Quick changes

to your porch or patio

before you entertain or just because 

You know how they say you can change a room with fresh paint or new throw pillows? Changes to your patio or porch can be just as simple and invigorating. Especially after a long winter, or before company.

Many of the same design principles that bring a room together can work outdoors and the changes can be fast and budget-friendly. 

1. Give it a good clean

Anything looks better against a clean slate, right? Sweep away leaves and debris and give your patio or porch a good hose down. Clean outdoor furniture, decorative accessories and pots and sparkle up your windows.

 2. Add height

We’re talking quick changes here, so elaborate plantings are out of the question (although you can always pot up a pair of trees. Call or email if you need help choosing some that would work in your pots—at least for a while and until you transplant).

But you can create some drama on the fly by hanging a series of hanging baskets or ferns from your porch or patio. We like to adhere to the Feng Shui principle of grouping items in series of three (or any odd number), a principle that is meant to add visual interest and movement. Especially true for a long porch or patio, don’t you think?

We also love freestanding patio umbrellas for height, fun colors, design details and mobile shade.

3. Plant up some living color

Start by freshening up your existing plants by removing dead leaves or blooms, watering well, even dressing with a little mulch or decorative moss.

You’ve already wiped down and cleaned out your empty containers or added one or two new characters to the cast. Now for the plants. If you have the time, plant them up with some fresh potting soil and seasonal annuals, a fast and budget-friendly option that gives you instant color, texture and style. Here’s a quick guide to planting up interesting pots.

Want to make it even easier? Drop hanging baskets into your pots. Carefully remove the handle and you’re golden.

Easier yet? Try our favorite fake-it-til-you-make-it option for containers that look freshly and expertly planted…in seconds. Porch Pots come in an annual membership or are freshly designer-planted seasonal combos in fiber pots fit for dropping directly into your containers. No mess and no one to tell if you take the credit. Plus, we’ll deliver everything to your door!

4. Layer on accessories

Outdoor fabric and indoor/outdoor rugs have come a long way. Decide on the vibe you’re going for and choose the colors, patterns and designs that fit. For now, let’s not worry about your furniture or cushions, just focus on how you can accessorize and create comfort for guests or yourself.

We like to toss in some fresh fade- and moisture-resistant pillows (a must unless you’re diligent about stowing them regularly), add an indoor/outdoor rug to cozy up a large space and give it boundaries, set up or borrow a table or tables you can use to hold serving dishes, a drink station or extra supplies, or add an interesting framed mirror to reflect your surroundings and expand a tiny space. You don’t even need to worry about hanging it, simply prop it against a ledge or wall.

5. Bring in cut flowers

Use your imagination and turn what you find in your yard into a centerpiece, individual place settings or tiny take-home bouquets. Use perennial blooms, flowering branches and interesting foliage and grasses to create something unique.

Most of all, relax and enjoy your friends and family. That’s what this is all about.