20 Small Screened In Porch Ideas
You have a small screened-in porch, and you're trying to figure out how to furnish it. Every time you consider a piece of furniture, it doesn't seem right for the area, or you worry that it'll be too crowded. The decorations take up too much room, but without them, the porch looks hollow and bare. Try some of these Small Screened In Porch Ideas to make the most of your tight space and make it look good.
1) DIY Sliding Door
One of the worst things you'll have to deal with when designing a small room is the doorway. Doors take up a lot of space when they open, and you don't want to block your entrance if it opens into the smaller area. If you have a swinging door, make sure it opens into the larger room, but if you have a choice, design a sliding door using this kit from Amazon. With a sliding door, you don't have to worry as much about blocking the doorway a little.
2) Built-In Bar
If you want to entertain guests on your screened-in porch despite its small size, you'll need seating, and a bar is a great way to serve guests while encouraging them to chat. The problem is, a bar can take up a lot of space on a small porch. Try making a built-in bar like the one in this picture. The designer extended the porch railing so that part of the bar/table was on the rail. This conserved space and gave people a place to sit drinks or plates.
3) DIY Pendant Light
Pendant lights are great ideas for any porch, but even more so if you're short on space. If your porch ceiling is short, you'll want recessed lighting, but on a narrow porch, the lights will take up less room than sconces that stick out into usable space. They're also great for slanted ceilings since they'll still hang level. Try building a pendant light using the instructions in this video by AshGray Studio, but make sure to use outdoor materials.
4) Effective Lighting
One of the best ways to make a small space look bigger is to design your lighting well. Well-designed lighting also makes it so the room doesn't seem too bright, which will be vital if you come outside to enjoy your porch at night. Read this article by Lilly Cao from arch daily to learn how to make an area look bigger using lights. While not all her tips will work on a screened-in porch, some of them will, and others may inspire you.
5) Wall Decor
If you keep trying to add decorations, but removing them or being unhappy with them because they take up space, try getting wall decorations. This will make the area feel less cluttered, and it won't use up precious walking room and table space. You can get a customizable porch sign like this one from Amazon, for instance, or other decorations that you like. Make sure your decorations are somewhat weather-resistant since the porch screen won't always protect from rain and other weather conditions on windy days.
6) Think About Your Space
What do you plan to use your porch for? Do you want a dining area to entertain guests or eat meals in summer, or perhaps a lounge area to relax and enjoy the sunrise and sunset? Think about the space you have; is it long and thin, or roughly square? In this article, the author describes how they designed their small screened in porch based on the room's shape by adding two smaller seating areas since one large dining room wouldn't have worked. What works in your space?
7) Two-Person Seats
If you're designing your porch to look like a living room, you'll want sofas and other comfortable places to sit. While a large sofa probably won't fit, you shouldn't have tiny seats, either. Individual living room and porch chairs usually have armrests or extra space so that two chairs take up more space than one small couch. Use short, two-person sofas like this one from Amazon to make the most of your outdoor living room space.
8) Built-In Bench
Benches are a great way to use up less space, since they don't typically have armrests and backs that can curve outward and take up extra room, but they also tend to be less comfortable. Design a bench that's built into the porch railing and the side of your house like the one in this picture. The seat will take up little room since the edge fits directly against the house walls. The wall serves as a backrest, so you don't sacrifice comfort as you might with a bench that wasn't built-in.
9) Plan Ahead
The most important thing about designing a small space is to plan ahead. The more you plan, the better use you can make of the room. You'll want to know what you plan to do with the porch and think about how the space will work for it before you start buying decorations and building furniture. Read this article by HGTV to learn about some questions you should ask yourself, and make sure you know what you want when designing the screened-in porch.
10) Hanging Decorations
Floor and table space are probably precious in your small screened-in porch. Wall space may be at a premium, too, since you probably only have one wall. While you can hang wall decorations on porch posts, you'll still have limited decorating space. Try hanging decorations like this one from the ceiling instead. If your roof is low, you may have to be careful about doing so, but for most small porches, the ceiling height isn't an issue as much as the width and length of the porch are.
11) Bright Colors
Sometimes, when you have a small area, you need bold decorations to make the room stand out. You're probably struggling to find good places to hang and place decorations, so try using bright colored area rugs like this one from Walmart, or painting with bright colors to make the area stand out. This way, you're not relying on finding space for decorations, and you'll have a colorful and exciting porch. This is more important in a screened-in porch because the trees, sky, and other elements of nature are less visible than they are from a typical porch.
12) DIY Lawn Lights
Lawn lights probably don't seem like a screen porch idea, but outdoor decorations are a great way to make your porch seem bigger. The decorations make it feel as if your porch extends past the walls and into the yard, and cause it to feel less claustrophobic. Since the screen porch will probably have less visibility than most porches, you can use this video to make lawn lights that'll be visible through the porch screen. Add the same lights both inside and outside to complete the effect.
13) DIY Storage Bench
One great way to make use of porch space is to add storage under other furniture. This way, the storage doesn't take up extra space, but you can put away anything you need to when you're not using it. For example, if you have throw pillows, you can build a storage bench using these instructions and put the padding in it when you don't want them. That way, they won't take up seating space when you have company.
14) LED Light Strips
LED light strips are a great decorating tool that takes up almost no room. Since your porch is somewhat enclosed, you can put them where you like, such as around the perimeter of the ceiling, to create a beautiful effect at night without bothering the neighbors with bright lights. These strips are fantastic for decorative or primary lighting, or you can use them for making decorations that light up. Try taking strips like these from Amazon and placing them under furniture for an attractive glow.
15) DIY Built-In Cushion Storage
A screened-in porch probably feels more like an indoor setting than most porches, but it's still outside and needs to withstand the elements. In this video, Pneumatic Addict shows you how to design an outdoor sofa that'll work well for a small screened-in porch. The sofa has compartments to store cushions so that you can easily store the cushions when you're not using them to keep them from getting damaged or dirty. If you leave the cushions out, you can use the compartments as storage to keep your porch from getting cluttered.
16) Lawn Lights
Lawn lights are a great way to extend your porch into your lawn and make it feel less crowded. While any decoration that fits your porch theme can do that, lights are great for a screened-in porch because they're easier to see, and you're more likely to spend time on your porch at night if it's screened in. These lawn lights from Amazon are a great way to make the porch feel less claustrophobic since you can buy a lot of them and let them trail down your steps into the yard.
If your small screened in porch feels cramped and crowded, but you have space for your furniture and decorations, you may need to make it feel open more that you need more space to put things. Try painting the porch white like the one in this photo to make it feel more open. This also gives it an old-fashioned look, making the smaller space seem more normal since small homes were more common in the past.
18) String Lights
If you're trying to decide on a light fixture for your porch, but everything seems like it takes up too much headroom, and sconces stick out into the usable space, try string lights. You can get string lights like these that are designed for outdoors and can handle the elements and add them around the porch edges or along the rafters. These lights are more attractive than a lot of fixtures, and they work as everyday lighting for a small porch.
19) Big Art
Big art probably seems like a bad idea if you have limited space, but it has a pronounced visual effect that makes it perfect for small areas. Hang big art pieces like this copper patina sun from The Home Depot on your walls. They'll catch attention and have a stronger visual effect than many small items. A reflective decoration will also make the area look bigger, and the sunlight reflecting on it will make the decoration more attractive.
20) Expand It
Sometimes the solution to a small porch is simple; make it bigger. If none of these ideas seemed right, and you're at a loss for decorating and furnishing ideas that'll make your porch look larger, try expanding it. Check out this article by The Porch Company to help you decide whether an addition is the right option. In the article, the author proposes several essential questions, then describes a screen porch renovation that may help you decide if your porch simply needs to be bigger.
Did any of these ideas appeal to you? There are many things you can do with a small screened-in porch, and we'd love to hear how you made the most of your space! Tell us all about it in the comments below.