Summer Small Porch And Patio Ideas

Our collection of ideas for porches and patios will help you create a stylish and comfortable gathering place. Whether it is a summer appetizer party or just time outdoors for yourself you will find lots of pretty ideas for decorating your small patio.

porch with containers of flowers

Today let’s take a walk around the outside of our home and gather up ideas for our front porches and patios. Our downsized home has a small front porch and a small patio in the back of our house. But just because these areas are small does not mean they cannot become big places to enjoy outdoor living! I hope you find many ideas and inspiration for your home too Enjoy!

Let’s Look Around

Let’s talk about small summer porch and patio decorating ideas. Early summer is a splendid time to take a little walk around our home and see what is just starting to bloom! I can’t wait to show you our patio because I have never shared it before!

Our Front Door

Now, let’s start this tour at our front door. As neutral and serene as the inside of our home, the outside is bright and colorful!


Tanglewood is our fourth home. We moved here 18 months ago from our beloved StoneGable. Some people call it downsizing, but I like to call it what my friend Lory at Designthusiam calls it: Rightsizing! Tanglewood is just right for our empty-nesting lifestyle!

We live in a Villa on a country golf course. My husband, who is an avid golfer, loves living here because he can walk out the door and onto the golf course.

There are six villas on the course, and two condos make up one villa. We feel very blessed to live in such a pretty, well-tended place!

Our front door greets our friends and family with a pretty wreath. Front Porch

Our front porch is small. Just because it is on the smaller side does not mean I can’t create a beautiful front porch that is welcoming and comfortable. Our front porch and door is the first impression of our homes.

Adding A Wreath

A big, happy, seasonal wreath is a must for our front door. I know skinny wreaths are somewhat in vogue, but forget them! I want people who drive or walk by our home to see our wreath!


I think a big happy wreath is like me standing on my porch waving and blowing kisses saying, “Hey! Yes, you! Have a fabulous day! Happy Summer!”

The pink and red geranium wreath was super easy to make and is a real attention grabber. You can see how I created my SUMMER GERANIUM WREATH here and get lots of tips for creating a designer-style wreath you can use on any wreath you make!

Did you also notice the decal on the front door? How fun is this!!!! You can see how to add one to your front door HERE. It’s so easy and a fun personal detail.

Besides a wreath and a cute welcoming decal a doormat, every porch needs a doormat.

The Doormat

This summer I used a black and white striped cotton rug I’ve had for a few seasons and overlaid it with a black and white check doormat.

I like the look of a rug and a door mat together on a front porch.


The striped rug can get quite dirty so when it does I wash it a couple times with Oxiclean and the rug comes out of the washer like new.


A Place To Sit

Another item on my summer porch is the black bench. I enjoy having coffee on my front porch early in the am. I tried to fit a rocking chair on the porch, which was my first choice but it did not fit well. So I found this slender bench that works well for having coffee al fresco in the early morning.


The pillow on the bench was made by hot gluing french looking striped ribbon onto a pillow cover. You can see how to make the NO-SEW RIBBON PILLOW COVER here. And if you make it and want to use it in your ourdoor spaces, make sure to treat it with a water repellent product.

Even a small front porch can often offer something to sit on, even if it is a brightly painted stool!

Using Planters

We put a tall black planter on the right side of the porch and have had different annuals planted in it but this year we planted a Gold Mop Cyprus. It’s a little conifer that we can keep small and “fluffy”. I love black and citron green together.

Our front porch gets virtually no sunlight except for a couple hours right where the black planter is.

So we put a big self-watering planter in the mulch by our front door, where the sun shines so there are flowers near our door. Flowers play an important decorating role here at the Tanglewood House.


Here’s a helpful and informative post for TIPS FOR DECORATING A SMALL FRONT PORCH. But you don’t need to have a small porch for these ideas to work for your porch!

A few months after we moved into Tanglewood we relandscaped around our whole home. The landscaping that was already planted when we moved in did nothing for our home’s aesthetic. We kept some of the plantings like the weeping redbud tree, the hosta, and all of the hydrangeas and got rid of the rest. This house had lots of grasses that were so dirty and created quite a jungle of tall plumes around our home.


There are many wonderful things about living in a small golf course community like pristine lawns, nice neighbors, a quiet fun lifestyle, and pretty views. But there are also things I’m still getting used to like not being able to change some things I would like to with getting it aproved. The outdoor lighting is on the top of my list of things I want to change. I really don’t like them at all! On the balance, the nice things about living here far outweigh the ugly lighting!

The six villas are all very similar with just a few distinctions like stone and brick placements and stucco. But the colors and lighting fixtures are all the same.

Let’s take a walk along our front walk.


The oakleaf hydrangeas that are blooming are called Ruby Slippers. They start out white and turn to a deep scarlet in the fall. It’s so fun to watch them in the different stages of turning red.

The hydrangeas close to our home are late bloomers and I’m just starting to see some buds. Oh, I love hydrangeas!


Hydrangeas are such hearty plants that produce beautiful moppy-headed blooms that often change color as the summer wears into fall.

Here are a few post about how to plant and care for hydrangeas…






The front walk takes us around to the garage. I planted a big self watering pot of sun-loving, brightly colored annuals there.


One good way to break up all the driveway blacktop is with a big pot of colorful summery flowers!

As the summer wears on you can imagine this area gets very hot! That is why it is so important to have a self-watering planter and annuals that love the sun! They can thrive when everything else is stressed and languishing.

I’ve had this big decorative orb for years! I like some type of trellis in a pot of flowers. It helps give the pot presence and architectural interest.


In a few weeks, these flowers will look so much different. Late May and June are big growing month for annuals and they will really start to take off! We’ve had a cold and wet spring so all the annuals got a late start this year.

One thing I like to do every morning is to put on my apron, stick a pair of snips in the pocket, and take a little walk around my home checking on all the pots of flowers. I deadhead the flowers and clip back the leggy plants. And I usually cut flowers to bring inside. By the end of my morning routine, I have an apron pocket with deadheaded blooms and a handful of flowers to put in a vase.

This is one of my favorite simple pleasures in life. Do you do the same?

During the hot summer a plant or two might get too stressed by the heat and fade so I replace them. This is a great tips for keeping your summer pots and containers looking their best through fall!

Most annuals in my area get a second wind once the weather is not so oppressive. As long as they are cut back they can last through September.

The Side Of Our Home

From the driveway leading into the garage you can see the golf course. It rained hard yesterday so it is a little misty this morning on the course.


This picture gives you a view of part of the side of our home. The patio sits at the bottom of a little hill under the sunroom.


Let’s head to the patio.

The Patio

Here’s a view from our patio looking at the 7th green.


The white stakes that create a roped-off area are the out of bounds markers. We seldom see a stay ball come into our yard because we are at the 7th tee.

We did have a golfer try to play a ball that had landed a few feet from our patio. I guess he did not want to take the penalty stroke!

I love the little gazebo and the stone bridge that are surrounded by a grove of trees!


The patio is in the back of our home. We replanted the back bedding around our home the spring after we moved into Tanglewood with more hydrangeas and other blooming plants! We have two Miss Kim lilac bushes and they were wonderful bloomers a couple weeks ago. And they smelled divine.


We fly Old Glory proudly! Coming from a military family I honor our flag by flying it in the front and the back of our home. Many golfers have commented on how much they like to see the flags.

Our patio, like our front porch, is small. But we do a lot of living back here! This small space is perfect for an outdoor living room!


Tips For Decorating Any Area

When I decorate ANYTHING I …

  1. make a private Pinterest board of what I like
  2. choose a color palette
  3. layout the furnishings on graph paper to make sure everything fits

And that is what I did for our patio.

The inspiration for this patio was the two chairs below. I have had them for a number of years and they have held up so well and are so comfortable I wanted to use them on the porch.


The lime green garden stools are so old but still in great shape so choosing a color palette for this outdoor space was easy!

I like a tight color palette so I chose a white outdoor sofa with soft wrought iron detail. I and added blue and white pillows.


How To Live With White Outdoor Furniture

I get asked frequently how to I keep white outdoor furniture clean. There are three things I do religiously…

  1. Buy easy to clean fabrics
  2. Cover my furniture nightly
  3. Clean up spills right away

Actually, this works for any furnishings, not only white!

The cushions have removable covers so when they get too dirty I’ll wash them with Oxiclean. As you can tell I’m an Oxiclean fan!


We have a rocking chair from the front porch at StoneGable that Bobby loves to sit in and critique the golfer’s swing on the seventh tee. I tease him and tell him he needs a bullhorn so he can heckle the golfers.


And depending on how many people are on our patio we pull out one or two wire chairs.

We have 6 of these chairs that we pull out of the basement when we need them.


I love these inexpensive chairs because they don’t blow over! The wind goes right through them and they are very comfortable!

Our outdoor living room has a coffee table and end table and a fun collapsible lime green serving cart.


I use it as a self-serve food bar. I keep napkins, plates, utensils, and other things on the bottom shelf and hot food, nibbles, or desserts on the top shelf.


We don’t have a large outdoor dining table here but we have indoor/outdoor tray tables that are neatly stacked together under a little black table. I must admit I do miss an outdoor dining table. But it’s kinda fun and kitschy to eat on tray tables in our outdoor living room!

The little table that houses our black wooden tray tables is peeking out from behind the chairs.


The top of the table is where I add a pop-up drink bar.

The rug is new this year. It’s an indoor/outdoor rug.

It’s a good idea to match the rug material to how much of the elements it will be exposed to. Because our rug is on a concrete floor and exposed to rain and sun on three sides we chose a polypropylene rug, in other words, a plastic derivative.

It is impervious to weather and sun!


Flowers And Planters On The Patio

Flowers are a big part of the summer patio.

White self-watering garden boxes are centered on the patio’s sitting walls. This year I filled them with dragon wing begonias. These prolific flowers will get very full and tall and look like a blooming hedge.

The best tip I can share when it comes to summer flowers is to put them in self watering pots if you can.


Because our patio gets lots of sun I use sun loving annuals in my pots and containers. Every year I experiment and use something a little different. But this year found me nostalgic for my summer favorites…

  • pink and red geraniums
  • annual salvia
  • lantana
  • petunias

All these flowers are hardy and prolific growers. Choosing the right flowers for your zone and area will go a long way to having lots of summer flowers.

I love container gardening! For me, it’s the best way to enjoy flowers, herbs and veggies without a lot of work!

You might like to read about my favorite kind of gardening…




Because our patio faces southwest we get lots of afternoon and evening summer sun pouring onto our patio.

Outdoor solar shades that filter the sun and the heat are the answer to a sunny outdoor spot. We have motorized solar shades on three sides of our patio. They filter the light but keep direct sunlight and heat away.

We use our patio so much more because of the solar shades.

There are so many options if the sun is a factor that drives you away from your outdoor living areas. Looking into ways that can keep you cool and in the shade is so worth the effort. We got our outdoor shades at on a really, really good sale! You can see our blinds HERE.

We “air conditioned” our summer patio by putting a big box fan at the opening of the sliding basement door and turning it on so it pushes out the cool basement air onto the patio. This works so well! Our patio can stay so comfortable with the fan running even in the opressive August heat and humidity!


Shopping The Post

Here are sources for our porch and patio. When I could not find the exact item I substituted a similar product. Many of these things are on sale!

I hope you have enjoyed a tour around the outside spaces of our home. It’s been fun to share where I like to spend my time on summer days!

Thank you for visiting me. You are welcome any time!

Don’t forget to pin this for later!

summer patio

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  1. I so much enjoyed seeing how you have landscaped around Tanglewoood. It looks so good! Your patio looks so inviting and I was picturing myself out there with you drinking iced tea chatting as I admired your pictures.

  2. Most of the attached logs are not working? Either the wrong links have been provided or people have an activated yet?

    1. Only Monday’s tours are available today. Tomorrow you can see Tuesday, the next day Wednesday, etc. Enjoy! I love these weeks when inspiration fills my screen.

    2. Each day of week you can come back and see the blog tours for the day. Hope this helps.

      1. Your home is beautiful

  3. Hi Yvonne, Love the small patio colors. The lime green side table is perfect against the navy. Love it! I missed where you found it! laura

  4. I love your pretty outdoor spaces! I too like bright pops of color on my porch during the summer.
    Thanks for the oxiclean tip! I have a PB blue and white striped rug that I was going to toss but I’m going to give oxiclean a shot first!

    1. Ooooh! I’m so glad this Oxiclean tip helped. Sometimes I make a paste and apply it to the stain and let it sit for a while.

  5. Yvonne I loved getting to tour your front porch and back patio! They are both beautiful and perfectly styled. My husband would love to live on a golf course too…as a kid I lived on one briefly and it was a lot of fun watching golfers and collecting balls. Your flowers are lovely and I can’t wait to see your hydrangeas bloom…mine are close too. Thanks for joining me this week my friend, what a blessing you are! Pinned!

    1. Kelly, you are so sweet to include me in your tour! I look so forward to being in them when a new season rolls around!

  6. Wow! Everything is just stunning, Yvonne! I Love all of the bright vibrant colors on your patio, and of course the pretty flowers, too! Pinned

  7. Nan, Odessa, DE says:

    Thank you for sharing! I never liked the color lime green until I saw it at Stone Gable on your patio/ porch. Now I like it very much.

    You have taught me so very much. Now a secret. I can’t get a geranium to thrive. Any secrets to share? Would you use a self watering pot?

    You mention a stool on a small entry. Give me a hint what kind of stool would work on a cape cod brick house, in.your opinion?

    Enjoy your summer.

    1. Hi Nan, Geraniums do not like wet feet. Put them in a self watering pot and they will get the right amount of water. Also keep then deadheaded! The don’t bloom when there are dead flowers on the plant. Hope this helps. Now about the stool. Just any stool would do. How about a wooden stool that you paint a bright color?

  8. Loving the outdoor tour! Your judicious use of color is inspiring, now I am going to plant some containers – with architectural features included.

  9. CarolBinTX says:

    Beautiful Yvonne! I keep so busy keeping the indoors decorated and cleaned, that I neglect our outdoor areas. This year, I planted flowers in pots around the front porch (I do not have good luck with flowers in the ground). Also, I have not figured out a good solution for a patio cover because ALL the light in our house comes from a bank of windows off the patio in the back. I’m thinking either a sunshade/sail or a more permanent white pergola…but that requires Mr’s input and muscle and he has a huge issue with making grandiose plans with which he procrastinates! The fan is a great idea, we are plagued with mosquitos, so that’s a good solution!

    1. It is a great solution for mosquitos! I also diffuse essential oils and the bugs don’t like that at all.

  10. I loved seeing your outdoor spaces which I’ve, never seen before. Your patio is styled so beautifully and I love the flowers. My patio is like yours and gets the hot afternoon sun. We installed shades several years ago which really helps. You will enjoy your patio so much more once They are installed.

  11. I love your beautiful landscaping.The hydrangeas are breathtaking.We live on the 4th hole of a golf course and love to sit outside and watch the golfers go by.Your back patio is very charming with the black furniture and pops of color.You are truly blessed to live in such a tranquil and picturesque setting.

    1. We thought we would never find a more perfect area than our StoneGable home but we feel so blessed to be here at Tanglewood. Every season, as you probably know, holds it’s own beauty here.

  12. It’s a hit Yvonne! Love this pretty back porch you have created for you and Bobby’s enjoyment.

  13. Where you live is just STUNNING! And that wreath on your front door is my favorite!

  14. Kathy Menold says:

    Love your little patio and your colors are perfect. Blue and lime green are so summery and your containers with pops of red just complete the outside decor. I think that Dragon wing begonia is my go to annual and with some white sun impatients and trailing chartreuse creeping Jenny in big pots they are almost maintenance free.Container gardening is so much fun but just remember to feed them frequently. Enjoy your pretty patio with company or just you and Bobby.

    1. Great tip, Kathy! I use potting soil with timed release food. I’m so glad you reminded us of another aspect of taking care of plants and flowers. Happy Summer!

  15. Christine Heinrich says:

    Your property and patio are beautiful! I have a Ruby Slippers hydrangea and I love it! You will too as the flowers change color. They grow fast.

    1. I’m so excited to see them grow and change. I’m out in front of my home looking at them every day.

  16. Kathy I love your summer tour! So many beautiful planters both inside and outdoors! Pinned for porch inspiration!

  17. Jan Kinman says:

    Happy Monday Yvonne!
    I hope you are having a blessed day. I wanted you to know just how lovely you are. In your updated picture you look 10 years younger.
    Thank you for sharing your Sunday messages with us. They are spot on!
    May the Lord Bless you and keep you, may His face shine upon you.

  18. Thank you for sharing, love everything. Also, can’t wait for your bathroom reveal. How is that coming? I am hoping to use that same wallpaper in my master bath and love to see a finished room first. I’m not confident when picking wallpaper. 🙂

    1. We are on hold for a little bit. Our son and family moved back home and bought a home, so Bobby is spending his extra time helping him paint every room and lay hardwood floors. Thank goodness I’m a patient woman. And we are just so thrilled for our son’s family.

  19. Your are is gorgeous and my husband would love living on a golf course. He’s a big golfer.

    Your plants are beautiful and hydrangeas are my favorite.

  20. Such a beautiful home tour my friend. Loved all the pretty containers and gorgeous flowers!

  21. Such pretty views! I’m totally jealous of your green thumb and I really liked how you directed your visitors to your door. Not just a straight line. Loved the tour!

  22. I love your home! We have considered downsizing, but I am hesitant. However, I am encouraged seeing your lovely home. Would you mind sharing how many square feet in your home? Thank you.

    1. Hi Barbara, our home is 2700 square feet. StoneGable was 4000. At first, it was quite a shock to live at Tanglewood but it is such a beautiful home with great bones we quickly fell in love with it. I had admired the Villas here for a few years. This is Bobby’s golf club and I had been here for golfing events and dinner at the clubhouse. So when one of the Villas went up for sale I was curious and we scheduled a showing. I was so impressed with this house. Bobby and I talked about moving. I was so so torn. Because there were only 12 homes on the golf course and they do not come up for sale often at all and this house was a new Villa we decided if we were going to downsize it had to be now. We are so glad we made the decision to “rightsize”. Our lives at Tanglewood are so much easier. I LOVED StoneGable and all the space and gardens and porch but with that came lots and lots of work. Here at Tanglewood, our lives are easier and we can enjoy doing other things. It is an adjustment for sure but one I’m glad we ventured to make.

      1. Barbara Carroll says:

        Thank you, Yvonne. If I could find a home as lovely as yours, I would rightsize in a minute!

        1. Thanks, Barbara! We felt this was our only chance to move to Tanglewood. There are only 6 Villas here so they don’t come up for sale often, and the one we got was the newest.

  23. Girl, I had NO idea you had such a lovely back outdoor living space! It’s perfect for you and Bobby, and Tanglewood! I can just imagine sitting out there with you drinking a tall iced tea! Love your hydrangeas, and all your lovely florals!

  24. Loved your outdoor tour and accents of blue on your back porch. Your serene words comforted my soul today. Please share a photo of blinds after Bobby installs. Blessings!

    1. Carolyn Childers says:

      Have you ever considered making a small flag stone patio off of your front porch and moving your bench and some pots to that area? You said it stays shaded so you could still enjoy your coffee outside. This would free up your front porch and maybe just use two of the tall planters on either side if your door. (I’m sorry, but your front porch looks a little crowded to me). Hope I am not overstepping on my comments. Carolyn

  25. Yvonne, I love all of your outdoor decorating ideas. Your planters looks so pretty and I’d love to hang on your patio! Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

  26. Yvonne, your patio is so inviting–I can imagine curling up there with a good book and iced coffee! I love your colorful front entry, too! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

    1. Thank you, Cecilia, you are so kind. We do love spending time on the patio!

  27. Yvonne! Your outdoor spaces are as beautiful as I would expect! I love all your cheerful pops of color from your flowers. And I’m gonna have to look for the Ruby Slipper variety of oakleaf hydrangeas this fall; they sound perfect!

  28. Joyce Kennard says:

    Hi Yvonne, beautiful area as usual. Can I ask a couple questions Please? What is the name of the yellow plants at the side of your house? would it withstand FL heat? Also, what is the mulch or landscaping material in all of your landscaped areas. we need to replace our mulch/stones and this looks so pretty. Enjoy your children and stay safe

    1. Hi Joyce, I don’t know and I wish I did. It was planted before we moved in. If anyone knows what this plant is please let me know! The mulch is a dark brown bark mulch. We don’t do the landscaping so I don’t have great answers for you! Sorry!

  29. Jill Brewster says:

    Is your home a free standing home or is it a condo? Going from your lovely home in the Country to your new home, do you feel you don’t have a lot of privacy? Also do you have a stoop? The picture makes it look like you step out your front door with a step down. I would be afraid I would step straight out and end up falling because it isn’t level with the inside floor.

    1. Hi Jill, I live in a condo attached to another home that makes up a Villa. It is VERY quiet here! Golf courses are very quiet! No tractors or farm equipment sounds. We love our home here at Tanglewood. It was the right time to move and the right home.

  30. I love your exterior paint colors; would you mind sharing the colors/source? Thank you for giving us a tour of your lovely outdoor spaces, which are so inviting and colorful!

    1. Oh goodness, Cynthia. I am sorry, I don’t know! I’ll get the paint colors from our HOA and post them.

  31. Yvonne, your home and outdoor spaces embody the spirit of Summer. They are inviting and relaxing. I have “borrowed” your blue and chinoiserie look for our deck which overlooks a very small lake. It only receives morning sun, therefore we use Boston ferns, along with begonias and impatiens and other shade plants. I, too, love the early morning and do that very same ritual of deadheading and snipping fresh cuts. I often fill tiny inkwell type vases, with cosmos, coreopsis, and dianthus. Anxiously awaiting hydrangea blooms, as the peonies are fading. Thanks for sharing.

  32. Faith Thweatt says:

    I just love your blue chair cushions on the patio, could you tell me where you purchased them. We to are in the process of just right sizing a home in Franklin Tn. Just love everything.

    1. I found these chairs at Joss And Main but I have not seen them in stock for quite a while.

  33. How do you hang your front door wreath? I don’t care for the “over the door” style hanger. Thank you.

  34. Good Morning Yvonne: As always your ideas are perfect, thank you for sharing them with us. Love your back patio and Blue and White are my favorite colors. Thank you again. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Summer and be Safe always.

    Marilyn Petitto

  35. Yvonne,
    You truly opened my eyes today. I have shared with you in the past we are hoping to downsize this year. I have been resistant to walk-outs because all could think of is more work. But your post brightened my eyes and helped me see beyond that. Loved the tour of your outside. We are looking at Villas and nice twin homes. Don’t have to move so we can be patient. Meanwhile we are tidying things around our home and letting things go. I get more and more encouraged by reading how you have adjusted. I told my hubby yesterday we need to go to a Sunday brunch and then drive by the areas that we are focusing on. Maybe we will be lucky like Yvonne and Bobby:). He said who are Yvonne and Bobby? I said an amazing blogger who has inspired me for years.

    1. Oh, you are so dear, June! I hope you find your perfect downsized home. It is an adjustment for I love our new home and new life.

      1. You are so welcome! Keep the ideas coming!

  36. I found myself smiling as I read this post. I love how you use the back patio area so fully. I’m rethinking how I can use ours better too. Thanks for this inspiring post.

  37. Yvonne, everything looks so pretty in your outdoor spaces! My husband and I are looking at “rightsizing” for future. I appreciate your articles on the process, as it’s a big process but I can use all of the advice I can get!

  38. Carolyn Childers says:

    Have you ever considered making a small flagstone patio off of your front porch and moving your bench and some pots and perhaps a small table to this area? You say it stays shaded so you could still enjoy your morning coffee there. This would free up your front porch and maybe just use two have the tall planters on either side of your door. (I’m sorry, but your front porch just looks a bit crowed). Hope I’m not overstepping my comment bounds. Sincerely, Carolyn

  39. Your porch looks lovely for photos but a little crowded with a bench and pots of flowers for people walking into your home.

  40. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) says:

    Thanks, Yvonne, for a lovely tour of your beautiful yard! Your flowers are beautiful! The outside patio area is perfect! Hope you and Bobby have a wonderful summer enjoying your patio and gorgeous view of the golf course. So happy that you found your perfect “rightsizing” home. May you be blessed with many wonderful years at Tanglewood!