Get Your Porch Summer Ready

Is your porch ready for summer? During the winter we rarely use our porches except for a place to duck in out of the rain, or bundle up and watch a snowstorm up close while staying warm and dry. But during the summer, the porch can act like an extension of our living space in a wonderful way. Is your porch up to the task? Here are some tips for how to get your porch ready for summer activity.

Freshen the flooring. If your porch has a wood floor, it may need a fresh paint or stain job after the harsh days of winter. Check for any areas that have suffered damage during the winter, and repair or replace any boards that may be loose. Block off a mild day and stock up on the paint or stain of your choice, grab a roller and some brushes, and have at it.

Paint the ceiling. Sometimes our porch ceilings are sadly neglected, but putting a fresh coat of a clean white or light pastel color that coordinates with your home’s exterior can breathe fresh new life into your porch, and give you something nice to gaze at as you lean back in your favorite porch swing or rocking chair.

Refresh or replace furniture. If you forgot to bring your porch furniture inside for the winter, it may need some attention. Wicker and wood can be painted, and inexpensive slipcovers can be purchased for any of your cushioned chairs, benches, swings, or rockers. If you’ve used the same colors or patterns for years, this may be the time to choose something bright, bold, and different.

Replace dead plants. Time to tug up the dead plant roots from last year’s flowers and decorative grasses and toss them in the trash. Leftover potting soil from last year can be reused, but may need to be supplemented with fresh soil, as nutrients can become depleted over time and multiple uses.  If you soil has developed a white crust on the surface, you may want to mix in 50 percent new potting soil and/or apply fertilizer.

Add hanging plants. Potted plants aren’t just for the porch floor; buy a few hooks and add some beautiful pops of summer color with bright flowers such as pansies, petunias, and gardenias. While you’re at it, add a colorful floral or red, white, and blue patriotic wreath this summer to greet your guests with the colors of summer as they step up to the front door.

Repair or install lighting. If you’ve already got the perfect lighting set up for those cozy summer evenings spent sipping coffee or wine on your front porch, just check to make sure all the lights are working. If you haven’t installed lighting yet, consider adding some decorative sconces, twinkle lights, outdoor café lights, or a couple of pendant lights to add a soft glow to your summer porch setting.