Tuesday, July 6

Outdoor decor

The girls over at the CSI Project are sponsoring a weekly challenge party. These parties are wonderful because they're fulfilling the mission of the CSI Project--Create, Share, Inspire. I'm excited to be participating in this week's challenge: outdoor decor.

One of the reasons we bought this house five years ago was because it has a covered front porch. I could practically live on a covered porch. So when it was time to decorate my covered front porch, I decided to make an outdoor living room.

The truth is, though, that at first I didn't do anything at all. Buying the house and furnishing the interior had used up all our house money. The second year we lived here, though, we were able to buy all-weather wicker furniture for the front porch. After that purchase was made, the fun of decorating began.

I pulled a cute little antique desk from one of my indoor rooms. I keep it way at the back of the covered porch so that it's not subject to very much weathering. I love having a place for a lamp on the porch. These lamps I found four years ago at Target. Both lamps on the front porch are made for outdoor use. They're really heavy, have all-weather-fabric shades, and light bulbs enclosed in globes. I keep compact fluorescent bulbs in them and leave them burning all the time. One of my favorite things about having a front porch is that it says "Welcome Home" to me. Having those lamps burning adds to that effect.

The porch decor is rounded out by an outdoor rug purchased at Target and an ottoman I made from an Omaha Steaks cooler. You can read this post if you'd like to know more about that project.

Of course, live plants can be a wonderful part of any outdoor decor. If you're wondering what will grow on a covered porch, try coleus. These green pots by my front door are completely shaded--not even shade-loving flowers like impatiens would bloom here. But coleus goes wild, as you can see from this photo:

I'm trying Boston ferns for the first time this year. I elevated a couple on wonderful, chippy old chairs that I got at a neighbor's garage sale for $5. They're not thriving in the shade the same way the coleus is, but at least they're still alive.

Now to the back of the house, where we have a screened porch. Our screened porch is small, and it languished in an un-decorated state until last year, when I finally decided that I could squeeze in both an eating table and a sitting area. Now it's one of my favorite spots in the house.

One of my favorite things about decorating outdoor spaces is that you can use really inexpensive items. Something about the casual feel of being outdoors and the natural light combine to make even the most humble accessories look great. For instance, I love the pitcher of daisies that adorns my porch eating table. The daisies were from Dollar Tree, and the pitcher was from Goodwill.

The throw pillows on the bench and chairs are all homemade. The green fabric was left over from another project, and I found the floral fabric at my local discount fabric store. I simply stitched up squares that would fit around old throw pillows.

And, hmmm . . . I don't have any kind of coffee table out here, but I do have another styrofoam cooler in the garage. Wonder if the screened porch could use an ottoman? What do you think?

Now come on over and sit a spell, won't you?


  1. Oh thank you so much for this post! I REALLY need to get a move on decorating our screened in porch. We have a table and chairs, but I really want some wicker furniture. BTW, love the omaha steak ottoman!!! Brilliant!

  2. Absolutely beautiful and so very inviting! I think I could live on either of those porches and be very happy. You have such a knack for creating warm spaces that beg you to come and stay awhile. Your backyard of gorgeous trees makes me swoon...it's like a retreat!

    And the answer is....yes, another box turned ottoman is definitely in order!


  3. Oh! This is so pretty! We had to screen in a porch because of a leak and it has been my favorite spot AND it fixed the problem! Love yours and all the fun things you have done with it! threepixielane.blogspot.com

  4. I love your porches and what you've done with them. I'm an outdoor gal and really enjoy the beauty of things that enhance the out of doors. Great job!

  5. Richella your outdoor areas are some of the prettiest I have ever seen! It is all very weloming and just gorgeous in every way. Good job!

    Have a wonderful week.
    ~Melissa :)

  6. Oh, I think both porches are perfect! You have inspired me to try some porch decorating of my own. I love to sit on mine, but I have never decorated it like yours. I think it is time! Carla

  7. I just adore your outdoor spaces. So beautiful! I would love to have a porches like these.

  8. Great looking porch!! The wicker looks fantastic, and love the stripes! Go for another ottoman! ;)Great job!

  9. I think I want to come and live on your front porch and just read books all day. ;) Do you have to bring in the cushions or furniture when winter arrives? I remember your cooler turned ottoman post...that was a good project!!

  10. I love your screened porch! If I had one this pretty I'd be out there all the time.

    We're getting bids on having one built right now. We have a wooded lot and it just gets too buggy to sit out there in the summer.

  11. Hi Richella, I absolutely LOVE your front AND back porches. I wish I could put lamps outside mine but it's not as covered and we sometimes get very high winds. I love how you decorated it all.
    Hope you're having a lovely day.

  12. your front porch is amazing!
    almost too beautiful for the outdoor!
    I have never had a porch, and I am dreaming more and more of one, especially like yours!

  13. I love your front porch! It is so inviting! Right now, we have some metal chairs that I really like and a few monogrammed flower pots, but other than that it is kind of boring! Thanks for sharing your space for inspiration!

  14. I love this, but do you mean you keep your furniture outside in the winter and nothing happens to it? Goodness, we'd never be able to do that here, you are so fortunate.

  15. I love both of your porches! You're a lucky woman, or maybe "blessed" is a better word. You've done such a nice job of decorating...so pretty!

  16. Your screened in porch is absolutely delicious! I grew up in a home with a screened in porch and I have many memories of my family sitting out there eating and just enjoying the view. I want your porch!

  17. So, so pretty!! And huge! The view is beautiful!

  18. I am here from the CSI project- I love the outdoor lamps! I must find some of these. I am a new follower and looking forward to seeing the rest of your beautiful home!

  19. Lucky you to have 2 porches, which are both absolutely beautiful!! You've put them together perfectly.

  20. Richella, I love porches too and it is what sold me on our house down here in Sanford, NC. A big front porch and a nice big back screen porch. But tell me isn't it just miserable right now? I can't even enjoy mine..
    Take a look at mine - I think we'd both do good on each others porches.

  21. Love that cooler/ottoman project! I think another one is in perfect order. Everything is beautiful and comfortable~I love that you always have the lamps burning too. Can I just come take a nap out there? :)

  22. I found you via Rhoda's blog. I am a NC blogger too. I live in Greensboro. I always love meeting new blog friends, especially those from my home state. Have a nice weekend. Love & blessings from NC!

  23. oh you know i love those porches of yours! one of these days...

  24. Your porch is lovely! How fun to have so much room to furnish it and make it inviting!


  25. I just came across your blog and reading your beautiful words. I thought I would leave my first comment but I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog.


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