Now is the time when many of us are spending a lot of time on our balconies and porches as an escape from the indoors.
Do you wish that your front porch or balcony had a more warm and cozy feel like an outdoor living room? It can be hard to wrap your mind around spending money on your porch because it’s outside. Stuff happens outside that you can’t control, rain, dirt and critters just to name a few. Also, things on your porch can walk away (at least in my neighborhood), so I don’t advocate having expensive outdoor furniture.
These porch staples won’t break the bank, especially if you can get them on sale! This is a time when every retailer is having a sale and you can get it delivered without having to leave your home.
Here are some inspiring porches to get your creative juices flowing. Look at these photos and you will notice the same things are in every one and that’s why they look so cozy. Each outdoor space has a rug, plants in cute planters, lights or lanterns, pillows and multiple fabrics (on pillows, cushions and sometimes even curtains).
The secret to making your outdoor space look like a room is to treat it like you would any other room. That means it has to have a rug, lots of fabrics, lighting and plants.
Where to Find Bargains on Outdoor Decor
I always go to Craigslist and Facebook and search for what I want, just in case there is something awesome that is already assembled and cheap. Below are my best sources for new outdoor porch decor on a budget. I did a separate post all about outdoor rugs here.
Online I like to go to Overstock for furniture. If you can shop in person there are some good deals at Pier1, Target and World Market (some choices may only be available online). If you have the budget to mix up the pieces so they aren’t a set of all the same material that can add interest to your porch. For example, metal chairs with a wood table or vice versa.
- Target Mulberry 3 piece Bistro Set – You can see why this looks so cozy, they’ve added a throw pillow, a rug and some potted plants.
- Christopher Knight Cast Iron Bistro Set – This one comes in three colors, two different blues and a green.
- Loveseat Glider from Wayfair– This would be so cute with a few pillows and a throw blanket and it glides. It comes in red, white and turquoise.
- Greywash Acacia chair from World Market – These chairs are a bargain considering they are wood and they come with two cushions that have removable slip covers. This means you can keep your outdoor cushions clean.
Outdoor Lighting and Lanterns
Amazon has some of the best deals on outdoor lighting online. If you prefer to shop in a store Home Depot, Lowes and Target have some great lanterns and outdoor lights. The greatest thing about some of the new outdoor lighting is that it’s battery operated so you get all of the ambiance without having electricity.
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- String lights are a nice romantic touch if you have a plug and something to attach them to. These vintage lights are from Amazon.
- Amazon Outdoor Flameless Lantern (set of two) – These lanterns are the best of all worlds because they add a warm glow without a candle that burns down. They come in a set of two.
- Rattan Outdoor Lantern LED Candle from Target – This rattan lantern comes in two sizes, 10″ and 17″.
- Wooden battery operated Lantern from Amazon – This comes in two sizes.
Pillows and Outdoor Fabrics
The inspiration photos really drive home the importance of having lots of fabric BUT it’s outside and it will get dirty. Outdoor pillows can be very pricey. In this category you have to weigh the importance of longevity vs price.
If you would rather throw the pillows away every year or two go for the less expensive ones at Pier 1 and Target. If you want a cushion where you know the fabric will last and you can remove the pillow and wash it go to World Market or Ballard Designs where the covers zip off. The price tag can go from as low as $10 for the throw away kind to $50-$70 for the washable kind.
In addition to pillows an inexpensive throw “blanket” is a good way to add more fabric, even though it might not be useful during the summer. For outdoors I recommend using cotton and something that is washable. Turkish towels make great summer throws because they have fringe, are washable and affordable. They come in every color you can imagine.
- Turkish towel from TurkishBoheme on Etsy – This towel comes in several colors and the seller has excellent reviews – only $9.50
- Extra Large Turkish towel/blanket from Thelongestthread – This one also comes in many colors and it’s a little bit larger. The seller as over 4200 5 star reviews!
- More Turkish Towels from Peshtemalart on Etsy – These come in about 10 different colors.
Potted Plants for the Porch
Plants in every room add so much. Outside they make even more sense because they can actually get sunlight. Adding a few plants on your porch can be a good way to get some color. Pots can be heavy and breakable so I don’t like to buy online.
I’m partial to terracotta for real plants because its porous nature allows for air and water to move through the walls. I’m not the best with plants, but I have success keeping plants alive in terracotta pots. You can buy inexpensive terracotta at Home Depot.
If you are looking for something with more color, Target has come great planters.
- Stonewear planter from Target
- Multicolored planter from World Market
- Tub Planter from Target
- Pink Succulent Planters from Etsy
Now that you see how easy it is to make your porch feel like a cozy room it’s time to shop. If you are like me you will try to look in your house for things you can re-purpose first. I bet you have an extra planter or throw blanket. Try adding each of these elements to your porch and see if it feels more cozy.