By Editorial Staff
Contributed by Info Guru Aurora LaJambre
Extending living space outdoors dramatically increases your quality of life.
It allows you to enjoy the view, feel the sun on your face and observe the birds and wild life all around.
Check out these top back porches for inspiration and get ready to enjoy peaceful mornings and long evenings watching the fireflies and stars.
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10. For the love of rattan
Outdoor spaces and rattan furniture go together like lemonade and summer days. It’s woven with the perfect balance of give and support, and beautiful to look at. The material is durable and easily stylized with cushions. Full sets can come with anything from a table and chairs to a full outdoor living room setup. The choice is up to your space and budget!
9. High ceilings
A back porch with a cover means you can enjoy the space in all weather – host small gatherings, or have summer dinners outside. It also protects your furniture from the elements better. Install a ceiling fan to keep air circulating in warm weather.
8. Made for napping
It’s hard to look at a deep porch swing without reaching for a pillow. If possible, hang a swing to the side so it doesn’t disrupt the flow of the space. Porch swings are a simple luxury ideal for the quiet and privacy of a back yard.
7. Gather around, everyone
Set an outdoor fireplace on bricks or gravel near your exterior gathering area and your family will savor the warmth on cool nights. Fire is a natural focal point that adds an instant element of physical and emotional comfort.
6. Durable decking
Exterior floors made from wood decking or deck tiles hold up to the elements and lend continuity if your indoor floors are hard wood. Stain and seal the wood to maximize longevity, but keep the colors light – dark colors attract the sun and feel hot on your feet. Place your grill on a fire-resistant surface, or at the base of the steps for safety’s sake.
5. Indoor comforts
Just because you’re outside doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable. The most luxurious back spaces extend the comforts of home beyond the back door. We’re talking thick, sturdy seat cushions and smooth floors that won’t give you splinters. Accents like candles or a mirror may not be necessary, but they enhance the atmosphere and add visual interest day and night.
4. No railing
Railings are necessary if you have small children, but if you don’t they can make you feel closed in. Porches that are less than a foot from the ground feel much larger without a railing. Prevent guests from falling with ambient lighting and landscaping. (Safety first, always! Check with your local building department for deck and railing regulations.)
3. Endless greenery
Not every home comes with a view, unless you count your neighbor’s backyard. Surround the space with hardy container plants to increase privacy and add beauty to the space. Use a trellis with vines to form a natural wall, or bamboo in planters that match the style of your exterior. Treat yourself to lavender or another fragrant plant so the area stimulates all of your senses.
2. Earth love
Great back porches tend to appeal to outdoorsy, eco-conscious people. Show your love by furnishing with recycled and reclaimed materials. You may be surprised at how rustic a rug made from old denim can look beside old planters and quilts. Head to a flea market or check out retailers that specialize in recycled products.
1. Dream big, bigger, biggest
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There are unlimited ways to make the most of a small space, but let’s be honest: Bigger is better when to comes to back porches. The ultimate dream porch has space, and it may as well be a wrap-around. Wrap-arounds offer multiple angles and views so you can divide the space into separate eating and sitting areas.
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