Whether you lean traditional, modern, bohemian, or something else altogether, here are five takeaways from our very own style pro's porch philosophy.

By Sid Evans
March 05, 2018

Mirror the Sunsets
Pinks ranging from coral to blush adorn the throw pillows and echo the sky at dusk. Plus, variations in shades ensure the palette doesn't swing too sweet. (Having a glass of rosé on hand doesn't hurt, either.)

Take the Edge Off
The white table's round shape and stacked circles help relax all the linear woven pieces. Even the rounded rattan side table, with its slightly imperfect reed pattern, loosens things up.

Choose the Whitewashed Wicker
The woven sectional appears bleached by the sun, but because it's made of resin—not natural wood—it will wear well year after year.

Liora Manné Wooster Kuba Rug in Orange, $1,070; email info@lioramanne.com Serena & Lily Pacifica Corner Sectional – Driftwood with White Cushion, $4,998, and Montecito Outdoor Pillow Covers in Ivory, $98 (12" by 21") and $128 (24" by 24") each; serenaandlily.com Scenario Home Coastal Modern Lounge Chair in White/White Washed, $438, and Large Rounded Planter in Turquoise, $475; scenariohome.com Made Goods Dohnet Concrete Outdoor Coffee Table in Flat White, $1,850; mecox.com Napa Home & Garden Rattan Stool in White Wash, $180; themine.com Perennials Fabrics Tides Fabric in Flamingo and Conch (striped pillows), available to the trade; perennialsfabrics.com Organic by Blakely Little, $950; email blakelymade@gmail.com

Photo by Laurey W. Glenn; Produced by Lindsey Ellis Beatty and Rachael Burrow; Architectural design by Matthew Savoie of Savoie Architects

1. Think of it as a room.
"Even a great porch will look generic if you just order some matching outdoor furniture and call it a day," says Coastal Living style director Lindsey Ellis Beatty. "Take time to really decorate the space and choose pieces carefully, just like you would inside."

2. Invest in quality.
New outdoor fabrics and furniture are designed to stay vibrant much longer than they used to. Investing in quality materials, like marine-grade fabrics or good weather-resistant wicker, is a surefire way to keep your porch looking beautiful season after season.

3. Make it comfortable.
A good porch should encourage long, leisurely visits, or spending an hour with a good book. Choose furniture that lends itself to naps. "It should be every bit as comfortable as your living room," Beatty says.

Watch: Why So Many Southern Porches Have Blue Ceilings

4. Give it some life.
Plants always add lushness and color, and somehow they put people at ease.

5. Accessorize.
Layer in lanterns, a mirror, a piece of art, and—always—a good rug. "Pillows with a little texture can go a long way," Beatty says. "You want to create some ambience."