Don’t you just love relaxing on the porch in summer? You can sit and read, chat with friends or family, or just lie there and do nothing, soaking up the warmth and smelling the fragrant flowers in your garden. And thanks to those screens around your porch, your enjoyment is never marred by bugs or bees. If only you could feel that same summery bliss in the winter.
Yes, it’s true that Bay Area winters bring their share of cold temperatures, wind, and rain. It’s enough to keep us indoors. But you can recapture the warmth of summer by transforming your screened porch into a winter oasis.
Exclude the elements
It takes more than screens to keep winter weather at bay. You have options, from simple to sophisticated:
- The easiest solution is to cover the screens with clear sheet vinyl using tape or Velcro. But you can do better, in terms of aesthetics as well as functionality.
- Attach heavy clear vinyl to lightweight wooden frames and install them over your screens inside or out, as you would install storm windows.
- Make screen covers from acrylic or polycarbonate sheets instead of flimsy roll vinyl. You’ll get better protection and your “winter porch windows” will last for years.
- With wooden frames, you can nail the panels in place, hang them from hooks, or mount them in sliding tracks such as those used for closet doors.
If you want your porch to be air-tight, add weather-stripping around the edges of your screen covers to keep out cold drafts. Or invest in a few colorful door draft blockers.
Work from the floor up
Besides the sun, what is the one thing everybody associates with summer? Grass! Soft, fluffy grass perfect for toe-wiggling. A grassy floor is a must-have if your newly-winterized screened porch is going to exude a summery atmosphere.
Of course, real grass won’t do, but we have just the thing for you here at Heavenly Greens – artificial turf. We predict you’ll be so impressed with your fake porch lawn you’ll want to keep it year round. You can cover the entire surface, or make a faux grass area rug. You can even step it up a notch or two with quirkier variations on the artificial turf theme.
- Add quilts or fleecy throws in bold, bright colors or floral prints.
- Add cushier furniture. (Or plump up your free-standing hammock with some extra pillows and a warm throw.)
- Add a couple of hanging ferns or pots of flowering houseplants to keep that summer porch-and-patio feeling going.
- Most screened porches have no heat source, but no worries. You can make your space cozy, by adding a tiny mini-split wall-heater or one of the new space-saving, looks-real electric fireplaces.
- Turn your porch into a media room, by adding a flatscreen TV and wireless receiver. (Which, by the way, you’ll continue to appreciate even when summer arrives for real.)
- Consider adding blinds or other window coverings. They’ll make your space even warmer and cozier – and certainly more private – so you can use your porch comfortably at night, too.
The bottom line is that you can do as much or as little as you want to transform your summer porch into a multi-season room. And no matter what steps you take, you can easily retain the summery feel, even if the wind is blowing or the rain is pouring outside. What on Earth are you waiting for?