Choosing the right back porch ideas can help you enjoy your garden all year round. Whether you’re the consummate host looking for ways to elevate your summer barbecues, or want to use your back porch as an extension of your living space all fall long, there’s a bet. at porch level for everyone.
Unlike front porch ideas, your back porch will likely be private, which means you can get a little more creative with your choices. In other words, your goal should go beyond just creating a welcoming vignette and also creating a space that enhances your lifestyle.
Back Porch Ideas That Will Enhance Your Outdoor Space
The best back porch ideas, like the ones we’ve rounded up below, add style and lifestyle points to your outdoor living space.
1. Add a pop of color to your porch ceiling
Interior walls aren’t the only places to experiment with paint color. Your back porch can also be a great place to test out a bold hue. For one, the back porch is usually a place to relax or entertain, so adding color can help set the right mood for the space.
Also, if you place the color on the ceiling, like a designer Andrew Suvalsky (opens in a new tab) Done in this Rhode Island home, above, this porch painting idea can be a fun surprise that’s completely different from the rest of your home’s exterior.
“The client and I discussed using a color that was very bold, playful, a bit preppy, and evocative of the outdoors,” says Suvalsky. “Originally the property was a golf course before it was developed in the late 1800s, so it was a no-brainer to go green.” The actual shade was Benjamin Moore, Basil Green #2029-10 in semi-gloss, giving even greater depth to the paint color.
2. Take design direction from Mother Nature
If you’re not sure where to start with your outdoor decorating ideas, just look beyond your porch steps. Mother nature is the ultimate design inspiration. Your landscape can give you clues about color, materials, furniture orientation, and more.
On this back porch, throw pillows nod to the colors of the sky and the view of the water through the trees, while the live cocktail table is tied to the pine forest.
3. Swing the day
Porch swings are often associated more with front porches, but there’s no reason you can’t add one to the back porch instead. A back porch swing not only adds convenient seating, but also a sense of fun and nostalgia.
Designer (and owner) Christie Manning of LCQ Interiors (opens in a new tab) added the swing to overlook the property’s backyard, pool and tennis court.
4. Hang paper lanterns for a magical ambiance at night
Creative porch lighting ideas are one of the best ways to add ambiance to your back porch, and incorporating decorative lighting styles as well as more task-oriented options will help create the ambiance of your outdoor space.
“I love using our back porch to entertain outdoor guests, especially under our shaded pergola, which is the perfect spot to set up a seating area for an evening BBQ,” says Jenny Reimold, Interior Stylist & HomeGoods (opens in a new tab) Style specialist. “I like to bring the space to life and add ambiance by attaching various outdoor lanterns to the branches of a nearby tree or hanging from the top of the pergola. I especially like the rattan or bamboo ones that are perfect for outdoor spaces, and some even come with battery-operated candles.
5. Zone your back porch
If you have a large outdoor space and are building your back porch from scratch, consider creating a porch with multiple areas, or areas, to serve different purposes and visually divide the back of your home.
A covered porch can be a great place for entertaining and shelter the barbecue and dining table. Then create an outdoor portion of the porch to enjoy the early morning sunlight with a cup of coffee.
6. Include multiple seating options
To get the most out of your porch, set it up for as many occasions as possible by incorporating a variety of furnishing types.
A conversation set with an upholstered loveseat and an outdoor chair created a space to relax with a glass of wine or catch up with friends. An outdoor dining table or bistro set can provide a place for everyday alfresco dining, enjoying morning coffee, or hosting an al fresco dinner party.
7. Add a functional element
If your back porch tends to be a major exit point for your home—for example, if your kids are constantly flying out the back door when they go out to play—install an outdoor mudroom to catch the clutter (and dirt). before he comes to you.
A hallway tree (or a row of wall hooks and a shoe rack) and a doormat are all you need to set up a drop-off area for outdoor gear. This option works best on a covered porch so your belongings are sheltered from the elements.
8. Make your back porch feel like an extension of the interior
‘Keep your indoor and outdoor style consistent by adding weather-resistant rugs under furniture and decorative accents in your outdoor space. I always find reasonably priced 8′ x 10′ indoor/outdoor rugs at stores like HomeGoods in fun, colorful designs,” says Reimold. “Put it under an outdoor section, cover the section with a few water-resistant tassel pillows, then add a seagrass tray to an outdoor coffee table to create the perfect outdoor ‘lounge’ .”
9. Add exterior curtains
The exterior curtains instantly create an upscale feel, reminiscent of high-end resort cabins. For a timeless look inspired by the French Riviera, choose a classic awning strip and mimic the pattern on outdoor pillows and cushions.
Prefer a breezy feeling? Simple, white exterior sheers add privacy and ambiance while keeping the vibe airy.
10. Enjoy a view
When considering outdoor furniture ideas, consider setting up seating areas to take in the view. Arrange the tables and chairs so that they face the exterior of the house and the area of your yard that you want to be the focal point.
Above, Suvalsky has set up her client’s patio to admire the view of their property’s wildflower garden.
11. Create a tropical oasis
Lucky enough to live somewhere where a tiki hut-inspired back porch wouldn’t look completely out of place? Then embrace the tropical vibe with a thatched-roof back porch and brightly colored bamboo furniture to create an out-of-office atmosphere in your own backyard.
12. Screened-in Back Porch with Shutters
“Screening in a back porch is a great idea if yours is in an exposed location, either to the elements or overlooked by neighbors. The mosquito net can also help keep insects away and will protect furniture from the sun and rain. It will also help make your back porch an extension of your home,” says Lucy Searle, Managing Editor, Homes & Gardens.
What are some tips for buying furniture for a back porch?
When buying porch furniture, weather resistance is key. “Look for polywood furniture because of its weather-resistant durability that can withstand rain, snow, and wind in most geographies,” says Reimold.
Additionally, your furniture should support the lifestyle you want to enjoy in your garden. If you enjoy dining with your family outdoors during the summer, a sturdy dining table and set of outdoor chairs will be a must. If you prefer to spend your summer afternoons outside with a good book, a padded conversation set and a large umbrella will be high on the list.