Home & Garden

4 affordable porch ideas to create a cozy outdoor space

For when space isn't a luxury you can have

A white bistro set with pink flowers and a tea set. Credit: Getty Images / mariapogony

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With its lack of square footage, a small porch or balcony can be uninspiring and, for outdoors lovers, flat-out disappointing. But, you shouldn’t let potential drawbacks talk you out of enjoying the benefits a porch or balcony can provide. In fact, with a few easy steps and little money spent, you can take your grand porch ideas and transform a meager space into a cozy go-to spot for sipping your morning coffee or watching the sunset with a glass of wine.

So, what makes up the anatomy of a cozy alfresco setup? Think space-saving furniture, outdoor accessories, and easy ambient details to liven up the area. Here’s how to create a cozy spot to make any city dweller jealous.

1. Start with an outdoor bistro set

Bistro set
Credit: Getty Images / Explora_2005

Create a space you can relax in with a matching bistro set.

Shop around for a bistro set that fits within your personal style and your space restrictions. Want a bright and minimalist look or a mid-century modern approach with a tropical twist? Ideally, you’ll want a three-piece bistro set that comes with a table and two matching chairs.

When it comes to porch ideas, bar height bistro sets adds stature to small porch spaces. Plus, it creates that sought-after feel of your favorite restaurant’s patio—just with homemade hors d’oeuvres and cocktails instead.

This petite iron bistro set sold at Overstock is loved by customers for its elegant look and durability.

For a more intimate feel, this top-rated three-piece wicker bistro set sold at Wayfair also comes with beige or navy cushions.

2. Bring in cushions to add coziness

Cushion
Credit: Getty Images / Draganab

Cushions add extra flair (and comfort) to your chairs.

Speaking of outdoor cushions: if your set doesn’t come with any, you can add a couple of small ones. It’s a detail that really makes a difference in achieving a comfortable outdoor space.

This cushion set from Walmart offers a summer-inspired pop of color. For something tamer, these black cushions sold at Target are chic and fade-resistant.

3. Accessorize for favorite porch pastimes

Coffee
Credit: Getty Images / VTT Studio

Cozy up with a cup of coffee or end the day with a glass of wine.

Spice up your porch or balcony with pretty tableware you’ll use a lot—whether breakfasting, having a coffee break, or savoring a glass of wine with a friend.

When enjoying a cup of joe, you’ll need a few mugs. This simple yet sturdy mug has nearly one hundred 5-star reviews. Plus, it’s dishwasher-safe.

A decorative platter creates a charming dining experience when you want to enjoying an appetizer outside. This small and simple charcuterie board sold at Macy’s fits on any size bistro table.

4. Add final decorative touches

Decor
Credit: Getty Images / Cerro_photography

Add a decorative accent, like a potted plant, to liven up the area.

A bistro setting isn’t complete without a flourish or two. Adding outdoor decor brings personality to a once plain space.

For a candle-lit experience, one of our favorite pieces from Anthropologie is the popular Capri Blue candle that has notes of tropical summer fruit, lemons, and limes.

Additionally, a bit of greenery does any porch or balcony some good. Try out a small succulent, like this one from Leaf & Clay as a centerpiece on the bistro table.

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