A few weeks ago, this column dealt with patio decor. Before those cold breezes blow in from the north, let’s spend some time on the porch. Whether it is a front or back porch, this is a great time to enjoy that space.


Hopefully, you are fortunate enough to have a screened porch, since those pesky mosquitoes may still be an issue for a few more weeks.


Add one or two indoor/outdoor ceiling fans to the porch to create gentle breezes. A wicker basket filled with paper fans for guests is an unexpected way to add a pop of color.


Think about painting the ceiling of the porch a pale turquoise or sky blue to make you feel as if you are looking up at the sky. Colors in the blue family create a relaxing atmosphere and make you feel cooler.


Consider painting the porch floor. You can paint the entire floor one color, or use paints and painters tape and stencils to create a faux area rug on your floor. Remember those indoor/outdoor area rugs we discussed in a previous column? They are perfect since they can be easily hosed off.


Rocking chairs offer ideal seating for any porch. These wooden chairs can be painted a crisp white for a fresh clean look or any other color you choose. Coordinate the color with your front door and your home exterior, or think about using cushions for the rockers in the same color as the landscape. This way you create a smooth transition from the porch to the surrounding environment. Now you have created a splendid place to relax and sip a glass of sweet tea.


Repurpose a planter by turning it upside down for use as a side table and use a paving stone as a table top. Small wrought iron tables will also work nicely placed next to those rocking chairs. Check out yard sales, flea markets and salvage stores for wicker tables that only need a few coats of spray paint to give them a new lease on life.


For added color, texture and movement, use hanging baskets with ferns or other plants that cascade down the sides of the pots. Potted trees like ficus can add height to a porch while potted tea olive or fruit trees add lovely fragrance to the same space.


Consider adding a porch swing. This has to be one of the most relaxing ways to spend an evening. You can purchase one or visit www.thisoldhouse.com for a tutorial on how build your own swing. Don’t forget to add colorful cushions for added comfort.


Maybe you have full sun on one side of your porch; purchase one or more bamboo shades that can be raised or lowered depending on the angle of the sun. These shades can also add a bit of privacy from passers-by. Fabric drapes would add an air of sophistication and elegance to the same space and tie backs can be added.


A porch whether in the front or back of your home is another area for you to expand your decorating style into the out of doors.


Sharon Preston is the owner of Decorate in Aiken. Sharon is certified in interior decorating and has been decorating residential and commercial spaces for 11 years. Email her at prestonss@aol.com.