch.
The Bungalow Porch Style:
Bungalows became really popular in the 40s and 50s and were extremely affordable cottage-size homes. You see many of these bungalows around lakes and oceans settings. Whether a front porch or a back porch, they are usually large and open up to the water or a beautifully landscaped yard and garden. Although these homes are small, the popularity was based on being outdoors and capturing nature that surround these homes.
These homes were constructed using natural and handcrafted materials and some of these porches have large columns that are constructed from wood, stone, or brick. Usually these columns were connected by low walls or very simple railings. The porches were designed in a very rustic theme using earth tone colors. The flooring is usually wood, simple concrete or concrete overlaid with tiling such as fieldstone, bluestone, or brick. When considering furniture for this style of back porch, look into Mission-style for the perfect touch.
The Colonial Porch Style:
These porches were churned out during America’s Colonial era, including French Colonial and Dutch Colonial designs. In some cases these porches were built on two-story homes but as the style moved further away from their original locations, the designs took on looks of their own. For instance, in the South, these porches included classic columns and the porches were quite large. These porches were rarely in the back of the house but are considered one of the most popular and beloved designs to date.
Colonial porches were designed with subtle elegance and symmetry with massive columns or simpler designed columns that stretched across the entire porch. Wood or metal railings are usually found along with Chippendale-style fretwork or herringbone patterns. The central point of the porch was balanced by the main door along with sidelights.
The best colors for these porches are white, gray-blues, and tan. When looking for furniture, check out rocking chairs, planters, hanging lanterns, and settees. Also consider light sconces which will add a beautiful touch and what Colonial porch would be complete without bringing in a ceiling fan!
The Farmhouse Porch Style:
These porches were also designed in a wrap-around style but, unlike Victorians, are very simple in design. These porches first came into being for homeowners to open the door and bring cool breezes throughout their homes.
These porches were constructed low to the ground for easy access to the yard by just stepping down. They were built for practicality and comfort with very little or no added accents. In many cases, there was added lattice at the bottom of the porch and usually had a handrail made from wood. If you are considering upgrading and improving your farmhouse porch, consider installing screening for a great look. There are many designs and styles of screens to choose from that will complement this style of porch and add value to your home.
Finish off your project with trellises and railing planters. You should stick to a staining or painting the floor and ceiling of the porch. Now it’s time to look at furnishings that fit your taste and style. Once again, the most popular choice is wicker but you may opt for wood or cast iron with oversized cushions. These porches are also perfect for a porch swing, glider, and rocking chair.
To Tie It Up:
Back porches are often disregarded and overlooked by homeowners because no one sees them. Your back porch is a part of your home and should reflect your environment both inside and out. Getting some good back porch ideas could turn your overlooked porch into a well-worth-it investment that will add value to your home. Not everyone has an original Victorian or Colonial porch but with a little imagination, you can give your back porch the style and comfort of these classic styles. Visit your local home improvement store, talk with people who are in the know and get some great ideas to get you on your way. If you do not have a back porch, keep in mind, you front porch will be viewed by one and all so make it stand out and impress everyone who passes by!