Invest a little time and scrub down the porch floor, house walls, steps, railings, and columns.
We recommend using something like TSP (Trisodium Phosphate compound) that is formulated for heavy duty cleaning.
TSP will remove heavy deposits of greasy grime and dirt.
It also removes mildew and mildew stains when mixed with bleach and cleans surfaces for repainting.
You can get it at your hardware store. Always read the instructions and test it first.
Note any maintenance work that needs to be done like peeling paint,
rotted floor boards, railings, or columns. Check the base of your columns for dry rot.
Clean the light fixtures, front door, and perhaps change out
any worn-looking outdoor door mats.
Check any furniture you have on the porch to make sure it is in
good repair and mildew free.
Check your front door's hardware. Either replace it or use
cleaners to give it a fresh new look. Mary and I have noticed that it's easy to get
used to how something looks until we change it out. Then we wonder why we took so long to do that.
Another often overlooked item that needs attention is your doorbell.
When was the last time you replaced it? It's a very easy DIY job and only takes a
few moments to replace.
Wash the windows on your porch. In this video, I share a
sure-fire method with you that comes from a professional window washer. (My good friend
Mary shared it with me.) I think you'll be amazed at the sparkling and streak-free windows you
will have. It's easy and works every time.
You'll need a bucket of clean warm water, 2 tablespoons of Dawn® dish washing liquid, a squeegee, a soft lint-free towel.
(I forgot to say lint-free on the video.) A soft scrubber is optional. Watch our video to see how easy it is.
Watch Our Video for Our Tips on Window Washing
Add Fresh Paint and Summer Colors
A fresh coat of paint can go a long way to make your porch more enjoyable and create wonderful curb appeal.
Decorating for summer also means changing colors to something that complements or contrasts with your home.
Speaking of summer color:
Whether you select bright colors and strong patterns, or cool blues, greens, and purples, or earth tones to bridge the outdoors with the indoors,
color has the most visual impact on your porch.
Chanda infuses bold color in the quilts and cushions on her cozy country porch
A mason jar of bright flowers adds happy color!
See how the addition of the red rug and colorful pots adds to this corner of the porch
Update Your Porch Floors
Decorating for summer also means you can get very creative with painting your porch floor.
Although solid colors (paint or stain) are the norm investigate using patterns or multiple colors in your floor.
You might also consider new porch flooring. It easier than you might think.
Deck tiles (interlocking)
can be placed over almost any surface and can give your porch a dramatic look.
The pictures shown here are John and Sherry Petersik's porch.
They entered the Better Homes and Garden and Home Depot Porch Makeover Contest.
Want your porch to stand out? We all notice a brightly colored front door.
It can make a small porch stand out and give great curb appeal to any size porch.
This can be your most dramatic decorating for summer project.
Paint Your Porch Furniture
Give your porch furniture a new look by adding a fresh coat of paint when decorating for summer. You can paint wicker, metal, or wood furniture easily
and give it a dramatic look like these reconditioned lawn chairs!
(Photo is courtesy of jipsi.)
Consider using all of one color flowering plant or perhaps a combination of three complementary colors to match your porch decor.
Not sure what colors go together?
Use our Color Guide to help select just the right ones when decorating your porch for summer.
The cascade of potted flowers and blue checked tablecloth inject loads of charm on Chanda's porch
Update Your Porch Furniture
This porch belongs to our friend, Anna, of Flower Garden Girl (her blog is currently offline) and it is one of our very favorite porches.
Add a glass table, light and airy tablecloths, chandeliers or hanging lights, and candles or vases with freshly cut flowers.
Add some wicker chairs - wicker says summer.
Use bright colored cushions when decorating for summer and place the wicker on a great outdoor rug.
Cushion covers can be purchased in a multitude of colors and patterns and are also a relatively easy DIY project.
Add a whimsical pattern or mix and match for an eclectic look. Now sit back and relax on a summer evening!
Decorating for Summer: Add Fans and Curtains
Ah, capture those summer breezes or create them with an outdoor ceiling fan.
You'll wonder why it took you so long to get one.
The porch fan on our new porch
We have two of them and appreciate the heavenly breezes they make.
Want even more summer comfort?
Try adding porch curtains to your porch and reap the benefits of not only adding curb appeal but cooling temps as well.
Live in a really hot area? Consider a misting system that will lower the temperature considerably.