Porches | What's Popular

It's Spring and, I don't know about everwhere else but, the weather is beautiful here!  It was pretty hot a few days ago but it's been breezy and cool this past weekend and couldn't feel any more like the perfect Spring weather!  Needless to say, we were outside a lot, which got us thinking about porches.  Porches, especially in Florida, are a big deal.  States where you can be outdoors for a number of days out of the year make porches a big deal.  So today we're talking porch design and what features are popular to have on your porch.  It's funny because porches have really become an extension of the home.  Similar to the way the kitchen is treated--a functional space that's more of a gathering place now, porches are like outdoor living rooms!  So here are some things to consider adding in your next porch renovation

Comfy seating is a huge deal on a porch.  Unless you don't want to be able to enjoy your porch, I guess.  For some people, this means upholstered furniture that almost looks like it belongs indoors, for others it means things like hammocks or swings--something to relax in while enjoying the view.  Whatever your seating of choice is, make it something that you don't mind spending awhile in.  A porch is for enjoying the view or relaxing with a friend so you don't want to have to cut your time short because of uncomfortable chairs.

Porches are also getting much more decorative.  Ceiling details and column additions are popular now.  These are things that need to make sense with the rest of your house so that the overall look of everything flows.  A wood-slat ceiling and a great light or nice outdoor fan can make an outdoor space instantly feel welcoming and you'll feel like you're enjoying an extension of your home rather than just "sitting outside".

An outdoor fireplace really makes a big statements on a porch.  It can be a big built-in fireplace with a chimney or something a little more scaled down like a firepit or chiminea.  Either way, the added ambiance a fire creates is almost priceless and will be especially nice on those chilly nights!

Best Use | Back Yard Space

Summer is in full-swing here in Florida which means it is HOT!  We've pretty much resigned ourselves to staying inside all. the. time.  There's no...when it's cooler in the morning or after the sun goes down...  Nope.  It's hot, no matter what time of day.  But!  There's hope!  Fall is coming and you (and we) will want to spend some time outdoors since we'll have been cooped up all summer.  So now is a good time to start looking at how your outdoor space is being used and start putting together a game plan for what changes you're going to make once it does cool down a little bit.  And if you're reading this from a state where it's not in the 90's and 100's everyday in the summer...well, we hate you.  But we also know that you may be able to use this info now!  So read on!

This first tip is such a big deal.  I am guilty of not doing this but have seen small back yards where they did incorporate this tip and it makes all the difference!  Use your side yard!  Some people think a side yard is meant for hiding all that stuff that won't fit in the garage and they're not worried about how it looks because noone ever sees it.... False!  The side yard matters too.  If you need a little extra outdoor storage, get a small shed that can contain things.  Otherwise, incorporate the landscaping into your overall design.  That might mean pavers or gravel or even a couple of chairs and a small table.  Whatever it is, figure out a way to use that space.

This second one may require a little more planning but it will definitely add interest and depth to your backyard.  Change the level of certain areas.  This could mean a small step-up or a full-on deck.  If you've got the space to have a raised deck, that's always a bonus because decks are just nice.  But even if you don't have a large yard, use a part of it as a sun spot where everything isn't sitting right in the dirt and people have an area to retreat.

Storage is obviously important in every part of the home, but getting a little of that junk out of the garage and closer to where it's used is just smart.  The convenience factor alone makes it all worth it.  So consider how you can incorporate storage in your outdoor space.  If it just means a small storage shed like we mentioned earlier, then that's great!  Or it could mean a wooden bench with a lid that lifts up...some outdoor ottomans that serve as storage or even shelving.  Use whatever works best in your space and flows with the look you've got going on!

Let's face it.  Greenery matters in a backyard.  Even if you don't have a ton of it, a little greenery can really make that space.  But maybe you don't have a lot of ground space or area for potted plants.  If that's the case, we're here to remind you about the walls!  Stone walls, fences, or even deck slats can be a perfect place for greenery to grow!  And usually the type of plants that will grow on those surfaces are easy maintenance.  Bonus!  Get some greenery in your backyard, will ya!

Finally, a clean back yard is an inviting back yard.  So many back yards are neglected because they become dumping grounds.  This is the worst use of back yard space!  Even if you rarely go outside, it's always nice to have something pretty to look at when the windows are open so don't let your back yard become trashy.