Signs of Spring: How to Update Your Porch for Spring originally appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of Paprika Southern. To see this full feature in print, along with colorful spring fashion inspiration, produce-forward spring recipes, avant-garde makeup looks, and much more, order a back copy of the Spring 2017 issue of Paprika Southern.
Signs of Spring
How to Update Your Porch for Spring
Most of us fall under Mother Nature’s spell this time of year, daydreaming about being outside amongst the springtime splendor. It’s the perfect occasion to refresh our outdoor living spaces. And why not begin with a home’s most welcoming space, the front porch? Arranging a porch for the enjoyment of the inviting temperatures, the lazy downtime and some impromptu entertaining shouldn’t require excessive means or much time, just a lot of inspiration.
Begin with comfortable seating and interesting service tables. Sturdy pieces that are light enough to easily move for the sweeping away of springtime pollen are ideal. Remember to give every seat a place to put a drink or rest a book. A mix of vintage and new items adds interest and gives your furniture arrangement character. Shop resale and thrift stores for interesting items that keep your big box store purchases from looking too predictable.
Outdoor furniture can be livened with a vibrant paint color. An unexpected version of your chosen hue can be achieved using spray paints, especially specialty color spray paints available at art supply stores. Try a palette of a couple of offbeat colors set against blacks or neutrals. The prep and paint of seating and occasional pieces takes less than a day. Once applied, a quirky, bold color lends maximum impact.
No porch is complete without bright florals and lush greens, arranged in container gardens. Jennifer Melear of Everbloom, Inc. gives tips on creating your own vibrant planters. She advises “Choose your tallest plant to add first, placing it with either a radial or offset composition in mind, and to fill in from there.” She also suggests varying the texture of each plant that is added. “On a porch, where the planter will not be viewed from all sides, you will want to place the tallest plant toward the back and stagger plant heights from there” says Jennifer. She also shares that you should observe the amount of light that your space receives and choose either shade-loving or sun-loving plants to thrive in their environment.
When selecting an actual container, many options are available. Simple terra cotta pots are a great choice, since they hold moisture. Glazed terra cotta can add a pop of color. Items that are upcycled for use to hold a plant make spaces authentic and unique. Be sure to use a plastic planter pot inside repurposed containers so that plantings can be lifted out to drain after watering.
In an area such as a front porch, a variety of pillows and textiles add pattern and warmth. Go for at least one strong print or color that will set off your entire furniture arrangement. Use of regular fabrics in a covered area is fine, as long as they are stored when not in use. For uncovered areas or for items that will remain in place most of the time, opt for indoor/outdoor solution-dyed acrylic fabrics that will not fade. Pillows and cushions constructed in indoor/outdoor fabric are readily available at furniture and home improvement stores in the spring. Be mindful to do your best shopping early, as the selection offered of these seasonal items dwindles by summer.
Accessories for porches shouldn’t overcrowd; rather just punctuate. Besides adding warmth, vintage items help to make a space one-of-a-kind. Trays are especially useful to transport items from interior spaces for use outdoors. Citronella candles keep pests far away, and retailers now offer a variety of stylish versions. Most of all, bring out only durable and washable items so your outdoor relaxation remains stress-free.
Lastly, a seasonal bar is a snap to incorporate into covered outdoor areas for outdoor entertaining. A small cart, shelf or cabinet will do to hold essentials for mixing the perfect porch libation. Keep it simple by having only a limited number of items in your offerings. For a touch of luxury, don’t forget the cloth cocktail napkins. Considering a signature drink for the season allows you to stock just its needed ingredients and to offer a fun cocktail to guests who join you in toasting to the pleasures of the season. Cheers to spring!
Paprika Southern Spring 2017
The Spring 2017 issue of Paprika Southern is filled with thoughtful and colorful seasonal inspiration. We’re sharing spring recipes highlighting local, seasonal produce, spring fashion inspired by color, avant-garde color-saturated makeup looks, our tips on updating your outdoor entertaining space for warm weather, and much more.
Paprika Southern is a quarterly publication dedicated to inspiring creativity and intention in everyday life. In our pages you will find lush visuals and thoughtful writing, as well as a commitment to inclusivity. We offer a curated view of the most innovative creatives, trends and art of the South, and we invite you to join our journey.