Side porch design ideas

Updated February 21, 2017

Transform your side porch into a space for entertaining your friends while watching a game or into a private retreat from the cares of your world. You can also turn a small porch into a cafe#xE9;, filled with charming wrought iron and stained glass. Design your side porch to fit in with your lifestyle.


Focus on the type of entertaining you enjoy and design the porch to suit your style. For example, if you enjoy hosting cocktail parties, add a bar and build bench seating all the way around. If everyone watches the game at your house, hang an outdoor flat screen television on the inside side wall of the house. Build a glass block wall across the front side of the porch for privacy and impact; enclose the rest of the porch with screen. The glass block will still let the light in while offering privacy from the street and the screen will help keep the bugs away. Add stools for the bar and a built in mini-fridge for convenience. If you prefer, just add the fridge and a small cabinet. Fill the inside space with appropriate seating like outdoor sofas or a table and chairs. Solar lanterns around the outside perimeter and scattered in the yard are perfect for nighttime parties; lamps and candles add ambience inside the porch.


A side porch is the perfect place to create a private sanctuary for your escape from the daily grind. Enclose the porch all the way around with dark screen and place tall indoor plants along the front wall for privacy. Add a small fountain on a table between two teak loungers, both covered with thickly padded cushions. Hang a hammock swing for two along another wall, surrounded by container gardens filled with colourful plants and bright green herbs. Build a small waterfall in another corner, with slate or river rock stacked around large plastic planters. You can find preformed plastic waterfalls for ponds at your local landscape centre, stack one on top of the rocks around the planter, cover the sides with more stone and you'll have a waterfall. Make sure you seal the drainage holes in the planter with plumber's putty before you fill it with water. Fill in around the waterfall with more colourful container gardens.

Porch Café

Create a side porch cafe#xE9; with a small wrought iron table and chairs for dining, a separate lounging area with a wrought iron chaise or two and hang stained glass windows around the perimeter of the screened-in porch. Hang breezy curtains between the windows made from outdoor fabric and line a bookshelf along the house wall. Your porch cafe#xE9; is a place for alfresco dining, conversation and contemplation.

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About the Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.