Summer Back Porch Tour

A back porch makeover with money-saving DIY home improvement projects and budget decorating solutions for a breezy summer retreat.

There have been the quick 1 monther room makeovers at our house where Robert and I swooped in, stuck to a plan, and got it done as fast as possible. And then there are other spaces where we learned to eat an elephant… one bite at a time. (That saying is so gross, by the way, right?)

Say hi to our elephant… well, one of them anyway. Our back porch:

back porch before

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This is what it looked like when we bought the place, and it’s really one of the main things that sold us on this house.

And then we dragged in our hodge podge leftovers from our old house’s back patio, and it went downhill reeeaaally fast.

back porch before shot

But little by little, we worked away on it.

First by painting the ceiling Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue last summer to mimic the gorgeous traditional “haint blue” Southern porch ceiling. And we replaced the old fans with these that were more our style.

back porch with haint blue ceiling and ceiling fan update

This winter, we limewashed our exterior brick, brightened up the yellowy cream trim with a whiter Behr Ultra Pure White, and painted the doors with Behr Cracked Pepper to flow with our dark charcoal interior doors.

limewashed brick back porch with haint blue ceiling and black doors

We’re still not totally finished, but we’ve come a long way by just cleaning up our old patio furniture, reusing our old string lights, adding a couple of outdoor rugs that fit better, buying an inexpensive outdoor dining set, and hanging some cheap mosquito net curtains to keep the bugs at bay.

breezy summer back porch

back porch with haint blue ceiling in Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue

We were able to reuse our old bench and chairs from our old patio that we got at World Market 3 years ago and just cleaned up all of the dirt and grime on the cushions using this solution. (The furniture has been discontinued, but here’s a similar outdoor bench and armchair.)

And after using this rug on my parents’ porch that I decorated for them last spring, I decided I wanted one for myself. 😉

outdoor bench conversation set on back porch

A few weeks ago, I scored this cute pillow for cheap from a Pier 1 store-closing sale, and even though it’s not technically outdoor, I just sprayed it down with Scotchgard weather protector and am crossing my fingers.

It’s missing a pom pom, but no one will notice, right? Not at 70% off anyway.

summer outdoor decor on back porch with throw pillow

I snagged these garden stools last spring too at TJ Maxx and love how versatile they are. They’re great for a makeshift coffee table or end tables, if you want to separate them. Or we can use them for overflow seating if we end up with a large group of guests and someone needs a place to sit around the conversation circle.

back porch summer decorating

I’d been on the hunt for a while for an outdoor table and dining chairs that would work with our already existing furniture. This table and these chairs were $170 for the whole thing and it’s small enough to prevent the space from being too crowded.

back porch summer outdoor dining table

And I found this outdoor rug from Target that had a great pattern and texture but still was a great neutral in case I ever want to play with different colors out here.

outdoor dining table on back porch with haint blue ceiling and ceiling fan

We already had Father’s Day dinner out here by the pool this past Sunday, and it was so nice to chow down on burgers from the charcoal grill in the shade.

outdoor dining table

outdoor dining table on back porch

I doubt our indoor dining table will see us at all until winter.

back porch outdoor dining table with breezy sheer curtains

And since the evenings get extra mosquito-y and buggy, we can just pull these curtains closed to keep them out, turn on the string lights for some ambience, and still feel the breeze.

summer back porch

I swear this porch looks BIGGER!

summer back porch with mosquito net curtains

We still have the other end of this porch to contend with now that we’ve removed the outdoor TV and mini fridge. We have big plans to build an outdoor fireplace with an electric insert for some warmth in the chilly months, and we’ll put the TV back when that’s finished.

So for now, to celebrate July 4th in a few weeks, we put up our DIY yardstick flag art and will put shelves in the little cubby to hold towels and sunscreen for an Independence Day pool party.

back porch July 4th

Even though I would love a mojito this summer by the pool (#pregnancyproblems), morning coffee out here isn’t too shabby either. 😉

summer decor on back porch with garden stools and outdoor bench

If you want to know about any of the sources we’ve used on our back porch, you can see them all here:

Pretty sure this will be our evening hang-out spot for quite a while well into the fall months now that it looks like this.

nighttime back porch

back porch with string lights in summer

summer night back porch string lights

I really can’t believe how different it looks in our backyard a year later…

backyard exterior before

limewashed brick house exterior backyard with porch string lights

back porch with string lights backyard

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  1. Beautiful…just curious about those ikea dining chairs. Are they practical for a ‘full sized’ adult? I love the look, but my husband is stubbornly practical ?

    1. They worked well for us this weekend when we had all adults sitting in them eating for Father’s Day. They’re definitely not chairs you’d want to sit in for hours, but they weren’t as uncomfortable as I thought they’d be. No worse than the the usual metal folding chairs. You can get cushions for them too. And they’re good if you’re tight on space. I got them because I was afraid bulkier chairs would cause a traffic jam on this side of the porch. If you want ones you can lounge around in for a long time though, I’d keep looking.

  2. This is just THE DREAMIEST outdoor space! Those brilliant curtains, that lovely furniture and those twinkling lights … absolutely head over heels in love with it all!

    1. Thanks, Abby! Hope you’re having a wonderful week too, love! Can’t wait to see you have Haven soon!