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.
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 things are just starting to bloom! I can’t wait to show your 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. 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 must for any front door of ours is a big happy, seasonal wreath. 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.
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!
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.
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 …
- make a private Pinterest board of what I like
- choose a color palette
- 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…
- Buy easy to clean fabrics
- Cover my furniture nightly
- Clean up spills right away
Actually, this works for any furnishings, not only white!
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
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 blinds.com 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!