Simple style tips to cozy up your cottage-farmhouse porch and create a charming summer hang-out spot…in the USA.
I’m an oldies gal. I like to crank up The Beach Boys or Sam Cooke and embarrass my husband. Something just feels nostalgic about those cheerful melodies. Makes me wanna sit on a red metal glider sipping lemonade in a USA t-shirt. Turns out that’s exactly what I did today….
Embarrassing wives unite! Let’s WIPEOUT your summer porch to-do with these fun cottage farmhouse tips! (If you didn’t get that reference, then you didn’t watch the video.) 🇺🇸
First, Scoop up some fun and comfortable seating 🍦
Most of my outdoor furniture is thrifted. I like the old metal retro style, the kind grannies have on their porch. My husband wants to throw both of my gliders in a trash heap. (He isn’t a granny-chic kind of guy.) And to his dismay, the red glider is staying put until it completely rots away. The gray one, my second glider, is a spring-version, and it is known for shooting out broken springs on occasion and poking you in the ol’ derrière…so maybe I see his point on that one.
Since these gliders are becoming so sought after, companies have started reproducing them. Sans flaking metal paint, bent glider bars, and projectile springs (cough, cough…like mine).
If you aren’t a colorful retro gal, I’ve also saved a few neutral options on my Amazon Home Shopping Page.
Once you place your main seating, add a few tables. Get creative. Make a coffee table with 2x4s (like we did) or repurpose something for a fun, inexpensive furniture piece.
Second, roll out a rug.
Nothing makes a space more cozy and put together than a rug. And if your porch floor isn’t much to look at, it brings life to a space.
Measure your area and go with the largest rug possible. You want each furniture piece to place its front legs on the rug at minimum.
Lately I’ve been in love with the new Ruggable outdoor collections. They are machine-washable rugs 🙌🏻 I could not tell you how many outdoor rugs I’ve stained and replaced over the years. These are designed in two components: a top washable layer and a grippy base layer. You peel the two layers apart to wash the top layer. It looks like a brand new rug each time you wash it.
These prints are my current favorites:
If Ruggable isn’t in the budget, opt for a rug that does not have a white background or a lot of white in the design. This will save you some scrubbing, from my experience. I tend to buy outdoor rugs that are natural tones, so the dirt blends. haha 🤗
Hang something on the wall to act as art ⭐️
Just because you are outside, doesn’t mean you should leave the walls blank and empty. I prefer to use command hooks for all my outdoor decor. (No way I’m going to put holes in our siding!) Be sure to buy approximately sized hooks for the art you hang. You may add a piece of wire to secure your items. Don’t use anything of too much value outside. The elements can be harsh, especially on vintage items.
Art ideas: fun vintage signs, an American flag, buntings and banners, string lights, wooden reclaimed elements, or a clock.
I saved a few Amazon favorites here.
Add planters and ferns 🌿
All the Plants
The most important porch decor is FERNS. I’ll say it again. Go get some ferns. And water those babies everyday. Twice a day if you get a ton of sunshine. They are quint-essential for summer porch styling. Hang them across your porch, find a nice stand to hold them, or sit a couple on the ground. Just get some.
Add planters of all sizes. Use buckets and baskets, terra cotta pots; mix up your planter containers and flowers. No rules apply here, except: the more, the better. 🤗
I have an entire article on container planting here if you want more inspo.
Next, cozy up with pillows and a throw ❤️
This tip might be controversial… Do blankets belong on a porch? What about pillows? I hope you say yes. I also hope you shake the dickens out of that blanket before you drape it across your legs on a cool summer evening. (Spiders, y’all)
If you have a fully covered porch, feel free to use normal throw pillows. Just don’t be surprised if they fade in the sun. Regular fabrics need to be kept dry too, so don’t use them in a spot that gets wet.
Outdoor pillows will be fade-resistant and quick-drying. They are your best bet, but are sometimes limited in cute designs.
Also, Scotchgard is your friend. It’ll make your fabrics easier to clean and less likely to stain.
I saved some outdoor pillow and pillow cover favs here.
Add a tray for corralling 💙
One of the simplest design tricks to complete a space is grouping items on a tray. Add a planter or a pitcher of flowers; add beverages and napkins; you could do a lantern or some citronella candles. Use the tray to hold all those cluttered items and things that are useful on the porch/patio space. Shoot for 3 items in varying heights for a more polished look.
I love galvanized, wicker, and wooden tray options. Varying materials like metals and wood add another element giving your space depth. And organizing with a tray will also help the porch function by corralling clutter.
Next, stick mini flags in your planters 🇺🇸
Or hang some buntings across the front eaves or railings of your home. The obvious, all-year Americana approach is installing a simple flag pole on one of your porch columns. (Buy American-made flags, guys….)
Lastly, pour drinks over ice. 🍹 And drum solo…wipeout.
I hope you enjoyed these Americana-Summer Styling tips! Creating a nostalgic cottage farmhouse porch is easier than sippin’ lemonade on a red metal glider.
Happy Summer! Anyone else up for embarrassing their husband today? (cranks up Oldies tunes…)
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