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Capturing Coastal on the Front Porch

Do you love that laid-back coastal feel? Bleached out blues, hues of driftwood gray, and that sand in my toes feeling is what I craved for my front porch makeover.

Just last year I redecorated the front porch yet again and just didn’t love it.  That’s always a disappointment in any design project. With my exterior paint being a dark grayed blue, I’ve always chosen colors that pop against the blue like red, pink and green. Those brighter colors didn’t help me relax, so it was time for a change. 

This year I decided to go with what I love – those sun bleached denim blues, sandy stripes, bright white, and gray washed driftwood. If you comb through pictures of my house on Instagram, you can see I am a “blue person”. It is the most calming color in any shade and the darker navy blues add a level of sophistication.  

Capturing that Coastal Carolina Laid-Back Vibe

After looking at countless catalogs and Pinterest pages, I decided on the key coastal elements for the front porch makeover:

  • Striped blue rug 
  • Blue and white pillows
  • Driftwood gray finishes
  • Wicker and sea grass textures
  • Silver metal accents
  • Tropical palms

The furniture needed to remain to keep this more budget friendly. Luckily, last season I did tackle a porch swing makeover and upholstered the swing seat with white Sunbrella fabric.  That was a good base to start from, but that darn swing was still painted black, faded, and peeling. So I came up with another makeover idea! Here is the porch before I got started…

Porch before coastal makeover_Porch Daydreamer

A truly blank canvas lay before me, but was covered in a fine yellow pollen dust and dirt from the winter.  I bought a new pressure washer and cleaned EVERYTHING, so I truly had a clean state in order to see the possibilities. The black and white rugs got donated to Habitat for Humanity and I got busy designing.I’m a little obsessed with the pressure washer now and have cleaned so much with it. If you don’t have one, the one I purchased is so easy to assemble and use. Plus it’s not too high-powered to hurt anything.

Post contains hand selected products, with some affiliate marketing links {full disclosure here} 

Gray Washed Porch Swing and Palms for Privacy

Recently, I developed a driftwood gray interior faux finish and thought how can I come up with something similar that will stand up to the outdoor elements?  You guessed it! I applied a Pottery Barn like driftwood gray finish to the porch swing and wrapped the chains in rope to mimic sea grass.  A tutorial is coming SOON on both of these! 

The finish came out beautifully and TRANSFORMED the swing to feel like I was sitting on the front porch of a beach house. 

driftwood gray finished porch swing chain wrapped in rope and coastal pillows

driftwood gray faux finished swing with rope wrapped chains

Plus adding a little wicker pouf under the swing is a nice update so you can prop up your feet or even use for extra seating or to set drinks (carefully!). Good luck finding the pouf because they are mainly sold out – next year!

Use a wicker pouf as a foot rest under a porch swing

Next I wanted to add a tropical beach feel of the palms blowing in the breeze.  This was the BEST addition to the porch and it added some additional privacy plus shade.  You can see my neighbors porch is right next to mine!

After measuring the space to see what I could fit behind the swing, I settled on black square taller planters and 3 Majesty Palms. Lowe’s had a TON of palms on sale over Memorial Day – this was a big win.  Knowing we can get some nasty summer storms I decided to weigh down the planters with rocks, before adding the dirt. 

3 palms lined up behind swing for privacyPalms in black square planters creating shade and beautiful sounds

Palms sound so beautiful in the breeze and cast graphic shadows making me FEEL like I’m at the beach 😉 To keep them healthy and growing, I extended the drip irrigation to water them automatically. What a cheap and easy way to bring in that laid-back sand in my toes coastal feel and solve a privacy issue! Plus with the added shade they keep the porch just a little cooler.

Shop the Look

As a small refresh and to soften the look of the black tray table base and planter I spray painted them with a pretty silver spray paint. The silver just feels more coastal. A mercury glass gazing ball sparkles in the sun and reflects the beauty fo the porch.  In the winter, I use this same ball with fairy lights inside!

Sun Bleached Blue 

No more DIY projects (phew) onto the shopping! This is the fun part – finding just the right pillows, rug and accessories to tie the whole look together.  One of my concerns was how blue, on blue, on blue would look.  I have dark blue exterior paint and blue slate motif tiles.  Ta da! I think it looks beautiful! Mick does too 🙂

blue and white pottery barn pillows on front porch with Mick

To break up some of the blue, thrown in are woven sisal textures, tans, and bright white.

Mick barking at the neighbors with blue and white pillows on front porch

If you don’t speak dog, Mick when asked “What do you think of the new look?” He replied “Oh, wow!” Mick has a big smile on his face because we hang out here all of the time now and love it!

Shop the Look

Table for Four Please

The big challenge with a small outdoor space is adding as much comfortable seating as possible. If you haven’t read my post yet on outdoor seating, I address how I got creative with a sectional sofa to maximize seating and can seat up to 8 people on my little front porch.

During this makeover I wanted to make the eating and drinking part also a little easier. I’m now at the point where I sit out here for breakfast, lunch, happy hour, and sometimes dinner. Having a way to transport or place drinks suddenly became more important. I have the little table by the swing and the garden stool, but the garden stool dips in the middle so not great for drinks!

Create a sitting area using pillows up against a porch railing using blue and white pillows

Trays are a great solution to this problem.  I decided to add a galvanized tray to sit on top of the garden stool. For parties, the tray can sit on one of the cushions for additional drink placement and be taken inside and out to replenish.  There is always the railing for drinks too 🙂

Use a garden stool as a small table by adding a galvanized tray

galvanized tray on top of garden stool for more table space

It was important to use a galvanized tray because it is weatherproof and won’t rust being outside all summer long. The little blue jars and the candle holder I’ve had for a while in storage and was happy to put them to good use on the porch!

coastal front porch in blue and white by Porch Daydreamer

Then I just LOVE the new polished nickel lanterns that reflect the blue striped rug! Polished silver brings that coastal look full circle. If you’ve never tried the Pier 1 outdoor candles, please do! They are weather proof and programmable.  Mine turn on as the sun is setting to add an ambient flickering glow. Ahhhh.

polished nickel lantern reflecting striped rug

Shop the Look

Final Coastal Front Porch Reveal

I hope I’ve brought a little of the Carolina Coastal laid back vibe to your neck of the woods. I’ve been entertaining out here more in the past two weeks than I did last summer. Plus enjoying the barefoot vibe the coastal sun washed decor evokes.

Time to make a ROSÉ FLOATÉ and sit back to enjoy the whir of the fan and the rustle of the palm leaves. Cheers to a phenomenal summer!

Coastal laid-back front porch mixing sun bleached blues with driftwood finishes and wicker textures

mick guarding the coastal front porch

driftwood gray swing and pillows against chair railing for more seating

Click these links to find out how I created an outdoor driftwood faux finish and wrapped the chains in rope.

Also, I have a NEW Guide! My Secret Source for Affordable Outdoor Furniture!

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Until next time..

Porch Daydreamer


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  1. Oooh my heart!! Tracey, this is perfection! I have the warm fuzzies after reading your post and seeing this gorgeous porch makeover! I’m obsessed with the blue and white patterns and all of the natural textures you’ve added in! I hope I can join you for a drink here someday! 😀 xoxo

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