Creating A Thrifty Summer Porch
When putting together a budget friendly outdoor area, thrifting is the best option. Here are a few tips that I used used to put together our thrifty summer porch.
“Synonyms for thrifty: Frugal, prudent, stingy, canny, cheap, conserving, unwasteful”thesaurus.com
Look at Your Needs
First I had to find what the need was for our porch.
It used to be that when guests would come to our property two people would transfer our wooden outdoor furniture from the porch down to the center of our yard, which was no small distance. When the gathering was over, we’d hike that furniture back up to the porch. In addition, we always asked that friend’s brought their own seating. We loved to have people over but our supply of chairs wasn’t the best.
Now that summer is here, I want to have a place where people can gather outside: no shifting furniture half a mile for get togethers. Our budget, though, is not made for purchasing outdoor living areas. The only option was to go thrift. No problem for me.
You may notice, that when building a space, you can simply take a chair from here and share a side table from over there to make a summer porch area. Don’t decide to buy things if other items you own will work.
In the end, this was decided.
For the front of the porch we’d need a two person size chair (loveseat) and another chair to make a gathering space. In addition, I wanted to have a couple extra chairs we could use for guests that could sit on the side of our porch in the “welcoming” zone.
Pick Your Colors and Style
Don’t over think this step. While it is important for things to flow, you also want to allow yourself the ability to be creative if something else worked better. While making a summer porch or other space, pick your colors, textures and furniture style but give it room to change if needed. Being on a budget means that sometimes things won’t be found exactly like planned but this is where creativity is used best!
Colors: I picked blue and white colors. It worked well because I already owned several blue and white items that could be used for the porch. When July fourth rolled around, I simply added some dashes of red you’ll see in some pictures.
Textures: I also wanted to incorporate woods, cloth such as quilts, wicker and metal. All of these tie into the age of our hundred year old colonial revival farmhouse.
Plants: being an outdoor area, plants not only add to the style, but bring life into your space! I wanted white flowers so I potted these and placed them up on a metal plant stand that I already had.
Furniture Style: back before we even purchased this home, Bodie and I noted the wicker chair sitting on the front porch. He commented on how it looked perfect sitting on a hundred year old porch. We immediately planned that if we bought this house we’d someday get wicker for our porch.
You know how “somedays” go. They often turn into never coming dreams. Well, that wasn’t going to happen! No way. If our colonial revival farmhouse needed wicker to look it’s best, I’d find it. So I did, for under a hundred bucks! The Loveseat was found on Craigslist and came with a side table. The chair was found on facebook and also came with a side table.
One Item, Many Uses
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received when decorating, is exchange items from different rooms. They will take on a brand new look and use. Sometimes they can substitute for other pieces in ways you never thought.
On our porch, I used this blue and white striped bin from my kid’s toy room. It now houses towels for water play and blankets for cool evenings and mornings.
This vase is actually a patio lamp that I was gifted for my birthday. (Thanks Steph!)
When I wasn’t able to find the “right” chair pad for the wicker seat, I decided to sew the cover. So far that hasn’t happened either. When time ran out, I simply covered the seat with an old quilt I’d purchased at Goodwill years ago. I happened to love the results.
Decide the Summer Porch Function
What will the purpose be for your space? Is it a place the spend evenings? A place to eat? Whatever the function, the items, furniture and decor will all revolve around this purpose.
On our porch, there were three overall purposes.
- A welcoming area that would greet people
- A place for kids to play or store summer play items
- A living space to gather together with family and friends
So, here is is! Hope you have fun creating your own space for summer.
Our thrifty Summer Porch Tour
Lastly, I have one final tip. Use what you have and enjoy it! These pieces are all imperfect and this will be the best shape they are ever in. BUT if we enjoy them to the full, they will bring life and joy to our family. Toy time on the porch is precious. Early morning quiet times all by myself are gold. Don’t take what you have for granted. Sometimes a thrifty summer porch can result in memories and comfort to hold for a lifetime: not just summer.
From the farmhouse,
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I LOVE this, Krista!! Thank you for sharing!! The photo of B sleeping on the loveseat is golden. 💕 Miss you, Friend!!
Thank you! I wish you could hang out on the porch with us!