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The Secret to Arranging a Versatile Outdoor Space

I’m calling it. Front porch weather is here! Well, okay, it’s been here in South Carolina for a while already, but since we’re finally winding down the new house renovations, I can actually shout it from the rooftops and enjoy it.

Since Robert, Olivia, and I are still crashing at my parents’ house for a few more days while we wrap up the last few reno projects, I decided to go decorating-crazy on their porch. This summer, my parents are hosting a big family reunion… and I’m always down for a good excuse to style a space anyway.

The Secret to Arranging a Versatile Outdoor Space | blesserhouse.com - 1 trick for arranging a versatile outdoor space to get the most function out of a small porch, plus decorating ideas to make it inviting with TJ Maxx. #sponsored

For as long as I can remember growing up, this was the numero uno spot for all of my family’s shin-digs. My dad would grill up the best burgers on the planet and my mom would play hostess while all of our family sat and talked for hours on their porch.

So I thought it would be fun to play around with one of my favorite ways to make an outdoor space really really versatile.

There’s one secret weapon:  stools.

The Secret to Arranging a Versatile Outdoor Space | blesserhouse.com - 1 trick for arranging a versatile outdoor space to get the most function out of a small porch, plus decorating ideas to make it inviting with TJ Maxx. #sponsored

Not like step stools. Garden stools. Not the kind you squat on and wheel around along your flower beds (although, those are pretty fun to zoom around on).

These little guys…

The Secret to Arranging a Versatile Outdoor Space | blesserhouse.com - 1 trick for arranging a versatile outdoor space to get the most function out of a small porch, plus decorating ideas to make it inviting with TJ Maxx. #sponsored

They’re the most awesomest awesome that ever awesomed because they rock at several jobs. If you have a small outdoor space, multi-purpose furniture is your best friend.

The Secret to Arranging a Versatile Outdoor Space | blesserhouse.com - 1 trick for arranging a versatile outdoor space to get the most function out of a small porch, plus decorating ideas to make it inviting with TJ Maxx. #sponsored

  1. Like being centered in a conversation grouping to serve as a coffee table (they’re attention hogs like that).

The Secret to Arranging a Versatile Outdoor Space | blesserhouse.com - 1 trick for arranging a versatile outdoor space to get the most function out of a small porch, plus decorating ideas to make it inviting with TJ Maxx. #sponsored

2. Or a spot to place your drink on as a side table.

The Secret to Arranging a Versatile Outdoor Space | blesserhouse.com - 1 trick for arranging a versatile outdoor space to get the most function out of a small porch, plus decorating ideas to make it inviting with TJ Maxx. #sponsored

3. Or a place to pop a squat on for overflow seating during a gathering since they are called stools in the first place, right?

The Secret to Arranging a Versatile Outdoor Space | blesserhouse.com - 1 trick for arranging a versatile outdoor space to get the most function out of a small porch, plus decorating ideas to make it inviting with TJ Maxx. #sponsored

They’re just the cutest and they probably know it.

I see these little guys in T.J.Maxx all the time, but I didn’t know until about two weeks ago that they have a website, tjmaxx.com, you can order from, which is where I found these white and wood acacia stools.

The Secret to Arranging a Versatile Outdoor Space | blesserhouse.com - 1 trick for arranging a versatile outdoor space to get the most function out of a small porch, plus decorating ideas to make it inviting with TJ Maxx. #sponsored

… and those blue print pillows and those very realistic-looking (black-thumb-evading) plants and a throw blanket perfect for cool spring evenings and a pair of lanterns for creating a cozy ambience.

What?! No, you have a shopping problem. Sheesh! 😉

The Secret to Arranging a Versatile Outdoor Space | blesserhouse.com - 1 trick for arranging a versatile outdoor space to get the most function out of a small porch, plus decorating ideas to make it inviting with TJ Maxx. #sponsored

I usually stop in to T.J.Maxx stores whenever I feel like wrangling a 4 year-old and offering briberies (translation: never as often as I’d like), but now that they have a website, the treasure hunt is on. They have free shipping on orders over $89 and have free in-store returns if I don’t feel like packing up my items in boxes all over again.

I’ve signed up for email alerts when they get in new arrivals each week, and it’s probably going to get me in a whole mess of trouble. They sell out of things pretty quickly though, so I usually have to jump on my favorites pronto.

The Secret to Arranging a Versatile Outdoor Space | blesserhouse.com - 1 trick for arranging a versatile outdoor space to get the most function out of a small porch, plus decorating ideas to make it inviting with TJ Maxx. #sponsored

The Secret to Arranging a Versatile Outdoor Space | blesserhouse.com - 1 trick for arranging a versatile outdoor space to get the most function out of a small porch, plus decorating ideas to make it inviting with TJ Maxx. #sponsored

I always try to link to sources I use since y’all sometimes ask, but since everything on tjmaxx.com usually only lasts for a couple of days, here are some that are similar:

The Secret to Arranging a Versatile Outdoor Space | blesserhouse.com - 1 trick for arranging a versatile outdoor space to get the most function out of a small porch, plus decorating ideas to make it inviting with TJ Maxx. #sponsored

So now this porch is looking spiffy and ready for company. I’m thinking once the family reunion is over, all of this is coming over to our new house since we currently have a big back porch with nothing on it yet.

The Secret to Arranging a Versatile Outdoor Space | blesserhouse.com - 1 trick for arranging a versatile outdoor space to get the most function out of a small porch, plus decorating ideas to make it inviting with TJ Maxx. #sponsored

Lola agrees with me on this.

“Feed me treats and I’ll agree with you on anything, Mom.”

The Secret to Arranging a Versatile Outdoor Space | blesserhouse.com - 1 trick for arranging a versatile outdoor space to get the most function out of a small porch, plus decorating ideas to make it inviting with TJ Maxx. #sponsored

Do you have any secret weapons for making outdoor spaces uber versatile? Or furniture arranging tricks? What’s on your spring to-do list? Are you gearing up for any big outdoor get-togethers at your house soon? Or are you more of a I’m-keeping-this-pitcher-of-mojitos-all-to-myself kind of person? No judgements here.

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15 Comments

  1. Hi Lauren, love your styling of Mum and Dad’s back porch. Those stools are to die for! I would definitely be taking them with you, when you move into your house. I came across TJ Maxx on our last trip to the USA, and fell in love. I bought a bunch of cool pieces, I still use and still really love. I was so excited that they have a website, a dream come true. Well my dreams were short lived, as only if you are in the US can you even look at the website. We keep getting a sorry you are out of the US message. Sill hopeful, that at some stage I will get to look at and enjoy the new website. Praying your move is easy and as stress free as possible, for you guys.

  2. Love those stools! We don’t really have porches in England. I am jealous of the space & your good weather!
    We do have TK Maxx( not TJ) I rarely come out of there without some unique piece. Their prices are so reasonable too.
    Hope you will be very happy in your new home.

  3. Love your parents front porch.
    So cozy and inviting! This will all look good
    on your new back porch.

  4. The porch looks awesome!! love the Garden stools. I might just splurge and get one. Saw the dinning room make over it looks great!!

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