Porch Decor Ideas: How to Add Some Southern Charm to Your Porch this Summer

Dreaming of warm breezes, sweet tea, and lazy evenings in a rocking chair? Ahhhhh. The iconic southern front porch in the summer. There is nothing better! Here are some fun porch decor ideas to help you give your porch a touch of southern charm.

Even if your modern house doesn’t have a spacious front porch there is no reason why you can’t give your back porch, your patio, or your covered deck the feeling of a southern summer porch!

Majestic front porch of the Fairview Inn in Jackson Mississippi. The porch has large white columns in a traditional southern style. There are white rocking chairs on the porch. The porch ceiling is painted grey. The house itself is white. This photo can give you some ideas for how to decorate a southern porch. There are topiaries and plants and the US Flag as well as the state flag of Mississippi. Porch decor ideas.
The Fairview Inn in Jackson, Mississippi – an old home turned lovely hotel.

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Amazing Southern Porch Decor Ideas

Consider Blue Ceiling Paint as Part of your Southern Porch Decor!

I’m sure that you’ve noticed that many old fashioned southern porches have ceilings that are painted a pretty pale blue color. This is called “haint blue” because it was originally believed to ward off evil spirits or “haints.”

Some people claim that the blue color tricks flies and wasps into thinking that the porch ceiling is the sky so that they will take their nests and themselves elsewhere.

Even if you don’t believe in “haints” or that flies are fooled by blue paint you can’t deny that the color is restful and charming. There is no one specific shade of blue that is meant for a southern front porch. You can use any soft shade that ranges from baby blue to aqua to grey.

Interior bead board ceiling painted blue. Ideas for southern porch decor.

Some of the best blues to try are:

  • Sherwin Williams: Laurens Surprise SW 6791
  • Sherwin Williams Pool Blue: SW 6944
  • Sherwin Williams Atmospheric: SW 6505
  • Sherwin Williams Niebla Azul: SW 9137

My husband and I are home builders and we recently painted an interior dining room ceiling in the Sherwin Williams paint Niebla Azul to mimic the look of a southern front porch.

Every Southern Porch Needs A Comfortable Place to Sit

A Porch Swing is an Iconic Part of Southern Porch Decor

If you have the space for a porch swing and a strong beam to hang it from then I highly suggest getting one! We got ours last year and we adore it. Our back porch is covered and we sit in our swing almost every day, rain or shine, cold or hot.

One of my favorite memories is the porch swing at my great-grandmother’s house. We called her Ma-son (A child’s combination of the words Mama Thompson). She lived in a little, rundown, old home in the mountains of Arkansas with a big covered front porch.

She had a swing on her porch which was set too high off the ground for us younger children to push it with our legs. Someone tied a rope to the porch railing so that we could grab the rope and pull ourselves to swing. We sure could get that thing going!

Traditional wooden porch swings are lovely on any porch.

A white porch swing looks great particularly pretty against a colorfully painted house. I also like a white porch swing with a red brick house.

This is a white porch swing hanging on the front porch of a green house. The doors and wooden porch floor are painted a deep red. This is part of a post about southern porch decor ideas.

TIP: You might have to order the hanging apparatus separately from your swing. They don’t always come with the swing.

photo of a covered porch. There is a wicker chair with cushions and a hanging swing with cushions. The chain of the swing is covered with burlap. There are ferns in the corner. How to decorate a southern porch.

If you don’t like the look of the chains you can add burlap chain covers like the ones shown in the photo above. We got some for our porch swing this year and love the way they look!

Imagine Rocking While Sipping an Icy Cold Lemonade

A front porch with a curved railing and columns. The porch floor is painted grey. There are white rocking chairs with blue cushions. In the distance you see a table and chairs. There are pretty flowers on the porch.  Some ideas for how to decorate a southern porch.

Rocking chairs are a quintessential item for a southern porch. They range from classic white to very rustic… whichever matches your style. Aren’t those pretty on that porch with that gorgeous curved rail and grey painted floor?

Although white rockers are the most traditional, black rocking chairs would look lovely especially against a white or a light colored house.

Wicker Chairs are Quintessentially Southern

You see two white wicker chairs on a porch with red and white cushions. A wicker plant holder is between the chairs and you can see a porch swing in the background. Ideas for porch decor.

There’s just something about wicker on a porch in the summer. It speaks of warmth and blue skies and sparkly summer mornings spent having coffee outside.

White wicker is of course the image that immediately springs to mind when you think of a summer porch decor ideas but you can use brown or natural wicker, or even a bright and pretty color!

Painted wicker adds a bit of charm and whimsy to a porch because it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

The eggplant shade in the chairs on the porch below works because it is unexpected on a porch with such formal columns.

A formal porch with gorgeous columns and a floor that is painted gray. There is a brown porch swing and some wicker chairs that are painted an egg plant color. Ideas for summer porch decor.
Wicker chairs painted a pretty eggplant color add a casual twist to a porch with formal columns.

You can check out this three piece white wicker set for your summer porch.

It is also fun to look for vintage wicker pieces at antique stores and flea markets!

Retro Metal Chairs Have My Heart

I have a soft spot in my heart for those metal porch chairs because I remember them from my grandmother’s house. I have a vivid memory of my Grandma Martin sitting in one of these chairs shelling peas.

Old country house with a southern front porch. The photo is obviously from years gone by. The roof is a grey tin. The paint on the house is white, but is peeling and faded. There are two metal chairs on the front porch and a retro car in the foreground. The picture itself is faded.
My grandmother’s house. It has long since been torn down. Can you see the metal chairs on the porch? Of course they weren’t considered retro at the time!
This one comes in classic white which would look so pretty on the porch of a painted house. It also won’t get hot in the sun!
Deep red is a great color for a southern summer porch. It would look so pretty with colorful flowers or ferns.
Wouldn’t a bright yellow be a cheerful addition to your porch. Like adding a little bit of sunshine!

REMINDER: Don’t place these in the sun – from what I can remember from my childhood they do get hot!

A Place to Put Your Drink Down is A Necessity

You know you are going to be sipping some type of beverage on your southern front porch! Perhaps an icy cold sweet tea, or a lemonade, an Arnold Palmer or even a spiked Arnold Palmer?

And you are going to want some place to set that beverage down!

You will definitely want to add some side tables to your porch decor.

  • I love a mosaic table. In fact we have one on our porch.
  • More white wicker – but there isn’t much better to make your porch feel fresh and cool!
  • Isn’t this mint green table adorable?! It also comes in other colors and is reasonably priced.

Or perhaps you need a coffee table/ottoman that will allow you to put your drink down and your feet up!

As you are deciding on your tables and chairs remember that part of the charm of an old fashioned southern porch is that they were decorated over time.

It’s ok to mix and match. It’s ok to have a variety of materials. You can use old wicker from thrift stores along with something new. You can use a lot of color or keep it neutral with spots of color.

A porch is a place to experiment with decor and take a few chances.

Once you have your chairs and tables the fun really begins! It is time to add all the finishing touches to really make your southern porch pretty!

Porch Decor Ideas: The Finishing Touches

Use Cushions and Throw Pillows to Soften Everything Up

white porch swing with cushions on it. Porch decor ideas. Soften it up with lots of cushions!

Now that you have some seating it’s time to add some softness! If you have an At Home store in your area they always have tons of cushions and pillows to choose from as does Home Goods.

I’m a believer in pillows and cushions on a porch! You want to make your outdoor living space as cozy and comfortable as possible. You can buy entire pillows, or you can use pillow covers which are a little easier to wash and enable you to change them with the season.

Here are some pretty options!

It’s Not a Southern Porch Without Plants and Flowers

This is a porch with white wicker chairs and a white wicker table. There are ferns hanging from the porch and lots of pots of flowers. You can see a porch swing in the distance. porch decor ideas.

Plants do so much to make your porch inviting! Hanging ferns are one of the most popular choices. Flowers add color and charm. Talk to your local nursery about the sun situation on your particular porch or deck to find out what will work for your space.

You often see topiaries flanking the front door of southern homes or pots of flowers on the steps leading to the porch. Succulents are great and low maintenance for those of us with less of a green thumb. If you have a sunny spot you can grow pots of herbs to be able to use in your kitchen.

Plants really are the best porch decor of all!

Light Things up with Hurricane Lanterns

Hurricane lanterns are traditional on a southern porch. There were so named because the glass in them kept the flame from blowing out in the wind.

You will probably not want to use real candles in your lanterns if you plan to keep them out on the porch all the time as the summer heat can melt them! I like to use battery-powered fake candles.

You might find some older hurricane lanterns at antique or thrift stores like the ones pictured above or check out this pretty new one! These smaller white lanterns would be lovely as part of a summer evening table setting.

Citronella Candles to Keep the Mosquitos Away

Anyone who lives in the south knows that mosquitoes can be a problem. If you don’t have a screened-in porch one option is to have some citronella candles to set out and light as the mosquitoes start to chew you up.

Keeping Things Cool on Your Southern Summer Porch With a Fan

Hopefully you have an overhead fan on your porch. If not you might need something to keep the air circulating. A fan can make a huge difference! We have a little vintage fan on our porch which definitely helps keep things a more comfortable as the temperatures start to soar.

Flags are a Southern Favorite

If you live in the south you are already aware that people down here love to decorate with flags.

American Flags and banners are a pretty and patriotic way to decorate for July 4 or Memorial Day. You’ll also see a variety of decorative seasonal flags and in the fall we definitely like to represent our favorite SEC football team!

Give Your Porch a Bit of Twinkle

Want to really give your southern porch some charm? How about a set of outdoor string lights? Think how nice it would be to turn off the bigger bug attracting flood lights and sit in the glow of a set of string lights while you watch the day turn to night and the fireflies come out.

Enjoy These Southern Porch Decor Ideas!

From simple to grand, rustic to classic, there is nothing better than a southern porch.

I hope that this has given you some fun ideas for your summer porch decor. Enjoy!

Check out how to make perfect southern sweet tea for sipping while enjoying your new porch decor! If you’d like something a little stronger we also have a southern cocktail series!

Thanks for stopping by!