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Porch & Patio Decorating Ideas
5 Tips for Freshening Up for a Great First Impression

First impressions start before someone ever enters your home.  It can be a rental home with wrap around porch or maybe a 2' x 3'  space in the hallway of an apartment building. Whichever your situation, these simple spruce-up  ideas will make your rental entrance pop!


1. Clean it up

There is nothing like "clean" to get your creative juices flowing. Wipe down everything like the doors and windows (don't forget to shine the door knocker.) When cleaning your porch or patio be sure to remove EVERYTHING, from the old doormat to the last seasons dusty wreaths. You should end up with a clean, empty porch or patio to selectively redecorate...piece by piece.

2. Remember Decorating Style

The idea of a porch is to not only welcome the visitor but to be provide a "this is my home" feeling for the renter. Just like any room, it should express who you are. If you enjoy the "bistro" look, you can select style elements to fit that theme, such as a market umbrella, bistro patio furniture or a chalkboard to display the daily menu.  If you love modern decor, choose planters and doormats that represent the style. Make it a visual treat to set the mood before entering the sanctuary of your interior from the outside world.

3. Doormats & Rugs

A key element in decorating a porch are outdoor rugs. Did you know that visitors will always look down at their feet before entering someone's home! Use this to your advantage and select a purchase a new mat whenever it becomes worn or faded. A metal doormat may only need a good scrub and a fresh coat of paint to liven up the look.

For patio areas, an indoor / outdoor patio rug may be in order.  If you already have a patio with furniture and it still feels like something is missing, this could be the element you need.  Rugs are what will pull together an outdoor living space.

4. Furniture for the Patio or Porch

The amount of space you have to work will determine the use of patio furniture. 
Know in advance what you plan to use the space for. Will you entertain on the patio or do you need light, extra seating or protection with a  aluminum patio umbrella

Small patios can become cozy places to relax and entertain if the space remains a patio, be careful that it does not become just a storage unit for the "extras" you don't want indoors.

When selecting patio furniture, remember the scale of furniture not just the style. You don't want to purchase a large wicker chair set and find you have room for just one chair!  Will a stand alone porch swing fit the bill? Maybe a small table, two chair set or garden bench for a small retreat. When planned right, the patio can truly become another living space where you can reside outside.

5. Home Decor in the Outdoors

Porch decor is what adds character. It includes door art, plants and stands, vases, candles, architectural elements like and wind chimes.

Take into consideration the upkeep of what you are displaying, for example potted flowers may need more attention than potted cactus.  Don't be afraid to add a little bit of yourself, that is what will take it from a "rental" to your "home".

One word of caution, be sure to avoid "clutter" when using decorative elements. Too much of anything makes a space feel off balanced and messy. It should remain comfortable and clean...visually appealing.

Knowing the basics of decorating will help you understand the concepts of how to pull together this space. Learn interior design basics,


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