8-Step Porch Makeover: How to Create an Outdoor Oasis

I will show you a porch makeover and how to make your outdoor space an oasis, an inviting, comfortable, relaxing space you can enjoy every day. A few elements will help you get there, and I will take you through them step-by-step.

Back when we were designing and building our home, and I imagined this outdoor space, I pictured a place where I could sip coffee nice and slowly each morning and where my electronics junkie kids would want to unplug and unwind.

I also pictured this as a space where friends and family visiting would feel relaxed and like they were on vacation. I wanted the space to be comfortable enough to stay deep in conversation, play a game, read, or take a nap for hours.

So I thought about the places where I felt that relaxed feeling, like when I'm on vacation, and I've noticed those things in those spaces that help me feel that way.

Neutral furniture

1. Start neutral

The first thing we need to do is start with a neutral base. So we have a neutral rug and sofa and chairs, and that tan-beige color just keeps things very calm and relaxed so that we can add little pops of color strategically.

We will also arrange this furniture in a nice, cozy, comfortable conversational area so everybody sitting in the space can see and talk to each other.

2. Have games handy

There are a lot of really fun card decks and conversation starter decks that you can find out there. My favorite are the Ridley's box sets. They come in gorgeous boxes that always look nice sitting on your table for someone to pick up and start a fun, impromptu quiz game.

Adding blue throw pillows

3. Add color

Now, it's time to add a pop of color. I've gone with navy and white here because I feel like it gives a calm, relaxed lake vibe I'm going for. You may choose to go with more vibrant colors for a more energetic feel. Just choose the colors that work great for your personality and the look that you're going for.

Wildflower-looking plants and ferns

4. Add plants

Be sure to add plants to give the space life and movement; a beautiful green pop always helps, too. I don't think you could have too many plants on your porch. They can give a tropical feel if you choose tropical plants. For this porch, I've chosen to get a southern relaxed look by using wildflower-looking plants and some ferns.

Adding plants as decor

5. Have activities

It's good to provide an activity when you're spending time in a space. Some ideas are to include a game, books, and quiz cards. You might set up pecans to be shelled or peas. Making s'mores is always a fun activity for an outdoor space.

Pecans to shell

In this case, we have a tic-tac-toe game and pecans to shell. This gives us something to do while we sit and chat.

Ceiling fan

6. Incorporate comfort

Next, incorporate comfort elements. This is an outdoor space, but it should feel comfortable temperature-wise, no matter what the weather. So, add blankets, a ceiling fan, an outdoor or portable AC.

The other part of keeping things comfortable is ensuring that your space feels casual enough that a person can relax, so don't make it too formal or stuffy. Keep it nice and low-key.

Adding lanterns

7. Choose lighting

At night, lighting will give your space a sense of warmth and a glow about it that will be so inviting. On this porch, I've added lanterns throughout the space. There's also an overhead ceiling light in the fan. I like to have many different points of light in the space, at least three different points. Party lights or twinkle lights are also great ideas.

Pig doorstop

8. Make it personal

Last but not least, make it personal. Add items that speak to you and make you smile. Put a bit of you in this space. The things that I used in this space are the pig doorstop, the oars on the wall, and the quilt made by my mom. These are personal items that make me smile.

Other ideas for personalizing your space are to include items from your travels, maybe shells from the beach, a deck of cards from your trip to Mexico, or a mini Eiffel Tower from Paris. So think about what you can add to your space that's personal with your favorite things and also makes you want to spend lots of time there.

Porch makeover

I hope you were able to get ideas for your porch makeover. What is a must-have for your porch? Let me know in the comments below.

Join the conversation
2 of 6 comments
  • Aprile Aprile on Feb 04, 2024
    Beautiful! Love the colors. How to you keep your sofa, etc. from getting wet when it rains? It is a screened in porch isn't it?
  • Alva Hay Alva Hay on Feb 05, 2024
    Screen porches are wonderful and fun to decorate. Spring is the most enjoyable time for the porch in the South, but some mornings you go out and find everything covered in pollen. And as Aprile said, a blowing rain can be a problem for everything except the plants! Screen porches are a great addition to your home!