Our Best Beachy Porches and Patios
Related: Exciting News About Coastal Living in 2019
With a dynamite outdoor space that’s incredibly versatile—we made over this one three different ways—there’s lots of potential for a range of styles and uses. But if there’s one decorating tip that’s surprisingly fail-proof, here it is: Go bold with color. Even if you shy away from eye-popping shades indoors, porches are perfect places to experiment due to their abundance of natural light. And when we say bold, we mean it—bright light tends to temper bright hues, so if you’ve been looking for permission to splash pineapple yellow around a room, consider it granted.
The best porches are those that can be used year-round as an extension of the indoors, and this one—thanks to coastal breezes, a screen enclosure, and a fireplace for chillier months—definitely fits the bill. The South Carolina charmer (which you might recognize from our 2018 Idea House) also has another secret: a ceiling painted “haint blue”—a shade that’s, according to an old wives’ tale, said to ward off insects, spiders, and evil spirits.
RELATED: 10 Fantastic Screened Porches
Those porches on the side of the house that went previously unused? How about turning them into blissful sanctuaries for reading, napping, or relaxing with a glass of wine? This perfect sleeping porch in Amelia Island, Florida, pulls it off with a pair of hanging daybeds, lots of blankets, and plenty of plush pillows. Has an outdoor space ever looked this cozy?
When it comes to cozying up a tiny front porch nook, a little insider inspiration goes a long way. Here, the traditional front porch swing is reimagined with inspiration from the living room: plush pillows and a rug up the comfort factor, potted plants and flowers bring ambiance, and all-weather curtains add a dose of privacy. A pleasing palette of turquoise and tangerine makes the space feel especially cheerful and welcoming.
Designer Amanda Lindroth knows how to make a grand entrance. When she outfitted the front porch of this Harbour Island, Bahamas, home, she envisioned it like “a Slim Aarons photo—stylish and fun,” says the designer. That translated into a stylish space filled with pattern and shape that, at the same time, looks irresistibly comfortable. “Find architecturally interesting pieces, like this vintage pagoda and Ficks Reed chairs, then soften them with draperies and greenery.”
When you have real estate just steps from the shore in Sullivan’s Island, capitalizing on those dreamy Carolina salt-air breezes is essential. This alfresco pavilion takes advantage of them functionally, with vaulted cedar-clad ceilings and foldaway shutters that invite the cool air in to chill in warmer months. The décor feels especially breezy, too, thanks to woven furnishings, white upholstery and pops of green inspired by tropical foliage.
If there’s an ultimate shade for classic island style, it very well could be the one designer Amanda Lindroth splashed atop the furniture, shutters, and trim in this Bahamas escape. Southfield Green by Benjamin Moore is part of their historic collection (Lindroth likened it to Barbados’ signature green hue). Coupled with wood, white, or the conch shell-pink cushions used here, it’s a solid choice for any coastal home. “You can never go wrong with this green,” says Lindroth.
What’s the best design complement to an ocean view? Simplicity. On this tiny balcony, simple reigns supreme with an all-white palette punctuated with complementary neutrals and a thatched roof and pendant. A patterned rug extending the length of the space brings a bit of interest, while the folding butterfly chairs add form and function (and are easy to stow away with ease).
While the poolside porch in our Mahogany Bay, Belize, showhouse feels right at home in the Caribbean, the recipe for recreating this beachy neutral aesthetic can be applied almost anywhere. To complement the home’s horizontal V-groove paneling and British Colonial-style railings, designer Amanda Lindroth chose a blend of natural textures—teak furniture, woven baskets, a homemade thatched coffee table—and sleek white accents like an aluminum butterfly chair and lacquered garden stool.
When one family made over their 750-square-foot Hawaiian surf shack, an oceanside pavilion with dual purposes became the unsung star. With a dining table and mini-fridge, the alfresco space is the ultimate post-beach hangout; by night, two built-in daybeds are able to sleep additional guests (mosquito screens pull down from the eaves for protection and privacy).