Exterior & Garden

A Porch for Cozy Outdoor Entertaining

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I don’t think I’ve shown this porch much since we moved in. Come on out! It’s a small but comfortably cozy area. It fits our family of five perfectly, and after the kids go to sleep, me and Brandon can hang out back here with a few friends.

Making it Lovely's Back Porch

It looked like this before. Squished!

Back Porch, Before

It’s a tiny space, but it felt even tinier with that little gap to squeeze through between the loveseat and the chair. Those big pieces came out right away after we moved in. We replaced them with a few things we brought with us from our first house, but did little else until now. I spent the weekend cleaning it up a bit. It looks pretty good outside for a 125-year-old house and I may try gently scrubbing the siding (I know you’re not supposed to pressure wash it), but I’m worried it may hasten a paint job.

Back Porch, Before

Avoiding opening that can of worms, I stuck to sweeping out the dust and dirt, and turned my attention to maximizing the space. I added a wooden bistro table to a pair of metal chairs we already had. The small size of the table is better suited to the space, making it feel larger, and a bistro set is more useful than another armchair.

Back Porch, Overhead Shot | Making it Lovely

The color scheme is a little kooky with the stained glass. It’s an odd addition that doesn’t really go with the rest of the house, but the privacy is nice. I didn’t want to add a lot of competing colors, so I kept the furniture and accessories mostly neutral, and brought in some natural textures, wood tones, and brass accents to warm things up.

Bistro Table Seating Area

The lounge seating was on the porch at our first house. Half of it was reused here on the front porch, and the other half here. I got that pink polka dot pillow maybe five years ago, and the woven pillow is new.

Outdoor Pillows

I got a matching outdoor pouf too because the kids were super into it. It’s too bad I only had room for one because they’re kind of fighting over who gets to sit there.

Back Porch Flowers and an Outdoor Pouf

We weren’t using this spot much at night because it was too dark, but it will be a whole lot nicer now that I hung string lights. I used removable hooks to test out the placement because I wasn’t sure if I’d like them to be swagged (as they are now) or pulled taut. What do you think?

Back Porch String Lights

I popped back out at night to take a few shots of them all aglow.

Making it Lovely's Back Porch at Night, with String Lights

Candles help with the ambiance too. We have a hanging candle holder with open sides out there (came with the house), and you never realize how breezy it is until you try to keep an unsheltered candle lit! I bought a set of LED votives for the first time (along wtih a few perforated gold votive holders), and they are so much easier to deal with. No worries with kids around, I can put them anywhere without risking a fire hazard, and they don’t blow out with the slightest wind.

Vintage Wooden Bench as Serving Table

The table is just the right size for two people. I brought out our patterned plates, gold flatware, and our everyday pressed glass tumblers, and added cute polka dot napkins to tie in with the pink pillow. And of course, there’s the brass Nate Berkus vase that has been all over Blogland. It’s the perfect tall vase for big floofy flowers (hydrangeas, peonies, dahlias, you get the idea).

Bistro Table on the Back Porch

This little porch looks and feels so much better now. Having breakfast out here, late night drinks, coffee and a newspaper… I can’t wait. It’s such a special part of the house, and we’ve already been enjoying the spruced up space!

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  • Staci
    May 24, 2016 at 10:39 am

    This is so beautiful! I love the stained glass but agree that the color scheme doesn’t really go with the rest of your home. I need to get a bistro table for my patio. Currently I have 2 cute outdoor chairs but they never get used because there’s nowhere to set food/drinks.

  • sandi
    May 24, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    Very cute what you did on the porch. And, yes, I also agree about the stained glass colors. Soooo a suggestion – the red blocks kind of spoil the look and ambiance, to me. Perhaps cover them in a glass paint the purple shades of your house? The blues and golds would blend in perfectly with the purples. And since the reds look opaque, you’re not losing anything by changing them up. Maybe test with pieces of purple paper to see how it would look.

  • Ari Baker
    May 25, 2016 at 2:52 am

    That’s such a cute porch! I love the stained glass, and yes, maybe changing the red somehow would be a good idea. But even with the red it’s such a cozy place!

  • helenwk
    May 25, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Where is this porch in relation to the rest of your house?

  • easymichigan@wordpress.com
    May 25, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    I like the quirkiness of the glass. It is special for your house alone, I wouldn’t change it.

  • Angela Dugan (@OakParkGirl)
    May 26, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    That porch looks amazing! Begs to have a group of ladies sipping cocktails on it Really nice work.

  • Elizabeth @ CrazyBusyHappyLife
    May 31, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    I am so in love with your house! That stained glass accent is neat although I can see how it would mess up your color schemes. I might have to try something like that on my nosy neighbor side of the porch. LOL

  • Nicol
    June 10, 2016 at 11:13 am

    So in love with the colorful glass panels :)

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