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How to Achieve a Collected Look on your Porch or Patio

You can add character, charm, and personality by combining the old with the new. Don’t be afraid to mix and match styles, finishes, and textures to give your porch or patio interest.  Think outside the box and don’t be afraid to repurpose items. Let’s take a look at how to achieve a collected look on your porch or patio.

how to achieve a collected look on your porch or patio

For those of you new here welcome. We have lived in our home for over 25 years, so my garden and outdoor spaces are pretty mature. Our Monterey Colonial house has a porch that runs almost all the way across the front of our house so it called out for large scale items.  We built our home ourselves and in stages so we could afford it.  At that time we had no extra money for porch or patio furniture.

cindy hattersley's front porch & garden

We collected and gathered things over time. Instead of running out and buying a matching patio set, let your patio or porch area evolve.  Find interesting objects to add to the mix.  Let’s start at the front door.  The doorbell was a gift from our friend that did all of the ironwork in our house.  The bell itself is from Portugal and he fabricated the holder. The sign with our house number was purchased on one of our buying trips to Mexico many years ago. The pots came from our favorite local nursery Bokay.  We have had them for years.  They are filled with easy-care Rosemary.

cindy hattersley's front door old grape hotte filled with roses

On the door is a vintage grape hotte filled with roses from my garden. It was used to harvest grapes.  You can find ones from Eastern Europe pretty reasonably at flea markets and antique fairs. Mine came from Patine, a favorite local shop. They have container sales several times a year.

How to Achieve the Collected Look on your Porch or Patio

To the right of the door is a little seating area that is right outside my office. The table base came from Mexico as well as the chairs. The tabletop is limestone and was fabricated from a scrap. The birdbath also came from Bokay many years ago.  I love how the finish has gotten crusty with age.

cindy hattersley front porch table and chairs with studio mcgee target pillows

The pink pillows are from the Studio McGee collection for Target.  The back pillows are Sunbrella canvas.  All items are linked below. The pitcher filled with roses is from Romania and was purchased from Patine. The concrete rabbit has the same finish as the pots on either side of the door for continuity.  We have had him for years in the garden.  The plants had grown up around him so I thought I would find a new spot for him.  The oyster shell ball is from Marshalls.

studio mcgee for Target pillow

On the other side of the door is an old hay wagon that we bought from a local antique dealer. We repurposed it as a planter. The large scale suits the space. It rests in front of our dining room and provides color outside our window year-round.

cindy hattersley's spanish colonial porch

Steve has had to rebuild the box a couple of times over the years. I painted and aged the new wood so it would look like it was original to the piece. It is filled with lavender, ivy, and a mix of seasonal flowers.

How to Achieve the Collected Look on your Porch or Patio

When you are decorating your porch or patio, if you want a more collected look, be patient, find things you love, and don’t be afraid to repurpose items like we did with the grape hotte, and the old wagon. Mix and match textures and finishes and items from different eras. All of these things will add interest and character to your patio or porch. 


I hope you enjoyed How to Achieve a Collected Look on your porch or patio. If you would like to see more of my garden I would love for you to follow me on Instagram. and Pinterest.  Now pop over and see what my other friends are sharing.

Porch Decor Tips from On Sutton Place

Use Pillows & Throws

from Ann at On Sutton Place

One of my favorite things to do to cozy up our porch & patio is to add soft furnishings…specifically pillows and throw blankets. Our front porch is covered, so I use pillows year round. For our patio, which is not covered, I keep pillows in our family room, and bring them out when needed. Use colors that coordinate with your home, or use the colors of the season. Adding a throw blanket to chairs and sofas during the cooler months of the year makes your outdoor space comfortable and inviting, and adds some extra color too. I’ve been asked many times what I do if my porch pillows get wet…and the answer is that I don’t do anything! I simply wait for them to dry out…which they eventually do. To get more information about the porch decor pictured above, click {HERE.}

Deck Decor from Designthusiasm

Use One Element to Tie Everything Together

from Lory at Designthusiasm

The single most effective way to turn your patio into a cozy outdoor room is by adding a unifying element that ties everything together. The best way I know to do that is with an outdoor rug. Start with a conversation area comprised of neutral furniture. Use as much seating as comfortably fits in your space, with sofas and chairs facing each other, possibly arranged around a coffee table. Accent your pieces with decorative pillows and other pretty decor. Then add a rug to pull everything together. An outdoor rug helps define the borders of your space, adding a sense of intimacy and warmth. You can use colors that mirror the tones in your pillows and decor or stay neutral to allow the opportunity to easily update your palette each year. If you approach the space as you would an indoor room, you can be sure a rug underfoot will deliver a cozy summer patio. You can read about the evolution of our patio as we refined our space or join me at Designthusiasm for more decorating tips and ideas for living your life with casual elegance.

Summer Peony Wreath from StoneGable

Add a Wreath

from Yvonne at StoneGable

Nothing adds summer punch and pizzazz to your porch and front door like a big wreath filled with summer blooms! Talk about WOW factor, my friend! Making a front door wreath is not hard to do with a few easy tips! My very best wreath making tip is to double the base wreaths! Easy, right? Doubling the base wreaths will give your creation a designer look! Doing this one thing will make a huge difference in the way a wreath looks! If using a grapevine wreath like the SUMMER FRONT DOOR WREATH, put two wreaths together with wire or zip ties. What a difference! Even if you are not using a grapevine wreath, add one as the bottom layer! The idea is to give a wreath more visual weight and bring the wreath away from the door a little. In the SUMMER FRONT DOOR WREATH DIY, I am sharing a formula or recipe so you can make a fabulous wreath every time!!!
Screened In Porch Decor from Southern Hospitality

Bring the Inside Out

from Rhoda at Southern Hospitality

Outdoor spaces are my favorite, and I’ve found that it’s easy with just a few tips to make an outdoor space comfortable, cozy with the feel of a real room and extension of your indoor spaces. Adding cozy outdoor rugs, cushions and pillows to a space is a definite must for an outdoor space. Plants also add life and texture, as well as artwork, side tables to place a drink, hanging lanterns for cozy ambient lighting. If you add all those elements to your outdoor rooms, they will instantly feel like home.

Adding Shade to an Outdoor Space from Shabbyfufu

Add Some Shade

from Janet at Shabbyfufu

Summer is a long season here in the south! We often use our outdoor areas as an extension of the home, and strive to ensure that they are comfortable. Not only do we want to keep ourselves and our guests cool, but it’s essential to shield everyone from the sun and provide protection from the rain. One of the most budget friendly ways to add shade is with a patio umbrella. There are so many color and size options available and currently many are on pre-season sale. If you have a yard or small garden space, consider a pop up cabana or canopy. Another great option is a pergola to create the feel of an outdoor room and fill with seating to enjoy. For more ideas on freshening up your patio for the warm months, click HERE.

Outdoor Chandeliers from Maison de Cinq

Outdoor Lighting

from Shelia at Maison de Cinq

One of the things I love about French farmhouse style is how it really captures that romantic feeling – even when those spaces are outdoors! Last year we revamped our outdoor living space, but since we don’t have electricity out there, and I didn’t want to spend money to add it, I decided to go the European route and add romantic outdoor chandeliers. After all, what’s more romantic than eating by candlelight? It’s amazing how different it looks now, and how much cozier it feels! Come on over to Maison de Cinq to see how much ambiance they add, as well as lots more French farmhouse inspiration!

Outdoor Wind Chimes from In My Own Style

Add the Element of Sound

from Diane at In My Own Style

When choosing how to decorate your patio, deck or porch for outdoor living in style this year, don’t forget to add the element of sound in the way of wind chimes. Think all sound alike? Think again. Find out where you can listen to audio samples to choose just the right sound and design that will not only add some pretty, but also add a relaxing effect on the energy and mood of your outdoor living space.



Reader Interactions


    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Diane
      Thank you so much! I enjoyed seeing your charming wind chimes as well!

  1. Linda Fant says

    Thank you, Thank you! Love these inspiring outdoor spaces that would make anyone want to linger. Gotta love California weather that also helps😄

  2. Diane Ruebel says

    What a spectacular collected entry patio. Not only is it inviting but the charm says volumes about it’s occupants.

    Thank you for sharing the inspiration,
    Diney on Camano Island

  3. Karen B. says

    Hi Cindy,
    I love the look of your yard, very California fresh. The wooden wagon filled with flowers looks so pretty.
    Perfect timing for this time of year.

  4. Nan says

    The flower-laden hay wagon is such a charming visual accent outside your window! You must smile every time you glance its’ way. Those pink pillows are perfect. Y’all have a lovely home and garden, made even better over time.

  5. LA CONTESSA says

    WHAT LANGUAGE is “HOTTE?”I have a collection of those from ITALY and FRANCE!
    OR a FEW I should say……….MIne are wood and we use for the old newspapers.DO YOU REMEMBER when they cost the earth back in the early 90’s?LOVE IT ON YOUR FRONT DOOR!
    THE STRAPS are helping it not scratch the door?

  6. home before dark says

    Great advice as always! What a wonderful thing that you and Steve have created over time and with skill and soul. Thanks for the honesty that this beautiful—stunning, actually—home was built as funds allowed and added to over time. So many different combinations of furniture have lived on my porch. My husband was very grateful when I finally agreed with him that the twig furniture was beautiful but the only way it was comfortable was having worked to exhaustion all day and sitting there with your second glass of wine!!!

  7. Janet says

    I’m the same over here Cindy. We added pieces little by little as we could afford to in our younger days. Your garden is lovely and those flowers!! Glad that you could join us today.

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