Ideas for Back Porches & Sheds

In a world of decks and patios, verandas and lanais, the more folksy, comfortable back porch is often overlooked as an outdoor living space. What's the difference between a porch and any of the above? Unlike decks or patios, porches may supply a storage area in the form of a shed or built-in storage room. However, sheds and back porches don't have to be purely utilitarian. Many ideas for back porches and sheds can be used to create a beautiful part of the backyard landscape.

Build a Greenhouse Shed on the Back Porch

For the avid cook and gardener, nothing could be handier than having a greenhouse right outside the back door. More than 2 million greenhouses can be found across the United States, many on back porches, according to the American Horticultural Society. The porch supports and roof offer an easy structure for mounting glass to enclose one end of the porch, cutting the work of building a greenhouse substantially. Greenhouse kits make it even easier to turn part of a back porch into a year-round garden for growing herbs, salad greens, berries and vegetables for the table.

Turn a Back Porch Into an Outdoor Room

Adding a few pieces of furniture to a back porch is only part of the transformation from entryway to full-fledged outdoor room. Think about decorating the space as carefully as you plan the interior decor. Porch eaves offer a place to hang curtains or blinds, giving some control over the lighting and privacy. Paint the walls and hang pictures or shelves, and add a floor plant and a lamp or two. Finish the porch with a bistro set or a three-piece wicker patio set and enjoy the luxury of dining al fresco or morning coffee on the back porch.

Build a Back Porch Extension and Garden Shed

A small back porch doesn't have to cramp your outdoor living style. If the porch butts out from the back of the house, it's relatively easy to extend it along the back wall of the house. A screened and covered back porch can easily become a transitional space between the house and a more open patio or deck by opening one end and building onto it. Add storage space for outdoor furniture and accessories by taking advantage of a kit to build a shed at the far end of the new space.

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About the Author

Deb Powers is an avid urban gardener who works with a community collective to promote sustainable urban agriculture and build partnerships between local business owners and community organizations. Powers serves as a social media and marketing consultant for local non-profits and businesses, and is collaborating with a coffee roaster to publish a cookbook highlighting coffee as a culinary ingredient.