Quick! Get the best seat in the house ready for sitting. 

By Zoë Gowen
April 02, 2018
Southern Living
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Deep question: Do you consider your porch a room? If you answered no, you’re dead wrong. Porches are sacred places here. We’d much prefer sitting out on one than sitting in the living room. Precisely why we promote the idea of treating your porch just like you would your living room—maybe even better. Go ahead and get your porch ready for the spring, summer, and fall weather that’s coming for it.

1. Sturdy flooring. Make sure it’s comfortable to be barefoot on your porch. Look out for rotten boards or any spots that could give you a splinter. Those are porch relaxing buzz kills. A fresh coat of sealant or porch paint can work wonders.

2. A rug. They elevate the comfy, barefoot factor even more. Look for indoor/outdoor rugs. No matter what the label promises, don’t expect the rug to last for more than two or three years. Porch rugs should never be a splurge item.

3. Comfortable furniture. Think: sturdy pieces with deep and cushioned seats. Double check for wonky dining chairs and tables. The sticker shock on new outdoor furniture is steep. Check craigslist and estate sales for bargain finds. Don’t worry about having a fully matching set if you’re on a budget. Look for similar color and finish options and remember that comfort is your priority.

4. Side tables or garden stools, or even a coffee table. You’ll want a place to put down a book, a drink, or a snack.

5. A ceiling fan. It can get hot when summer hits! Fight the heat and pesky mosquitos with a ceiling fan. You won’t go wrong or wreck your budget with a classic Hunter fan. If there’s a direct correlation between keeping the temperature down and getting you on the porch, splurge on a Big Ass Fan. There’s no comparison. And yes. That's the actual name of the fan company.

6. A light blue ceiling. It’s called haint blue, and it’s a big deal in the South. If you aren't aware of haint blue, pretend that you are.

7. Hurricanes or lanterns. Fat pillar candles on a porch are every home editor and stylist’s essentials. Stock up.

8. Plants. You are outside. Go all out with hanging baskets and container gardens. Extra points if you go for some aromatic flowers or herbs. Don’t forget to water.