Ideas To Turn Your Outdoor Enclosed Porch Into The Perfect Space

If you are a nature lover, creating an outdoor room around your porch is a great way to make the most of your home. You can dine with your family, enjoy a book in a hammock, or work from home ... all while being outside and protected from the elements. According to Joyce Factory Direct, enclosing your outdoor living space increases your home's resale value and adds some square footage. This outdoor area can also reduce maintenance work each year, especially if you enclose a deck. You will no longer have to do the heavy work of maintaining an outdoor space, like power washing or pest removal.

There are different enclosed porches available (via Patio Enclosures). Some are screened in and function more as a traditional outdoor space, while others feature glass panels to make them four-season rooms. If you are DIY-savvy, it's possible to complete this kind of project yourself, but most folks will need to partner with an experienced contractor to get the best results. Here are some ideas to help you turn your enclosed porch into an outdoor oasis.

Put in a fireplace for chilly nights

There's nothing worse than trying to enjoy your outdoor space in the evenings and feeling cold. This problem is even worse during the winter months when you can't enjoy your enclosed porch without fear of frostbite. However, you can make your outdoor space usable year-round by installing a crackling fireplace. According to Remodeling, this outdoor addition doesn't have to break the bank. Installing this feature can raise your property value. The initial investment would probably be worth the hours of personal enjoyment.

Additionally, it's easy to add a fireplace to an existing structure, so you can always spruce up your enclosed porch at a later date (via JLC). However, building codes still apply for installing a fireplace outside. If you don't plan on hiring a licensed contractor to do the work, you'll need to pay special attention to the fine print of your permits.

Add a large ceiling fan for hot afternoons

Sitting outside on a summer afternoon can be stifling if you live in a hot climate. To ensure you can enjoy your enclosed porch, consider installing a large ceiling fan. If you need more of a breeze, opt for a portable fan. According to Neighborly, it's not as simple as popping down to the local home improvement store and purchasing any old ceiling fan. There are a few things to think about before buying and installing.

First, you'll need to purchase a fan specifically built for outdoor use if you want the best return on your investment. Indoor fans cannot handle the heat, moisture, and wear and tear. Next, you'll also want to pay special attention to the wiring installation of your fan to ensure safety. Finally, make sure your fan spins counter-clockwise, so the air comes down to cool you and your family and doesn't just spin up towards the ceiling.

Don't shy away from greenery

A covered porch can be a perfect extension of your garden. Even though it is "inside," that doesn't mean you can't cultivate a green space on your covered porch. According to Patio Enclosures, common household plants like Snake Plants, Golden Pothos, Peace Lilies, and even Crotons can do well on enclosed porches since the elements often mimic the inside of your home. You can also consider adding a mix of flowers to your indoor garden. However, you would need to avoid attracting insects since your porch is more "outside" than the rest of your home.

Consider the direction of your porch before adding plants (via Gardening Know How). Does the area receive an adequate amount of sunlight throughout the day? Or does it spend most of its time in the shade? If the latter is the case, consider if any part of the space picks up more light than others and place your houseplants there.

Bring in a rug to anchor the space

You can make your enclosed porch feel nice and centered with a great rug. According to Plush Rugs, accent rugs are visual focal points for the entire room. They can draw your eyes away from less desirable parts and highlight unique flooring, furniture, and other features. There are many different ways to style an accent rug on your enclosed porch. If it's a larger area and you feel like you have too much open space, place a rug in the center to cut the room down visually.

However, if you don't have as much room on your porch and are combining your rug with furniture, one of the best things you can do is to place your decor on the edge of the rug. The print of a floor covering is essential to its success as an anchor for your space (via HGTV). For more style, tie the porch together by using small rugs as wall hangs.

Consider your hobbies and lean into them

If there isn't enough room in your home for all your pursuits, hope isn't lost. You can spice up a boring porch by turning it into a hobby room, especially if there's paneling for climate control. According to Timber Home Living, the garage is the best place for a hobby room due to being more private and out of the way, but if you don't want to give up the safe space for your vehicles, then your enclosed porch is the next best bet. If you go this route, you'll likely want to install built-in storage spaces for your items, whatever they may be.

Ventilation is essential if you work with chemicals. This tip doesn't mean you have to be conducting science experiments (although you might be!), but even a hobby like painting or sculpting would need a space with plenty of room to breathe. In addition, you'll need to consider whether or not your porch has adequate electrical outlets for your hobby or if you might need to install an extra outlet or two.

Make use of lamps and overhead lighting

Lighting up an enclosed outdoor space is a unique journey. According to Archadeck, there are many ways to design a lighting concept, depending on the vibe that you would like to create. In some enclosed porches, you might want to create softer lighting with the glow of LED strips placed around the ceiling or tucked along the edges of the floor. If you have beams that run across the length of an enclosed porch, you can install up-lighting at specific points on each beam for the perfect accent light. Of course, having a grounding lamp or two around the patio is also a great idea.

However, changing an outdoor light fixture can be a bit trickier than an indoor one, depending on the material of your home (via Home Depot). You'll use a slightly different technique if mounting a sconce on brick, stucco, or stone.

Extend your living room with indoor furniture

You don't have to be tied to outdoor furniture when shopping for your enclosed porch. According to Martha Stewart, it's easy to decorate with whatever furniture catches your eye. If you don't want to go for plastic outdoor furniture or even defer to metal (thought by many to be the most stylish alternative option) all you need is a wooden piece of furniture and a few spare hours one afternoon.

There are plenty of different types of sealants available on the market. You'll need to sand most of the items to clean off the old finish, then use at least two coats of your new, water-resistant coverage. Keep in mind when sealing outdoor furniture that you have to put two coats on every side of the piece, including the underside. If you want the items to have upholstery like cushions, check out waterproof fabrics and waterproofing spray as a backup line of defense.

Don't be afraid to use fabrics

Don't be afraid to include outdoor pillows and upholstered furniture when decorating your enclosed porch. These days, almost any fabric can be outdoor safe. According to Liz Marie Blog, Scotch Gard makes most fabrics water-resistant and perfect for outdoor use. You can pick up a bottle of Scotch Gard at any local big box store or online. Once you have it, you give each side of the fabric a firm dosing from at least six inches away. What's nice is that the spray adds a water-repellent coating to the material without fading colors or changing the texture. If you have seasonal fabrics, like a Halloween tablecloth or 4th of July pillows, give them a fresh spray before you put them out for each season.

If you don't want to use coating, it's possible to purchase outdoor fabric protected against the elements (via Decorative Fabrics Direct). These fabrics come in hundreds of colors and patterns, so you can always find the one you want.

Install windows for protection from the elements

To make your enclosed porch fit for all climates, install some beautiful windows. Windows can be a great idea if you want to use your porch year-round since you can always control the temperature. According to Front Porch Ideas, making your enclosed porch fit for all seasons provides several essential benefits. For example, installing glass windows helps keep pollen out of your nose in the springtime and bugs out of your face during summer. During the colder months, you can sit on your porch, warm drink of choice in hand, and enjoy the falling snow without freezing your buns off.

However, you can still turn off the heater and open things up if you want a bit of a breeze. Most enclosed porches with windows have at least a few panes that open to let fresh air flow in from time to time. 

Personalize the space with artwork

Adding a personal touch to your porch will make it a space you enjoy. Your enclosed porch deserves lovely artwork just as much as your home office or living room. According to MyDomaine, the number one tip for choosing art to display in your home is to pick out what you like. Don't put too much thought into what will look the best or what matches a style or aesthetic. If you enjoy the look of something and it fits your budget, that's a good enough reason to include it. You can also get to know local artists or artists specializing in a specific medium and invest in their works.

Shopping online will let you access a wider variety of prints and paintings (via Homes & Gardens). It's better to do all your planning and research online than simply walking into a store with no budget or idea of what you might like. In addition, you can consider displaying personal photos or artworks on your porch for your family and friends.

Plank the ceiling for a cozier feel

Planking is a timeless look for the ceilings of enclosed porches. However, it's purely just for aesthetics and doesn't serve a structural purpose. So, before you install it, be sure you have the extra time and money available for the project. According to This Old House, you can achieve the planking look by installing beadboard. Beadboard is a fancy name for pieces of wood stacked up against a wall in a stylish way. You can even purchase it prefabricated to make things easier.

The project is feasible for seasoned DIYers to complete themselves. However, newer homeowners might find working with the ceiling slope a challenge (via Extreme How-To). However, since the work isn't structural, it's unlikely that you will need any permits or permission, which makes the project significantly more attractive as a DIY endeavor than hiring a contractor. Since it takes place within the confines of your enclosed porch, you might not even need permission from your homeowner's association to complete the work.

Hang up a swing

Nothing is as relaxing as sitting on a front porch swing. In the media, the front porch swing is where teenagers wait for first dates, parents impart wisdom to their children, and retirees enjoy time together in the morning. By installing a porch swing, you will ensure hours of quality time with your loved ones. You can install a hammock, a classic bench swing, or even a swing that doubles as a bed.

According to Four Oak Bed Swings, the benefits of a porch swing go beyond socializing. A porch swing also offers a range of health benefits. The gentle motion of swinging helps promote relaxation, reduces stress, and increases overall well-being. You can even improve your circulation by powering the swing with your arms or legs. This increase is helpful as you age. In addition, many people report sleeping better after experiencing the gentle rocking motion of their swing.

Design eating and relaxing spaces

Reading a book and enjoying a family dinner are great activities for your enclosed porch. When you plan your furnishings, include separate places to eat and relax. While many folks typically decorate their porch with a cozy bench, they often forget a dining room table.

According to Sesamo Restaurant, eating outside offers physical and mental benefits, making it an appealing option to consider for your porch. When you eat outdoors, you can enjoy the fresh air and a nice change of pace to your daily routine. Eating outdoors can also help you de-stress and digest your meal more efficiently. Being surrounded by nature is soothing and has noticeable impacts on the body, including lower blood pressure. Finally, when you eat outdoors, you can enjoy a delicious tuna steak, a spicy curry, or a freshly grilled meal without worrying that the smells will cling to your clothes or linger inside your home.

Use curtains for privacy

A great way to ensure your outdoor space is a secure place for your family is to install curtains or window shades to provide privacy. This tip is essential if your enclosed porch is an extension of your indoor living space. You might not want to get dressed or be presentable when sipping your morning cup of coffee or reading a book in the afternoon. Or maybe you don't want the neighbors to see your every move while enjoying a nice family dinner.

According to Better Homes & Gardens, choosing fabric specifically manufactured for the outdoors helps prevent mold growth. However, you could use fabric spray to make indoor material workable. Also, keep in mind that curtains don't have to be all about privacy. They can also be a fun expression of your unique decorating personality. Be sure to lean into that element as you make your selections.