How to Create An Outdoor Room


It’s been over two years since I bragged about how pretty I was gonna make this porch one day and now the time has come.

porch before

Here’s where we started. A lonely, uncomfortable picnic table. Which I still love. I just don’t want to sit there for over 20 minutes.

porch makeover

What a difference!

It truly feels like we added an extra room onto our house. FOR REAL.

We love it out here! My sister and her family came the other day and we all sat out here for six hours straight. The men and animals took naps, Emily and I laughed and worked and we all ate pizza and I finally love this porch.

view to the porch

You can see the porch from the kitchen. And we even have doors that open up wide so the porch can be enjoyed and feel like it’s part of the house–this was one of my favorite parts of the house when we bought it, then we moved in and I promptly ignored it.


I now feel like an actual adult because we have actual outdoor furniture.

Here’s the thing, if you have any kind of deck or porch, but ESPECIALLY a covered one, please make your next investment be some comfy outdoor furniture. We too, have other places where we have a patio set or outdoor furniture, but this is the first time I’ve had on our own covered porch attached to our very house and now I know what they mean on HGTV when they talk about outdoor rooms.

This is heavenly.

I’m going to sit here until it snows.

before & after of porch

planter head


This beautiful furniture is from Nesting Place friend and sponsor, AE Outdoor (remember the Barn porch makeover when I partnered with them?!) and  all of their collections are so grown up. Finally someone is doing outdoor furniture right. They’ll even send you free fabric swatches so you can see and feel the quality.


into the house

And here’s the view into the house.

outdoor room

I wanted to keep it all nice and neutral and textural because this is the one part of the house that has a really pretty view of trees and I wanted the focus to be on nature.

I shopped the house for a little table, extra pillows, a throw and picked the most outrageous weeds I could find.

all day

Remember when you are working on an outdoor room, you only need to focus on four things :

  1. seating
  2. surfaces
  3. lighting
  4. cozifiers

The seating and surfaces are obvious here (here’s a direct link to the Catalina collection that I have), for lighting, so far we’ve used only candles at night which is the best! and for cozifiers–throws, extra pillows and the most important: a rug–because I’m always walking out here barefoot and that’s another big part of it that makes it feel like a room: MUST HAVE A RUG.

porch makeover

porch makeover

Visit AE Outdoor and their blog to see all sorts of outdoor options and makeovers.


  1. I love how you’re never afraid to use the ‘good stuff’ in your decorating. Your throw! Most people would be like “it’s from Anthropologie” but not you. Beautiful, just gorgeous! I wish I was your neighbor.

  2. We love in New Mexico and I super struggle with making our outdoor spaces comfortable while battling the insane amounts of dust and wind and gross that build up out there in the course of a day or two. Everything that goes out there has to get vaccines or beaten or washed before we get to sit and enjoy it. What do I do??? How do I make it pretty but not exhausting?

    • Hi Kaytee! oh that is the worst! I’ve not had to deal with that–mosquitoes–yes, but dust and dirt that blows around isn’t something I have experience with–anyone who has and has any great ideas–feel free to chime in!!

    • Kaytee, we have similar dirt problems and my husband built a wooden storage bench that is absolutely perfect. With the use of cleaning wipes for the dust on tables, and the bench to hold the soft pretty things, it takes 5 minutes to set up and tear down the porch, and it stays clean looking. You can probably purchase outdoor storage benches on sale this time of year!

  3. Shannon Spakes says

    Totally relate to you on this post. After living in our home for 15 years and surviving 10 1/2 years of the in laws in our basement, we are finally screening in our lower deck and can’t wait to get nice furniture so I can enjoy being outside even during the summer. Happy for you and your family to have such a beautiful space to relax and enjoy!

  4. I love outdoor rooms and you’ve done a fantastic job on yours! I covet that throw :)
    @Kaytee, our California high desert is very dusty too and there’s only so much protection that wind breaks provide. I find I have to clean it before every use. But we DO have an area with a few hammocks that clean off very quickly with just a quick shake. Put pillows on them and you’re set.

  5. This is so inspiring! I just love seeing the different projects you do around your house. We have a deck area that I dream about making into a comfortable, refreshing place to be. This was such a helpful and motivating post! Thank you!!!

  6. Love your porch. Love my porch too.. It’s screened and I’ve been known sleep out there on great cool-ish nights. Would love to know where you found your rug. Thanks for sharing !

  7. Beautiful porch, I love it!

  8. It is absolutely gorgeous! I’d like to curl up with a blanket and a book. Now to keep all that lovely stuff clean from the outdoor grime and build up.

  9. Can you help those of us who want an area that feels like a room outdoors, but have no covered area to define or protect it? Love the storage bench idea, I can put that to use. We did buy a fabric-covered square gazebo a couple years ago; does anyone have experience salvaging one after the fabric & mosquito netting are falling apart?

  10. Laura A. Nielsen says

    I always scroll through your pictures and love them, but for some reason this selection of pictures really stole my heart! – The space looks SO beautiful and inviting and I completely understand your appreciation for the open-door-to-the-porch look! You did a lovely job! :)

  11. Beautiful! You make it all look so effortless. :)

  12. Baileywife @ Irishman acres says

    Now this “Nesting Place” is probably my favorite ever!!!!! Oh, how I would LOVE some AE outdoor furniture. Dreamy, girl, just dreamy!!~Kim

  13. This is gorgeous, Nester! I would sit out there with you if we were neighbors. I have a lovely patio, but it is not covered, so I don’t have as many options. Please tell us where you got the beautiful ivory throw.

  14. Where is that pillow from? I love it!

  15. Where is that southwestern print pillow from? I love it!

  16. This is just the best!

  17. Just so gorgeous!! What a cosy, inviting, stylish space. I can see why you’d want to sit out there for hours.

  18. This is breathtaking and I love how inviting it looks from inside with the French doors open. I have a question that I think everyone else in the world might know the answer. How do you maintain an outdoor room? I’m afraid mine would get all dusty and inviting in a hurry.

    • This is exactly my problem! I live in NM, so the dirt is out of control. We have this great outdoor couch that does really well, but I can’t think of any way to add throws and pillows and beauty without a disaster!

  19. This is lovely! I’m curious how you keep (or plan to keep) your new “room” clean. I have a nice large covered porch, but it is always cover in bugs, bug webs, bugs poo… I can scrub it down well, and it will be a pretty big mess in a few weeks. Do you plan on cleaning this space regularly, as you would an indoor room, or is this just not a problem for some people?

  20. Does the ottoman cushion fit inside the ottoman? And is it comfy? Do the back cushions move around? I’m seriously thinking of buying this. Our beloved set is on it’s last leg and it’s hard to find some in this style and price range.

  21. Why is outdoor furniture nearly always wicker? I don’t mind it but my husband LOATHES wicker, so we can’t find anything we can agree on. Is there some practical reason for it? Because it’s so hard to find comfortable, nice looking outdoor furniture that’s NOT wicker. What’s up with that???

  22. Loretta Johnson says

    We are desperately looking for ideas for our patio and this ceiling is what I have tried to describe to my husband. I am SO curious to know if the ceiling on your porch is siding or wood. Also love the wide plank flooring in the area that leads to your patio area. Is it actual flooring or is it something like pine planks? I just love that look. Thanks so much. (your book is still one of my most favorite reads and it has a prominent place in my bedroom to remind me to be free to nest!)

  23. Love this! Very inspiring. Thanks for showing us how doable it can be!

  24. Beautiful Designs:)

  25. Great designs!

  26. There so much interesting here!We also have a living room outdoor and a basic humdrum porch.It transforms into an open air living room that adds value and comfort to a home.

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