8 Ways to Give Your Porch & Deck a Makeover (PHOTOS)

Liz Alterman | Aug 7, 2014 Home & Garden

Improve your porch or deck

Your front porch isn't only important because of its potential to lend great curb appeal to your home. It can also make or break that all-important first impression when new guests visit. And your deck can offer a much-needed "wow!" factor to an otherwise lackluster backyard. 

With the help of a few simple items, the front porch and back deck can serve as welcoming outdoor rooms as well as an oasis of sorts during the mild weather months. 

"It's really important that you think of your outside living area as an extension of your indoor space," explains interior decorator Ellie Mroz of Michael Robert Construction. "You should keep a cohesive feel and overall aesthetic between the two spaces so it flows well and you feel comfortable moving from space to space."

Making the most of these areas may be easier than you think. 

Consider adding one or more of these 8 features to reinvent your front porch and back deck!

More from The Stir: How to Refinish Wood Porch Floor: Autumn DIY Project

Have you made any changes to enhance your outdoor living space this season? 

Image ©iStock.com/lofilolo

  • Porch Swing


    Image via iStock/James Brey

    A swing almost seems like an essential element if you have the space. Plus, it's a great place to sit and enjoy a book, glass of lemonade, or even a nap in the shade. 

  • Outdoor Rug


    Bring a touch of the inside outdoors by adding a rug. It gives the porch or deck a more complete feel. Find one that is water- and mold-resistant as well as colorful and decorative.  

    "Add art to your outdoor space to make it feel as comfortable and welcoming as your living room inside," Mroz suggests.

  • Light It Up!


    Image ©iStock.com

    Candles, either on their own or placed inside lanterns, lend a cozy feel to any space.

    "This can double as utilitarian if you use citronella," Mroz says. "A bug repellent and mood lighting -- two birds with one stone! Consider hanging sconces to create a moody, bright, or romantic ambiance."

  • Outdoor Dining


    Image via iStock/Marje

    Who doesn't love dining al fresco without having to get dressed up and spend a lot of money? Turn your porch or deck into an open air cafe by adding a table and chairs. If you're short on space, try a small bistro set. 

  • Wind Chimes


    Image via iStock/KenWiedemann

    Wind chimes add a whimsical touch to any outdoor space. Their gentle song is calming -- no electricity required!

  • Ceiling Fan


    Image via iStock/rudisill

    Outdoor ceiling fans offer a much-needed breeze on warm afternoons or evenings. Choose one with a built-in light for additional illumination -- perfect for reading or playing board or card games after dusk. 

  • Flowers


    Image via iStock/Sisoje

    Add a splash of color to your porch or back deck with potted or hanging plants. Fragrant and fanciful blooms like lavender lend charm and interest to the space.

  • Curtains


    Image via iStock/Baloncici

    Add romance, color, and privacy with fabric curtains. Shades work well too. Choose something weather-resistant and bask in a whole new look and feel to your porch or deck. 

    "Think about how you are most comfortable inside, and translate it to outside," advises Mroz, who adds that many designers are now creating indoor/outdoor lines so no sacrifice in style is required!


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