Enclosed porches often become nothing more than storage spaces for clutter. Define your porch and enjoy it by creating usable spaces to dine, relax or sleep. Incorporate plants into your enclosed porch design to help bring the outdoors in. Window treatments enrich a porch space and provide privacy if necessary.
Add a Dining Area
Enclosed porches provide an ideal location for an alfresco dining area. Unlike outdoor patios, enclosed porches offer protection from bugs or precipitation, provide shade, and allow for four season dining. Decide on a design approach before purchasing furniture. Be sure to choose a table and chairs suited to the space--do not overwhelm a small porch with a large table. A bistro table can be an excellent choice for an enclosed porch. Consider a low coffee table with simple bench seating for a casual eat-in area. Add brightly colored fabrics to cushions or pillows to liven up the space and encourage guests to linger.
Add a Sleeping Nook
Enclosed porches provide a perfect spot for a sleeping hammock or daybed. You or your guests can enjoy the sounds, smells and sights of nature while drifting off to sleep. Sleeping porches provide much of the natural setting without the camping trip, and they provide a cozy (or cool) spot to snuggle up with a book or squeeze in an afternoon nap. Use durable outdoor fabrics to cover daybeds and pillows in case a few drops of rain sneak in through screens. Consider a built in day bed for a permanent sleeping nook, and build storage into it so you can store blankets and extra pillows inside.
Incorporate Interesting Flooring
Enclosed porches allow an opportunity for the homeowner to introduce traditionally indoor flooring material to an outdoor space. Consider hardwood, tile or slate in rich stains or finishes to ground the space and introduce a polished element. For a truly unique look, hand paint a porch floor with a botanical or geometric design, and create an instant focal point. For a less permanent option, consider adding an area rug with a bright color or bold design. Rugs are an inexpensive flooring option and one that you can change with the seasons or your changing tastes.
- Photo Credit Patio mallorquÃn image by RaulmahÃ³n from Fotolia.com
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