From tropical lanais to open-air living rooms, these balmy outdoor spaces all say “coastal” with a capital SEA. Looking to upgrade your personal retreat? Check out these stylish ideas.
1 of 10Jean Allsopp
Plenty of Room
Comfy cushions and plenty of available light ensure this porch will be used day or night.
Idea Spotlight If your definition of porch fun is more happy hour than dinner party, furnish the space with several small tables. They multiply your surface area for drinks and snacks.
2 of 10Jean Allsopp
Let your home’s environment dictate your decor. Inspired by banana leaves and vibrant ginger flowers, lush greens and hot pinks bring home tropical style.
Idea Spotlight When selecting your palette, look to the abundant colors in your surroundings and let the outdoor space become an extension of its setting.
3 of 10Colleen Duffley
Pretty as a Picture
Don’t lose sight of the real goal: maximizing the view. Keep furniture low and stick with clean lines and simple materials.
Idea Spotlight Quality, low-maintenance materials don’t have to break the bank. Îpe decking offers the weather-resistant properties of teak at a lower price.
4 of 10Colleen Duffley
Invite the breeze but not the neighbors. When closed, louvered shutters on windows and doors offer privacy but allow ocean air to filter through.
Idea Spotlight Create a “fantasy island” feel with an exposed wood ceiling reminiscent of a tiki hut (try cypress). To continue the Caribbean vibe, choose Dominican shellstone for the flooring.
5 of 10Roger Davies
Create an outdoor space that you can use year-round. A large fireplace and an outdoor rug fight the chill in cooler months. Roll-down, clear isinglass panels keep warm air in and drafts out while still allowing you to enjoy the view.
Idea Spotlight Dress up your fireplace facade by using stones in a variety of sizes and shapes. Lay some flat and others on their sides.
6 of 10Lisa Romerein
Create the ultimate outdoor living area with a canopied daybed. It not only breaks up the traditional seating arrangement, but also is perfect for naps.
Idea Spotlight Arrange furniture to create multiple conversation areas. Ladder-back, rush-seat chairs and benches are a budget-friendly way to add more seating.
7 of 10Lisa Romerein
Cook Under the Stars
Bring the party outside with a fully functional outdoor kitchen. A grill, refrigerator, and sink are all you need.
Idea Spotlight To limit trips indoors, install a dishwasher and keep cabinets stocked with dishware and utensils. For countertops, we recommend concrete or solid-surface materials, such as Corian.
8 of 10Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn
A Modern Approach
A fireplace, draperies, accessories, and an entertainment system make this porch just as popular as any room in the house.
Idea Spotlight Create a built-in nook to keep firewood dry and covered.
9 of 10Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn
For generations, Southerners have painted their porch ceilings a soft blue shade called “haint blue” because it makes ceilings appear higher and is rumored to deter wasps.
Idea Spotlight Place an outdoor shower just outside your porch so you can rinse off salt and sand before entering the home. It’s also an easy way to quickly wash surfboards, wet suits, and pets after a day at the shore.
10 of 10Nancy Easter White
Styled Over Time
Some of the best rooms aren’t carefully planned; they evolve. Capture this ultra-casual look with mismatched furnishings and painted floors. Set natural wood chairs next to painted pieces. Include tables with worn finishes to boost the charm.
Idea Spotlight Layer your lighting with lanterns, sconces, and strings of lights. To cut down cord clutter, have an electrician install outlets in helpful places, such as near the ceiling for strings of lights.