Many detached houses are equipped with decks, patios and verandas: here’s where you spend many summer nights, chatting with your friends, listening to the owl’s cry, looking at the stars… Decks, patios porches and verandas are an essential part of the detached house with a garden. What's so amazing about these spaces is that we get to choose when to use them! It doesn't matter whether it's the middle of winter, or the middle of a boiling summer, we still get to enjoy this unique opportunity to feel surrounded by nature! So, regardless of the season, let's take a look at how to style the perfect al fresco spot.
Is al fresco a good choice for every season?
The answer to this question is: YES, absolutely! Some of you may be concerned: won’t my veranda be too hot in summer? An understandable concern, but very unlikely: porches are equipped with sliding glass windows, which means in winter, you’ll keep them closed and they will let all the light in and still isolate you from the cold, while in summer you’ll be able to keep them open and let the cool breeze in.
Alternatively, you can always choose to style your veranda as an open space: you’ll probably use it a lot less in winter, but a nice awning or a stylish sun umbrella will make it a lovely, sunny retreat.
Still, even if you design your veranda as an enclosed space, you might find yourself wondering if it’s not going to feel too cold in winter. We are not going to lie: it can get pretty chilly when the temperature drops. That’s why, when you’re transforming your veranda into a tiny house within a house, you have to stop for a second and think about how you’re going to warm it up. Actually, you might find out you don’t really need to, after all; for example, if your porch confines with a room where there’s a fireplace, it is possible that the fireplace by itself will provide enough warmth. If this is not a possibility, fire is still an answer! We recommend placing a wood-burning stove on your porch. Shall we bet you’ll spend every winter night here?
Make it comfy
As far as seating solutions go, there’s an infinite number of possibilities opening up in front of you! You could opt for something young and funny, to make it feel like a neverending summer is reigning over your veranda: there are heaps of fun, inflatable poufs to create and maintain this illusion.
Something to keep in mind that a porch is only temporarily closed; why is it key that you remember this? Because even if in winter your porch will look like a closed room, it actually needs outdoor furniture: chairs and lounge chairs made of functional and easy to wash materials. Moreover, choose light pastel colors for the upholstery rather than darker and richer tones: your furniture will always be summer-ready!
Get even comfier
Traditionally, hammocks used to be hung between two trees, but, as not that many people can afford this solution, designers have come up with free standing hammocks! Hammocks are perfect for your porch because they offer all the comfort of a couch while maintaining that outdoorsy summer vibe all year long! Just make sure to equip your hammock with a warm plaid pile and a few pillows to make it extra comfy. This one in particular is simply ROYAL: a white, comfortable single hammock designed as a traditional canopy bed.
A veranda is halfway between nature and civilization; that’s why furniture and decorations made from natural materials will never look out of place here. As we were talking about lounging around on your porch, we recommend a classic: rattan, bamboo, or cane chairs. As porches are in a way similar to living rooms, feel free go a bit overboard: did you know you can even get cane sofas? Just remember that cane furniture is a bit more delicate than plastic or resin-made, so treat it as such.
Keep yourself grounded
Of course, natural materials should apply to the floor as well! Although styling your floor with terracotta tiles would look pretty nice too, we think nothing will ever beat either wooden plank flooring, or natural stone. First of all, wooden planks normally come in several different shades, like natural oak, gray, white and dark wengè. Secondly, wooden planks will never fail to add to the warmth of a room: especially in winter, you’ll be happy you chose wooden flooring. Finally, some types of wooden flooring are designed to require as little maintenance as possible, which is great: porches are characterised by frequent comings and goings, so the less delicate your floor is, the better.
Al fresco dining
If you love barbecues, cooking, baking cakes, and one of your favourite things in the world is having friends and family over for dinner, then yes, you do need a table. Porches allow both for pleasant dinners in the warm summer breeze, and for cozy nights eating fondue in front of the fire. We believe informality is key, here: there’s no reason to go overboard with extravagant furniture when what you actually want to do, here is to create a country-inspired atmosphere. Again, let natural materials lead you: wooden planks are an excellent choice. If you feel like you need to refine the style of your porch a bit, no worries: we’ll take a look at some accessories in a second.
Needless to say, you need some light on your veranda, other than the fire. We recommend functional but also decorative lights with a golden aura: avoid strong, white lights. We also suggest getting something versatile, like a statuesque flower pots that also double as lights! Not only will they be an unexpected decorative addition to your veranda, but they will also maintain a green connection to the nature surrounding your house.
We just can’t get enough of greenery! Not only is 2018 the year of greenery and foliage, but you need to keep in mind a veranda should always be filled with nice touches of natural green! It always makes for great atmosphere to have some nice plants and flowers around. If you like country vibes, why not try a set of unrefined terracotta planters? Size is important too: don’t choose an insignificantly small, vase; be grand, instead!
You can always upgrade to a fancier style: a touch of gold is never out of place, especially when applied to a fun shape! Keep a set of smaller vases as purely decorative pieces.